Today marked my last final exam of the summer semester. The waiting on final grades now begins. I don’t think it will take long before the grades are officially recorded in the system. Rather than obsessively checking each hour, I will try very hard to let it be until Monday. Why Monday? This weekend is FIRE’s 2013 Campus Freedom Network Conference. I am looking forward to attending, as I mentioned previously, and I going to try to put coursework out of my mind for a few days. A few glorious weeks of relative rest before the fall semester drags me right back in.
Chemistry II seemed to go just fine. I have no particular complaints. As always, I am very good at the conceptual side of things, but get bogged down in the details a bit. I am starting to think that I would do better in chemistry if someone simply gave me a list of the equations involved in the chapters and a good stack of practice sheets. I can figure out the conceptual stuff on my own, but (unsurprisingly perhaps) it would be so helpful to just drill on the equations. Almost as if I can figure out how to build the house on my own, I just need tutelage and practice with the actual tools… If that makes any sense. It feels like every moment involved in anything but physically working with the equations and procedures is wasted time. Perhaps that will make sense to some folks, I don’t know. It’s almost as if I could just as happily take a course that was exclusively focused on chemistry equations and procedures, without all the concepts and such, and I would just learn the rest on my own. Ah well…
In the meantime, I ended up quite pleased with trig. Regardless of what the final result may be, I feel like trig ended very well. It started out very badly. Trig started out so badly that I actually considered dropping it, despite what that would do to my future scheduling. I think I talked about that already. Locking myself away for a weekend really helped. That, and a very helpful instructor, really turned things around. As I believe I had mentioned, I have never even taken a geometry class previously. One would have expected to get some of that in high school, but obviously I did not. From the begging of this journey, I kept hoping that I would have that big “ah ha” moment where math would suddenly become clear and simple. I have been sorely disappointed thus far. That said, this trig class finally gave me my first taste of that feeling. During this class, I finally started to feel like I was “getting it.” That is no small thing.
I am very appreciative that I ended up with the trig instructor that I did. He was very understanding and helpful! Despite the fast pace of a summer semester class, I really felt that I could have asked for any kind of help. His explanations and instructions were clear and digestible. If I had not been drowning so severely at the beginning of the semester, it would not have been so hard. Despite that, his instruction still gave me a good idea of what I had to figure out when I finally locked myself away. For the first time in 28 years, I finally met a math instructor that I really felt I could work with and get explanations from. I will remember him as the math instructor who helped me with, what felt like, my first big breakthrough in that singularly troublesome subject. For that I am grateful and very pleased. So pleased in fact, I might just go play with some triangles later for fun. Turns out that triangles really are fun, if you didn’t know… I didn’t… There might be hope for me after all, mathematically speaking.
Back to this weekend… I hope to come back with some pictures and anecdotes from the conference this weekend. With any luck, I’ll get to see some family and friends, meet some new friends, and learn a few things. If I can muster up a little time, perhaps I’ll even toss up a post while I am there. I’m not sure exactly what to expect, but I am certainly determined to enjoy the experience. A little road trip is just the thing right now. I have to admit I am feeling a little worn out at the moment. This road trip and a few weeks off should be just the thing. I am reminded of “Muppet Treasure Island” on days like this. A little cabin fever perhaps?
In the meantime, have a great weekend!