Thursday, February 05, 2004


Okay, so I punked out and withdrew from my speech class. I feel pretty guilty about it because I feel like I shouldn't be dropping classes, but I honestly had no idea what I was getting myself into this semester with taking on these three classes. You know, all on the same day and everything.

Frankly, my speech teacher assigns FAR beyond what could be considered the normal amount of homework for a three credit hour class. Per week, we have several workbook sections to complete, a journal to maintain, a class participation log to do, as well as reading an entire chapter in the book, which in itself is a challenge because it's not very easy to read or absorb.

I talked with a couple of my classmates today and I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. The sense of work required for a piddly little three unit speech class is fairly overwhelming. I mean, the amount of labor the speech teacher expects is more than what I have assigned for my two other classes combined. Yes, seven units combined are less than my speech class homework.

I just kept thinking that my life would be so much better if I didn't have to deal with this class this semester. The math and sociology schedule sucks, but at least I have a fair amount of time in between them to nap, chill out, or do homework. I have had no personal time lately, and that is one thing I cannot deal with. I don't mind being busy, but I need Me Time daily. I have to unwind, decompress, sort, analyze, and stop using my brain altogether.

I kept weighing the pros and cons of dropping the class, and the pros far outweighed the reasons to stick it out. If she assigned half the homework, if she required less work, I would stick it out. I don't dislike the class and I think it's pretty interesting and fun. I mean, what other class do you get to sit around and talk? But I just can't deal this semester. My main focus has to be math, because I can't advance unless I do well in it.

I may just keep the books and try to take the class later. It would fill one of my cluster requirements, and I figure if I already have the books, I should just take it again. Maybe just with math and nothing else, so the homework doesn't seem so overwhelming.

Because I've been feeling overwhelmed with school and work and not being up to speed because I haven't been feeling well, I've been kind of slacking. Like, I've been so desperate just for some Me Time that I have been kind of shoving everything else to the side. Like homework. And paying attention to what we're covering in class and when there's going to be quizzes and exams.


I basically had a pop-quiz in sociology today and learned that I had a) absorbed more than I thought, b) guessed really well -- however, I still scored 75%. I suck. And then we also were having an exam today, but the exams are administered online (!), so basically, they're open-book, open-note, open-resource tests. It's pretty cool because you can take the test whenever you want in a 48-hour period, and you don't have to study. The lazy in me likes that a lot.

I don't know if the majority of teachers at WVUP are lazy, or if this really is the college level. My sociology and psychology exams are/were both multiple-choice. I mean, even if you don't know the material intimately, you or a drunken monkey could score well on multiple-choice. If this isn't just the teachers not wanting to read papers and grade real tests, if this is the college level, then I must be really fucking smart. Because I think these classes are pretty easy, as in they require very little brain-wracking from me. I go, attend class, do my homework, study a bit for tests, and that's it.

Then again, I see people in my classes really struggling, and I don't know what to think. It's probably why I'm doing so well in math, because the teachers have to go really slow. Heh. But at least I get that ego stroke when I grasp a concept after only a few examples. w00t -- I'm good at math!

And that's another thing that strikes me as freakish, that I'm actually kind of enjoying math. I have had a very deep-seated hatred toward math ever since I was little -- as in I flat-out refused to learn my multiplication tables and stubbornly held out until I was forced. I failed my first math class when I was in third grade. I was kicked out of my high school Algebra 2 class at the end of the first semester because I totally failed it. I cheated the entire way through Algebra, so it's no wonder. The only wonder was how I passed the tests well enough to pass the Algebra class in the first place.

So yeah. I just took Math For Boners for literally the fifth, sixth, seventh, whatever time. I kept trying to take it when I was in California, but the class bored me so damn much that I could never actually get around to attending. Which is precisely why I'm not in university now, because I put off all my math. I'm not bitter, I accept the dumb choices I make.

But yeah, for some reason, maybe because I actually have a goal now, I can deal with math. Not just deal with it, but like, I understand it. In some ways, I think it was my teacher, because I know I was taught this stuff at one point, but there are certain things and techniques that were totally new to me, but which made a real difference in my understanding it.

When I started math last semester, I went in there with a completely clean slate, purposefully forgetting anything and everything I'd ever been taught about math. I wanted a clean foundation free of any old confusions, I wanted to learn with fresh eyes and imprint the information on new pages. It's worked pretty well, and every once in a while I get to dredge out something I learned long ago and apply it.

Math has become like doing puzzles for me. And I like doing puzzles, because when I get the solution, I feel smart. I'm basically conquering this life-long hatred and fear of math, and then doing a dance on its grave. It makes me really happy that I understand it and that it's not as hard as it was. Plus, I get to do puzzles all the time.

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