I spent a good while yesterday practicing for the challenge test to hopefully get out of taking intermediate algebra this semester. In fact, I had spent several hours a week since I got here practicing for it, not to mention going through some video tutorials that I have on my computer over summer vacation. It was all to no avail though. I worked through the first few problems on the test, and couldn't do the fourth, and realized that I really had no idea how to even go about solving the rest of them. So it looks like I'll be stuck with 19 credits all semester, not to mention having to buy the book, which wasn't cheap either. To add insult to injury, I've already taken this course before at Mansfield, and got an A in it. Unfortunately, my retention span for math is literally hours after I've studied it, so that doesn't do me any good.
I took algebra three times in high school. The first time I didn't understand anything, and the second and third time I did, but it wasn't enough to improve how I did on the SAT, or my entrance exams to Mansfield. Thus, Mansfield required me to take Elementary Algebra in addition to my other courses. I did, and passed it with an A, although I spent more time working on it than all of my other courses (which I also got a's in) combined. Then last semester I transferred to Bryan. They accepted everything on my transcript from Mansfield except the elementary algebra course, because it is an 090 (remedial) level course. What they did unfortunately accept were my abysmal SAT math scores, which according to Bryan's policies required me to take not one but TWO remedial math courses. I spent the first week of last semester when I should have been adjusting to the new school and getting to know people feverishly studying to test out of the first course, which I did.
This summer, knowing that I would have to take the second one, I started studying in early August, reviewing some tutorials that I kept from the text when I took the course at Mansfield. When I arrived on campus, I was forced to drop one of my upper level Comm courses because a clerical error on the school's end last semester had scheduled me to be taking it and Intermediate Algebra at the exact same time. When I finally got to the class and found out when I would have a chance to test out, I started studying again. All this leading up to today with me staring uncomprehendingly at the pages of paper in front of me for fifteen minutes before getting up and dropping them on the professors desk and telling her not to worry about even grading it.
So I will be taking this class, and then, when I'm done with it, I'm still not done, because I have to take regular college algebra.
So to the few people who read this blog, if math comes easily to you, and you were able to go into a math based major for which you got lots of government and academic scholarships and will lead to easily obtaining a high-paid and respected job afterwords, be thankful.
And those of you who hate math as much as most people but were able to understand it enough in high school to be done with it and only have to ever take ONE math course in college, be thankful.
As for me, by the time I'm done with college, I will essentially have been forced take basic algebra SIX times, and it will have done nothing for me, accept possibly cause me to graduate late.