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Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Symbol Of Something I Dislike

I bought a calculator the other day.

And not just any calculator, mind you.  It's a scientific calculator, complete with logarithms and trig functions.

I am aware that it's completely possible to find such a calculator online for free.  But I needed a separate calculator for the purpose of taking quizzes and tests.

Yes, my summer is being blighted with math.  Well, I don't want to make it sound worse than it is.  I am taking an intro to speech and hearing science, which sounded pretty innocuous, until the first class when we were presented with a math quiz to see what we knew (remembered?) of various math concepts.  I actually remembered some of the concepts on that quiz, but was faced with the uncomfortable reality that I had forgotten about the very existence of logarithms, and never felt like I had a terribly firm grip on them in the past, either.

In a way, it's funny that it has come down to this.  I felt like high school was littered with classes I didn't really like, but had to take in order to get into a good college.  I took AP calculus my senior year in high school with the hope of placing out of math in college.  Somewhat miraculously, I succeeded in that endeavor, and as a result, spent college taking mostly classes I liked (with a few notable exceptions, of course).  I thought that memorizing formulas and those dreaded logarithms (!) were firmly in my past.  But here I am with math biting me on the behind, after spending my college and grad school years smugly taking foreign language classes.

I'm hoping, perhaps against all reasonable hope, that the math and formulas are front-loaded on the beginning of the semester and will be a distant memory by the end.  But in the meantime, I'm hunkering down with my fancy calculator, and preparing to come to terms with topics I've avoided for years.

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