I’m four weeks into this latest semester at GRCC and it’s been rough. My basic electricity class has turned out to be an electronics class, with all the math and science that goes along with electronics. It’s not been too awful for me, which I attribute to all the HVAC classes on electricity that I’ve had, but it’s also not the cake-walk I was expecting, and it just keeps going deeper into the math with each passing week. I have no idea what things will be like by the time we get to the end of the next 7 weeks. But compared to math, it’s been easy.

I am not exaggerating when I say I spend 15-20 hours each week working on this class. My math skills are that rusty. I’m having to relearn all this stuff–fractions, algebra, orders of operation—and it is kicking me in the teeth. I managed to pull off an 88/100 on my first test, and I’m not really sure how I managed that. On Friday, I had to take another half-day of PTO and go back down to the testing center for test #2. It went less well. It was ugly.

It was a 30-question exam and I worked my way through it without much confidence that I was getting the right answers. But there were 5 or 8 questions that I just simply didn’t know how to do. I tried. Really tried. Lots of eraser marks. But after a bit over 3-hours in the testing room I was done. At one point the overseer came in and asked if I was Ronald, because they thought I had left and not checked out. It was a long 3-hours. In the end, I left those answers blank and simply gave up, telling the overseer, “I don’t know how to get these answers and sitting in there for another hour isn’t going to change that.” And I went home. This will be a bad grade.

Today, I got an email from my instructor asking if I was having problems factoring these problems and pointing me towards some online lectures she’d recorded. I appreciate that, but it doesn’t bode well for my Test #2 grade. When I’m sitting at my desk with four or five windows open full of how-to pages and examples, I’m fine. But I’m not remembering these processes, which formula is for what, it’s just not sticking. I didn’t go far enough in high school math for this and I’ve spent too many years not doing math much beyond simple arithmetic for this to be easy.

I am not looking forward to the next two tests or the final, but it will all be over on the 22^{nd}. Math is a shorter class than electronics. And then I can just deal with one math heavy class.

I know there’s going to be a lot more of all this as I push forward with my plans to get a Bachelor’s Degree, so I need to get this stuff down. But damn if I don’t wish I hadn’t spent so much energy avoiding math in primary school.