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The Math Meltdown

Posted by on November 20, 2011

For those of you who follow my blog (or who are somewhat close to me IRL) have probably seen this coming: the beginning of a complete mental breakdown due to Statistics.

Essays in Statistics? REALLY?

Okay, so I’m being a little dramatic about the mental breakdown part.  But, this class has made my first semester hell, fo’ real, yo.

I’ve never had a class where I was afraid I wasn’t going to pass.  Usually I’d struggle a bit, and be worried that I wouldn’t be getting an A or a B, but in graduate school, not getting an A is considered risky, and not getting a B is considered a failure.  And on this, I am not joking at all.

I’m getting a C in Statistics.  A LOW C.  It makes me physically ill to admit this in public.  But, this blog is about the learning process that is graduate school, so here is my struggle, out in the open.  After talking with the professor a couple of weeks ago, it became clear to me that it was very possible I might not pass.  I’ve done pretty much everything possible to improve my grade: I’ve gone to study sessions with the T.A., I sit in the professor’s office prior to every class to go over the concepts with her, I study with other people, I reread my notes after class, I make study guides.  And the worst part?  I actually understand the material.  Her tests are just so ridiculously hard, it’s not even funny.  If you want to get tested on the most convoluted, nuanced topics in stats, this course is for you.

She’s deliberately designed the tests this way so that the class average is a C (at least that’s what she’s told me).  She also told me that if I “need” a B to pass, that my department is misleading me, and that I need to go talk to the dean.  Yeah, that’s just what I want to do.

I’ve talked to my advisor, and she is under the same impression that I am: I need a B to pass.  At this point, we’re not sure how to handle it.  As of this moment, we’re taking it as it comes.  A lot of it may hinge upon the test I took Friday.  If I get it back tomorrow, and it’s not good, I may be dropping the course.  Apparently it’s better to drop a class than it is to “fail” it.

Overall, I’m just really disheartened by the whole situation.  It’s incredibly frustrating to be in a situation where your best just isn’t enough.  🙁  I’m just not sure what to do about it anymore.  Such a big part of me wants to just give up even trying.  What’s the point, if you know you’re probably going to fail?

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