Monday, January 14, 2008

The Math Part is the Least of the Torture

I decided several months ago that now is the time to complete my Bachelor's Degree. I am two math classes away from entering as a Junior. This gives me winter term and spring term to complete the math, then start full-time next fall.

I applied to the only game in town, was accepted, and received a nice letter on December 26th which contained strong language about this hideous lack of math. It went something like, Welcome! We're glad to have you in our school! However, if you don't take some serious, college-level math classes, we might be forced to drop you from our enrollment out of shame over your mathematical stupidity. P.S. Don't forget to join a sorority!

(It didn't really say that last thing, and for the rest, I was paraphrasing.)

I could not enroll before classes began because the letter arrived during the holidays, when offices were closed. I didn't have my student information, all those secret codes which allow you to accomplish something on the website. But here was the kicker: all new students must attend a student orientation before they can register online or the fantastic software blocks you out of the system. I was in Boise during the student orientation which was held on the Sunday before classes began. I had five days notice about the orientation and I had already purchased my plane tickets. Upon my return, I talked to my advisor, who lifted the orientation hold on my account which meant I could register, but! Classes had already begun. I would need to pick up an Add a Class form - also known as form A29j62411 - from one building, go to class and have the instructor sign it, then take the now-precious and worth-its-weight-in-gold form to a different building than the first and the process would be complete.


Except, it snowed earlier in the week and classes were cancelled the first day. I went to the next day of class, which was supposed to have been the second day of class but wasn't, due to snow, and spent time searching for a parking space which required no permit since I had no parking permit. You cannot purchase a parking permit without student ID. You cannot get a student ID without registering for a class. Classes have begun, so adding a class requires attending a class and getting the instructor to initial your Add a Class gold form A29j62411, so you might as well start shoving knitting needles into your skull since doing so would accomplish as much as I had.

I bought the textbook and took my form to class only to be horrendously late, (snow, parking, stupid) so I waited until class was over to speak to the instructor. She said that as long as I was comfortable with the material and two people dropped the class, which she said was very likely, I was in.

Great! It would seem. So, no.

I spent the weekend studying math. I found a basic algebra site online and went through the lessons in order to refresh my memory. I haven't had an algebra class since, oh, 1994 or so, so it was a little rusty.

By late Sunday afternoon I was feeling good, so I emailed the instructor and told her how much review I'd done, that it was all coming back to me, how determined I am to take this class and succeed, blah blah blah. She wrote back quickly, saying she was sorry, but there were five students over her limit of 40 students and I should find another class.

*choking death cry sad WHAT!?!? I emailed her to say that when I talked to her after class last week what she had said about coming back to class after doing the review, and the part about needing two people to drop the class. What changed in three days??? No reply yet.

The good news is, I learned a lot this weekend. I spent hours and hours doing review, then completed the Prerequisite Quiz, which covered every algebraic concept known to Algebra I and II students. If you added it up, that's a lot of review just to complete eleven questions the Prerequisite Quiz contained.

I wrapped up the Quiz on Sunday afternoon, just in time to start the homework which is required but not graded. That is not to mention the homework quizzes, which are in addition to the Prerequisite Quiz and the homework, but which IS graded. Also, I need a graphing calculator which I will go buy today, and also the knowledge to use it, which I don't think I can buy, ALL BEFORE TUESDAY.

It would be nice to have a parking permit.

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