Mathochism: No solution
One woman’s attempt to revisit the math that plagued her in school. But can determination make up for 25 years of math neglect?
Happily, the Brofessor has been a bit more focused in the last week, though he did try to change the subject on Monday when he sensed class attention was waning. In truth, I think everyone wasn’t bored, just tired and longing to get through the material and go home.
I know I was, and actually told the Brofessor as much. I had meant to keep my mouth shut and treat him, the way a friend advised, like another problem to get through. But then he asked me what I thought, so I told him. And the funny thing is that I could actually feel the rest of the class agreeing with me, though nobody said a word.
He must have sensed their support, because he got back to work, and we got through the material and got going.
I’ve been feeling more positive about the class since I solved another problem that had really been bugging me. In the first two math classes, all homework problems came with a solution, whether from the instructor or the back of the book. This is helpful, because I like to work the problem, then check if I did it right. If I got the wrong answer, I go back and figure out what went wrong. This is how I learn.
The Brofessor, however, is prone to assigning homework where more than half the problems have no solution, i.e. the even problems. My Algebra II textbook only gives answers to odd problems (not even in the pricey solutions supplement). Now, I’ve come to realize this is standard operating procedure for most math textbooks, which is why the Brofessor’s insistence on assigning even problems is such a pain — he should know better, particularly since he doesn’t correct each problem in our homework, merely checks if we did any of it. Well, he probably doesn’t care!
I’ve suffered with this for weeks, even buying that stupid solutions manual in hopes that would help. Finally, I just asked in class whether we could get the answers to the even problems. Luckily for the Brofessor, he consented, though he isn’t going to make the effort to supply them. He will allow me, however, to copy them out of his teacher’s edition during the break.
Once I started doing that, I found I got much more out of the homework than I did before. I do come across the occasional problem I can’t solve, even with a solution. But that’s pretty rare.
Sigh. Yes, it’s better, but I can’t wait until the semester is over.
All text copyrighted by A.K. Whitney, and cannot be used without permission.