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September 10th, 2001
11:49 am


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Education! Augh!
I am one class (Differential Equations) away from an AS in math. (Not bad for having spent two years at MIT and at least two years amusing myself at Foothill College, right? Don't answer that. :-)

After a layoff (from the realms of academia) of about a year, I embarked on a DE course last spring (from the best math instructor I have ever had). I dropped it about half-way through. Somehow I hadn't managed to remember my calculus quickly enough to digest a huge lump of material that came in at about week 2, and everything after that was just more struggle and frustration. Also, I had unwisely acquired Sable ("unwisely" in that "loved not wisely but too well" sense) and gotten notice that the corporate apartment gig was going away in pretty much the same week, so there was no reasonable way to be at class in the Bay Area every morning five days a week.

Still, if I am going to finish this (and I am), then I had best retake it sooner, not later. Looking at Foothill's calendar for the coming year, they're teaching it in the evening Fall quarter (which begins on the 24th of September). Winter and Spring classes are the standard format. Useless.

I'm thinking about -- make that seriously considering -- driving 22 extra round trips to the BA between now and mid-December. At roughly 250 miles per round trip. Someone please examine my head.

Why not go somewhere closer? Well, that hasn't been an option until now, but it's worthy of consideration. On examination, SJ Delta College's fall semester started 20 August. They have exactly one section of DE, which is full, and it's two hours (around noon) MWF. So I'd have to wait until spring, and transfer it into Foothill.

Mad. I am utterly mad. lothie, this is all your fault. No, wait, I can get elflet in on this too. Augh! Both of you! Augh!

Current Mood: Augh!
Current Music: the voices screaming in my brain

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2001 12:20 pm (UTC)
*happy serene smile* Isn't it wonderful?
Date:September 10th, 2001 01:01 pm (UTC)

"The gods themselves do tremble."

You're amazing, Ambar. That's all I have to say.
I'd wish you good luck and/or sanity but I don't think you've needed either, to date. ;-)
Okay, here, have some anyway: Good Luck! (in every sense!)
[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2001 05:28 pm (UTC)
Have you considered distance education? It's not as if a live professor is going to do a whole lot of good learning differential equations -- working with thr textbook & exercises is typically an individual thing anyway, and when working via Distance Ed you simply email the instructor and/or use some online chat when you need help.

See http://netmath.math.uiuc.edu/home.html, the University of Waterloo online, Capella University, etc. I'm just scratching the surface, but About.com has a good section on Distance Learning.

P.S. Yeah, I know...TMI ;)
[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2001 05:34 pm (UTC)
I've done some of this with Foothill, actually. (For example, they're doing Calc 1A online these days.) However, they won't offer an online course for DE, because the enrollment is very small even for the regular courses, and finding a place that does will be tricky, and then I have to flog Foothill into accepting the transfer.

My experience with math must be significantly different from yours -- the quality of the lecture has a lot to do with how well things sink in for me. (Frex, I've taken linear algebra three times -- the first two lecturers were incomprehensible, as was the material. The third was Dr. John Sawka, at Foothill, who is also the person who was lecturing the DE class I dropped in April. In his class, I rediscovered a remarkable facility for dealing with abstractions. :-)
[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2001 05:37 pm (UTC)
You deal quite well with concrete things too *wink*

As for travelling to foothill...I'm probably the one person who won't make comments about long commutes and schoolwork...except to commiserate ;) Just lemme know what support you need, 'K?
[User Picture]
Date:September 10th, 2001 05:50 pm (UTC)

Well, I'm embarrassed. The search engine I was sure didn't exist, exists:


(Thanks for the pointer to about.com; that's where this link came from.)

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