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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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universe, puppies, snow
children of dune - leto 1
During my "Drowning in the Shower: Fact or Fiction? Let's Experiment!" headache period yesterday, I went to class and was appalled to discover that class lasted five minutes. So I went to the library to--actually no idea, it was rainy, and this really cute guy was maybe/possibly there, but I ended up wandering out with non-fiction, because apparently, no matter how I try to weasel out of this, my degree plan really wants me to have calculus and no, you can't drown yourself in the shower. Stupid gag reflex.

I don't think I've ever been in a lower point in my life than telling my only beloved child that we were going to study the wonderful world of Algebra from the bottom up. I'm not even sure he completely understands long division. However. My mother taught me a valuable lesson; misery is halved if you are making someone else miserable doing the same thing. I am going to try that, because no one should wake up from nightmares about differentiation and a horrible slo-mo moment where there were a million problems that I had to solve with a broken pencil.

Also, time stopped today, because I swear it's been ten days since I woke up this morning.

Welcome to my crazy. Next, drowning in the rain? Fact or fiction? Its' raining now. Let us see.

Also, my sympathy to those north of Austin. Wow, who saw snowstorms, eh? Not me! But if its any consolation, my youngest sister is among you up there and trapped. Wait. That's consolation to me. She sends sad pictures of acres of (feet of) snow-covered ground while groups of them marvel from porches at the wondrous stuff. Any minute now I expect an update from them telling us "WE TOUCHED IT AND IT WAS COLD! WHAT SHIT IS THIS?" because her friends are special.

I have one cookie left.

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The last line of this post is possibly the saddest thing I will read today. :(

But Calculus is fun! And honestly differentiation is a breeze once you hit the formulas and don't have to compute the limits. It's integration that's a bitch and a half.

Anyway! In all seriousness, if I can help at all, I'd be happy to. It's harder to do over the 'net, but I'd still be happy go give it a try. :)

Calculus is awesome! Ignore limits and pretend you understand them, just spout the rules back they're pretty easy, you'll understand limits around the time you get differentiation down (which is super easy!).

There is STILL. SNOW. EVERYWHERE. This is so wrong.

GOD YOU PEOPLE. *heee* I saw your pic and kept marveling at the cold white stuff on teh ground. It is just too weird.

(Deleted comment)
Hee! Very alien, yes? How far north in Texas are you? *curious*

That's still one more cookie than I have, bb.

*sad* Now there are none.

I am also trying to reteach myself algebra. I conned my way through honors precal before giving calc the finger and taking Spanish 5 instead, so I have some catch up. You are good to help child while it will still do some good.

Also, snow? Seriously, what shit IS that? The first time I ever saw heavy snow in Denver, my immediate thought was "wow, that's a lot of cottonwood.". Seriously. I just don't get it.

So you know what I mean when I say the flakes yesterday were BIGGER THAN COTTONWOOD FLUFF. People were comparing it to shit like... figerglass insulation. SO WRONG.

... snowflakes the size of MOSQUITO HAWKS. Clearly nature has gone insane.

Calc isn't so bad, really it isn't... [Says the geek that took far more of it than she ever ended up using...] Then again, it is quite possible I am just blocking it all out.

Cookies are awesome because they have these places sell more. I'd offer you a plate of vitual cookies, but they're not quite as tasty. [offers anyway]

Re: Snow - I live in MN. These are pictures from last weekend up by Lake Superior:

My degree at UCLA was Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology and I am so not a math person. I hired one of the TA's to tutor me at $20/hr and it's the only way I understood it. The only difficulty was finding a math person who could explain it conceptually to me - most Math-heads just lay it all out and say, "See?" uhh, no...

Best of luck and I <3 Calculus - it shows you an understanding of the world beyond any other.

...uh, sorry in advance for the teal deer

This is pretty much actually a function of our borked school system. Our schools do not actually teach math. They teach mechanics, and there is a fundamental difference.

Now, to a certain extent, you have to pound in the basic arithmetical mechanics in by rote and until you've done that, you can't do much more with kids. But by the time you're working on pre-algebra, you need to be explaining *concepts* so kids understand *what* is happening and *why* they are doing it.

And we *don't*.

This means that only those with significant aptitude *and* intuition ever really get it and then they start to run into troubles when they *do* hit the really difficult concepts that they can't just immediately wrap their heads around because being used to being the only ones to get it means that they expect that and therefore something is wrong with *them*, not the teacher, and they give up.

It also means that we get plenty of students who just blindly follow the rules that give the answers that get them their As or Bs or Cs, and they never actually understand a damned thing.

This isn't even accounting for the poor schmucks who have dyscalculia which is nowhere near as well known or recognised or dealt with as its sister dyslexia. (Better yet, be a gifted student with dyscalculia. "You're such a bright girl, you're just *careless*! You need to pay more attention!" That was the story of my goddamned *life* for years. And I'm only mildly dyscalculaic and eventually learned to mostly catch my errors as I made them.)

It's a bloody tragedy. *sigh* But--not just you. And to an extent, not fully the math-heads fault, because they've been raised to this system and it's all they've ever known. *They've* never seen good teaching in action--conceptual groundwork being explained thoroughly and well. So they don't know how to relate to people who don't have the immediate intuitive grasp of concepts.

(This is why I adore my community college system. You have to have a masters degree to teach, our class sizes are limited to thirty, and our overall reputation is fantastic which draws a lot of good teachers to us. My math teacher is *amazingly* good about explaining concepts to an extent I've simply *never seen before*. Ever. Even from the math teacher who I adore because he probably saved my love of math by taking an interest in me and strongly encouraging me to join a study group before I got pulled under academically irretrievably.)

...this is kind of a subject dear to my heart, can you tell? Sorry to teal deer all over you! (More amazingly, I'm actually not a math major, I'm biology w/ pre-med. Biologists, represent!)

I understand your calculus pain. Not having touched geometry in many years, and then not having ever taken physics at all, I am adrift in a sea of differentials in my class (also required for my degree). Today was my second calculus exam, and I can safely say it's probably one of the worst days -in my life-.

because no one should wake up from nightmares about differentiation

Oh, honey. I feel for you. I did calculus and differentation in year 12 (our big motivation? Learn how to calculate the volume of a donut using all those equations. The reward? Getting to eat the donut afterwards) and I had actual pages of notes interspersed with pages with heading like "Why did I choose this course?" and "What did I ever do to deserve this punishment?"

...telling my only beloved child that we were going to study the wonderful world of Algebra from the bottom up. I'm not even sure he completely understands long division.

Just, datapoint? It would have been SO much easier for me to understand long division (and multiplication that didn't have cool math tricks (like interesting bases) to it) if someone had taught me basic algebra first. So it might be a good thing.

But what do I know? I just used hand-coded HTML and nested parentheses in an LJ comment, and it wasn't a one-time occurrence.

Edited at 2008-03-07 09:12 pm (UTC)

oh, sweetie, here have one of my cookies...

I still get a funny twitch when I think about calculus; it is the devil's math. I much prefer geometry, everything is so much prettier and does not require numbers all that much!

I feel for you and offspring; I did laugh a teensy when you mentioned the halving of pain, it's really too true. I hope you avoid drowning the shower. I mean, what if you're still aware when the hot water runs out? That is just WRONG.

If you want, I will make cookies. Many cookies, it makes me happy to make cookies. With sprinkles. Or not.

ahahah, my dad emailed us kids pictures of wet white stuff just frosting the ground. Apparently DFW had to cancel 500 flights because of one inch of snow. One. Although nine inches is more respectable.

My sister who's up in MA, is probably laughing at all of us. :)

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