don’t get your hopes up

calc_ii_hopes.jpg

I’d really wanted a passing grade on at least one god damned Calc II test, and with this last test I finally thought I’d get one. I knew I’d bombed one two-part question, but thought I’d done OK with the rest. And I did, really. But I missed one question I thought I’d gotten right. There were probably more stupid mistakes on this exam than any I’ve taken so far. I mean, WTF? Who took this test?

I made a 69. Ah, so much for my lucky buckeye. And so much for getting my hopes up. Truly, Calc II is a harsh mistress.

Now, I’m not into grades; I’m into understanding the material. But I’ve never failed to understand anything I really applied myself to before, and it’s disappointing and frustrating to do so, perhaps more so at my age. Also, I have no real perspective on why it’s happening. Relatively poor math ability? Being a working student who rushes through homework? A demanding instructor, still fairly new to the job? All of the above? It’s frustrating not to be able to name my oppressor.

And while I am not someone who obsesses over grades, grades do have meaning beyond being marks of personal triumph. Grades can affect the scholarship monies received by working students, and they also matter in when it comes time to apply to grad school.

I currently plan to go for a Master’s in Science Writing. As of this writing this graduate degree seems to be offered at only a handful of schools, and they seem to be an exclusive bunch. M.I.T. Boston University. Johns Hopkins. In this world, a C matters.

God, college is so insane. It’s hard enough on a young person, much less an adult who’s got to worry about a leaky skylight, paying the quarterly taxes of the self-employed, eating right, student loan debt, and trying to keep her fading social life alive. Eh, despite hardship I remain grateful for so many things, like enjoying writing, being good at it, and having the chance to make my life into something better. My first C won’t kill me, nor do I believe that math prof is laughing maniacally over it and carving another notch into the cheery aqua walls of his lair.

And WINTER BREAK is coming! TGIWB. Starting in mid-December, I get a month off from the grind of working studenthood and get to be a normal person for awhile. I’ve already got a nice local writing project lined up, I plan to teach myself the language of formal universal quantification — and I plan to start a separate science blog. Over break, I’ll have the free time and mental energy to actually do some real science posts again. I dearly love writing those, and only the endless treadmill of college and work stops me.

I’ll keep this blog as my personal blog, but will still include all my science posts here, too. The new blog will be just the science posts. Ah, I can’t wait. :0)

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