Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Random school bullets...

  • Had a calculus exam last night. It was the second exam this semester and since the last exam, we've covered integration by substitution, integration by parts, trigonometric integration, trigonometric substitution, volumes of rotation, improper integrals and indeterminate forms. The class moves at a VERY fast pace and I was really worried about the exam, mostly because it requires a good core understanding of trigonometric identities and limits involving the natural log. The verdict: it went REALLY well. We were asked to answer 10 of the 12 questions. I answered all 12 and had a hard time choosing which two I didn't want graded. I'll find out on Friday, I think, how I scored, but a score above a 90 will bring my grade back up to an A. Currently, only one student in the class of 20 has an A. It's not me.

  • I'm meeting with someone today to discuss the individually designed major option here at OPU. To be eligible for the IDM, you must be no further along than your first semester, junior year. As a transfer student with 130 credits, I am considered a senior, thus making me ineligible for the IDM. I have a problem with this, though, because only 12 or so of those 130 credits will count toward a major in Geology or Biology...or in any science...which is the route I'm taking. I'm hoping that I can somehow strike all those credits from the record and gain freshman or sophomore standing. Then I'll actually be the "self-designed student" I set out to be.

  • Last night, as I was leaving the test, I asked my calculus teacher for clarification on some instructions. One question said "find the partial fractions expression. Do not find the constants." The next question said "find the partial fractions expression." I wanted to make sure, on the second question, that he wanted us to find the constants, as he did not state otherwise. I asked, "do you want us to find the constants for this problem?" and he replied, rather snidely, "yes...that's why I said 'find'." Now, I've had a problem all semester with this...asking questions that I think are legitimate (especially since he encouraged us to ask questions about the instructions at the beginning of the test) and leaving without a good answer and feeling stupid for asking. He's a great teacher, but I've become more and more afraid of approaching him because he has a tendency to be condescending. This is frustrating because, as a student, I'm not in the business of knowing everything. It is my job to ask questions.

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