William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

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Tales from Calculus Class

The whole class knew we'd be getting our midterm marks back today. The place was astir.

It was announced that the average for our section of the course was 59%. Gasps. Laughter. Making it even worse, four people got close to 100% - hence, there must have been a lot of failures. Figures like 40 students out of the 120 enrolled (all sections) were thrown about.

Before the class got started, I raised a tongue-in-cheek question, something like:

"Since it's prudent to withdraw from the course if one has failed this test, might it be a good idea to hand the exams back now so that nobody wastes their time in the lecture?"

This idea actually caught on like wildfire, though I knew it was a bad idea. I was just trying to be funny. It sort of worked.

Getting into the lecture proper, we looked at functions and their inverses. To provide a real-life example, the professor modelled the #14 bus route as a sort of function.

"Okay, so does anybody know the inverse of the #14 bus?" he asked.
"The #61 North Preston," I answered. "It's a through-route."
"Okay, but where does it hook up?"
"Scotia Square!"

Huge laughs. This was probably my greatest classroom moment this year.

At long last, the class came to an end and the professor brought out his knapsack. I asked if there were any spare tissues and even this got a few smiles. I was having a pretty good day in the comedy department.

As the exams were being handed back, I heard an exclamation of "28!" which was later followed by, "I've never done so poorly on anything in my life!" Wow. Clearly, she's never tried to teach science in the medium of English at a Japanese private grade school. Also, I once scored an 8 in Math 10. That was after I got a 16. Third time I got, I think, around 22. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that if this calculus midterm was the low point in her life, she hasn't got much to complain about. j/k I didn't tell her this, though.

So then it was my time. I was nervous, in a way I hadn't been since auditioning for Canadian Idol. Big things were hanging in the balance. In the back of my mind I wondered if I could still get into graduate school for English.


It looks like I'll hang around a little bit longer. I scored 65/105, which comes out to about 62%.

Edit: Actually, it's 65/100, for an exact 65%! Thanks go to Nicole for pointing this out.

Full midterm madness recap to come, but for now, it looks like I've lived to fight another day!
Tags: exams, math, saint mary's, school, tests

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