Archive for ‘Math’

March 13, 2015

I’ve become *that* old person

by Janie Jones

I bought a sub sandwich Wednesday at the campus sub shop.  It came to $7.15.  I handed the college girl at the register a $10 bill, then dug through my wallet for some change.  But she cashed out the sale before I came up with the 15 cents, so when I held out the change she looked surprised and embarrassed.

“I’m sorry,”  she said, “I already finished the sale.”

“But I have the exact change, you just have to give me three dollars back.”

“I can’t do that.  I already typed in $10 and finished the sale.”

“Oh, so you can’t do the math.”

“It’s just that if you want to give me $10.15, I’d have to void the sale and re-do it.”

“But, I have exact change.  Just do the math, I get $3 back.  It works out exactly the same.”

“I’m sorry, though.  I already finished the sale.  And, it’s just a hassle to re-do it to figure out the new change.”

“But it’s just the exact change.  If you give me three dollars, it works out exactly the same.  It’s just a bit of math.”

“I’m sorry, though.  It’s already done.”  And, she finally added sheepishly, “And, math isn’t my best subject.”

Now, math isn’t my favorite subject either.  But, it’s not like I gave her something weird, like $12.40 so I could get a $5 bill and a quarter back.  It was just $10.15, even I can quickly make the change for that.

So I laughed and said to forget about it, and I took the $2.85 the cash register told her to give me.

November 9, 2014

So you *do* understand

by Janie Jones

Leif sent this to me last night.  Once I finished laughing my ass off, I decided I must share.


This exactly how I feel about physics, which by the way, is never easy, but is close to being the most sadistic, obtuse, and frustrating application of mathematics my sad little Jane Brain has ever encountered.

Thanks Leif.  You made my day.

May 22, 2014

Because I’m sure you were all dying to know…

by Janie Jones

The grades are in.  The last semester of the year from Hell are in.

Biology II:  A

Ceramics:  A

Calculus:  B

Organic Chemistry:  B


I worked my ass off last semester and endured a horrible year of emotional turmoil, and I am so relieved that my grades are thoroughly respectable.

This may be one of my last posts for a while.  Now that spring semester is over, I have to earnestly apply myself to moving out of my beloved home.  I will be living with Leif out at his newly purchased farm as I can’t afford to live on my own in the Big City, and we are not sure yet when we’ll be able to get the internet hooked up or what the service will be like out there.  Plus the next couple of weeks I’ll likely be weeping my eyeballs out while trying to magically get all our belongings out of the current house and down to the farm and have little opportunity for blogging even if the internet is set up and working like a dream.

If I’m not haunting your blogs for a while, know I’ll be thinking of you and hoping to be back soon…

Hugs, Janie


May 16, 2014

I survived

by Janie Jones

I am done with calculus, and hopefully forever.

***And there was MUCH rejoicing***

I kind of gave up a bit at the end, but all in all I feel I acquitted myself admirably, if you discount all the crying, the wailing and the gnashing of teeth.  I honestly don’t feel I retained all that much, but through sheer tenacity (and no doubt a healthy grading curve) I managed to get a B for my final grade.

Now, if I can just get a 65% on my Organic Chem final on Monday, which is what I need to finish this class also with a B, I’ll be content with the outcome of this semester.

And, I want to thank my wonderful, regular readers.  I’ve been very miserable this last semester or two as I’ve struggled through all this math stuff, and some heavy duty personal crap.  I hope you all know that your comments, emails and “Likes” have kept me going and have given me more than one morale booster when I needed it.  So, thank you again and again.


April 28, 2014

What I Learned Last Week #14

by Janie Jones

Well, things are actually slowing down at school.  I have just one regular week of classes left, then my finals schedule is spread out over 3 weeks on account of the fact my O-Chem class is run through a different college than Local College.  It is strange and complicated and not worth explaining.  Anyway, the long and short of it is there’s probably not much to blog about so this may well be my last Monday post about all the stuff I’m “learning.”

So what did I learn last week?  Not much of interest.  But, I was extremely happy to get one piece of information last week:  Calc teacher gave us our grades so far.  Thankfully, I’ve been dutifully doing her insane amount of homework, and by in large getting full credit.  This is a good thing, because 45% of our grade is based on the homework.  And, it would seem that as long as I continue to do all her insane amounts of homework for the last 7 days of class and at least show up and write my name on the final I should have enough points already in class to get at least a C over all.  If I can get at least a C on the final I ought to end up with a B in the class. And passing calculus, my friends, is a beautiful thing.

I don’t know if any of you all can quite understand what a huge relief it will be to put calculus behind me.  I would like to get that B, but at the same time just passing with a C will ensure I get credit for the work I did, and that is good enough for me these days.  I have always hated math.  But, it is a necessary evil if I want to go down the educational path I’ve chosen, and I really want to get my bachelors of science.  I wanted to do this so badly, I devoted the last two years to get to this point.  Once I pass calculus, I have just one more math class to pass: statistics.  With luck I can get that done over the summer and I will have triumphed over Math.  I have a couple other classes I’m not particularly looking forward to taking still looming over my path to my degree, namely two semesters of physics, but I tell you all one thing, it is incredibly empowering to be within two weeks of passing the dreaded Calculus beast.  If I can pass a semester of that, while being a basket case about moving, and being broke, and all the other life drama I’ve been juggling, I start to feel like there’s nothing I can’t do.

Still, I wish it didn’t cost a small fortune to discover this feeling.  And, it would be nice if I could have done so with out so many tears and emotional break downs along the way, but I suppose we always want what we can’t have.

Anyway, they say a photo is worth a 1,000 words.  So, here’s a photo of how I feel; somehow, inexplicably and against all odds, I am still surviving while clinging to the edge of life.

misc april pix 2014 040

This is actually the lid to our fish tank.  Because cleaning it is not a high priority, flakes of fish food fall on the crevasse, and apparently created an adequate “soil-like” medium for a random plant seed/spore to grow.  We have no idea where it came from or what kind of plant it is, but for the last few weeks it has been growing and kicking butt.  Even just since I snapped this photo a couple of days ago I noticed that the new bud has grown over the top of the full leaf, and a third bud has appeared.  Amazing how tenacious life is.


April 18, 2014

Math Joke

by Janie Jones

I don’t know where this originated, and I definitely can’t take credit for it.  I saw it posted on a door on campus yesterday and it tickled me, even if it is a math joke:


math joke

April 14, 2014

What I learned last week #12

by Janie Jones

Coil pots ROCK!  But camera batteries suck.  I was going to take photos of all the new pots I threw on the wheel, ’cause I made some really nice ones finally, but my camera battery was dead.  So I tried to take a few photos with my cell phone but this was the only one that turned out.


My coil vase rocks!

I will miss pottery class, there’s only 4 more class sessions, it’s been a lot of fun.  But, I’ve met my project quota to pass the class so I’m also glad that it’s almost over.  It was a night class and it really put me in a bind this semester.  Janie just don’t do nights.

I’m getting pretty sick of all  my classes this semester, biology has shifted into studying plant anatomy, which I find incredibly dull.  I am getting so burned out on calculus homework I’ve ceased caring about much of anything and dread the mountain of homework we have thrust upon us daily.  It’s only my inhuman level of duty and the absolute fear of having to take this course over again that keeps me showing up to class and even trying to slog through the homework.  Not that I’m retaining much.  But I started out the semester strong with an 88% at midterm so hopefully that will carry me through so I can at least get my C so I can put this nightmare behind me.  And, poor o-chem.  I’m so overwhelmed by calculus and am so far behind in my study time for o-chem that I’m only sitting at an 83% going into our final unit.  This does not please me.  I need to pass calculus.  I NEED to PASS calculus.  But I will be so crushed if doing so ruins my 0-chem grade.  O-chem is not that hard, it just requires a lot of memorization that I don’t have time for and that is why it is so very sad.  It would be different if it was as hard as calculus.  And, my o-chem teacher doesn’t give any points for any work you do except 4 tests, a final and your lab reports.  Would be nice if we could get some other points to buffer our grade.  C’est la vie.

So, on account of having little to say that doesn’t sound negative, I’m going to borrow a topic and refer you to a link from a blog I read.  It’s by Jess, and it talks about the difference between cement and concrete.  I found it interesting, it fits my topic of what I learned last week, and it reminded me of a funny incident from my childhood.  I’ve kept thinking about it all weekend, so I decided to share my comment there here, for the benefit of you who don’t normally visit Scratching to Escape, but I recommend you take a peek at his post first, so my comment makes more sense.

I did not know that. I haven’t given the difference between concrete and cement much thought since I was a wee small kid-butt. I remember being in a car with the family and being stopped, stuck in a particularly bad patch of traffic where there was some construction or road work or something. It was a long, long time ago and the details are foggy but I remember seeing some kind of truck with a huge yellow colored barrel thing tilted to one side. The only frame of reference in my limited kid-butt experience was of the Plochman’s Yellow Salad Mustard jars that are yellow barrel shaped. Not realizing I was speaking out loud I said, “Wow, that’s one big mustard truck!” My dad said, while my mom laughed, “That’s a cement mixer.” And, pretty much from that day forward I assumed that cement was the “liquid” form of concrete.

For some reason this one incident, and a wonky sense of kid logic, stuck with me and formed my whole life long understanding of concrete and cement.  At least until I read Jess’ post.  The mind moves in mysterious ways.

17 more days of Calculus.