So I never thought I’d say this, but school has been kinda fun so far. It’s also been kinda surreal in a way. At the end of the day, I think the best lesson I’ve learned is that, in order to conquer some of my anxieties toward school, I really need to just forget all about high school…
I was a poor student in high school. I’d start out every year doing sort of ok, and then slowly slide into boredom. By the time mid-semester came around, I’d be doing not-so-great, due mostly to missing homework (boring), and then I’d fail the exams. Well, fail enough exams, and you’ll get to thinking that maybe you’re not so smart. Poor self image, poor grades, and all kinds of other generally bad stuff are likely to follow.
By my junior year of high school, I had pretty much convinced myself that I was incapable of doing algebra. I was shuffled into a “business math” course put together to enable those students who were not looking to go to a four-year school to still get enough math credits to graduate. I got an A in that course, but it was little more than basic math applied to business-related word problems.
Now, I’m being absolutely blown away by how well I’m doing in math. I’m working hard, but if that’s all I have to do to do this well, that’s fine with me. I got 100% on my first exam, and when I asked my professor if he thought this class was adequate preparation for a shortened version of the *next* class, he said I should really just skip the next class altogether. Hm. This, he said, was based on the questions I ask and answers I give in class.
It’s unclear to me whether or not moving from college algebra to calculus without first taking pre-calculus is a wise move. I’m undecided. I’ll have to find some method of evaluating myself for this move. I’ll let you know. It’d be nice, because math courses in college don’t really count until you get to calculus.