Mathochism: The need to do better

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

Under the compass of Damocles We officially got our quizzes back today, and I did as poorly as I had feared. Again, it was not a tough quiz. I was felled by nervousness and carelessness and exhaustion. But it’s okay. It’s not a crucial part of the experience, or of the final grade. I plan to treat this like the awful dress rehearsal before a much better opening night.

On the positive side, the Calc Professor was a fair grader on this quiz, giving me partial credit on several problems. And in today’s class, she addressed several sandwich problems, including the one the Calc Dementor was so unhelpful on last semester. In her hands, it felt clear and simple, and I feel more courageous about biting into those sandwiches again.

The first exam is next week. Since we seem to be a day off schedule, I am not sure when she plans to actually have it, but I’m staying current on homework, and plan to go to office hours tomorrow. She seems receptive one-on-one, but I worry that my quiz results will bias her against me. I hope she saw that I was just making careless mistakes. After all, I aced the toughest questions!

I feel the need to strive for something better, and know I cannot do that without exorcising the demons from last semester. Too bad the college has cracked down on smoking — I could have burned some sage and walked it around the math building. I wish I could sprinkle some salt around, but food isn’t allowed either!

Oh well. I’ll have to do better the natural, not supernatural way.

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

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