Dr. Suess

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed! Yes indeed! Ninety Eight and Three Quarters guarenteed!"

Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's Saturday

I've spent a good part of the last 24 hours sleeping. Although, I did go to Macy's and got 2 pair of pants with pockets. I learned that a majority of my pants/capri's/skirts ... had no pockets. ... didnt' need them when all I do is go to grocery store/church/doctor appointments.

I definitely need them at school !!

This week at school has been quite the week. Monday, a holiday did nothing to make it seem shorter! I had a Humanities test on Wednesday and an Algebra test on Thursday. Because the Humanities teacher did not have the tests back for us on Friday, nor posted on blackboard (electronic webpage where our grades are supposed to be posted) I've got no idea how I did on the humanities test.

It will be Tuesday before I know the Algebra test. Our first homework was due on last Tuesday, that wasn't handed back in before the test, so I wasn't sure how I'd done on that before taking the test ... yuck

The humanities test was more difficult to study for than I'd anticipated. The teacher, who is nice, but has more of an artistic bent to her mindset than I do, thinks on a totally different plane ...and I found her outline for the test difficult to study from.
At first, I thought it was *ME* and being out of school for almost 20 years, then showed my son ..and realized ...oh no! It's not me ... it's ..well ... it's the way she thinks and the way I think.

Unfortunately, we got the outline on a Tuesday night, and I figured out her 'outline' and how it related to the book ...the night before the test a full WEEK after recieving the outline!!! I spent HOURS trying to get seemingly random facts into my brain which actually were not out of order, nor random ...just ... she and I approach things totally different!! YIKES!

So, next test, I'll know!!! Hopefully, my familiarity with the Renaissance era will have gotten me through. The infuriating thing was not her study tools, nor her teaching ..nor anything but my blessed stupidity ... and breaking the first rule of test taking.

Extra credit ...was identifying a picture ... Couldn't remember the name, so I didn't stress, figured I'd get half credit for putting down the painter ... put down who I thought it was ... and wrote it down ..then thought ..nah.... it's that guy back there from question 3 ...... (who was not the right answer in question 3, but just there as a choice) ...so I erased MY gut instinct ...and ... wrote down the extra name from question 3 ...only
I was right the first time.

ARGHARGH ARGH ARGH... I have known since I WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD DO NOT ERASE YOUR GUT INSTINCT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She threw me with a trick question, although I got it right. She asked about the printing press and what it did for the people of the renaissance. She had one question totally wrong, and then 2 identical answers. Except the year ...one year .. in the 1300 (important to church history) and one year in the 1400's .. my brain, having had lots of Bible/church history ... split in two as I tried to figure out ..which was which!

I answered correctly *whew*

Then came the algebra test. While I've been known to have a few panic attacks. I know few people with eating disorders who've not had them on occassion. Most of mine are in fact, food related, therapy related or the such. The last time someone actually SAW me have a panic attack ... I was about 21. I'm 43 .... I've since learned to pretty well internalize them (granted, the end result does some pretty good self punishment ...but still ...my panic attacks are not visible)

So Wednesday night, Don tries to help me ... and I'm in tears, repeatidly. He and I don't quite see eye to eye. He also doesn't understand that when he says "you're smart enough to get this if you'd just focus" that all that does is to serve to make me feel even more stupid than I'm already feeling for not understanding what I'm doing wrong and I really really really REALLY don't get this. His getting angry because I've just done 3 problems 'just like it' (um, no, they weren't they did not look anything like it to me, just because they did to him, did not mean they did to me) ...

Keep in mind ... I NEVER took algebra, not even a semester of it ... so it's not like it's been 30 years since i took it and I've forgotten it ... I never HAD it. I'm learning all of this for the first time. Pre algebra was in 7th grade ...and that my friends ...was a very very long time ago and I don't remember anything from it except that I had the best teacher in the world and that Russell Sellers was in my class and was the cutest boy in the 7th grade and he was my boyfriend and he'd picked ME over all the other girls.

That's ...not much to go on 31 years later!

So, I'm working Wednesday night going over something about distributive properties to simplify like terms. What I don't understand (in all reality ... I did not get it) is that I'm not solving an equation ...I did not know that. I really didn't. I'd done over 40 problems ..and through tears and frustration I can't figure out WHY I'm doing what I'm doing and why this is like this .... because it's not DONE ... (because I think to simplify something means to finish, to finish means to =) so ..why is it that when I get to 7y -14 am I not FINISHING it? It took me 4 hours to realize there was no realization that there was no '=' and I was not doing an EQUATION.

(no, no one had explained this to me)

So, I go to school early on Thursday and I work in the math lab, and I work with a math teacher ..who then frustrates me a bit as she tries to show me an 'easier' way with a principal I've not been shown yet (because she's assuming I'm retaking this as a review from not having had algebra in 30 years) and then she backs up and says 'oh forget that! ...

I started to go up stairs about 15 minutes before class and i could not breathe. I called my former pastors wife ...because I knew I could call her and ask her to pray for me and not only get prayer ..but not get 'my poor baby' or "i'm so sorry" or 'buck it up huck" or "suck it up cream puff" or "if you'd just pay attention"
but ... I'd get "ok, let's look at this for what it really is ....
step 1
step 2
step 3
step 4
and pray"

Which, is exactly what she did.
But while on the phone with her, I'm not breathing, or breathing too hard, with tears pouring down my face and I can't keep my legs under my feet and a lady comes up behind me and guids me to a chair. She writes me a note and says "I'm a nursing instructor, are you ok or are you having a panic attack? Should we call 911?"

I pointed to the panic attack. The next thing I know, I've got 2 people bringing me water and 2 wet rags, one's on my neck, one on my forehead ...all this while Carla is talking to me about my class.

She reminds me that this is all brand new information and I'm expecting myself to be able to solve trigonomotry and get straight A's because ...hey! I'm Peggikaye ... i should be perfect. Only, I've never been perfect, I just think everyone thinks I should be or I won't be accepted.
She reminds me that the worst that can happen is that I fail the test ... I show my work, every step ...and then the teacher can see what I'm not understanding ...and then he can help me.
Take my time. Do not be the student that has to be the best student in the class and be the first one done.

By the time I went into class, I could almost breathe ... almost. He handed out the test ...most people were done in 15 to 20 minutes. It took me 55 minutes. I cried several times in the test. I have no idea how I did ...but me... ms I hate showing my work ...showed every step I took to get to where I was going ...(he also said he'd give partial credit for work shown that was right even if the answer was wrong)
I did my best .....

He and I had many discussions these last three weeks ...about absolute value and things I'm having a hard time accepting ....

Carla told me that she won't believe that I can't accept those stupid things that 'just are' in math.
Just because ... she said that I accept things of God on blind faith all the time ...and if I can do that ...then I certainly can do it in the Math he created as well ... gee did she have to put it that way?

The severity of the panic attack has left me physically exhausted. I think it is what has left me emotionally worn this weekend. It has been well over 20 years since I've had a panic attack that severe. The physical fall out .. has been pretty significant .... Autoimmunity is worsened by stress and my body is paying the price.

I'm resting a lot this weekend ...caught up on homework and reading ....

I hope that Tuesday he's got the results so I can see ... .. ... ...


  1. Wow..you've suddenly made me glad I'm out of college. I hope you ace the tests!

  2. I know. Panic Attacks are so hard on the body, mind and soul. Rest and refuel.

  3. wow!! I'd have a panic attack too! I hate test & any of that kind of stuff. I'll be praying for you. I give you credit for being brave and stong enough to go through all of this..the end result will be worth it.

  4. I had a day where I came home and just cried too. You're not alone. It's hard to go back; your working so hard trying to study and you want good grades, all this while still having to live our adult lives. I put a new, very stressful, job in the mix as well. Not something I really wanted to do. So, I sure feel for you. I can relate. Feel a spirit hug from me.

  5. I didn't quite FAIL the test, I got a 67%. Math instructor said to look at it as closer to a C than a D. (sounds like fast talking to me!).
    I also came out understanding what I did wrong. He said he'd rather have a student fail a test understanding what they did wrong, than pass a test and still be confused.

    Still struggling. My hubby and son have lost all patience in tutoring me. They think that by now I should have caught on to what is happening in class (are they totally serious? 31 years since pre algebra and I'm supposed to have caught up?)

  6. Hang in there. You just started. It's a lot different when you haven't been in school for some time. If you didn't have the math classes, it's going to take you time to get that. Is there another student you could team up with to study? Sometimes that helps. I wish I could help. I'm bored out of my mind learning about various organizations and the instructor loves outlines...I am not into outlines. There is only so much where you can say something that means the same thing, but you must write it differently. I forgot how they have their own quarks and we are at the mercy of them.

  7. If you are still having trouble with the algebra, and would like some help, contact me and we can see if I am able to make algebra clearer for you.
    dj dot jezabella at gmail dot com

    Qualifications to make such an offer:
    I went back to school as an adult, and a teacher suggested I should be a tutor. I tutored classes that I had taken, and then ended up tutoring for a class I was taking at the same time because of the lack of qualified tutors. I was also drafted to tutor algebra a few times because of the tutor shortage. If you want to here the 'internet tutor story' just ask.

    How I got here:
    reading Doc of Ages: Zetia and cancer, and clicked to see your profile, the name was so appealing.

    Why was I there?
    Daughter was taking vytorin for her cholesterol levels.
    More about daughter at