First Lessons from College

I Thought We Were Supposed To Get Answers, by Cayusa @ FlickrLesson 1:  Pay Attention

Several weeks ago I went and got the study packets when I was finding out about returning to school.  The lady at the admissions desk was very kind, I was my usual charming self (not flirtatious, but charming in that Southern Way I’ve picked up over my adult life), exchanging pleasantries, blah blah, she gets the packets, writes a note at the top of the math packet, highlights some stuff up there, gives me the English packet, explains that I don’t need an appointment, take the exams by the 27th, blah blah, transcripts, blah.

Lesson 2: Read the Instructions

I bring the pile of papers home, set them on my desk, fetch all my old math texts, fold the cover page and the introductions over  to open the math packet to the first problems and start diving in.  First five pages is elementary school/ middle school math, no problems, then some very basic algebra, some geometry, nothing I don’t still master, ’bout page 20 I start seeing secants and quadratics and irrational numbers and radicals, and I start working and referencing, and looking up and trying to remember, and working sample problems.  I’ve been working at getting enough of a handle on enough of the material that even if parts of it escape me, I can come back to it over the summer and give it my full attention, and in the meantime still get enough questions right to pass the test.

Fast Forward to today.

(Continued below the fold)

I’m thinking I’ve got maybe a 50/50 shot at hitting around 80%, depending on what escapes me during the exam.  I prepare for the worst, hope for the best.  I finally fold the packet closed, content to roll with the punches, I’ve done what I can.

Remember the little note and highlighting on the cover?

Study these pages:

MAT 50 – pages 1-5
MAT 60 – pages 5-14
MAT 70 – pages 14-19 and 21
MAT 80 – pages 20-29

Go to math lab for HELP

Lesson 3:  I am an idiot.

From whence came the art:

That image is titled I Thought We Were Supposed To Get Answers, by Cayusa, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 license.

34 Responses to “First Lessons from College”

  1. Lou FCD Says:

    As soon as I’m done laughing at my own stupidity, I’m off to take the exams.

  2. Beth Says:

    *bites lip*

    Good luck, Lou. Really.

    Do please read the instructions on the exam.


  3. Lou FCD Says:

    Thanks, Beth. Change of plans, though.

    Drove over, ready, eager even.

    High demand caused a change in exam policy (not just me not paying attention this time), and I won’t be able to take the exams until Tuesday.

    Oh well, whattayagonnado?

  4. Diana Says:

    So are you okay with the deadline they gave you?

  5. Lou FCD Says:

    Yeah, apparently.

    Don’t know what that’s about.

  6. Stephanie Z Says:

    Maybe they’ll let you take the AP math test, just for fun. :p

    Actually, 80%, if you can do it, should be good enough to skip a course or two and dive right into the good stuff.

  7. Hank Says:

    Ah, math. Nothing else lasts forever you know.

  8. Lou FCD Says:

    😛 Steff.

    Really? I didn’t know that. Maybe I’ll do a little extra studying between now and Tuesday, just in case.


    I dunno, I knew this guy in the Army, and when he’d get out of a jeep, the stench lasted quite a while…

    Yeah, I’m old enough to have driven jeeps in the Army.

    I’ve always enjoyed math, I’m just a little rusty, is all.

    Thanks for popping in.

  9. Stephanie Z Says:

    Depends entirely on the school, of course, but I skipped the first semester of calculus in college by walking into the professor’s office, saying I’d aced high school calculus, and asking whether I needed the course. He said, “Nah. See you next semester,” and signed off on whatever it was I needed to bypass the prereq.

    It’s always worth asking if you think it you can keep up. If they have an AP exam, you’ll have something to point to when you ask.

  10. Kevin at Says:


    Funny, I did the same thing with sex ed.


    My oldest was taking all sorts of advance math courses over the last couple years. I thought it would be fun to look at the text for his Differential Equations class–after all, 25 years ago I had this stuff down cold.

    Upon reading I realized that heavy drinking destroys brain cells.

  11. Stephanie Z Says:

    Kevin, you got a copy of the AP exam for that?

  12. Mojoey Says:

    So one day in grad school I had an economics mid-term. The instruction were simple. Number your exam book pages from 1 to 20. The instructor wrote the problems on the white board.

    I take the test. Four hours of grueling economic theory. Yuck!

    At the next class the instructor put the test scores on the board. I’m number one in the class but my score is low. I’m confused.

    as we go over the test the instructor tells me to read my answer to number 13. I turn to page 13 and find a 14 instead. I flip through the book looking for a page 13. Nope – not there. I missed a whole friggen question! The teacher and class a grand time at my expense. I can be so dumb at times.

  13. Lou FCD Says:

    Thanks all, for your thoughts.


    Big whoops. I hope he let you make that one up somehow!

    Thanks for visiting my humble little corner of the blogosphere.

  14. Lou FCD Says:

    P.S. At some point I guess I should write you an intro to my blog for the ABR, but I’m not even sure what I’d write, to be honest.

  15. Kym Says:

    After fifth grade math, most adults start going crosseyed. We never used it again mostly (okay some algebra and geometry) so my question is why do we need to do the stuff we do. Why not learn to balance a check book? Figure out the best price, etc.

  16. Lou FCD Says:

    I’d like to see more of that type of practical, day-to-day math as well, Kym. It really bugs me when a cashier at some retail shop can’t count change back to me if the register isn’t working and doesn’t explicitly tell how much.

    As for the more complex stuff, I want to be a Science teacher, and you just can’t do Science without some serious math.

    Both types are important, vital even, for where I want to go.

  17. Beth Says:

    Is the test today, then? Good luck.

  18. Lou FCD Says:

    Well, yes and no.

    The test was this morning, there is another session this evening.

    Circumstances beyond my control prevented my attendance this morning.

  19. Beth Says:

    Well? Were you able to make it this evening? How did it go?

  20. Stephanie Z Says:

    Seconding Beth. Ahem?

  21. Lou FCD Says:

    No. …and don’t ask. 😦

    I won’t be able to take it at all today, so tomorrow morning.

  22. Diana Says:

    WHAT??! Stop making excuses and get your ass down there.

  23. JanieBelle Says:

    Hi Diana,

    uh, he’s not available right now, he’s currently on a rant at some (possibly fake) creationist.

    They do NOT want to piss him off today and the whole “not able to test” thing may have contributed to the mood. I’m sure you all are quite safe, but I’m staying out of his way.



  24. Diana Says:

    It must not be good if you’re stepping in for him.

  25. Kevin at Says:

    Good for you Lou…lcd totally ignores the turtle back theory of the universe when we all know it’s the real scientific answer.

  26. Lou FCD Says:

    I’m feeling a little better after the vent and a little time away from there.

    lcd, if he’s real (and I’m not at all convinced he is), is just another in a long line of suckers who thinks he’s got the magic bullet argument, but it’s exactly the same non-argument we’ve all heard for years on end.

    He’s just Ftk with a cock.

  27. Lou FCD Says:

    heh. I said cock.

  28. Kevin at Says:

    How to you know for sure that Ftk doesn’t have man tackle?

  29. Kevin at Says:

    Just call me Ad, Ad Hominem.

  30. Lou FCD Says:

    Well I hear there are some examples out in the blogosphere of women who are actually men.

    I can’t vouch for the veracity of those reports, however.

  31. RTFB « Crowded Head, Cozy Bed Says:

    […] Damnit, Damnit, Damnit. […]

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