Mathochism: The last lecture

One woman’s attempt to revisit the math that plagued her in school. But can determination make up for 25 years of math neglect?

“This is the last lecture,” the dapper professor told us Tuesday night. “This is your last chance to ask questions.”

This is not entirely true, though. We still have a chance to ask questions, because we’re having a review session on Tuesday, before the Final next Thursday. And the last chapter test, on the dreaded high-tech polynomials, is this Thursday.

But it was definitely the last lecture to introduce new concepts. We studied division of polynomials and literal formulas. And I was surprised to find I still understood. I keep waiting for that moment when I JUST. DON’T. GET. IT. But so far, so good. And it feels good.

That doesn’t mean the fear is gone. I know what happens when I get cocky. My triumph at getting a perfect score on my decimals test last week was tempered by getting an 85 on the exponents one this week.

The dapper professor drops the lowest score, which means that if I get at least a 90 on my variables test, and do well on the final, I may get an A in this class.

That would be the first A in my math career. It would be an amazing achievement for a life-long math phobe, and a clear sign the mathochism must continue.

Oh, and I learned at the same last lecture that this class is not pass/fail after all. My classmate Lisa, who had reassured me of this, was very surprised. She has no need to worry, though.

She may not have gotten two perfect test scores, but she has consistently scored 90 and above. Her A, unless she tanks the chapter 6 test and the final, is solid. As solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.

Mine is far less solid. But I’m not giving up now. I will be at that review session Tuesday. I will pore over the questions I missed, and use up the rest of my graph paper practicing.

It may have been the last lecture, but this isn’t over yet.

All text copyrighted by A.K. Whitney, and cannot be used without permission.


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