Sunday, September 6, 2009

Shhhhh......I've Been Thinking About Going Back to School.....

Don't tell Hubby, but I have actually been considering going back to school.

Not for another advanced degree.

I want to get a degree in math.

Why?

I don't want to teach math. Hell, in three years I don't want to teach ANYTHING anymore. I won't necessarily ever use math in my life beyond what I need to balance my checkbook and to calculate the amount of yarn needed for a project.

I just want to know it.

I think part of my motivation is that I don't like to be defeated by anything, and math kicked my butt when I got to college. I was always one of the smartest math students in my high school, and it wasn't because I was competing with my classmates. I was competing against myself. I wanted to know how to do mathematical calculations and algebraic equations, and I wanted to know how to do them fast. I wanted to know what each step meant and what it caused in the next step. I wanted to win.

I didn't win when I got to college.

I exempted the first math course (I'm guessing college algebra?), and I was in the pre-med program (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha). And the honors program (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha to the nth power). So my first math course in college, which was a whopping ten days after I graduated from high school at the tender age of seventeen years two months and eight days, was pre-calculus. (I didn't do well with SEVERAL things that started with pre-.)

I had no idea what they were talking about in pre-calculus. Suddenly I didn't understand the steps, had no idea where the numbers came from, and had zero grasp on the concept of going by an instructor's office and actually asking for help. I just quietly drowned all semester and eeked out of there with a "C". I didn't make "C's"! I was a smart kid!

I'm sure I spoke with an "advisor" before I registered for the next semester. I don't know what kind of impression I made or if he/she just decided I deserved what I got. Because somewhere along the line I was registered to take calculus in the fall. Honors calculus. I would have loved a "C" in that course. I would even have been ecstatic for a "D". Instead of the big fat "F" I got.

I stubbornly clung to my pre-med major, although for some strange reason it was never again suggested that I register for an honors class. I took plain-old regular calculus the following semester, and I eeked out of there with a "D". It still didn't make sense. I have no idea how I managed to prove that I knew 60% of the material I had been presented with.

So all these years I've felt like math defeated me. And I LOVE math. I bought an Algebra II workbook at the campus bookstore last year. I like to do algebra for fun. But calculus is sitting in a bar somewhere, nursing a cosmopolitan and gloating about how it kicked my arse.

I may try to see if I can find an online program, and not one of those fly-by-night, the-best-advanced-degree-money-can-buy programs. I want a real math degree, not something I've bought. But I would like for it to be online as opposed to something I have to go to campus every week for and sit in a classroom with students young enough to be my children. And younger. I have to draw the line somewhere.

2 comments:

Neena said...

get your ass registered and come take stats with me next semester. I'll need all the help I can get!

Maggie said...

I've firmly believed the adage 9that I think I came up with) "English majors don't DO math." Guess there's an exception to every rule!

If you want a degree in math, then by joe you better get to it and kick some number ass! good luck!