I’m really struggling with precalculus this semester. I don’t know how much of it is me, and how much is an instructor whose idea of teaching is to write things on the board as fast as he can, stopping occasionally to say ‘oops, I made a mistake,’ while never telling us what we’re supposed to learn from the proof he’s doing. Well, ok, yesterday it was explained. “This is Hero’s Law. They don’t show you the proof in the book, so I will show you, for fun. You don’t need to know the proof, but you should do this for fun.”

I’m trying to keep up in class, but more and more I’m turning to outside resources to learn this material. I haven’t a hope of getting an A in this class. I’ll be happy if I pass it. But the really sad part is that I want to learn it. It’s fascinating, and yes, even beautiful at times. But I’m slower than molasses at it, and when I have sixty minutes to complete an exam, it’s hopeless. My homework grades are all that are keeping me afloat, and even that is a group effort, not mine alone.

Youtube hasbeen a great place to find videos explaining concepts, and I have watched the silly song for remembering the unit circle over and over. Khan Academy has been invaluable. My former boss introduced me to it when I started back to college, and it is a terrific resource for students of all ages. I highly recommend it.

It’s amazing how much you can find online these days. I work with multiple tabs open, looking everything up I don’t know, and I can have the answer within seconds. Even for business, when I want to learn a new design, I hit youtube first. I still buy DVD’s on occasion, but it’s gotten rarer for me to do so.