Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Math, math, hellish math and detoxing

Why is it, when you are detoxing and/or dieting, every single freakin' ad on TV is for food, food, glorious food? Unbelievable. But, I will say that at least that helped me turn the TV back off last night and catch up on some math studying. I worked through all my algebra and arithmetic topics like a good girl, and went to bed feeling quietly confident, having just scored 100% on a practice test. Yay me.

So this morning, bright and early, I went along to the local community college, paid my fee, and sat down to take the placement test. The English tests went well. Except two of the questions were misleading as there was more than one potentially correct answer to both of them. But whatevs. Then up popped the algebra test. Hmmm, I thought, I thought I was supposed to get arithmetic before algebra, but OK, whatevs, maybe arithmetic will be later. I trundled through them, doing well, feeling good. And then that test finished, and the computer told me I was now moving on to college level math. Ruh-roh. See, I didn't study for college level math. I only studied for algebra and arithmetic. Everything I read seemed to imply that only algebra and arithmetic were needed. But nope. I did not get to do the arithmetic test and there it was, the first question on college level math, asking about trigonometry. I mean, really. What IS a sine or a cosine? [No, don't tell me, I don't actually want to know.] I used to know at some point in my life what those things were, but that was over 2 decades ago.

Ah well, c'est la vie. So I took a wild ass guess and kept going. Luckily a lot of the questions could be figured out somehow, even if my methods were not exactly elegant or the proper way to do things. And the final results were: reading comphrehension - 112, sentence structure - 119, algebra - 119, college level math - 63. Ahem. We can tell where I didn't brush up, can't we? And, as an aside, why is it that American tests go over 100? In good old blighty, most test results would be out of 100, no matter how many questions there are, so to make 20 questions add up to 119 is a bit confusing to me. Although I know that it's an adaptive test where they make the questions harder if you do well, and easier if you don't do so well so I guess that's where the extra points come in. Anyhoo. I knew I had to get 83 or above in English to place into the college level classes, so I was pretty safe there, and I that I had to get 72 or above in math but wasn't sure if it was an average result or needed in each subject. And anyway, I'm not even doing any math classes, so I just needed enough of a result to enable me to be awarded credit. So the guy in the test center told me to go to Advising to find out.

Off I went to Advising, where I sat and waited for a while, and then finally got to see someone. Who again didn't understand the concept of me having a bachelor's degree but not having ANY general education credits, nor why I didn't have to do math classes now. So I went through the whole spiel again about how not every country in the world has the same educational system, and that my entire degree is science and math so I am exempted from science and math now. But finally she got it, and said I was good to go, as it was only algebra I had to get 72+ on. So she said I was cleared to sign up for the classes I want, after warning me that I am taking on a VERY heavy class load and that I will struggle. Whatevs. I guess when you're used to dealing with reluctant 18 year olds what seems like a heavy load is different than it appears to a 40-ish year old who has taken bar exams while working full time at a law firm.

So - hoorah for the end of math! Hoorah for the placement test being done! And now it's on to hoping that the classes I want at the time I want them are still available when general registration opens up on Thursday. Right now the degree-seeking students are able to register and people like me can only watch the number of available places in each class tick down slowly. Hopefully it will all be good.

I am still detoxing, by the way. I am down 4.5 lbs. I really, really want to chew something though, so I'm not sure how much longer I will keep it up. I had this initial thought of doing 4 days, Friday-Monday, which I've done, and then maybe keeping it up through the following weekend, to do a total of 10 days if it was going well. I kind of want to do 10 days but then again, I really want to eat real food. So I am mostly taking it hour by hour at the moment. As of right now, I am still on it.


bleu said...

Congrats on being done with the tests and doing great. Congrats on the 4.5!!! Both are awesome!!!

BTW my word verification is



Calliope said...

oh wow! so so so effing glad that the exam stuff is over & done with.
& what is with this school not having a better grasp of international stuff?
but, as you said, whatevs...

& 4.5- well done!
What is the #1 thing that you are craving?

Tricia said...

Congrats on passing maths!!

And you are freaking insane on the detox! What strength, I can only admire you, and I guess, with such impressive weight loss, it obviously has some advantages. I won't tell you what I had for dinner.....