The original idea had been to take a full semester so I can finish up and graduate since Big Kid is no longer living at home demanding my undivided attention 24/7. But then I got sick late last fall and all bets were off. Decided to take just one pre-requisite class---algebra---that won't even count towards my degree or GPA.
When that's out of the way, I can take math-for-people-who-are-crappy-at-math for credit (aka Math for the Liberal Arts). Go figure.
In hindsight, it seems like the decision was providential, because having the opportunity and then going through all the steps of getting THD here probably would have put me on stress overdrive if I was taking a full class-load.
And what the hey...one class. I'd gotten an A in pre-algebra a few semesters before. I also took algebra in high school and did quite well. It wouldn't be easy or enjoyable, but I'd get through.
Famous last words.
When I got my first assignment, which was a review of pre-algebra, I felt a little uneasy. I didn't remember some of the terminology. I had to brush up on a few processes. At my second assignment, the sh*t really hit the fan.
It was like reading Greek. I didn't understand ANY of it.
So I engaged a tutor---a retired middle school teacher. We had a few sessions where she walked me through the basics of Algebra and I limped through the next few assignments and tests.
Then we hit graphing equations. I couldn't make heads or tails of it beyond recognizing quadrants. My textbook, unlike the ones you get in high school, only just brushed on the directions, and there was nothing intensive about it. I showed it to my tutor.
She was perplexed. Mind you, the woman is about 70 years old. She borrowed my book overnight and then called me the next day. "They didn't teach this when I was in college, and I'd really hate to take your money."
Well crud. Three days before my assignment was due, I emailed my instructor (this is an online course), showed him my work (which was all wrong) and told him I was struggling and needed some help. I needed someone to walk me through this verbally---not on paper, because I just wasn't understanding this process at all by reading it.
The day AFTER the assignment was due he emailed me back.
"You only finished 2 of the 7 sections of the assignment and will be graded accordingly."
What? You have got to be sh*tting me! I'm paying twice the rate to take this class online and I can't even get a "what do you seem to be having trouble with" response from this guy?
In desperation I emailed and called and left a message for a friend of mine. She is a high school math instructor (who recently got her Masters, the smartypants). The funny thing is that I've never actually met her in person. We met about 10 years ago in an adoption forum and have been phone and email pals ever since.
I didn't hear from her for a couple of days, and then it occurred to me that it might be Spring Break in her neck of the woods. Sure enough, she called me the next night.
"I got your message. Is everything ok?"
I didn't recognize the number on my caller ID. Where are you?
"I'm in Paris!! It's 4 o'clock in the morning and I just checked my messages!! I'm having champagne!"
Oh. My. Gosh. But where are you calling from? This isn't your cell number.
"No, my cell is charging. I'm calling from the hotel phone."
Holy crap! Call me when you get back to the states!
What a good friend she is. She got me through the last four weeks of class so I don't have to take the damn thing over again. :-)
On a more serious note, I'm worrying about my brain. Algebra is cumulative, and while I remembered and was able to do some processes, there were some blocks that were completely unintelligible to me. Then I could go on and do the next harder skill set, although I couldn't do the easier one. Very weird.
I can't figure out if I'm suffering from the normal CRS that comes with aging, or if maybe I had some drain bamage from oxygen deprivation when I was sick.
I guess I should just feel lucky as long as I can remember which shoe goes on which foot.