Saturday, October 10, 2009

Math class

It's week three in math class. We have an exam every Tuesday. There's usually four sections in the math book, so I try to do the test first thing Tuesday, then a section each day. Saturday's available for spillover (which I haven't not needed yet) and then I do review on Monday. I've been having a real problem with attitude the last couple weeks, I just feel so frantic and panicky, "I can't possibly do this". Not that the math itself is so hard, but there's so many distractions around here, and my mind itself is the worst distraction. I daydream! I learned that word in second grade. The teacher accused me of doing it, and I didn't know what the word meant, so she enlightened me. If I had the luxury of a quiet white-painted room to study in, the daydreaming would be worse. I know I'm daydreaming, actually obsessing or fretting is more like it, and that causes me to expect even less success. Depressing thoughts multiply, you know. A few days ago I was in complete despair, just could not get my brain to settle on the problem and actually think. I took the math book outside in the sun, and got through a bunch of pages with no problem. So the key is a little distraction...

The KEY is to keep a few of my senses busy, so that a narrower section of my thoughts are free. If I sit outside in the breeze, or treadmill or knit while looking at the math book, it soaks right in, no problem. The other key is to read the section through first. It's usually eight or ten pages, and it doesn't take long to read that while knitting, and it's usually less terrifying than it looks. I get a basic grasp of what it's talking about, then I have a feeling of success-- after all, I did just get through a whole section! Then go back and do all the exercises in a better frame of mind, and they go quickly.

I'm practically the only one to post on the message board in this class. It's very puzzling. It's a full class, and it's an online class, so where is everybody? The last two classes always had lots of people posting questions and comments. There's only one other lady who's posted more than one question. The teacher's very good about answering questions, better if they're specific. He reminded me to watch the videos. I'm letting two of them load right now. After reading the section and writing this message, one video is half loaded and the other, oh hey, it's almost done. Dialup!! I remember when we chose among 14.4 and 28.8 modems and 56k was lightning fast. Yes, I'm an old bat. I'm the old person in class now. Always there's been one old bat to make the rest of us feel comfortable, but now I'm the old bat and everybody else is twenty. Sigh.

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