View Full Version : So, apparently I'm a moron.

Project nachonaco
05-08-2009, 11:26 PM
Not only did I place into a class of idiots (ie. middle school algebra), I didn't pass the first time. I got a D.

This time I got a C.

I feel really, really stupid. What kind of moron can't pass middle school algebra?!?

I am very upset right now. I mean, it won't count toward my GPA, but you still gotta pay.

I guess I should just pray that the professor have mercy (I got a 78% on the final and a 70% on the class), or something. But I don't know what I'm going to tell my mom, because I told her I would pass (I really thought I would get an A on the final).

My professor KNOWS I worked hard on this exam.

So maybe she'll still pass me.

Or maybe I'm just stupid, that's always the (probably correct) answer.

05-08-2009, 11:32 PM
But a C is passing. It means "average". Not stupid, not vast amounts of suckatude. It means you passed the class--unless school's gotten very very strange since I last attended. But, then, my employer will still reimburse me expenses if my daughter pulls a C in a class, so I'm just really confused.

Some people are really good at math, including algebra. Some people (like me) can barely manage to balance their checkbooks while they're really good at other things (like English). Doesn't mean you're stupid. Stop beating yourself up for it.

Project nachonaco
05-08-2009, 11:33 PM
But a C is passing. It means "average". Not stupid, not vast amounts of suckatude. It means you passed the class--unless school's gotten very very strange since I last attended. But, then, my employer will still reimburse me expenses if my daughter pulls a C in a class, so I'm just really confused.

Some people are really good at math, including algebra. Some people (like me) can barely manage to balance their checkbooks while they're really good at other things (like English). Doesn't mean you're stupid. Stop beating yourself up for it.

You had to have an 80% to pass.

05-08-2009, 11:35 PM
It took me twice to pass Algebra. I'm not a moron, just math impaired.

Oddly, 20 years later, (after 20 years of using almost no studied math) I aced binary first time through.

Hang in there, my friend. One field of weakness does not a moron make.

05-08-2009, 11:36 PM
You had to have an 80% to pass.

Ah, so your school rules are buttf***ed. Gotcha.

Sorry. Here's hoping the teacher helps you out here.

05-08-2009, 11:45 PM
Man, that bites, Project. 80% is really a high mark to use as a passing grade. If it were like that when I went to school, 3/4 of the kids wouldn't pass, including me. I think you did well. Keeping fingers crossed for you.

05-08-2009, 11:58 PM
Don't beat yourself up too bad. My daughter (15) is a HS fresh, and she brought home 27 F's in algebra this semester. AND five incompletes! She had to almost be TRYING to fail, though insists that she wasn't. Of course. But, somehow, she still manged to wrangle a D out of the semester, and she will pass onto the next class, credits intact.

Your school really sucks. But at least you gave it great effort.

05-09-2009, 12:09 AM
I had the worst time with Algebra. However, I sailed through Geometry. I think it has to do with the way you learn things. You are not dumb by any means. The ways of teaching math are a bit archaic and many (NOT ALL) math teachers know their subject really well, but are not skilled at ways to convey the information to students who are perhaps more 'right brained'. Focus on your strengths. (Which was why I majored in English)

Jersey Chick
05-09-2009, 12:19 AM
I took algebra in my freshman year and had a problem with the teacher (who told me, in front of the class, no less, that no matter what I did, I wouldn't pass his class. He was a real A-hole), I got a tutor, got a D, and we celebrated.

Geometry in my sophomore year , a good teacher, who also tutored me. I got a D. We celebrated.

Fast forward to college - I tested so low on the placement test, I was put in remedial algebra (no credit toward graduation) - I got a tutor. It was a pass/fail thing, I passed.

Take notice of the pattern.

I'm a math idiot because at the same time, I was failing freshman algebra, I was in AP English classes and the district's gifted program. You aren't a moron or an idiot or stupid or anything - math just isn't your thing. It isn't everyone's.

My advice? Get a tutor. Now. Trust me. It WILL help. And it doesn't have to cost a fortune, either. Even if it's just a friend who's really good at math can help. Sometimes it's not you, but the person teaching. Trust me.

Would I lie????

{{{HUGS}}} I feel your pain. Really.

05-09-2009, 02:12 AM
((Hugs)) I absolutely sucked at algebra. Sucked. I just couldn't get my head around plugging all those arbitrary numbers into those equally arbitrary masses of letters and math signs. Even my mom, who's a retired accountant and better with numbers than I'll ever be, hated algebra. (I was Regents or Honors in everything in high school - except math. I was dropped to the lowest level for that.)

Strangely enough, though, I did really well when I took physics (which was a desperate attempt to avoid having to take chemistry - whole other story.) In that class, it wasn't just random alphanumeric soup - there, it was formulas. You had to know what each part represented, what it did, why it did what it did and why you did what you did to get the answer. Which, being more of a narrative, made sense for me.

Clair Dickson
05-09-2009, 02:46 AM
With math, if you're not very strong in the math-brain, you'll need a GOOD teacher to work with you. Algebra can be tricky and some people really do have trouble working with it. Some people can't sing either, and they're not stupid because of it.

It's not just a good teacher that's necessary, but one that can explain it in a way you understand. Project, how do you do on homework assignments? Do you have practice questions where you can see how well you're understanding things? (I also suggest goggling for places online that have practice questions that you can get immediate feedback on-- see if you know what you're doing.)

I struggled forever with Trig until I stopped listening to the teacher, gritted my teeth and taught myself. I just couldn't get what the teacher was saying and how to work the problems. I'd made it TO Trig, obviously, but something wasn't clicking with her explanations and the way my brain processes math.

Ironically, I had few problems with Algebra. I'm not fast with mental math, but I can work my way though it. I struggled so bad with Geometry... and still do when the kids ask me Geometry questions (we use an online course content delivery system to help add classes that don't have enough students for a class and teacher, and I oversee this lab of independently working students.) A lot of people I know said Geometry was easy for them, but Algebra was hard. It really depends on the student.

And as far as I'm concerned, if there's more letters in your problem than numbers, that's just wrong. :D

Best of luck Nacho. And what's middle school in one school is not middle school in another. When I was in middle school, no teacher taught Algebra... there weren't any students to take it, allegedly. (But then again, all students started in one of two basic math courses... but I'm really, really, biased against the level of education offered in that school district. Part of the whole thing where I dropped out and got my GED after 2.5 years of high school)

05-09-2009, 02:53 AM
Every mind works differently. Don't sweat it. I have a brother like that...can do everything better than me...but blew it at math. I could sleep through class and get A+...it's not always about how hard you try...some minds are better made for math than others. Maybe if you work closely with a tutor...or someone who is willing to teach you another way. There are so many tricks to math...some people just don't get it and don't get it and then someone comes along and says, "Have you ever looked at it this way?" and suddenly it all seems to make sense. Don't beat yourself up over it.

05-09-2009, 02:54 AM
Don't beat yourself up about it, Project. I failed Elementary Algebra (that's the equivalent of 8th/9th grade algebra) four times before I finally passed. Everytime I failed it, I had been in a class of over twenty-five other students. The last time I took it, I was at a technical university and there were only three other people in the class with me.

Math is impossible for some of us. Look at it this way - you're in good company!


Wayne K
05-09-2009, 02:58 AM
If you're hopeless at math screw it, just pass--Find out what you're good at-if it's something you love cool- and push everything else aside.

Maybe you're a writer.

ETA: you'll need math to write too, so scratch above suggestion and study harder.

Math was easier for me when I started picturing the numbers as money.

05-09-2009, 03:10 AM
ETA: you'll need math to write too, so scratch above suggestion and study harder.

Math was easier for me when I started picturing the numbers as money.

Um. I don't need math to write.

Wayne K
05-09-2009, 03:43 AM
Um. I don't need math to write.

Word counts. It's all about the word counts.

05-09-2009, 03:44 AM
Word counts. It's all about the word counts.

I just push the button in MS Word. Do you count your words individually?

Wayne K
05-09-2009, 03:45 AM
When I wrote my first book in 1979 I actually did.

It was kind of fun.

05-09-2009, 03:45 AM
I just push the button in MS Word. Do you count your words individually?

There's a button? No wonder it takes me so damned long to come up with a word count...

Wayne K
05-09-2009, 03:46 AM
I'm becoming a real nostalgic ass lately.

05-09-2009, 03:47 AM
There are worse kinds of asses.

05-09-2009, 03:48 AM
I(1) used(2) to(3) just(4) put(5) the(6) word(7) count(8) beside(9) each(10) word(11), so(12) that(13) I(14) could(15) keep(16) track(17).

05-09-2009, 03:49 AM
There are worse kinds of asses.

Yeah. Lactating asses.

05-09-2009, 04:11 AM
This last year I took two college courses for math, Pre-Algebra and Elementary Algebra. I did them through an online course through the community college. It logged the amount of hours it takes to complete the course. My professor emailed me to tell me he was proud of me for trying so hard. It took me twice as many hours to learn these concepts than other students. I got a B for Pre-Algebra and an A- for Elementary Algebra.

It was the worst two semesters of my life with me about giving up on college altogether. Want to see me break down and cry hysterically, just remind me I have two more math classes to get through for my degree. OH man! I just had to remind myself.

*runs off sobbing hysterically*

Project nachonaco
05-09-2009, 04:43 AM
I think what I might do is try and see if I can't take another placement test.....:D

05-09-2009, 04:47 AM
Yeah. Lactating asses.


Storm Dream
05-09-2009, 05:06 AM
Project, if you're a moron I don't want to know what I am.

I almost got kicked out of college because I couldn't pass their stupid remedial algebra (nevermind the high marks that I earned in other classes). Yeah, I had tutors. It didn't work for me. I still turned out OK. I'm just not a math person at all. It's never hurt me.

I am mind-boggled at 80% = passing, though. That would have screwed me (and most of my classmates) over...

I hope you are able to get another placement test and get out of there. Math is zee pits. :P

05-09-2009, 05:17 AM
I had to have my high school algebra teacher tutor me before and after school in order to pass. Then, when I took my college placement exams, I placed into an advanced math course (I've always been good at standardized tests). If I had known they were going to stick me in that class, I would have thrown the test. I failed in a very big way. I just don't have a math-oriented mind.

Matera the Mad
05-09-2009, 05:29 AM
i flunkd one semester ov inglish

05-09-2009, 05:33 AM
You had to have an 80% to pass.
Wow, that's strict! The college course in writing I teach requires 70%.

Why don't you take Statistics instead?

Little Earthquake
05-09-2009, 06:12 AM
I agree w/ everyone who's said DON'T BEAT YOURSELF UP! When I was in college, the majority of my classmates found themselves in remedial math classes and had a HARD effing time getting through.

05-09-2009, 06:18 AM
It's not you. It's the math.

05-09-2009, 06:25 AM
I'm just lucky they don't require competent singing for graduation, or I never would have made it. Math I could do. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Our weaknesses don't diminish our strengths.

05-09-2009, 11:39 AM
80% for passing does seem high, but I presume there are reasons for setting the bar at that level (reasons beyond just teacher whim or preference). Most of the time these standards are set by higher authorities, either in the school district, or even at the state level, although this does not make them automatically reasonable. But if we are going to put a finger on one nostril and blow out a snot rocket about how our schools are sidestepping teaching standards and just passing along students who haven't mastered the subjects (like in a recent illiteracy thread), we can't put our finger to the other nostril and blow out another rocket when high learning standards are set and then strictly enforced.

Please explore your various options, Pro. Sometimes there are hurdles that just have to be cleared. But they don't always have to be leaped with air to spare. It's okay if we crawl up one side and fall over onto the other. We are still over the hurdle. Find a way to get over that hurdle.

K. Taylor
05-09-2009, 12:44 PM
C's make degrees, as they say.

Math is not my thing, either. Though, in my high school, you couldn't go to the next math class without at least a C. You could pass with a D if you were going no further, but not advance. Algebra 2 is what slayed me. I had a teacher that didn't really teach, and even with a tutor, I still failed the second semester.

Could have saved some h.s. GPA senior year by dropping the class early, as my university would make me take it, anyway, to get my degree. Would rather have put it off for a better scheduled time. My mother hid that fact from me because she thought beating my head against the wall in Alg. 2 would build character. *eyeroll*

05-09-2009, 04:03 PM
Even though I'm exceptionally talented at mathematics, I had to retake first-semester calculus several times before I passed. I had already taken senior calculus in high school. How could I possibly fail stuff I had already done? Didn't feel too good about that at the time. At all.

Funniest thing about that? The second semester was much easier, and I went on to earn As in higher-level math courses. Doesn't make sense, but that's how it happened.

My point is, even the whizzes can suck at a specific approach to or subset of math. It's a big field. In my case, I apparently didn't do well with symbolic manipulation of real-valued functions...

05-09-2009, 05:53 PM
You did better than I ever did in high school math or middle school math...

For an entire year I averaged a 16% for math in high school, I failed miserably because I just couldn't understand the concept of it.... Getting the C is half the battle, you raised your grade by a whole full point, that is an accomplishment in itself.


05-09-2009, 07:43 PM
I'm turning 54 and STILL haven't been able to figure out algebra.

I get high marks with competitive singing, though (see the avatar).

Everyone struggles with some subject and aces other ones. Give yourself credit for working hard at it.

05-09-2009, 08:08 PM
Algebra is weird. It took me until my second year of university to figure it out. Trig, stats, even calculus seemed reasonable to me, but albegra? No effin way. They're all math, sure, but they're so different it's like completely different languages and none of the verb construction matches.

I'll echo what others have said: It's not you, it's the math.

(And really, don't worry about it. One or two classes will not ruin you. I bombed algebra too and I'm in an engineering program now.)

05-09-2009, 10:09 PM
Algebra doesn't really make sense until calculus. It's one of the building blocks of the language of math. Sure, you can descibe some natural phenomena with algebra but it's pretty basic all in all. It will all clear up when you move one to higher math other wise it's much like learning French and never meeting and talking to French speaking people. Language is useless unless you have someone to talk to.

05-10-2009, 01:22 AM
Project Nachonaco, your inbox is full, so I can't reply via PM.

1. Depends on where you start, but is a good range.

2. Sure.