Schools Out For Summer

Well, that’s done.
My class load for the summer has come to an end. It was not a fantastic semester for me, but as I’m all about telling you when I get good grades, I suppose I should tell you about the bad grades as well. I mentioned already that after lots of very hard work I managed to get a B+ in my Intermediate Technical Math class. Note to self: do not take the next math class online. I am very happy to have that grade, but with a 86.982% I just can’t help think that I could have pulled off an A with just a bit more work and/or by asking for a bit more direction from the instructor. We live. We learn.
My Basic Electricity & Electronics class was a whole other story. Last night was the final and I did very poorly, 66%. I can only attribute a small part of that to having left my formula sheet on the kitchen counter, as there were not 34 math equations on the exam. What I can attribute it to, is all most completely checking out of the class by about the 2/3 mark. I’m not making excuses, I should have worked harder… but I just couldn’t. I knew this was a mistake from the very first class. For a class with “Basic” as the first word in its title, the instructor went out of his way to tell us how hard this was going to be, how much advanced math was going to be needed, how there should have been a math prerequisite listed in the catalog (there wasn’t), and how hard he was going to push us to get this 15-week class done in 9-weeks. He seemed to really get his jollies on making this basic class as difficult as possible.
Struggling students were told to do the reading or to go watch YouTube videos on the subject. During the last lab, a two session lab I might add, he told my group of three that he wasn’t going to answer our questions because he wanted us to figure it out. Between the three of us, what we figured out was how to get 4/10 on that lab. It was ugly. The class was a 4½ hour class, which is longer than most by a half hour, he would lecture for ¾ of that, give us maybe a short 10-minute break, and rarely enough time to get the labs done. I was not impressed with this guy, though he did seem to be very into his subject.
But the real problem, the thing I couldn’t get past, was me. I started off well enough. My existing background of basic electric principles and theory helped quite a bit. However, I knew from that first week onward, that I did not need this class for what I’ll be doing. I wanted electrical, what I got was electronics. They sound similar, but they are quite different. Transistors, resistors, MOSFETs, diodes, BJTs, and amplifiers are not things that I use in my HVACR work. I got something from the transformers and capacitors sections, but mostly it was in presented in ways that just don’t apply to what I do. And that was the problem. I started down the path of “I’ll never use any of this”, took it too “this doesn’t apply to my career”, and ended up at “I don’t care, I just want it to be over”.
I could have done better; should have done better. I didn’t read the chapters. I didn’t do the extra homework. Never figured out how to work this damn calculator. So it’s mostly my fault. I recognize that. Early on, I was more concerned with my math class, as I felt that required most of my focus. Right. I mean I know electrical stuff. But the electrical stuff from this class pretty quickly diverged from the electrical stuff I deal with at my job. But I continued to focus on math, and by the time that was over, it was really too late to get back up to speed in electronics.
I would have done better on my exam if I had remembered my formula sheets (two pages of electrical formulas). I still would not have gotten an A, but I could have probably pulled off a low B. So a 66% on my final drops me 3% and puts me at 75.65267% as my final weighted percentage. The official grades haven’t been posted yet, but that’s a C.
I’ll take a C, but I’m more than a little disappointed in myself and the effort I put in. I’m not looking forward to what these grades are going to do to my GPA.