Tuesday, March 10, 2009

--heaves heavy sighs

I skipped class for the first time ever today [at least technically]. I had already planned to spend the better part of my evening attempting to make sense of all of those trig and sinusoidal functions before tomorrow's big exam. I received the bulk of my homework back Thursday, and after looking at the first two and seeing favorable grades, I simply put the packet on top of my todo pile to work on later. This morning, however, as I was checking my email, I received a notifications that all of our grades had been posted upon blackboard. Upon finding mine, I realized that the cumulative number looked relatively low compared to what I was supposed to have. So I calculated it. The results were not good. Either I had done very poorly on those assignments or I had grossly miscalculated what was given to me. In either case it looked as if I was pretty screwed.

I spent the bulk of my day getting myself caught up and printing off lecture notes, finishing up assignments and trying to hold it together. I found myself complaining a bit, something that I'm consciously working to notice and eradicate from my pattern of behavior. I think the distress that came from having to make the decision to skip my Chinese class bothered me more than the realization that I was failing. I think this was mostly, in part because I was in denial. Last semester and even through the short term I was able to squeak by with A's. I hadn't been negligent or anything this semester. I'm taking one less class and spending 3 days in the math lab, in addition to securing a private tutor and it still hasn't worked out. I received my homework assignment from last week and I'm not sure what happened. The entire back page was covered in red x's. I think out of 12 problems I only received 3 partial credit points... a total of 1.5.

I immediately emailed my TA and spent the afternoon on the docks going over the class notes and high lighting all terminology and any concepts or formulas that I couldn't make sense of. I'm still surprised at the amount that I did not know. Plus my homework assignments weren't clearly marked so I had no way of knowing what mistakes I was making. I skipped my swim screen. [for some reason we are required to know how to swim as a graduation requirement. we are also required to take to fitness courses, one of which could count as the survival swimming course... do the math]. I went to my writing seminar, took a short dinner and went to the gym to glide off some of my frustrations on the elliptical. Then I did a little bit of core pilates work to spread out the endorphins, stretch and went to the math lab.

I stayed for 2 hours until my TA left. He explained to me in several minutes things that had taken several class periods for me not to understand. Then after he left, I felt myself getting panick stricken from all of the overwhelming amounts of information and frustration so I went outside to take a couple of minutes to cry. I always intend to take the two minutes, but the permission always seems to keep the tears from coming. This is why I only allow myself the two. Then I went back to the library, checked my Facebook account and went around the corner to a silent corner of the library to take a monitored nap. I had a friend of mine wake me in 20 minutes. It was a nice surprise because he was kind of cute, and I'd actually fallen asleep. Then I headed back home and delved back into my trig notes.

After rifling through and organizing my notes and realizing that i had no clue how to measure my progress with no commentary, graphs or answer keys, I put on my most rebellious chick rock, Liz Phair on Pandora and started looking up youtube videos of trig functions. After realizing that I had no clue what the online instructors were sharing, [we haven't fully discussed radians yet] I opted to search the images in the google search engine instead. It saved me a ridiculous amount of time. Most noted out of all of the online resources that I stumbled across, it was certainly the best labled and had great simple visual representations was a site built by the Oswego City School District Regents Exam Prep Center. Is this somem sort of magnet school? Bc they were on it. This site was much better to me that anything I'd found on cliffnotes. They make me want to move to their school district when I graduate and have kids. I must certainly remember to send them a note of gratitude for this invaluable resource.

here is a link to their site: http://regentsprep.org/

I just like to give credit where it is due. I was working on some of their trig functions and I got a bit confused with practice problem number 3, before I even realized that they had a link to a small pop up window that showed you how to do it. I immediately realized that I had left out a crucial bit of information in the notes I'd taken from the special angles chart. But after attempting it incorrectly so many times, I realized that I was more or less spent on retaining any new information. I logged onto facebook momentarily to get a sense of changing gears while trying to make the decision as to how much sleep I'd need to process all of this information in the REM cycle. i just wanted to go back and correct the one thing to reiterate how to do it properly before I went to bed, when i noticed that one of my classmates had posted news about our class being cancelled. Reluctant to get too excited too soon, I checked my college email and sure enough, the test had been rescheduled for Thursday. My instructor had come down with an illness.

Wow, I don't know whether to jump for joy or simply break down. Thankfully, one of my suitemates walked by so I got the opportunity to share my experience with someone before I ran the risk of spontaneously combusting. Yeesh, what a day!!! It makes me wish that I had not have skipped Chinese. At least I can use the classtime tomorrow to make sure I'm caught up.


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