Sunday, August 14, 2011

13. My Worst Subject in School

Some might argue that I never really had a "worst" subject in school.  I made pretty good grades all the way through high school.  Not really sure what happened to me when I got to college, since I wasn't living the party life, but my grades started slipping.  Although I don't consider my 2.968 gpa bad.  But for the most part, the subject I got the worst grades in, historically, was math.
In elementary school, it wasn't so bad.  I don't remember struggling with addition or subtraction.  Multiplication was easy except for 6s, 7s, 8s, and 12s, which I still struggle with to this day for the most part, but I still made the Math Club by 4th grade.  Division is what they made calculators for, especially long division, but its fun if I just sit down and focus on the problem.  Once we started throwing letters (which I'm pretty good at) into my math problems was when things started getting tricky.

That's when I learned to plug and chug.  Anything with a simple formula, I'm golden at (hello, Pythagorean theorem).  Anything backwards, I'm golden (hello, antiderivatives).  But you start adding square roots and multiple sets of brackets and fractions and multiple letters and you're setting me up for disaster.

I'd rather write a 10 page paper in APA format than sit through Calculus.

Luckily, I took Calc in high school.  It was my first class of the day and the teacher has a semi-high pitched voice.  We've already discussed how I'm not a morning person.  Nothing in that class clicked until we started doing everything backwards.  Regular derivatives had blown my mind, but I was one of very few people who actually understood what was happening when we started doing them backwards.

I'm actually not certain how I was lucky enough not to have to endure any math classes during my entire time at NCSU, but I didn't.  No statistics, no calc 2, no college algebra..  just a microeconomics class, which counted as a humanities class, and that didn't even happen at NCSU.  I took that class online through a community college at home to transfer back to State so I could graduate a semester early for sure.

My favorite class... EVAR?
History of the English Language.
I kept all the books from that class.  The final assignment was to do the etymology of a word, which wasn't necessarily a long assignment, but was definitely awesome because it meant playing around in the online Oxford English Dictionary, which just so happens to be the best dictionary...evar.

Learning about the language made me feel like I was stepping back in time.  Realizing, a year too late, that reading Beowulf out loud made it make sense if you used a very bad british accent.  Understanding why some people use the same word but pronounce it differently, or how some words are pieces of words that were lost long ago.  And finally seeing that Latin will never be a dead language, despite the fact that it isn't used in it's true form anymore, every day we are using pieces of the Latin language (and I didn't just say this so Teh Dad will feel reassured about letting me drive to another high school to take Latin was worth it).  :)


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