## Mathochism: Brain reboot

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 first week of pre-calc is over. So is the first test.

All I can do is sigh. This class is equivalent to a full-time job, with three hours of instruction and four to five hours of homework a day. This means blogging daily is impossible, because I also need to shower, and eat, and sleep, and just turn my brain off for a moment.

I hope to be able to write at least twice a week, though one of those entries will likely be short.

So far, the material isn’t entirely befuddling. I had some issues with the unit circle, and the reintroduction to functions (I think I finally have domains and ranges and interval notation down), but this instructor continues to impress me with his clear explanations and attention to detail.

I am also impressed by my classmates. The intense load and early hour has clearly weeded out the slackers, and this is the first math class where I feel students are as serious about their studies as I am. Everyone is prepared. Everyone is doing homework, and no one is being bratty.

I’ve heard some talk of people aiming for pre-med once they transfer to a four-year school. These seem like sharp individuals, so I wish them the best.

In the meantime, this old lady (apart from the instructor, I’m sure I’m the oldest this time) is doing her best to keep afloat, and reboot her brain to algebra again.

Sadly, my confidence took a hit yesterday when I got my geometry grade.

I got a B. So much for my theory that a bad teacher makes the biggest difference! I wasn’t shocked, just disappointed. The final didn’t feel great. All those damn proofs threw me. Working on them usually felt like reading something without glasses — fuzzy and headache-inducing.

I’m quite certain, though, that it was a high B. Unfortunately, my college makes no distinctions there.

It’s starting to look like I will never get chummy with proofs, any more than I will be getting chummy with word problems. I will probably never love math. But at least I won’t hate it or fear it.

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

### One comment

• If you want some replayable explanations from the ground up, i’ve found the Khan academy to have some really awesome explanatory videos.