Three Things I Know

Let’s be honest, most people have a vision of what college is going to be like, whether that be raging parties every weekend or saying goodbye to sleep in place of homework.  I knew I would not be saying hello to parties and I would not be saying goodbye to sleep, but I didn’t know much else.  There wasn’t an ideal freshman year I had in my mind before starting and I think that really helped me not be disappointed with mine.

There were simple things I knew would happen:

1. I would make friends

2. I would learn things

3. College would be like nothing I’d ever experienced.

But there were also a lot of complicated things I never could have predicted:

1. School would be the easiest part of my life

2. I would sustain an injury that challenged me more than anything previously had, but which would also inspire me to change my life

3. My father would die

That’s not to say that classes were easy. First semester Logic kicked my butt (though I ended up getting a B).  Even the classes I liked were a lot of work.  College is nice because you’re in the classroom for less cumulative hours than in high school, but you get more homework, which is fine, just time consuming.  You’ve gotta know how to budget your time.  So what I’m trying to say is that classes weren’t easy, but everything else was harder. My dad died 3 days before I was supposed to have surgery, 9 days before Christmas.  I’m not trying to illicit sympathy, I’m just trying to say that it was a lot all at once.

But I made it through.  And I am better for it and stronger for it.  This year I learned that upside down A’s exist in math(so do backward E’s), that abstractions are a no-no in fiction writing, and that Martin Luther talked a lot of trash. but I also learned that I can do anything.

I was on the Dean’s list both semesters. I got a poem and a short story published in my University’s literary magazine.  I won 3rd place in a short story writing contest. I ran a 5k.  And those are only my quantifiable accomplishments.  Did freshman year go as smoothly as I hoped?  Not even close.  But it set me up to handle any bumps I’ll face in the future and, somehow, it has given me a more positive outlook.  This year was a blessing in disguise (a really good disguise).

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#2 Dude This Class I’m In…

Sucks. It’s Math 112, aka ALGEBRA!!

Let me start by saying I’m really not dumb… I got a full ride to Madison, so that must take some intelligence, right? But about this math class…

So back in April we had to take a placement test to see which math and English classes we would be taking to start our college career. I took the test on an early Saturday morning (I HATE MORNINGS!) and needless to say I was tired, even though I made sure to go to sleep at a reasonable hour the night before. I’m taking the test and realize that it is actually really hard, like the ACT all over again. I somehow manage to finish the test without having to randomly fill in bubbles on my Scantron within the last 2 minutes of the time allotted, but I’m still not confident in my scores. I get the scores in June, right after graduation. After looking at the Algorithm, I realize that if I had scored 6 more points (out of 840), then I would be taking Calc. 1 which is what I wanted, being that I’m a Biomedical Engineering major. ONLY 6 MORE POINTS!!!! *Insert angry face*

Immediately I call the advising office to see if the math department is lenient about scores since I was so close; I get a cheerful “Yes! You should be fine, don’t worry about retaking it.”

July comes around and I come to Madison for orientation. I ask about my scores and the advisor IMMEDIATELY tells me that I have to retake the math test. And I’m looking at her like “Bish whet?” -___- She gives me the option to take it that day, or take it next week, OR take it during welcome week when I move in. Taking it that day wasn’t going to work because I wasn’t prepared. And taking it next week was impossible because I had a flight to catch for Cali the same day. So I just decide to stick with what I have. The “my life sucks” feeling set in rapidly.

I get to Madison optimistic about the course. I walk into what looks like a computer lab for class, and it comes to my attention that the ENTIRE class is online. There are 3 different lecture sections in one class. There’s NO PROFESSOR! The 3 TA’s for each lecture rotate everyday between who is going to cover a few topics.

Okay so about the class specifically. It’s 3 credits, and I have to take it for my major. There are about 100 people in the class. We meet on Tuesdays & Thursdays for an hour and a half. And it sucks terribly. We get homework every time we come to class, which was expected. The issue is that I’m teaching myself. The TA’s go through maybe 1-2 topics out of the 13-15 we were supposed to read about in the homework. To make things worse, they go over the easiest concepts, and put the hardest ones on the quizzes and exams. I got a 62% on my first written exam and a 80% on my first online exam. So you can see how this is an issue for me. I’m used to getting straight A’s. What the hell is an F? The written exam was the STRUGGLE. There were 4 questions, we had an hour to do it, no calculator was allowed, and NO PARTIAL CREDIT. What in God’s name are they thinking?! So yeah, that’s why I got a 62%. I would most definitely not ever recommend this class to anyone, ever. But I’m going to have to suck it up if I want to major in BME. The struggles of Mia…