Monthly Archives: June 2010

Mathochism: Lowered expectations

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

The grades are in, and it’s official: my A streak is broken. The Brofessor gave me a B in Algebra II. Considering how I did on the tests, that is the grade I deserve — I had about an 85 average all along, and probably got the same on the final. I just can’t let go of the belief that I would have done better had I had the dapper professor — heck, had I had anyone who wasn’t the Brofessor, who annoyed the hell out of me.

But the bigger problem is that, even at my so-called advanced age, I still allow personal dynamics to affect my performance. I had hoped that by now, my work ethic and talents had evolved enough that I could rise above such things. I had hoped that I finally absorbed the advice from my good friend M, who once told me, in an exasperated yet kind way that “you give other people too much power over your feelings!”
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Mathochism: Parting is NOT sweet sorrow

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

Algebra II is officially over. The final was tonight. I studied very hard, and hope it paid off; at any rate, there were no surprises on it, though I know I messed up on all three of the word problems

I have no idea how I did on the last chapter test, because the Brofessor couldn’t be bothered to grade it in time. We did go over every problem on the test (that was his idea of a semester review), but I was annoyed, because I couldn’t see where I may have gone wrong.

But that’s how it’s been all along, and I am officially done getting pissed about it. My average, should I have done worse on that test (I fear I did) than on the third test, is 85, since the Brofessor drops the worst grade. I’ve done all my homework. So if I get at least an 80 on the final, I’ll get a B. Hopefully I won’t get a C, though I don’t trust the Brofessor an inch.
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Mathochism: The five stages of math grief

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

The good news: I now understand logarithms, though I still need to practice manipulating them in equations to be truly proficient. But I GET THEM. Befuddled girl is gone, and I’m back in the Math Zone, at least for the moment.

The bad news: I will definitely not be getting an A on this last chapter test, even though I studied very hard, got the necessary rest, and carbo- and Snapple-loaded beforehand. This means any hope I had of getting an A in the class is also gone.

But as the semester wraps up, I realize I’ve spent the last few months grieving over the fact that, had the dapper professor’s section not been cancelled, I would have been able to avoid the Brofessor and his shenanigans. Without him, would I have done better? I like to think so. After all, look at how well I did when exposed to a good teacher.

I’ve even gone through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross‘ five stages (she may have formalized them, BTW, but I contend Emily Dickinson described them best in her wonderful poem “After great pain, a formal feeling comes”).

Let me elaborate:
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