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Monday, January 18, 2010

29 pounds to go.

What can I say? It's been over a month since I promised to post about school and I've already finished one class. It was a beast of a class.

It's not that I don't like statistics. In fact I found it very interesting and extremely useful in processing information in a more mathematical way. But several things impeded my progress at a smooth learning process.

First, it was an accelerated class - 4 months of learning into 4 weeks. This meant two unit tests per week over 2-3 chapters each (there was a print + online test each week). I'm not gifted with math like my friend Janine (whose repeated pleas for leveling to 80 I have had to sacrifice in favor of higher education despite my better judgment - I can't complain, she has a couple of kids, a husband, a job, is in college for accounting, and she lives in Oklahoma - all difficult things).

So, not being gifted in math, my thought in taking an accelerated math class was to get it done with quickly. I also have work right now and I spend the day working and the evenings (usually until 2-ish studying). In retrospect, I should know that for classes I have trouble with I should take more time rather than less. So the initial problem was my faulty American-centric hurry and do it fast approach. Lesson learned.

My own transgression aside, it went downhill from there. This class was over the holiday, so I was able to take the first two tests of unit 1 after an intense first week. The second week was Christmas, so I studied like crazy around holiday cheer but was unable to take the 2nd written unit test because the college testing center closes with the rest of the college for the week between Christmas and New Year.

Week three was terrible because I was learning week 3 stuff (remember, it was over 3 chapters of unfamiliar mathematical formulas) and studying for week 2 stuff (2 chapters) so I could take the tests. On December 29-30 the primary software system we use for lectures, assignments, and online tests underwent regular maintenance - meaning I couldn't access it. Upon their return on December 31, they had a new bug that caused me and many of my classmates to be able to not save about 1 in 5 assignment or test questions and would freeze the system. I'd have to re-do the problem (this sometimes is a 30-minute calculation ordeal). I finally got the week 2 tests done in the late part of week 3, and crammed hard to get back to week 3 as I went into week 4.

Week 4 saw me taking the week 3 tests and catching up with studying for the last 3 chapters of the book. I took the last two tests Wednesday and Thursday this past week. Class over. Whew. On the last day of class, I got an email from the math software company saying they'd fixed the freezing/can't save answers issue. Frakking software industry. That I am currently part of.

The teacher emailed me today and told me that he hadn't received my 4th written test yet from the downtown test center I took it from, so I will temporarily have a "not complete" until he receives and grades it. So for now I don't know what my grade is. I suspect a B somewhere. (Calculating the weighted average is actually something I can do now, but I need grades to do it. My online score - 26% of my grade - is a 99.4%. My first written test was an 85%. The other grades are unknown).

So tonight I am writing because tomorrow it starts again - this time IN class. I start Chemistry 1 tomorrow evening at a classroom on the Eastfield College campus in NE Dallas. Wednesday starts Biology 1, which is a pre-requisite for Anatomy and Physiology. My weeks get busy, but I'll try to write in between homework, work, and that part of the day where sanity is renewed. I've heard legends say that they call it sleep.

Despite the intensity and drama that it sounds like, it's a lot of fun so far and I can't wait for the next classes to start.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Michael - I'm glad you're having a great time!