Tomorrow is the final for this class that has taken me 22 years to complete. I’m in that state of being frozen and unmotivated. Very strange. You’d think I would feel like pushing through but its not like that. I guess I’m sort of afraid of somehow failing anyway. I will fail if I don’t study. Sometimes I just make bad choices for myself.
I met with the Dean at my university yesterday who has been supporting and reminding me. He had done all the paperwork to get me through at the end of this semester. I had 3 tasks – get my Engineer in Training test number, apply for graduation, and yes, pass the class.
My first exam is Monday. I feel pretty confident that I will at least get a C. I understand all of the material but sometimes you just can’t do the arithmatic on these things.
My attempt at applying online for graduation failed because I just don’t fit the computers program. I texted the online help and they told me to call. In the mean time, the Dean had spoken to the person I needed to contact there and emailed me the correct form. I just need to fill it out and carry it in next week.
And the hardest task that I had avoided because I assumed it would be awful was the easiest. I typed in EIT and my state into google, got a phone number and called it. After I explained the whole mess to the guy on the phone he said, “so whats your name?” Wasn’t sure what my name was then, divorces and stuff, but before I could even get out a pen to write it all down he gave me all the numbers and dates I needed. He also told me he could email me a letter and I didn’t have to even do anything horrible, like photocopy transcripts or send notaried letters or anything. Just a phone call.
My second set of HW and quiz were simple but I didn’t understand them at all. Flying over tomorrow. Can’t sleep.
I’m sure noboby wants the daily details on this project of mine but I’m posting to encourage anyone who is starting up something that is hard. Its hard what I’m doing and I’m confused. I’m determined though. I spent hours and hours doing the homework and quizzes for this. I bought 3 round trip plane tickets, which by the way, nobody can possibly afford. I’m doing this and nobody is stopping me.
It was really much scarier and intimidating than I had antipated. All of that was in my head though. It went really well.
I managed to wait in line before class and get set up for the campus wifi so I could use my computer and sign into the place to do my homework. Helped when the professor needed to look at the student view into the class to figure out that the setup for completing homework was messed up.
Had to walk the gauntlet of sorority and fraternity booths each day to get to the building where the turoring lab was. One day there were even a group of sorority girls doing hip hop dances as I passed. Horrible.
The math tutoring lab was in the same location that my original math classes were so I had to ride the “anxiety elevator” which I used to equate with the “anxiety closet” of doonsberry fame to get there. The students were nice. It was helpful and essential that I got there.
Found a place to plug in my laptop, drink coffee and work. Also wandered around a bit and got into some wrong places during my search.
Went to the quad and sat by a tree to attend a remote work meeting on my phone and discovered that each tree had a student sitting under it studying. Very funny. I expected it to be vacant.
Noticed two other old people studying math in the tutoring lab. One was reliving calculus after a 10 year break. The other had taken differential equations in the previous semester after a 27 year break an convinced me that I need to learn to use a graphing calculator.
I was able to learn the class content from the book and worked out the homework. Actually understood it and was able to remember, gasp, how to do some integrations and differentiate some trig functions. The application chapter was a summary of several physics courses that I had 20 years ago and some cobwebs were brushed away.
Apparently Brian May, the guitarist for Queen was one class away from a degree in AstroPhysics and went back after 30 years. I figure if he could do the whole rock star thing and still be able to go back, learn something, finish his degree and then write a couple of books, then I have hope.
I’m taking the class starting on Monday. I plan to fly to Reno on Monday afternoons, take the class on M, W then come back. Will stay with my daughter whose baby is due Dec.
Really worried about this.
My friend has committed to helping me get through the class. It starts on Friday. I gave him permission to hassle me to do things like study and complete assignments.
He was very pleased and began to extend it to my exercise routine, which is nonexistant.
Hey there cowboy, lets not lose our heads here!!
So he is on board. Its a partnership. He says its important for our future. Got that right.
Spent the last few days at the AAAI conference in SF learning about how AI planning is applied to problems that my company is working on. http://www.aaai.org/Conferences/AAAI/aaai11.php It was very motivating. I feel so much smarter just by being with the smart people. I have lots of ideas about applications because I’m an engineer not a computer scientist and thats just how I think.
Finishing the degree is just a step forward in learning more about the math used in AI systems. I finally found some use for doing this that is direct and timely.
I havent touched the books in two weeks. I did have and email exchange with one of the math professors and decided to take the course from the other, who didn’t respond to my email. This is probably a mistake. Must connect with the books daily.