Ridding the Planet of the Scourge That Is Breathing and Upright Turkeys

24 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Sometimes physic help in life! haha

  2. Jenn @ Juggling Life says:

    Amen! I get cold sweats even reading the word "torque."

  3. kmkat says:

    I have used basic algebra in my life. Grokking statistics — which is not necessarily what one gets from taking a statistic class — is very useful in understanding how the world works. Physics has come in handy only when my mechanically inclined husband attempts to explain to me how something works. I have never needed calculus beyond the comfort of knowing it exists if someone else needs it.

    My art history classes, however, gave me a nice background in European cultural history. Learning Greek and other mythologies help me understand religion. Three quarters of English lit reaffirmed my dislike for poetry. And learning a modicum of Spanish helped me order wine in a Madrid restaurant. Such is the value of a liberal education.

  4. Jeni says:

    OMG, are we maybe related? Your take on the courses you disliked matches mine almost to a tee -except my "hated" classes were Micro-Economics and yes, the dreadful Statistics. I graduated from Penn State and they have a requirement that each student MUST take 60 credits worth of classes in specific areas -so many in each particular area ya know. The Micro-economics was to me -still is -about the most useless subject ever invented. How much study does one have to put into if you have a large supply of an item, the price will drop and a low supply, prices will increase. I mean, really now! I felt fortunate that I got through that class with the damned D but had I taken the refresher maths I needed -remember I'd been away from Algebra one for over 30 years by the time I entered college -I might have been able to garner a C in that stinking class. The last question on the first exam was one that had to be answered using algebra and it had to be "set down" on the paper, showing your work. And I couldn't for the life of me remember a thing about algebra and how to do that problem. Ten minutes after leaving the class, I figured out the answer in my head but that still wouldn't have helped although a correct answer would have been worth 20 points and that 20 points was the difference in the end between a C and a D!
    But I agree with the theory you laid out as to why a well-rounded education is truly a necessity. I probably would have taken some of the classes I had which counted towards my Gen Ed credits anyway -cause I do love Sociology stuff and especially History -but I'm glad, no that it's all over but the shouting, that I did have to take that stuff -just not the Econ junk!
    (You should be here -a fly on the wall -sometime when I am trying to get this stuff through to the 17-year-old in the house. ARRGH! Totally drives me up the wall with her thought processes there and then, when I think about her even thinking about going to college, it makes my head spin. She sees no reason to read anything in the textbooks they pass out at the beginning of the school year unless the teacher makes them read a paragraph or two. Imagine not wanting to "read" a textbook and one that you have shelled out a small fortune to have in your hot little hands too, in order to get through a class? Boggles the mind, doesn't it? (I suggested to her that all the parents of kids in her classes should ask the school board to take those text books and request a refund or resell them as only slightly used, maybe just carried around the halls in school to look like a student should, ya know.)

  5. tattytiara says:

    I once bought a book that was essentially physics for dummies. I only got about half way through the first chapter, but I still have the scars on my brain to prove I got that far.

  6. Becky Cazares says:

    When I was in remedial math, lo these five semesters past, readying myself for the most beginning of college math courses, I found there was, indeed, one lower math class I wouldn't be allowed to take (being as how I was a business major). The one my remedial math professor lovingly referred to as "Math for Dance Majors." That's the one you took!

    But luck evens out because I was subsequently fortunate enough to have Dr. Suzanne Delaney teach me Statistics, and, contrary to everything I'd been told about its horrors, she was able to make stats understandable to even a fifty-year-old brain. Clever woman. I will ever after remember that the true definition of an "outlier" is not just that little space at either end of the bell curve, but instead is a punk girl with spiked purple hair when compared to a perfect set of blonde cheerleaders!

    And I will very usefully envision your invisible slap every time I hear a classmate bemoan the awful professor who has the nerve to expect them to attend class AND read the textbook in order to earn an A – many of them seem to think it is their birthright! Sigh.

  7. Pam says:

    Jocelyn, love your posts. I stay rivetted to the end.Read nearly to the end, when the corned silverside boiled over. True.Don't say the m word around me please. As a substitute teacher (yes it does pay to diversify), I shudder, as a former English major, when I'm told I'm taking a math or physics class.I'm pleased math phobia is taken seriously,sweaty palms,blank stares, I can relate.Please God, I think to myself as I collect the lesson plan,make it a math test,where "I'd like to help you but I can't", is a much more acceptable teaching response, than in an ordinary math or physics lesson.

  8. geewits says:

    My daughter is even worse than the students that "…will never use this…" She thinks she should be able to register, pay and show up to take the tests. Actually, her ideal is to just pay to take the final. She thinks having to actually go to class is stupid when she could just read the book and take the tests. What would you say to her?

  9. Jazz says:

    I managed to get out of Physics in college. But the year of physics I did in high school was hell. The only thing I remember from that class (I think it was physics, but maybe not) is that two cars meeting will pass each other at the speed of each car added. Unless of course they have a head on collision, which would be my preferred way of dealing with any calculation.

  10. Susan says:

    But think of how well rounded that physics class made you.

  11. jess says:

    I'm thankful for Jocelyn, and her enlightened thoughts on physics. I was so determined to avoid taking college physics that I just up an' dropped out.

  12. Jim Berg says:

    People are sometimes amazed, and sometimes scandalized, when I tell them I managed to get through college without taking Psychology. Or Physics. So, phttt on them.

    Okay, plus I also wrote a new holiday-themed blog that I would like you to read, cause, like it has nothing to do with anything and you dont hafta grade. it.

  13. flutter says:

    the letter F is handy for the many words I use to express myself whilst preparing for all of life's vagaries

  14. phd in yogurtry says:

    Or ever have to take Calculus. I've seen that Calculus is required for many of our state's major universities. I break into a cold sweat thinking about that one.

  15. Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings says:

    I understand the "having to take a class to pass to the next level" kind of thing….in college I took billiards. Yes. Billiards. And then walking .. just to get my freaking Journalism degree. I guess in Journalism it does hold true that you need a broad base of knowledge, even pool.

  16. actonbell says:

    Great post, as usual:) And boy, do I relate. After high school physics, I didn't dare take the subject again. I took two statistics courses, though, and both were a better experience than that college Astronomy course (taught by Uncle Fester. At nighttime), and the biology lab I had to drop out of because cutting up mice was making me ill.

    Looking back, though, most of the courses I never used were fun experiences, and if I had endless time and money, I'd take Spanish, literature, and art history to my heart's content. These young people don't know what they'll be missing!

  17. chelle says:

    hehe gobble gobble!

  18. secret agent woman says:

    Wow, we weren't allowed to take classes pass/fail. I took the minimum math classes for my major, thinking I would never need it again. Karma came around in the form of three stats courses in grad school.

  19. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    I wish I'd have taken physics–but I'm glad for what I did take, too, because, as you said, you never know.

  20. monica says:

    oh yes the young ones… strange thing they won't listen when we hollar about our young years… hm, one would expect them to listen to elderly experience like we did when we were young…! :o)

    statistics REALLY sucks…

  21. lime says:

    oh my dear psychic sister…the maths, they did me in. let me just say that at the end of that class my frugal nature, which may have inclined me to sell back the testbook for a small fraction of its original cost, and my love of printed matter in general were trumped by my complete loathing of the subject matter and the horror of the experience. i burned my stats text in the driveway to cleanse myself from the experience.

  22. lime says:

    oh and here is the early post about the book burning.

  23. ds says:

    Amen, sistah!! I too avoided math classes like the Plague in college–successfully too, as they were not required (would you believe I regret not having taken Calculus? I was terrified of the subject. Why does this happen to women? And to flip the coin why are so many guys afraid of literature, though not, I grant you, to the same a-hem degree). But I am a proud survivor of "Organic Chemistry for Dummies" which turned out to be fascinating, and of "Oceanography" which blessed me with my only D. A lesson in itself. So I hear you loud and clear.
    Statistics?! (((shudder)))

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