Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Math Class

Ok. I've admitted that I have trouble with anything more complicated than basic math, which, to me is add, subtract, multiply, divide, fractions and decimals. When I took the COMPASS test I was told that it only included basic math. The person who told me that lied through their teeth. There was not one problem on that test that wasn't algebra. Most problems looked something like this

(Ay x Bz) + YKZ - RWN = 426


So, I bombed the test and got placed in remedial math.

Fine, thought I. I need to go back and get refreshed on everything anyway. I've been out of school 20 years and I have forgotten a great deal.

But, this math class that I'm in is ridiculous. Everything is computer based and the instructor is only in the classroom in case you don't understand something. The computer program they are using to teach basic math is very childish/PBS'ish. The math instructor on the screen wears a blue artists beret in some clips and in others he's like a nutty Albert Einstein/Bill Nye the Science Guy complete with a wild white wig and fake accent.

When I get an answer right big colorful, rainbow, dancing words come parading across my screen that say, FANTASTIC! GOOD JOB! GREAT WORK! YOU'RE AWESOME! I keep expecting Steve and Blue from Blues clues to pop up and sing

"We just found a number"
"We just found a number"
"We just found a number"
"Should we add subtract multiply or divide?"

It's so fucking insulting to be 34 years old and have colorful letters congratulate you for getting the correct answer to 2 + 2 = 4.

Adding insult to injury is the name of the program itself.
I feel like I am in kindergarten.


Don said...

You have my sympathy. I sounds sorta’ like the inmates are running the asylum….or government dumbed-down education.

If it were me, I’d just wash my hands of that class and then just count on my fingers and toes and whatever other body extremities, protrusions, or whatever else that I needed. That oughta’ suffice and it’s not rocket science. :-)

Vape_1:29 said...

- Of course it's NOT

- - - - -

I looked at some sample

- A certain percentage of the question-types
were easy for me;-)
others were polynomial-headaches!

- What's really needed is a course on
how to 'ace' multiple-choice tests...LOL!

- The advise I remember for these types of exams was...
to skip the most-difficult questions,
completing the easier ones first...

- Certain math-operations are inherently easier for me,
even though they may only be the inverse of the more difficult ones.
(Am better at addition than subtraction,
better at multiplication than division...)

How to subtract numbers by adding:
Method of Complements - Decimal Example

Nurse Nan said...

Loretta, I changed careers in midstream and started nursing school at UAH. Not having Mummy and Daddy to do the laundry, driving, etc., (like the first time I was in college) was certainly a bummer. Bottom line: If I did it, you can too. Just remember, you may not make an "A" on everything, but you can make a wonderful nurse. I'm proud of you.

Lord Alberonn I said...

I know about going back in math. I was doing trigonometry in high school before I dropped out. (Long story, but I did get my GED right away.) I had to take Math 060 since I had forgotten so much. Like you, I needed review of stuff I forgot.

That being said, who the hell came up with such a demeaning math class? Your teacher did. Perhaps you should complian about it. The proper process may be laid out in your student handbook.

Needing to review your math skills does not make you an idiot; the college needs to get that point. I think the only reason I remembered so much is that I played a lot of paper and pencil RPG's: most of those require a fair bit of math to play. That kept some of my skills fresh. What you don't use, you lose.

When I started to see some of the more difficult math problems on the COMPASS, I thought to myself: "I used to know how to do these, but I have no idea how to do these now."

Christie O'Brien said...

Hang in there CAN do it :)

sixstring said...

Most of these compass algebra questions are word problems which require you to translate the words into an algebraic equation. If you don't understand how to solve basic algebra equations, doing word problems is like trying to run before you walk. Start with basics first.
I would try to ignore the childish nature of the learning program and concentrate on learning the material. A friend who can explain would be great.

Test taking is a skill besides just understanding the material. Knowing what types of questions are likely to be asked and the expectations of the tester is very valuable. That's why many college professors have examples of their tests on file for students.

Good luck!

Tyrvald said...


Years ago I magically tested into intermediate algebra and then flunked it! Whatever happens, you can always blame your teacher if nothing makes sense. I had a great tutor but unlearned everything in class... This computer assisted kindergarden is worse though, isn't it?

If they tell you 2+2=5, just go with it so they don't move on to enhanced re-education! "Are we going to take a quiz on wigs and fake accents now, Professor Silicon?"

Your friend in algebraic headaches,