Mathochism: Circles of pain

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

At the end of last week’s second class, Uchitel announced we would be having our next test today. My heart sank. It wasn’t that this test was going to be as intense as the last — after all, it would only cover chapter 6. Chapter 6 was all about circles, and once I figured out chord/arc/angle relationships, I felt less befuddled than usual about the material.

It was more that I had a really packed week last week and part of this week, mostly having to do with professional obligations. What can I say? Mathochism is all in fun (or pain), and sometimes I have other priorities. All this meant not as much study time.

I did my best, though, and felt fairly zen as I got into class today. The test was 10 questions, and eight were a breeze. But the other two — eep. One, the 10-point one (the only such weighted problem on the test), was hard because I wasn’t entirely sure I got the proportion right. I tried to go the factor route, but it simply wouldn’t factor. So I wound up simplifying, but still gave the required two answers. Hopefully I either got it right, or Uchitel will take pity on me and give me partial credit.

The other pain involved a proof with two circles, a tangent and a center line. I wound up bs-ing my way out of that one, so I doubt I’ll even get partial credit.

The annoying thing is that, with that weighted problem, even with eight out of 10 correct, I’ll still wind up with a low B, maybe even a C. This is the first test where most of it felt comfortable. Damn.

Well, here’s hoping we get more time, less commitments and better luck on the next one.

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


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