The Hard Stuff

Up to this point in the return to college, the academic work has consisted of general requirements or reviews of material to refresh my aged brain about the intricacies of mathematics. Less understood at the outset, but now perceived as just as important, was the social work, or the development of a college “mindset”, which I would describe as 1) establishing a comfort level in this new environment, 2) acquiring the ability to understand what each professor wants from the best students, and 3) developing a strong confidence in my abilities as a student.

The development of these two aspects has gotten me to this point. I have a good GPA. I have demonstrated to the administration and myself that I can handle the “introductory” level of the work. I can never be a “student”, in the traditional sense, but I can be a part of the college world. I belong.

Summer II will test my ability to handle a slightly higher level of mathematics (pre-calculus). I am trying to excel in a course that carries 4 hours of credit (which means the workload and class time is heavy). When I discussed taking this class in summer, a high level math faculty member very casually mentioned to me that, for people in my major, this class in summer should not be a major challenge.

So, this is the next test. If this class turns out to be more than I can handle, then maybe I should not be in the major that I have committed myself to. Failure modifies the goals, substantially.

Failure is not an option.


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“Life’s hard, son. It’s harder when you’re stupid.” — The Duke.

Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate,no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad, an introduction, in solitude a solace and in society an ornament.It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage. - Joseph Addison
The term informavore (also spelled informivore) characterizes an organism that consumes information. It is meant to be a description of human behavior in modern information society, in comparison to omnivore, as a description of humans consuming food. George A. Miller [1] coined the term in 1983 as an analogy to how organisms survive by consuming negative entropy (as suggested by Erwin Schrödinger [2]). Miller states, "Just as the body survives by ingesting negative entropy, so the mind survives by ingesting information. In a very general sense, all higher organisms are informavores." - Wikipedia

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