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I’m taking my last college math class, Social Science Statistics, this semester at my local community college (cheaper than SDSU where I’m taking my major classes). I had been told that Statistics is all word problems and being a word problem savant, figured it would be right up my alley.

Kinda yes, kinda no.

The math is fairly straightforward. So far it’s all dictated by formulas which make the calculations easier. And as a bonus, the professor allows each student one full page of notes to use in exams. Sweet.

Unfortunately, this professor is incredibly careless in her explanations. For example, when explaining how to calculate range, she said, “Subtract the highest score from the lowest score.” Well, wait. Range expressed as a negative number? That’s not what the textbook explained.

When several students expressed confusion, she reiterated the incorrect formula until finally yelling at us, “Simply subtract the lowest score from the highest score!” Yeah, that’s what we thought, but that’s not what you said. Sheesh.

I almost came to blows with her over order of operations. I pissed her off so much that she told me to ask a math professor. “Sure,” I responded. “No problem.” (I have a great relationship with my former algebra instructor.) Guess that was the wrong thing to say because her response was, “No. I will ask a math professor.”

Yeah, okay, but order of operations is still Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction (PEMDAS). Doesn’t matter which one of us asks a math professor.

I feel like the students are all teaching ourselves statistics at this point. It’s frustrating to try to follow a lecture given by a person who doesn’t listen to her own words. Nobody expects her to be perfect; we all misspeak, but she doesn’t realize what she’s said and then gets mad when we’re confused.

Oh yeah, she lapses into Spanish about a third of the time, so that’s not helpful.

Somehow, some way, I’ve clawed my way to the top of the class, though.  I’m bound and determined to get through this class.

Thank God it’s my last math class. I really can’t hold it together much past next week. My give-a-damn is completely worn out.

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