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Conversation Between PkMnTrainer Yellow and Richard Lynch
Showing Visitor Messages 1 to 10 of 17
  1. Richard Lynch
    May 28th, 2010 07:41 AM
    Richard Lynch
    Oi vey, that does sound like an awful class. I've never had a really bad class... except Senior Seminar my last semester. The teacher was a biochemist, which is essentially the complete opposite of a physical chemist (which I consider myself). It was torture having to read biochemistry articles.

    And that's actually a decent by-the-book definition of a limit! Essentially, if you have a function, say [f(x) = 1/x], x obviously can not be 0, by basic rules of mathematics. But what if it *could* be zero? That's a limit. Basically just approximation, say, taking x closer and closer to zero (such as, x = 0.000001, 0.00000001, and so on), and you get an converging value. Limits are so important because they're truly the foundation of calculus.

    Derivatives are simply finding the slope of a single point of a curve (this is done by taking the slope of two points, the difference being "delta x", or dx, and the difference for y being dy, and you take the limit as dx --> 0, recalling that the equation of the slope, in this case, is the ever-famous dy/dx). Integration is finding the area under a curve, and this is done by making boxes within the curve with a width dx, summing them all up and taking the limit as dx --> 0). Those two things are the woodworking of calculus, but observe that they're both limits! And, as I always say, since limits are theoretical "what if's", then all of calculus is really in theory (because recall, for example, the slope being [lim @ dx-->0 (dy/dx)], dx can't "really" be 0), and that's what's so interesting about calculus, in my opinion!

    I've spent so much time in a lab-oriented atmosphere that I virtually forget what it's like to be in a traditional class. I kind of miss it; luckily, my teacher for Inorganic Chem taught in a very traditional, lecturing way. It was very refreshing, since most of my department taught by a method pioneered by our Organic teacher called "POGIL").

  2. PkMnTrainer Yellow
    May 28th, 2010 05:18 AM
    PkMnTrainer Yellow
    Back in Algebra AP/Honors 1 the teacher was teaching us some extra stuff near the end of the year. I seem to recall some basic calculus being one of the things she got into. It wasn't much, because it was the end of the year, but I'm pretty sure I recall it. Functions to me has been easy as pie.

    ...That's funny, I just looked up the mathematical definition of limits and though nobody has used those terms around me I've clearly been using it in my functions class.

    I can't get anything off the definition of derivatives or integrals though. Doesn't give me enough info to relate to any of the work I do.

    But yeah, I believe we have a different name for limits in my functions class. I can't seem to remember it for the life of me for some reason, but I'd recognize it if I saw it.

    It's the X or Y offset depending on the type of equation, because the line never reaches it but gets steadily closer as it reaches either infinite or negative infinite.

    When I took my Japanese class, I was expecting a class similar in structure to the 3 different Spanish classes I had taken in earlier years. Here is the horror story that occurred though. First day of school, sophomore year, I'm heading to Japanese class. I believe it was right after lunch. I walk into the room... and the first thing I notice, is that it's a Mac lab. The significance is that it's a computer lab, though I have a distaste for Macs that has nothing to do with the fact that they have tons of security holes that allow students to do things such as get a hold of the network password and wreak havoc by handing it out to everyone that wants to get on their iTouch in school. This results in them slowing down the network and even causing it to run out of IP addresses at times, which makes it impossible for additional people to connect. More importantly, it turned out to be an online class. Except without the benefits of a normal online class.

    So I sit down and mutter something about my friend, who I generate amusing parodies of Mac vs PC during class with at times, being behind this.

    But that's just the start. So this old lady walks in, and sits down at the front of the room, and I can't help but notice she has about 3 different monitors with 4 different security cameras in each corner of the room on top of desktop watching software. Oh, and she had a working TV too.

    Didn't take more than 3 classes before I got yelled at for being on Google, which was the browser's homepage! I couldn't check my email, because she wanted to watch me do that too. I couldn't even go to Japanese related sites to help me with my work because she wanted us to only use the specific site we were given.

    Needless to say, she didn't know a single word of Japanese. She was just a security guard there to watch the class.

    Now on to the work itself. Our class consisted of around 4 parts.
    1. Watch a 45 minutes to 1 hour long movie of a teacher teaching us Japanese. It wasn't even live. No webcams, no mics, no phones... It was like watching TV, only in low resolution.
    2. Do classwork that very often required you to reference the movie, causing you to have to spend another 15-30 minutes skipping around searching for all the little parts of the movie you need to hear twice. (So far we've got the entire class worth of time into watching that movie.)
    3. Do homework that requires a procedure similar to the classwork. Mandatory busy work, too.
    4. Occasionally take in class tests with the same procedure.

    I even payed for a tutor to try and make up for the severe lack of support I was getting. (I wanted to take that class. =/) The best they had to offer though was an out of school tutor that couldn't meet me often enough.

    In short, one day I walked in and set my laptop down in the back of the room to charge. (School approved laptop, because I have difficulty writing over a page with a pencil or pen without risking some serious hand pain.) I was promptly sent to the office for plugging it in, because the security guard thought that was ever so unacceptable. (This was something I had done basically every day for like a quarter of the year, approaching half, right in front of her.)

    I went to my counselor instead and made sure she knew exactly how tired I was of the "Teacher's" behavior and how the class was just not working out. Needless to say I won that argument and was removed from the class practically immediately.

    Worst... class... ever... @.@

  3. Richard Lynch
    May 27th, 2010 05:03 PM
    Richard Lynch
    Oh, well, thank you. I used to be a hard core debater in high school with both politics and religion. I stopped debating politics because I quickly learned there is no "right" side, just "less bad". But I still debate religion. It's always entertaining to me when I force a self-proclaimed always-right attitude to reduce himself to petty attacks to get in that last word when they obviously have been shown who's boss. haha. It's the cornerstone of any recreational debater.

    And I doubt you did much calculus in an Algebra class... once you start hearing about functions, and especially limits, you know you're learning calculus. Functions are the foundation, but limits, derivatives and integrals are the framework. Algebra just fits them all together. And when you apply all those things to the real world, what do you get? Science! :-D

    I never tried to learn Japanese. I took two years of German, a year of Latin, and have studied Russian and French on my own. Mathematics will always be my language of choice! It is, after all, the only universal language, no?

  4. PkMnTrainer Yellow
    May 27th, 2010 04:36 PM
    PkMnTrainer Yellow
    Oh I plan to go to college! I'm not sure how I conveyed I didn't, but I do. My aims for college aren't sky high, but I plan to go. I do however intend to take a year or so break from school after high school before starting college.

    Calculus is easier than Algebra you say? I think I might've done a bit of Calculus during my honors Algebra 1 class in freshman year. My teacher that year was a HOOT! She was an old bat that hated kids and literally told me one day that she was going to show me I'd fail.

    I showed her. Got a B if I remember correctly.

    I put off Algebra 2 for Senior year (I'm a Junior now) in favor of taking Algebra: functions this year due to the Algebra 2 teacher being a major conflict with me.

    I typically finish all my work in only half an hour (hour and a half long classes) which nobody else in the class can come close to. =3

    Gotta admit though... I'm starting to admire your skill at debating. I do quite often read your posts. Gotta admit, I'm probably not as good as you at it. That being said, I've never been taught to debate by anyone... >.<

    Did I mention I hated the Japanese class I tried to take last year in sophomore year so much I dropped it? I don't know if you read my post about that. But it's truely a horror story of poorly picked classes if I've ever done so. I had NO idea what I was getting into when I picked that class @-@;

  5. Richard Lynch
    May 27th, 2010 04:11 PM
    Richard Lynch
    Truth be told, I didn't like math until senior year, when I took trigonometry. And look at me now: I came one course short of a math minor (made it to Differential Equations, AKA Calculus 4). And let me tell you, Calculus is easy... Algebra is hard. If you're good at Algebra, then you've got 60% of Calculus down. I remember in DiffEQ, I WISHED I could just integrate. But noooo, I had to do Laplace transforms and partial fraction decomposition... it sucked.

    That's very good, being able to make it through that much work. I finished my Chem major in three years... it was tough, but rewarding! So you don't plan to go to college? Really, if you want to advance in anything, you'll want at least some kind of bachelors degree (I'm a BS activist, as there are so few science majors out there, but a BA will get you places too).

  6. PkMnTrainer Yellow
    May 27th, 2010 03:46 PM
    PkMnTrainer Yellow
    I like the sound of physics too. But I tend to wind up hating science classes that are math based. ;x

    *Yellow spots Chemistry. Begins bashing her head against the table*

    Problem with me and math is that if the teacher doesn't sit down and personally walk me through a few problems I wind up never getting it.

    That and Geometry. I'm great with Algebra, but Geometry irks me.

    That being said, I'm not a school person. Most classes irk me. >>; Save programming and Japanese (If my school offered a Japanese class that wasn't ridiculously horrible that is.)

    Well if it isn't the problem is solved. I could possibly take both. I'm taking two online classes next year because I move at about 3-4x the pace of normal people when I'm allowed to move at my own pace.

    Just this year I switched out of US history in favor of an online version of the class. Had about 1.9 quarters to finish an entire years worth of work. I went ahead and blew it away in about a single quarter without so much as rushing or breaking a sweat. Got a straight A too =3

    Another thing about me is I work a lot better when I actually decide I want to get it done, and I have enough free time in my normal non working day (I have a part time job) to at a MINIMUM make up a 7 hour schoolday. Thus, I don't move faster but have a lot more time to do the work, resulting in the illusion that I'm doing it faster.

  7. Richard Lynch
    May 27th, 2010 03:32 PM
    Richard Lynch
    Goodness, I sure hope psychology/sociology doesn't count as a science (sorry, I majored in Chemistry, I can't bring myself to accept a social science on par with our level of things... no physical scientist can :p). But let me tell you, if you plan to go to college, Physics will look good on ANY transcript, even if you're planning to major in English or something. That's what I tell all the pre-med Biology students who fear even saying the dreaded word "physics". Even Conceptual Physics (ie, not as math-oriented) would look good over no Physics.

  8. PkMnTrainer Yellow
    May 27th, 2010 03:25 PM
    PkMnTrainer Yellow
    Mmhm. I am considering taking psychology or sociology my senior year of high school. Part of it depends on whether it counts as a science credit. The other is that I'm more interested in those two classes than the alternative, physics.

  9. Richard Lynch
    May 27th, 2010 03:16 PM
    Richard Lynch
    Oh, of course. I think its a basic human compulsion to help people when they need it. But you can never go into helping someone (with psychological issues, mind you) thinking that you'll be the deciding factor. Because that will always rest in the hands of the other person. Either someone will listen, or they won't.

  10. PkMnTrainer Yellow
    May 27th, 2010 03:07 PM
    PkMnTrainer Yellow
    This is true, but seeing as how I consider it my contribution to society to help others with their issues, I personally have to strive to do whatever it takes to prevent it from coming to that point.


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