Friday, January 20, 2012

When all else fails, X ='s 8

At the ripe old age of 38 I am still on the quest to get my College Education going.  I have never been what you would call a "traditional" student. In High School I was a Cooperative Education Student, I worked one week and went to school the following week. (GO CO-OP A!)

I never took S.A.T. exams and once I graduated I went to The Wood School for Secretarial Studies (http://www.woodtobecoburn.edu/).  I worked for the New York City Board of Education and decided it was time I started College.  I applied to S.E.E.K. at Queens College.  I was excited to be accepted into the S.E.E.K. Program (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge: an opportunity program for financially and academically disadvantaged students.) http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/student_affairs/financialaid/SEEK.html
I became a Queens College Student on the cusp of  my 21st birthday during a Spring Semester.

I have not been able to re-enter as I have yet to pass the Math assessment exam. Yes, to many this is quite elementary, for me it's just been the most difficult thing I have ever had to do.

I have been able to take an Immersion Math Workshop which culminates in me taking the assessment test.  Once I pass this exam I can register for classes, move forward with my collegiate education and keep on going.  I have tutors and have had wonderful professors.  The math is just so emotionally trying.  I don't get it. I feel quite stupid when the simplest of equations just don't make sense.  As a freshman at Queens College I would write poetry about my lack of comprehension of the math, instead of doing the exam:

            Numbers all around me, Equations that confound me. 
            There is no simple way to solve when these numbers don't evolve.
            I hope I learn the reason two negatives equal a positive.
           Math is suppose to be logical, to me it makes no sense. 
           If I "got it" it'd be great but for now
           when all else fails "X" ='s 8.

This one is similar to one I wrote back in 1994 in Math '04.  Yep, I would hand in the poem because I just didn't know how to simplify, factor, solve, it just didn't make any sense.

18 years later I get some of the rules, I have memorized lots of them and when I sit with no tutor I can solve one equation in a matter of 20 minutes or so.  Once I have a tutor or professor in front of me to guide me, it's all very easy, when I am sitting alone that changes.

I have a couple of Math Apps on my iPad, but I am not a member of Team Umizoomi, I Do NOT have "mighty math powers." And lastly, I am NOT "Smarter than a Fifth Grader!"  I confirmed this while helping Max's sister, a fifth grader, with her homework.  Don't misunderstand, Reading, English, and Social Studies was a breeze for me but the Algebra just made me want to scream.

Last night I took my 6th (Sixth) Compass Math Assessment test for CUNY and failed royally.

I officially passed the Arithmetic portion and if the standards aren't raised again it will remain a PASS.  The Algebra portion was a disaster. I failed by 12 points less then the last time I took the exam.

When I came home my partner attempted to high five me as last year when I failed I came home and was crying.  Last night I had taken a moment to myself before coming home to show myself some kindness and forgive myself for not doing what I so badly need to do so when I came home there were no tears.  I told him I failed and he said, "You're kidding me!" He couldn't believe it either and he proceeded to highlight how proud he was of me for not giving up and continuing to move forward.  I haven't quite decided how am I going to proceed as of right now as my intention is to pursue several degrees.  For now I will take a deep breathe, study my multiplication table and remember that when all else fails there is a possibility that X will in fact = 8.

Namaste!

18 comments:

  1. Belleza, Firstly, let me congratulate you on your determination and on passing the first portion of the math exam. It is not easy, especially algebra. When I was in high school I had to take Algebra 1A and 1B instead of 1 and 2, like my classmates. It was the only thing that kept me from making the honor roll, so I know the feeling. It wasn't until college that I was finally able to "get" algebra, but it took a semester of "remedial math" and an amazing teacher who broke things down in a way that I could relate to them. I wish I was still in touch with him, because I'm sure he would make a great tutor. I'm rooting for you! xoxoxo

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    1. :) Thanks Bella. I have to go back to the fundamentals...yep, that is the plan. Hugs to you and THANK YOU for cheering me on. You are the best! Love you.

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  2. You're amazing!! I am so proud that you have not given up. You have been the wind beneath my wings, when the winds of nature died down and I hope that someday you will find the wind that you need to take you to the higher plateau of where you want to be. :)

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    1. All I can do is what I do. Ha. I'm so funny. Damaris I love and you always inspire me to think and have different perspectives. Your wonderful accomplishments within these past two months are phenomenal! Thank you!!

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    2. "All I can do is what I do" = which is what makes you a truly wonderful being that inspires those around you. We share our energies and together we make great light and create much heat!! Hummm must be our Fire signs!! lol

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  3. Julie...congrats on your determination and strength. Don't ever give up pursuing your dreams. There will always be roadblocks and detours, but eventually you will get there. Trust me, I've been there! I applied to grad school more than once in the past, but life never quite cooperated and I was not able to attend. After 10 years of trying, I'm finally there and nearly half way thru it! Incidentally, when I was preparing for grad school I came a cross a ton of material meant to teach math fundamentals to non math folks. I can think of at least one course/study guide offered by kaplan that might help. I'll look it up and email it to you. Good luck!

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  4. I absolutely appreciate this, Edgar. Never, never, never give up. I would lve to check out the link. Thank you and keep doing what you are doing, it's awesome! Hugs.

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  5. My dear friend, I HATE math. Math is logical although the logic doesnt quite sync with me. I attended Achbishop Molloy high school wich is a challenging high school. Did well in my math classes (about 83). I could never pass the regents exam at the end of the year. In August I would retake the test and do about the same, so I have a regular diploma instead of a regents diploma...big deal. NY is the only state that you can get a regents diploma.

    The important thing in all this is your continued desire to make yourself better. I am very proud of you! More importantly, you have people around you that support and love you for who you are and not for the diplomas you have hangging on the wall!

    You are you, and I say you are great!....Now go and do your thing!

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    1. Freddy! Thank you honey! I appreciate your thoughts and your support!

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  6. I tried to encourage you for years and now you are encouraging yourself. I too am proud of you. I know we can count on you for good spirit and laughter and that's why counting is so important.
    X = X big deal!
    lhb

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    1. LB, if it wasn't for you the last 10 years of my life would have been much different. :)
      Thanks!
      Hugs and love to you!

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  7. I love you! You guys are all so awesome. Thanks for the thoughts, LHB! Hugs.

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  8. This was an amazing read! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I personally think you're focused and determined, and you will persevere! Keep up the great work, Julie! Be proud, as I know you are. :)

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  9. Grecia! You are just too sweet. Thank you.so glad we've reconnected on here. Thanks for checking out my blog, I truly appreciate it.

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  10. You will get it, it will click and you will never lose it again. I believe having cried over maths as a student and twice over as a teacher that there is a switch in the creative mind that resists this rote and logical concept. It requires you to think differently, but once you find the road to that place in your mind, it's yours forever. Sending you peace on your journey.

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    1. I appreciate your thoughts here. I think of you every time I remember I wanted to home school.
      Namaste, my friend!

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  11. Girl you are an angel and whatever it is you want I am sure you will get it. I wish I had your determination to go back to school. That is something I want to do but I ALWAYS let other things (excuses) get in my way. Math use to be a breeze for me why I don't know and just like how it was so easy for me now the opposite is true. I'm sure it might come back one day but in the mean time I can't help my stepdaughter at all. I just look at it or try to find the answers on google to see if the answer is right in addition to have hired a tutor for her. So I am proud of you girl. WERK and know how special you are.

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    1. Benja, Thank you for your consistent love and light. YOu are such a light to so many of us!

      I must tell you, your post made me think of me. I can't help our 11 year old cause I am lost in the Algebra Source. She waits for her dad to come home cause he is the math wiz. I rock the English and she figures everything else out on her own. ;)
      I am as smart as I am, smarter than a sixth grader, not always. ;)

      Love you!
      Can't wait to run into you again...

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