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12.27.2005

Why Yes, I Am A College Student

I have always hated math. All throughout high school, I completely zoned out when math class started. It just seemed so incredibly boring that I couldn’t concentrate. I ended up failing math in 9th grade and taking summer school, where I did markedly better. After only two months my math average was in the 80s. I passed the Math A Regents and went on to Math B, right on schedule. A year and a half later, I managed to pass the Math B Regents as well. In my last year at high school, I had a choice: I could either take “Intro to Calculus” or Math 12 (which was a calc class, but a little slower). Since I was taking four AP classes in 12th grade, I opted for Math 12. By the time I graduated, my grade in that class was in the low 90s and I had started learning various calculus concepts. Then my progress in math ground to a screeching halt.

The computerized placement exam that my college uses to decide which classes its students should take went over badly for me. While my score on the English section was over 90 (to which anyone who has frequented this blog can attest), my math scores were abysmal. My algebra skills were ranked at 77%, and my trig score was a shameful 44%. Although I was told of a written exam, I feared that I would score even lower on that. My confidence in my own math abilities was shattered. I fully accepted being placed in Math 115 (a basic college algebra and trigonometry class), even if it meant not starting my major for a whole year. I spent the following two months sitting through the most mentally draining class I’ve ever had in my life. At first I thought we were doing review, since the work seemed to be on par with Math A. “Softening us up for the tough stuff?” I thought. But now the semester is over and not only have I learned nothing new, but I’ve begun to forget calculus concepts I once knew thoroughly. I came to hate Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I spent two hours sitting still and “learning.” But why not simply opt out of this class? In my college, if one passes the Math B Regents, one automatically become eligible for Precalculus. So why did I choose to take a class I didn’t need, waste thousands of dollars, and delay my major for a year?

The answer is that I wasn’t aware I could do that. No one told me that I was eligible for Precalculus because I passed the Math B Regents. Apparently, it’s school policy not to tell a student he or she is eligible unless the student in question scores above a 75% on the regents. So even though I was getting an “A” in the calculus class I was taking in high school and got a mere 72 on the regents, I was forced to spend an entire semester getting back to calculus level. My math skills now are most likely worse than they were last year, due to lack of use. I am now completely demoralized because of the four hours I must spent each week sitting through Math 115, and because I know that I can no longer contest my placement exam grade.
There is no upside to this; my life has been devastated. Instead of sitting through class, taking down notes and learning new concepts (as I did last year), I now sit through each class not paying any attention, staring at the clock, my mind burning over my indignant situation. For two days a week, I’m reminded of the failings of the system. I’m reminded of how much better my life was last year, before I took that exam. And more importantly, I’m reminded of how much I hate math.

COMING SOON:
My fantastic story of how I fixed this whole math mess.

Processing 8×100 Robo-Comments:

Blogger BooTCaT gesticulated...

Hey , i am waiting man , u r style is gr(7+1)

12/28/2005 1:16 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann gesticulated...

Wow, don't keep us hanging. I had a dislike for math. My strong subjects were always English and Science. I liked Math next, but History was my downfall. It was like trying to read an insurance policy in bed....it put me right to sleep. Of course Anthropology fell into the History category too. What is ironic, is that I actually enjoy history (in moderation) now. I even watch the history channel several times a week. I never thought I would do that (or even say that).
Cannot wait to hear the remedy!

12/28/2005 1:44 AM  
Blogger Gyrobo gesticulated...

The remedy is the sign of our times.

12/28/2005 9:53 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann gesticulated...

Ok, so you hacked in and changed your grade?

12/28/2005 1:04 PM  
Blogger Bhakti gesticulated...

Gyrobo--this is off topic a bit, but can you PLEASE tell me why my sidebar has moved to the bottom of my blog??

I simply deleted some links from the sidebar that I didn't want anymore (blogorama,etc...). Any ideas??

12/28/2005 1:07 PM  
Blogger Bhakti gesticulated...

I got the problem all fixerelled. Thanks anyway!!! :)

12/28/2005 5:07 PM  
Blogger angel, jr. gesticulated...

The fact that you even mentioned math in your post had my heart-racing, blood pressure rising, the nausea/vomiting center of my brain kick started.
I didn't like math at all.

12/28/2005 5:07 PM  
Blogger marcy_peanut gesticulated...

LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS...SO ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES... (what the frick does that mean, anyway??)

So, this is like some serious cliff-hanger. I guess I'll have to call in sick from work tomorrow just to see how the whole thing worked out!!!!

12/28/2005 5:15 PM