Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Find X

Well, there was an earthquake yesterday and the day before. I knew that the news of my returning to school would be earth shaking, but earthquakes?
Figures, how much math does it take to figure the distance moved of landmass A over landmass B?
Answer is below:

So, the earthquake is because my kryptonite in school was math.
I can add, subtract, multiply and divide, anything more complicated will get blank stares and sometimes profuse sweating.
Over the years, I've become fairly good at working around problems that require more than the very basic math. I've good at estimating, rounding and swags. 
I know where to draw the line and when to call the psychic helpline for answers.
I decided to bite the bullet and return to school and finish my degree. Transitioning has a funny way of getting you to prioritize your life.
So, to get a degree, any degree, I have to pass  Algebra 1001.
I've taken enough College remedial and 1001 level math courses to fill a semester alone. I haven't passed any that would give credit.
My college career ground to a screeching halt after that last D. I had to drop out and get a real job.
My plans for the future also ground to a halt and today I am not working in the field that I had planned and dreamed of all my life.
I've touched around the edges in the military, but it still wasn't the same. I know, a lot of people end up in careers that aren't what they wanted or expected. My biggest problem with this is that I've always felt that this part of me is a character flaw or is something that I should have been able to control or, that if I worked at it hard enough, I could overcome.
I've come to an agreement with myself, if I stay away from numbers, I won't jump off a bridge.
It's worked for me so far.
Unfortunately a few factors have aligned themselves to force me to confront this.
My nearing retirement from the National Guard is one. The Guard will waive tuition for any state school. Wow! what a deal, right? It is true. The Guard will waive tuition for any state school (again). I paid only for books this semester. I had forgotten what a deal the Guard tuition exemption is. Of course, you do have to sign on the dotted line and be willing to give your life for your country, but hey, you can't live forever, right?

That was factor #1
Factor #2 is that I'm going to need a degree at some point. I don't see my current career in it's current form lasting beyond the transition. I don't really want for people to see my big butt up in the air while I'm on the floor fixing equipment; so, yes, it is a matter of vanity. Still. Is that a reason to get a degree? As good as any, I reckon.
Factor # 3 is that I'm close to an Associate's Degree. Yes, I know, but you have to start somewhere. I've got 60 credit hours. All I need now is to complete math and then I can probably get a general studies degree and start planning for a B.A. or B.S.

I'm thinking of majoring in Sociology or something in the liberal arts, maybe writing. Yes, I know some of you are already plotting on how to keep me out of a writing degree and everyone else is praying that I at least take a class.
I could get an B.S. in Applied Computer Technology without a whole bunch of work, but that will hinge on how much success I have in this round of math.

On another note, while in class this week, one of the students is, to me, a classic stoner. He just seemed stoned the whole class. I base this on the multitude of very stupid and blindingling obvious comments he made during class. At one point he asked the professor if the dots on the number line were hollow or solid.
The class groaned. I shook my head at stupid and inappropriate comment.
It turns out, he wasn't too far off the mark. I googled his comment: "Are the dots hollow or solid"

What do you know, he might be smarter than half the class.
Wish me luck!

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