Posts Tagged With: Anthropology

Math Tests and Hominid Skulls

Last week was horrible. I had a pre-calculus exam that covered the previous month of study and a trigonometry mid-term on the same day. I love math, but I don’t think it’s the greatest idea to be taking two math courses at once.

I spent every free hour of the week drilling the trigonometry into my brain. Most of pre-calculus is just a review of concepts I’ve covered before, so I thought it would be better to focus on the trig. Besides the pre-calc test was just one of four and the trig test was one of two, so my score on the trig test would have twice as much of an impact on my overall score in that course compared to the pre-calc test and course.

So the day of the course comes, and I have to drive about 30 miles south of home to take the 4:00PM pre-calc test on my college’s southernmost campus. It turns out I should have studied more. The pre-calc test was a bitch. It would’ve been easy if I had reviewed for several days prior to taking it. Still, I persevered and took almost the whole two hours, and in the end I did get 100% on the test. After that, I hopped back in my truck and headed 45 miles north to my college’s nothernmost campus for the 7:00PM trig test. This one was easier, but only because I had spent the whole week reviewing. The first half had to be done without calculator, so we could prove a good conceptual grasp of the subject. That’s why I love trig–most people hate deriving formulas and proving identities, but I think it’s the best part of math, and trig is filled with it. I took the entire 2 hours, checking and double-checking my work. I haven’t received my score yet, but I feel very confident. I finally got home at 9:30 that night. I think I would have vomited if I saw another equation.

The next several days I took it easy. Bad idea! This week I’m still suffering from a lack of ambition. Is it mid-semester blues? Am I burned-out from all the math last week? Taking several days off probably didn’t actually help me. Instead of being revitalizing me, it made me lazy.

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Today, news sites are filled with the story of a hominid skull found in Georgia (the European country). Apparently, the researchers believe this skull could mean a rewrite of hominid taxonomy. According to one article, the skull “could be evidence that early hominids are actually all members of a single species.” Why is this important to me? Well, just two weeks ago I did a research essay for my anthropology course where I proposed this very “rewrite” on the basis of previous evidence. Now I feel validated. When I had written the essay, I assumed that my position was probably wrong–that I simply did not have the background in anthropology to make sweeping proposals like that. However, given the little knowledge I did have of the subject it seemed to me that the evidence suggests that early hominids were all the same species. I’m sure my knowledge was too limited and my reasoning to shallow to convince anthropologists on the basis of my essay alone, but it feels good to know that I may actually have had some insight into a subject that is still new to me.

Categories: College, College Life, Math | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Forward to Fall 2013

Notepad and Pen

Here’s a picture of a notepad and pen. Just because…

For the fall semester, I enrolled in five courses, and I’m excited about all of them. I’m going to note some of my feelings/ideas about the coming semester, and after it’s all over, I’ll see if it went as well as I think it will.

I will be taking all of my upcoming courses online, except for one: chemistry will be a blended course–lectures online, but lab in the physical world. By taking them online, I can work on raising funds to support my addiction to education.

Introduction to Anthropology

I picked this course primarily because it seemed to be the most interesting course that satisfies segments of both the Gordon Rule and International/Intercultural requirements. I know there will be at least four essays, but they don’t scare me–they’re only required to be two pages long. As long as I find the subject interesting, I don’t mind writing the essays. I think I will enjoy learning a little more about the history of that species of rascals that currently infests Earth.

Introductory Chemistry

I’m really looking forward to this course. I’ve always been interested in learning about the fundamental building blocks of nature, and while the elements of chemistry might not be the quarks of quantum mechanics, I think I will learn a lot and enjoy doing it. I didn’t study chemistry in high school, and I’ve never “played” in a laboratory, so I’m really looking forward to that aspect of it. If I can learn the skills to become the next Breaking Bad methmaker, that’d be a bonus. I kid.

Trigonometry

I’ve studied trigonometry before, so I don’t think this course will be very difficult for me. It will mostly be review, but I have to take the course before I can enroll for the calculus series.

Pre-calculus Algebra

Same as above. About half of this course will be spent reviewing what I just got done reviewing in College Algebra. I’ll slog through it looking forward to the day when I can finally enroll in that first calculus course.

Creative Writing

I’m still vacillating a little about this course. If I don’t like the syllabus when I look at it, I might drop the course. I hate poetry, but I enjoy writing. I have a moderate interest in writing science fiction, and I’m hoping this course can help me. If you have any advice for me, please leave a comment!

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