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Math Hassle - February 19th 2010, 04:04 AM

I have the hardest time in my pre-calc/trig. class. It's at a technology center- I only go there half of the day. But the course I'm taking (Biomedical Science) is advanced- unfortunately so is that math.

I haven't been very good at math since 5th grade. I've had troubles with it since then, but have always pulled off with a B or an A.

This class I'm in now is just about kicking my butt. I have a hard time following along with the teacher and I don't get a lot of stuff. Then I get easily distracted and when I try to pay attention I still don't get it, so I end up giving up. I also don't find math very interesting- so I get bored easily.

I'll try to get it- I even got her to help me with some problems today. But something just isn't clicking.

She also checks to see if you did your homework. Of course all you have to do is show her your notes and make it look like you did work and she'll pass you. Which is convenient when you have trouble and don't finish it like I do. But at the same time I feel like it's deprieving me.

Anyways, what I'm trying to say is this: How do you guys cope with subjects you don't find interesting and challenging?

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Re: Math Hassle - February 19th 2010, 05:38 AM

If you need the course and cannot drop it, then I try to make it interesting by viewing it in a different light. For me in second-year university cell biology, I was very interested but it was pretty hard, especially the quizzes and lab/tutorial assignments. Instead of simply trying to memorize the content, I viewed it differently via cartoon analogies, so the DNA was no longer DNA, it was a twisty train-track and RNA wasn't RNA, it was a big train car with tiny wheels so it was somewhat imbalanced. Molecules coming off and going to were little workers running around. Each cartoon would contain the properties of the molecule, such as by personality, so if one molecule somehow triggered cascades of others, then that one would be the chef shouting at other cooks (i.e. Chef Gordon Ramsay shouting at others).

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work, as it relies on you understanding the content enough to make correct cartoon analogies but you could build them up. As to understand it, well, for math it's simply applications, meaning doing not only the assigned homework but also extra stuff. As sad or odd as this may be, try YouTube. There are many channels of people teaching the content in a very understandable way and there are many teachers and professors teaching online, so it's not a grade 6 student who passed with a 50% teaching grade 5, it's people who know their stuff very well.

Others, myself included, could help you out, however, you'd need to specify the exact topics because saying pre-calc is too broad of an area. Perhaps give sample questions that are stumping you.
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Re: Math Hassle - February 19th 2010, 07:19 AM

I can vouch for YouTube as an educational resources. I have absolutely no glue what my linear algebra teacher is talking about until I watch those videos on YT and get a better understanding of what is going on. I got through that and Calc 3, solely using those and some studying with the notes.

As hard it is to stay focus, you do need to. My Calc 3 teacher speaks in monotonic voice and every so often I was tempted to go online and drift off. But her notes are fantastic for studying, so I bear through that anyways. If the first time doesn't click, try going to her after class and ask her until you get it. Sometimes asking other classmates also helps, because most likely they digested the material and be able to explain it in "Dummy" term.

How do I get through subjects I don't find interesting and also tough? I promised myself I will give myself some entertainment if I could sit through that class undistracted or drifted away. Because it is important to stay focus. Worked...most of the time. Sometimes I drifted off anyways. Keep a mindset of "Let's get this over with." might help.
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