Posted by: changheuk | June 22, 2009

So things aren’t going according to plan

Once again distracted by games, the first midterm of a course I am taking for the third time -  Calculus II – has truly beaten me to a pulp again. Sadly, I have once again failed. However, unlike like previous occasions, I am not going to accept mere phrases of “God I’m so dumb” over and over in my head.

Score: 27.5/60.

Class Average: 28.5/60.

Hard course, but I’m at college, so maybe a failing average should justify itself moreso than at University.

Not good of course.


But why don’t we check out what I should and could actually do?

What did I mess up on? Obvious. Didn’t know my homework enough, no sufficient studying, no studying the right ways.

What did I do well on? Easy stuff, stuff that I’ve learned before, stuff I’m willing to tackle.

What did I miss? Reduction formulas, I thought those weren’t going to be asked. Some hard-ass questions I might have been able to tackle a little by doing more practise work.

Here are a few valuable ways I can start off by (and some of you with tough courses as well):

What to change

– study in short bursts. Always. 40-50 minutes max, 10 minute breaks. Everyday, or every other day. This requires no more effort than those all-night marathons that procrastinators (such as myself) love to participate in

– develop that insight for every concept taught. This isn’t literature or history or biology, it isn’t so much memorization – math practically has none, unless you still don’t know your SOH-CAH-TOA

– pay attention in class. No really. But I mean not blindly copying notes and not knowing what’s going on. Take less notes, copy what you REALLY need to learn. Write down what you don’t understand as you go along. I would recommend office hours and bugging the prof, but since I’m not that proactive…

– math I’d say is about practise. I’m lazy, so this is also something I really have to get going on. I do next to no learning outside of class, and if it wasn’t for weekly assignments, I would just be cruising until the midterms.

PLAY SMART. Sadly, I only found this AFTER the midterms. But its still helpful to help me tackle my failed midterm, and what I don’t get: Wolfram Alpha. Just check out how it solved this question I got 0 on (so did most of the class) with easy, articulate methods that aren’t too advanced and computerized: Integral solving


In addition, here are a few ways to cut down procrastination:

Set time limits, deadlines (timeboxing, Parkinson’s law).

Consider the consequences.

Split the task into smaller steps, each with deadlines, to make things not look as monsterous as they appear.


With that said, I’ll be looking forward to handling this course and hauling ass. Enjoy.



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