makz web

Calculus, Illness, and Insomnia

Date: 19 March 2019; Mood: Manic

I'm pretty concerned about my calculus grade.

This class wasn't listed as an online hybrid course, but all the homework is submitted through the textbook publisher's online platform, with strictly defined due dates that aren't set to when class starts, but a day (or more!) before class. This doesn't jive well with my internal procrastination clock, so my homework grades are abysmal. So far I've had one test, on which I scored a B, but who knows what's going to happen with today's test. I have a little over 12 hours to prepare, but I still have to sleep. Sleeping isn't easy, and after trying to get 8 hours in, I'll have a maximum of four hours of study time. Why am I wired so badly as to be unable to sleep or study? Is this the (alleged) attention deficit of my youth, come back to haunt me?

The teacher has not made our overall averages easy to calculate by either enabling grade calculation in the homework platform's software or letting us know how many points are available per chapter on the syllabus. I literally have no clue how badly exactly I'm doing so far. Is it a C? Is it a D? Where am I? I mean, I've been both sleep deprived and flu-stricken for the last week, so I can barely tell what day it is, let alone calculate the tangent line to some equation using derivatives. Why are there three different ways to do shorthand for marking a derivative? Why can't we all just agree that y' is the most eloquent? What does dx/dt even mean? INTERNAL SCREAMING INTENSIFIES.

I've done this all before, in a far away land known as high school. I'm separated from those shores by an ocean of intense math-related trauma, with nary a small paddleboat to bridge the gap between former understanding and current ability. Alas, is it simply my fate to drown? Why did I enter a STEM major when I failed to memorize my multiplication tables properly? I still have to calculate 8 * 7 by remembering that 7 * 7 = 49, then adding 7 to that figure. I still have to remember that pi/2 radians is 90 degrees, draw my x and y axis, place a point on the y-axis between quadrants I and II, write the coordinates of the point, then remember that those numbers represent cos and sin, respectively. What is my brain? Why is it like this? What takes everyone else no time to do because they possess seemingly infinite ability to recall facts and figures takes me a lifetime, as my mind is only able to retain perhaps a tenth the amount of information as my peers.

Well, at least the worst of my flu symptoms have dissipated. Now if only I could get some sleep…