MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

From the "By the skin of my teeth" department:

I found out today that I passed that Math test I was worried about! I got a 70% grade, but that was enough to get a C on the test. Fractions are a bear for most people, so I shouldn't feel too bad.

Anyway, this was also my first day back at school for classes. I think I'm going to enjoy the hell out of Sociology 22, I think I'm going to survive Math 113, and I think I'm going to like Linguistics 1. Sociology 22 is "Sociology Of Women" and is taught by a wonderful old-school Feminist who really doesn't give a damn what people think of her anymore.

Math 113 is the first part of Elementary Algebra. Yes, I know I have work still to do in Math 112, but the work I have to do in Math 112 dovetails nicely with the work in Math 113. My professor, Ms. Hito (Yes, I think of her as Hito-sensei...I have been thoroughly Otakunized!) is really good, in spite of English being her second language. She definitely has a Japanese accent, but unlike the unfortunate Mr. Elakodiakal and his thick Mediterranean and/or Eastern European accent she is thoroughly understandable. She is also happy to slow things down and explain things in more detail when necessary.

And as far as my Math Avoidance/Anxiety...I am not the only person in the class with it, and I am not the worst case by far. There are a few other students with it, including one who was completely in tears in Prof. Castillo's office when I was getting the good news about my grade. I think that I am going to try and get a study group going outside of could be very helpful for not only myself but my fellow-sufferers as well. I have learned a lot about the psychological and sociological aspects of Math Avoidance/Anxiety, particularly among women, from reading these books:

Conquering Math Anxiety: A Self-Help Workbook, Cynthia Arem, Brooks/Cole, ISBN 0-534-18876-1
Mind Over Math, Kogelman and Warren, Mc Graw Hill, ISBN 0-07-035281-X
Overcoming Math Anxiety, Sheila Tobias, Norton, ISBN 0-393-31307-7

The first of these books might be one to have everyone use in this study group. It's simple and breezy and has some great exercises. The Tobias book is also quite good, although it has a few confusing exercises inside which might do more harm than good.

As far as the Linguistics class goes, it looks good too. One of my Education 203 classmates is in the class this semester, so it's likely I'll have someone to pair up with if necessary. It's also a fascinating subject.

Speaking of Education 203, I think I want to get in touch with Dr. Rosow for two reasons: one, to see if maybe she has some theoretical insights that might help me with my math this semester, and two, to see if she might need someone to help with some of the next batch of Edu 203 students as far as tutoring or whatnot. I'll be going to Valley tomorrow...maybe I can cross paths with her there.

Have I mentioned before that I really feel like LAVC is my home-away-from-home?

Anyway, a good start for Fall 2004. Hope I can keep the pace up.