I love algebra.
I was walking to class this past Wednesday and found myself contemplating this rather spontaneously. It really is quite lovely. I’m thinking of minoring in math (I may change my mind when I get to calculus…)
I always liked math in junior high and high school. There was something orderly and comforting about it. Now that I’m older, I’m more interested in learning the whys behind the whats (I didn’t care so much before.) I was thrilled when my math professor showed us where the quadratic formula came from. Seriously, I was giddy.
I’m finding in general that I care more about theory than I ever have before. I think it’s a particularly interesting development at this point in my education. There is a part of me that wishes I’d been more inquisitive in my younger days, but I wonder if I was just shy, or if I just didn’t know what questions to ask. Often I am still unsure what questions to ask, but I’m much less shy about it.
My classmates are interesting. As anticipated, the vast majority are a good decade younger than I am. Most have been tolerable. There are some, I’m afraid, that are in for a reality check…that since there isn’t a parent watching over their shoulder, they need to be accountable for their own actions, and pay attention to what needs to be done. Example: the syllabus for my Intro to Chemistry class plainly states (I think it’s in all capital letters, even) to bring a calculator in every class. We’ve been working on conversions and heat which, while a calculator is not absolutely necessary, it eliminates the annoyance of having to multiply and divide cumbersome numbers. Every week in recitation, we have a quiz. This week, not one but three students forget their calculators. The TA is way nicer than I would have been, and allowed the students to borrow her calculator, clearing it between each student. My thought is, we learned how to divide and multiply numbers with decimals in about the 3rd or 4th grade…time to dredge up those memories. Sucks to be you. And hey, even if you don’t get the answer, you’d at least get partial credit if you show your work…but I’m thinking that the next time they would remember their calculator (by the way, in case you’re wondering, using the calculator on the cell phone is strictly verboten.)
In other news…
I’m mildly nervous about the upcoming production of The Music Man. It’s been great fun, and I’ve met some wonderful people. I’m not completely certain that plays are my thing (I think I might be more of a concert person…years of orchestra concerts and all that…and I haven’t gotten over the feeling slightly stupid while giving reactions), but I’m glad to have the experience. Dress rehearsals start tomorrow!