Fuck Today (Part 1)

I couldn’t find a pen to keep score, despite being at my desk.


Got a letter from a former friend today, asking to talk things out.

To be true to myself I had to tell him he was forgiven, and I thanked him for writing, but no, I had no more energy to spend on the subject, and to please not write again. He won’t.

Fuck that’s hard to do.


The dog I’ve lived with for the last five years is probably going to have to be put down.

I don’t know why I feel like this, he’s not my dog. He’s just such a good old dog. :cry:


I’m living with this too (see upthread). I’ve mainly stopped giving our dog the pills she was resisting (except the anxiety meds when she really really needs them), since the pain seems much less and she clearly has more interest in life when she’s not doped up. I just hope I can keep her alive and comfortable until my wife - her real owner - gets home later this month, so she can say good-bye.


Mozilla is Shutting down persona.org in November 2016

Crap. Guess this means I shouldn’t waste any time building a login integration using Persona.

On the plus side, I can remove that from my tasklist.


So, aside from having to help take the dog to the vet tomorrow, I have one more.

I bombed my linear algebra final spectacularly and I don’t think I’m going to pass. This is weird for me. Mainly because the material was less challenging than other classes I’ve taken, and the only thing that threw me off was really the proof intensive nature of it. Still, the final was only two hours long, no proofs, just depending heavily on abstract mastery of concepts. That’s normally where I shine.

I know the reason. The writing was on the wall before the first midterm. I wasn’t engaged in the class and I didn’t keep up with the material. I bombed the first (now extremely easy to me) test and when I woke up enough to actually study for the next test (read:cram for four hours beforehand) I got a near perfect score. Then I let my attention flag again. It’s ridiculous and I’m angry with myself. I know that one or two days of studying would have netted me a great score on this last exam, but I’ve gotten so backed up this semester I had to let some of that slide.

Every semester, I write up a little progress report for myself and post it on Facebook. It’s partly a way to keep myself accountable and partly a way to have a record of where I learned certain things. This semester’s post-mortem is the story of an energy crisis. I’ve gotten a lot better about getting assignments done ahead of time, managing my time better, and getting work done. I’m more organized now than I have ever been, possibly in my life. The problem is that I dropped something that actually turns out to be critical to my success. I used to spend too much time reading books about science and technology or science fiction, or watching documentaries or sci-fi movies. It took up precious time, but when I cut all of it out this semester, I lost something important- I stopped being interested in what I was doing. Everything was a long, slow, slog. This semester has been the worst by far in terms of my morale, and I genuinely think it has a lot to do with not feeding my heart as much as my brain.


I took or rather dropped early my 300 level linear algebra class 4 times. Between the shit book, and grad students that would just recite the book back and couldn’t teach, and well it isn’t an easy class. 5th time was with a prof that could actually teach and a new book, oh boy worlds of difference.


I can’t, in good conscience, blame the professor here. We did have two different subs at a couple of points during the semester that I really liked though. I might have done better with them? I dunno. I do hate the book though. I looked through a few in the library and this book’s actually got a very weird way of explaining orthogonal complement and Gram-Schmidt. It was yucky. I spent most of my time looking at outside resources. Khan Academy has potentially the clearest explanations, but have incredibly low bandwidth. I often needed one solid example buried in the middle of a ten minute video.


I’m sorry to hear that. If it is any consolation to you, linear algebra at this level is often the first real challenge for good math students, and many of the best students, who are used to getting by on cleverness and easy mastery of algorithms, often find themselves exactly in your position. It doesn’t help that all of the best applications usually don’t show up in the course itself, but rather in courses for which it is a prerequisite, leaving some students unmotivated (as well as unsure of which material they can safely downprioritize).


Ouch. On a somewhat related note, I should be doing homework right now. :stuck_out_tongue:


I don’t know about good math student. I love math, but I’m not exceptionally good at it. Or rather, I always underestimate how much practice I’m going to need. Calc II was difficult for me because it had been so long since I’d last taken a math class, and getting the practice I needed was hard. It took ten hours a week to complete a homework coming into it six years after Calc I. Though now I’m down to two, so I have definitely improved. I’ve discovered that I’m capable of kludging my way through problems I don’t necessarily have the practice to solve quickly and that has saved me a great deal.

Linear algebra wasn’t hard, but it was different. I had a similar issue in Calc III, where I was expected to do proofs. No one really explains to you how to prove things at any point in the process, and it’s difficult for me, because I tend to see the relationship without being able to really know how to put it into ink on paper. It’s a matter of practice, I suppose. I think the learning curve for math in university is just a little steep when going from one style of problem solving to another.

ETA: Oops, forgot to put Algebra on there above linear algebra, but you get the idea.


Stuff like that is what’s going to get Higher Education sued (eventually!) for fraud.
You go there on the promise of a highly-trained content master of some esteem teaching you a subject with attention and diligence.
What you get is a disinterested grad student half-assing a massive room full of students without so much as knowing their names. How it’s not a bait-and-switch I don’t know.
/rant off.


Devil’s advocate here:

Between college and grad school, my best teachers were usually the grad students or junior non-tenured professors. Tenured professors were often too tired, jaded, or busy with the research/public appearances that made them high-flyers at the school to bother with anything more than giving lectures that were almost memorized because they’d been given verbatim for so many years.


Apparently there is a lice outbreak at our preschool. Yay.

Explains why one of the kids was itching her head a lot the other day.


Could be worse. The first time I dropped it I didn’t switch to the other session specifically for the prof teaching it. He was one of those graduated college with honors at 14 wonderkids. He had no clue that most of us even though we had a desire to learn the subject that we didn’t just understand it magically. I heard from someone that he flunked all the undergrads in that class. I had enough of him with the modern math class I got a D in. Which the next semester I got an A from a different prof who besides taking the time to explain things in other ways to us when we got lost was really good at showing us the actual thinking tools and processes needed to understand and do the work. Heck he even hosted a lunch at a nearby pub after the final where he bought the first round.

It always boggles some people who know what I took in school when I ask for a calculator for and I have to explain to them no, that’s arithmetic which is totally different beast. Just cause I could make a proof of 1+1=2 does not mean I can easily add 1+1 in my head (or on paper even) and get it right.

Of course 20 years later and working as a server admin I remember fuck all of any of it now.


what level linear algebra you taking? also it helped me a lot that I started out as an engineering major and really grokked vectors already.


300 level class for math and physics majors. I grok vectors through physics, but we were dealing with vectors in R^n mostly, and it wasn’t visualizable beyond R^3 which is where spacial intuition counts for anything. The class was not applications based (which I’m 100% okay with- I didn’t want applications.) I don’t need it for my major, where they teach you the bare minimum about eigenfunctions in physical chemistry. I just like math, and am not disciplined enough to teach myself. Yet.


Yeah that’s a tough class. I have a few text books left I will dig about this weekend and see if I still have the linear algebra one as it was a really good text well at least compared to the previous one. I could actually get things from reading the book.


I’m sorry, that blows. I helped my sister with a lice treatment when she was in 5th grade. So many hours of that tiny damn comb… I cannot imagine that process with a preschool aged kid. At least my sis was cooperative and motivated to complete the process properly.

Good luck to you.


Oh got those notices from day care, kindergarten, grade school… at least one a year through 2nd grade.
Would give the kid head a good check and luckily always found nothing.