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Old 10-18-07, 07:37 AM   #1
eofelis 
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Treading water this semester in calc II and physics :(

I'm having an unusual semester at college. I have not one but 2 classes that I'm really struggling in. The third class (Environmental Geology) is so easy and I think about it so little that someday I wonder if I'll just forget to go to class.

Anyway, Calculus II and Physics I classes are really being a challenge! (Mostly just venting here)

The physics class looks like it shouldn't be too much trouble. This is a Fundamental Mechanics class. It's supposed to be calc based but the prof isn't having us use any calc at all, just simple algebra and trig. I feel like I understand it ok but I just can't catch a break. I even have 2 extra text books at home to read as a supplement. I've had 2 tests, 81 and 77. I'm sitting on a 78 right now. Cutoff for a C is 65 in this class so I probably won't fail it. I'd like to get a B out of the class, but my grade is going into subduction. I'm planning on going on to Physics II. That's as far as I'm going for physics.

I just took Calc I twice. Got a C the first time and retook it and got an A. I'm taking Calc II with the same good prof that I got an A in Calc I with. We have had 4 quizzes (worth 20 pts each). I've gotten a 9, 18.5, 20, 5 on quiz scores. I got a 72 on the last test. So I'm barely passing in that class.

I'm taking the Calc II and phys II to prepare for grad school. I don't need then for my major.

A gal who is also a geology major that I have had classes with previously is in both these classes with me and is doing about as well (or bad) as I am. I have a 3.9 GPA with over 100 credits, so I'm not exactly a slacker (in school anyway). Other things in my life are fine, homelife is good and I don't have many other worries. I'm working on campus a bit, just grading some papers, doing teaching assisting work.

I'm not panicking over this, but trying to talk myself through it. So what's the worst that happens? I retake the classes. I found retaking the Calc I class the be a positive experience, I was more excited about seeing something I was already a little familiar with. Time and money isn't too much of an issue. I was planning in taking another year (I'll finish Spring 2009) and I'm on grants and scholarships (no loans). I guess I feel mostly embarrassed to be doing so poorly after cruising through all my upper division geology classes already. After 6 years of college I'm getting a bit tired of it, but I'm afraid to stop.
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Old 10-18-07, 07:40 AM   #2
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Go talk to the professor. See if he can give you any help, or point you towards a good tutor. Also, if you explain your situation to him (why your taking it, how much work your putting in, how busy you are in life(even if that last part is a stretch)) so if you need to he may be willing to bump you up a grade point.

I've had teachers who were willing to spend all sorts of extra time with me to boost my grade, and help my understanding, I've had others who were willing to let me re-do homeworks or give me extra projects to boost my grade, and I've had others who have told me to F off. But you never know which is which till you chat with them.
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Old 10-18-07, 08:42 AM   #3
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Squegeeboo already took my suggestion. A tutor. I was fine in Calc classes, but I can relate to the Physics. I struggled through Physics I and II. I guess it just wasn't my thing.

My University Physics teachers kind of ran tutor session during their office hours. That was helpful. Also our science and math departments had tutoring services where senior level students tutored the more junior subjects (I think it was even free to students). If nothing like that...spend a few bucks and get a tutor. A few hours a week with a tutor could make all the difference.
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Old 10-18-07, 08:44 AM   #4
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And, if the professor is a cool person, you can ask him/her to tutor you over a drink or two at the local pub. Talk about bonding and an easy way to get a grade point bump if you are just a point or two under the next level.
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Old 10-18-07, 09:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
I'm having an unusual semester at college. I have not one but 2 classes that I'm really struggling in. The third class (Environmental Geology) is so easy and I think about it so little that someday I wonder if I'll just forget to go to class.

Anyway, Calculus II and Physics I classes are really being a challenge! (Mostly just venting here)

The physics class looks like it shouldn't be too much trouble. This is a Fundamental Mechanics class. It's supposed to be calc based but the prof isn't having us use any calc at all, just simple algebra and trig. I feel like I understand it ok but I just can't catch a break. I even have 2 extra text books at home to read as a supplement. I've had 2 tests, 81 and 77. I'm sitting on a 78 right now. Cutoff for a C is 65 in this class so I probably won't fail it. I'd like to get a B out of the class, but my grade is going into subduction. I'm planning on going on to Physics II. That's as far as I'm going for physics.

I just took Calc I twice. Got a C the first time and retook it and got an A. I'm taking Calc II with the same good prof that I got an A in Calc I with. We have had 4 quizzes (worth 20 pts each). I've gotten a 9, 18.5, 20, 5 on quiz scores. I got a 72 on the last test. So I'm barely passing in that class.

I'm taking the Calc II and phys II to prepare for grad school. I don't need then for my major.

A gal who is also a geology major that I have had classes with previously is in both these classes with me and is doing about as well (or bad) as I am. I have a 3.9 GPA with over 100 credits, so I'm not exactly a slacker (in school anyway). Other things in my life are fine, homelife is good and I don't have many other worries. I'm working on campus a bit, just grading some papers, doing teaching assisting work.

I'm not panicking over this, but trying to talk myself through it. So what's the worst that happens? I retake the classes. I found retaking the Calc I class the be a positive experience, I was more excited about seeing something I was already a little familiar with. Time and money isn't too much of an issue. I was planning in taking another year (I'll finish Spring 2009) and I'm on grants and scholarships (no loans). I guess I feel mostly embarrassed to be doing so poorly after cruising through all my upper division geology classes already. After 6 years of college I'm getting a bit tired of it, but I'm afraid to stop.
You shouldn't be taking classes like that in college if you couldn't get them done in high school. Seriously. You don't have what it takes, and the teacher is trying to show you that.
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Old 10-18-07, 10:13 AM   #6
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I've found that when it comes to calc and physics specifically, different people learn the material best in different ways. Definately go to office hours as much as you can, both TA and prof. Bring specific questions and they'll be happy to help. Otherwise, if you don't need calculus later in life, then treading water is fine. You'll find that GPA doesnt really matter...
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Old 10-19-07, 01:35 PM   #7
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I went to chat with my physics prof. I told him I was concerned about my grade and asked if he had any suggestions (besides the obvious: study) on how to improve my test scores. I told him I'd like to get a B because I was going on to Phys II and grad school. I told him that I would consider retaking the class if I got a C because Physics is an important class and I wanted to do well in it. He offered some suggestions for studying and told me "not to worry about having to take the class again", that I was doing fine. I think it was good for him to know that I was concerned about it and maybe he will take that into consideration at the end of the semester and give me the benefit of the doubt if I'm on the C-B line.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:38 PM   #8
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Great work eofelis. Now just stop by maybe one every week or two with questions and the such, and he should def. bump you up if you are on the C/B line.
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Old 10-19-07, 08:12 PM   #9
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Don't feel bad about retaking Calc... most people actually need more than a semester (myself included) to really grasp most concepts.
Physics- They say calc based, but your right there is little calc that you actually use in class. It will come up during discussion about work and force, but honestly if you have a decent professor you wouldn't even have to know calc to figure out whats going on.
Talk to the professor, or also take advantage of free tutoring, and help rooms/sessions if your department offers them. Often a graduate student can put a different spin on the material then your professor.

-From a physics major. o and ask me some questions if you need help!
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Old 10-19-07, 08:18 PM   #10
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You retake classes when you get bad grades?
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Old 10-19-07, 09:12 PM   #11
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I'm taking the Calc II and phys II to prepare for grad school...After 6 years of college I'm getting a bit tired of it, but I'm afraid to stop.
Don't go to grad school.
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Old 10-19-07, 10:08 PM   #12
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Sometimes it just takes a different instructor to get something. I took a lot of engineering classes in school and when my son was learning Algebra, I showed him some tricks and some different methods I learned . He picked it up right way, but his teacher wigged cause he was not using the method they were using. No flexibility can be a tad teaching tool.
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Old 10-20-07, 12:04 AM   #13
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You retake classes when you get bad grades?
Yea, most courses you have to have a c in the prerequisite course. Grades have inflated like money, passing or being average is no longer good enough.
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Old 10-20-07, 02:23 AM   #14
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Don't go to grad school.
Or at least take a year off first.
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Old 10-20-07, 03:27 AM   #15
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Or at least take a year off first.
or seven
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