Monthly Archives: September 2012

Mathochism: Piecewise frustrations

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 had our first quiz today. It was a precalculus review. We were supposed to have it last Thursday, but the professor was behind on the material, so we got a reprieve and a chance to really study over the long weekend.

I used that time to bone up on my inequalities, my trig identities and root functions. I spent a total of 12 hours or so, fueled by a pan of brownies, madeleines and tea, poring over various books, including the excellently comprehensive summer pre-calc book.

I didn’t get a great night’s sleep last night, though, partly because I sleep poorly when I’m nervous, partly because there was a problem in the professor’s trig review I just couldn’t solve, and partly because my spouse is sick, or allergic, or something, and snored and wheezed all night. Normally, I deal with his snoring by shoving him somewhat gently, but he had been so miserable all yesterday that I didn’t have the heart. Also, payback is a bitch. Read more

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