Math 118 The bane of my existence

Published 8:51 am Thursday, July 23, 2009

The whole &dquo;ivory tower&dquo; spiel bears little to no resemblance to the experience I&squo;ve had in Math 118 at UNC&squo;s summer school. At UNC, everybody has to take a math class in order to graduate. If you don&squo;t want to actually, y&squo;know, do math in your math class, then you take Math 118. It&squo;s supposed to be the easiest class at Carolina ‐ friends who have taken it related stories of having written essays on notable mathematicians as extra credit assignments, or turning in &dquo;geometry scrapbooks&dquo; for their final grades. It&squo;s clear that most Math 118 instructors don&squo;t actually take teaching the class too seriously.Well…it turns out I got stuck with the one Math 118 teacher who takes it seriously. The gall of him ‐ he expects us to take notes in class, study for tests, and do (gasp!) homework!&bsp; Naturally, the vast majority of my class was not pleased about this prospect. I wasn&squo;t too jazzed about it either, but at least I dealt with my frustration by pretending to pay attention in class while surreptitiously doing a crossword puzzle in the most passive-aggressive manner I could muster. Many of my classmates are way more vocal about how much they islike being in our course, taking an almost child-like glee in complaining to our graduate instructor about seemingly every facet of the class, from the homework to the instructor&squo;s handwriting to the very time that the class starts. Now I&squo;m pretty darn lazy, but I&squo;m not so lazy that I can&squo;t drag my butt out of bed in time for a class that starts at 11:30 a.m. Have my classmates forgotten that about three years ago, they were in high school where you had to be there at like 7:45 a.m.?Either way, all of this abuse has turned our professor against us. I think he more than kind of hates us. I&squo;ve noted a steady but sure decline in our class&squo;s grades throughout the summer session, to the point where most of the class has about a &squo;C&squo; average. I can truthfully say that I haven&squo;t learned much math in there, but I sure as heck have learned the non-verbal tics that the instructor gives off when he&squo;s angry.&bsp; When he&squo;s frustrated, he pulls on his fingers as if he could tug his finger out of its socket and have a missile to throw at us if we ask another stupid question.&bsp; There are plenty of others, but I don&squo;t want to get snippy. I will say that I could probably write a book on all of the little things he does when he&squo;s mad, though.I won&squo;t do very well in this class, and it&squo;s definitely my fault. For every completed crossword puzzle that rests in the bottom of my backpack, that&squo;s a letter grade I could have earned in Math 118. Since I only finished about two and a half crossword puzzles this summer, it&squo;s fitting that I have a B-minus. But who needs math anyway? I&squo;ve got a TI-89, a calculator so sweet that if it had any more buttons, it could probably read my mind. I&squo;m not saying that taking this class was the worst decision I&squo;ve ever made, but it&squo;s probably the second-worst.

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