I may have my Associate of Applied Arts & Sciences degree from Grand Rapids Community College, but Ferris State University isn’t impressed. I just took a call from the coordinator of their HVAC program letting me know that he can’t let me into the program and wanting to explain why. Apparently, I do not meet their minimum requirements. I have the science and I have the english, but he says he can’t let me in without more math. Math 107, minimum. Math 107 – Intermediate Algebra, 108 – Trigonometry, and Math 110 – College Algebra, recommended. So, get that done and reapply. The program begins in May.
And that’s just to get in. The coordinator made sure to tell me that there is more math once I get there. But not to worry, the program only goes to pre-calculus. They don’t require calculus to get their bachelors degree. Great.
I took the accuplacer math exam in 2013 when I started GRCC. That came back and said I should start with Math 98 – Elementary Algebra. I took Math 103 – Technical Math as an alternative for the HVAC program and did well (I think a B+). But that’s still a long way from Math 107 and makes Math 110 seem very far away, indeed.
At a bare minimum I will need to retake the accuplacer math exam, as it’s only good for a year. Assuming that I do about the same as I did last time I’m looking at MA 98, MA 107. That’s 8-credit hours and I could do one in the Fall and the other in the Winter and get in to Ferris. If I take the coordinator’s recommendation; I take the placement test, MA98, MA107, MA108, and then MA10. Doing that would put me in the Ferris program in May 2021.
The coordinator gave me one other piece of information that I found interesting… Going part-time I can expect to be done when I’m 57, if I start next May. With all the math to do before I even get there, I’ll be looking at 58. Which is still 10-12 years from retirement.
This just started looking like a much bigger mountain to climb.
Things to think about. Back to the basement. Later.
TE103 – Intermediate Technical Math Online has finished. On Friday, I went to the testing center and took two tests: Test 4 and the Final Exam. I could have skipped the final if I had taken Test 3, done well, and not wanted to attempt to replace my lowest test grade, but a medical emergency here at home caused me to miss part of my Thursday class, that third test, and all of Father’s Day weekend. I’m not going to go into it, but the lovely and talented, Lady Ronn, is feeling much better now. I was at the college from 8:30 am until 2:30 testing. That’s a lot of time to be sitting in a cheap plastic chair, but I’m happy to report, it worked out pretty well. I managed 83/100 on Test 4 and 87/100 on the final. Better than I expected to do on either. Final grades have not been posted, but the unofficial score looks to be 86.982%. I’ll take that and smile. This was a difficult class for me, mainly because it had been so long since I’ve done anything more than basic math. I feel like I accomplished something good, but I will not miss the 6-hour math sessions 3-4 times a week.
Still have three more weeks in my electronics class… I am not enjoying that one much at all. It’s not what I was expecting, I can’t see any sort of application for this stuff in my personal or professional life, and worst of all, there is no context in the instruction. Now that I’m down to one class, I can focus on it more fully. Maybe that will make a difference. I must persevere and continue to move forward. It is a 4-credit class after all.
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 22nd. 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.
It’s not you. It’s me. Seriously. This semester, Summer 2018, I signed up for EL 144 Basic Electricity and Electronics and TE 103 Intermediate Technical Math (Online). Each are 4-credit classes packed into an expedited schedule, 9-weeks for the first and 7-weeks for the second.
One week in and I’m thinking this is going to be a load to haul. I’ve spent 15-hours doing math and still haven’t finished the weeks work yet and it took 13-hours of class and study time to do my electronics work. I have no time for projects or websites or much more than work and school. I leave for work at 8 am and leave school at 10 pm. I basically have two hours to eat, shower, shit, and do whatever else needs doing.
Both of these classes are math heavy. Which is kind of an issue for me, as I’ve had no math since 9th grade (1982 for those who are trying to do the math) and that was just algebra. I’m trying to pick up all this college level math on the fly. And let me tell you, I’m not enjoying it.
Posts may be a bit sparse around here until the end of June. And I may come out the other side of this semester completely mad. Consider yourself warned.
1,000 Digits of Pi