If someone had told me in 10th grade that paying more attention in math class would be beneficial, and possibly save me time and money later, I still might not have believed them, that’s how much math and I got along. Alas, here I am, several years later, wishing I had paid more attention, and that I had maybe taken at least one math class in college. I’ll be taking a placement test to determine my math level on Friday, and hoping at least to get into the intermediate algebra class, which will allow enough time to get into stats this winter or spring. I thought I had met the pre-reqs, but apparently don’t…so I’ll be playing a little catch up for a few terms.
I have to be honest, this whole fiasco has brought up some long-buried insecurities. For several years now, I’ve been able to coast through life with my paltry math skills. I even graduated with a MEd, having taken classes to teach math to elementary age kids. But ask me how to factor a polynomial, and I have a little moment of disconnect, where it takes me a while to remember what exactly that means. I have no doubt that I’ll be just fine in nursing school and midwifery school…but having that panicky “I have no idea what I’m doing” feeling while taking the practice assessment test brings back all those feelings of inadequacy I felt as a high schooler and in college.
So, here’s to a return to the humility and openness to learning (or re-learning) the very, very basics. It helps that I’ve graduated from an awesome women’s college, the kind of place that makes you feel like you can do anything. I’ll take this one just like every other challenge life has presented–one step at a time. Thank goodness for Khan Academy.
Update: So, after all that, turns out, the math department let me take stats after all…whew! This is an awesome–and by awesome I mean from the 80’s–Annenburg series on statistics the prof recommended viewing to prep for the course. The hair-dos are a little painful, but hey, at least there’s something to laugh about!