Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When God Passed out Brains, I Thought He Said Trains...


...and apparently I missed mine.

I try not to moan and complain about things on this blog. I realize that you are all hear to look at photos and read things about Alaska and the arctic, not listen to me moan about my bad hair day, or the fact that my son can't ever remember to take out the trash. But sometimes that is the price you have to pay for hanging out here.

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that Algebra was invented by the devil for the torment of all mankind. Seriously. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I have a math class. Instead of being in a classroom it is on the computer using a program called Elive. It is audio and visual in real time, so you can hear the instructor speak and can see him write on the whiteboard. Students can also write on the whiteboard and send the instructor private or public instant messages.

Last night my algebra class was AWFUL! It has this amazing ability to make me feel like a complete idiot. The saddest thing about it is that this is only PRE algebra! It only gets worse from here. The other day a friend of mine was complaining on Facebook that her math class was so boring that she was almost falling asleep. Man, I wish I had that problem.

My math class moves so fast that the hour and forty minutes goes by in a whirlwind of confusion. The instructor tells me he doesn't know why I am in such a tizzy when I have one of the highest grades in the class....HUH? I have one of the highest grades in the class? Good grief, my poor classmates. I'm barely hanging on by a thread, what does that mean for them. By the time the class is over I look like this.........

Yes, I understand that my major problem is that I have absolutely no confidence in my math ability. The stuff scares the crap out of me. I will think that I have it down in class and when I go to do the homework I am a mess. I can only compare it with a phobia...like a fear of heights. I say to myself "Cathy, you will not be scared of the escalator at the 5th Avenue Mall!" It doesn't work. I still can't ride up or down the damn thing. It scares the crap out of me every time.

A couple years ago I tried taking this same pre algebra course as paper based distance course. Basically you get a math book and a work book and a list of assignments and you are supposed to teach yourself to do it. Hahahaha. There was NO WAY that was going to happen with me. I am the type of person who has to be shown several times, then do it myself, then be shown a few more times, then do it some more before I finally get it. I was really hoping that having access to an instructor would make it easier for me to figure this stuff out. In a way it is, but the sheer terror....still there.

And guess what! It get's worse! This math class isn’t even the class I need to complete my degree requirements. It’s only PRE Algebra, DEVM 050! Next semester I have to take Algebra DEVM 060, and then I have to take Intermediate Algebra, DEVM 105, which is the actual course that fulfills my degree requirements. What REALLY ticks me off is that NEVER have I ever needed to do, in my every day life, the stuff I am learning in this class. Never. My adult life has not been impaired one iota by not being able to solve anything that resembles this.......

And this, so I hear, is just the easy stuff. Never in my career doing case management and crisis intervention for individuals with developmental disabilities have I have had the need for solve for n. NEVER! So it burns my butt that I even have to suffer throughthis in the first place.

Sooooo, I apologize if the blog has been lacking lately. In the past I have always tried to post every day, but lately I just haven’t been able to manage it. Working full time and having class 4 days a week in the evening is sucking all the ambition out of me. On top of that we are starting to enter the dark season here in the arctic so there will be less photos taken outdoors. Such is the ebb and flow of the blog. I'll hang in there if you guys do.

On a happy note, I really appreciated all the birthday wishes yesterday. Thanks a bunch!



Anji Gallanos said...

***Hugs*** of understanding. I had to take Pre-Algebra..not once..not twice...but 4 times. My brain just doesn't work like that. Not to mention I was sitting in front of an instructor each and everyone of those times. Funny though on the 4th time I was getting some of the highest grades in the class..I didn't mention to anyone else..it was my fourth attempt.

I finally graduate with a Bachelor of Art as I gave up the math requirement and decided to take an intensive Spanish class..muy facile!

Liz said...

Kathy, you have soulmates all over the globe on this one! Your strength is that your are highly linguistic, and math is your weakness. It just doesn't make sense to you. Today you might "get it" but tomorrow it will be lost. You'd have to relearn it all over again. Math teachers teach math because they "get it" and they don't know how to teach to those of us who don't. A truly good math teacher will teach to the way you learn, not the way they learn! I was able to bypass the algebra by taking a two week intensive math class for teachers and it was all hands on and wonderful! Good Luck!


Trish said...

umm, hello, you are one of the smartest people I know!! So quit yer whinin, put your big girl panties on and send me your homework cuz I LOVE ALGEBRA!!!

You are the queen of 80's music and other random trivia, see that makes you SMART.

Peruby said...

I'm with YOU on the algebra trauma. Right there. Now my daughter is in college and is struggling with it.

Nothing in my life has ever made me feel like such a loser as math.

And, I despised every single one of my math teachers. They showed NO mercy. NONE. I remember and resent each and every one of them.

I never scored below a C, but it wasn't easy. I have no idea how I came up with some of the answers to pass.

Adux said...

Firstly, if all I was interesting in was pictures of the arctic, I could watch a Discovery Chanel special or something; part of what I like about reading people's blogs is that they are PEOPLE, human like me with real life stories :)

Secondly, I am right there with you on the algebra thing. I honestly don't know how I passed algebra (or organic chem for that matter). It was so hard for me. And it made me seriously doubt myself to see others to which this stuff came easy. But you know, it's like that Shawshank Redemption movie, where the protagonist has to crawl through a sewer pipe to get to freedom... Consider the algebra class your sewer pipe; you just have to crawl through it and you'll be free! :) Good luck!

Arvay said...

I read "I am doing the best in the class... blahblahblah..." :) You know, the smartest people always think they are the dumbest. :)

CabinDweller said...

Never apologize for not posting to your blog - it is called having a 'life.' That said, I think you do a pretty good job keeping up with things.

Algebra, shmalgebra - you'll get the hang of it.

Becky said...

Math makes my brain bleed, lol.

Good for you getting good grades in it!

A belated happy birthday! I've had a crazy couple of weeks and haven't posted for a while, but I'm still here!