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calculus

It’s that week…it comes every semester. I know it all too well. That week just before finals when ALL of your teachers are trying to cram everything in, they’re giving you final papers, presentations, and projects. And they all want it done in such a short amount of time. Panic week.

I decided this blog would be a good way to take a break from all the last minute work to be done and reflect on how far I’ve come this semester…So here goes nothing:

In the matter of two weeks I will be officially 3/8 done with my college career! Since I’m a math geek I have to look at it in fraction form :) And I have definitely grown over these three semesters, but I especially feel like I have this semester. I am the type of person that hates asking for help, or admitting defeat. I like to work problems out on my own and figure things out by myself. This semester has been too tough to rely only on myself. A good lesson to learn from college 101: Make friends with AT LEAST one person in each one of your classes. You need someone you can trust and rely on to give you the notes on your sick days, or your “sick” days. You need someone who you can study with, or who can help you understand the homework better. I can now say that I am friends with my entire physics class because I have sucked it up and gotten the courage to ask for their help with homework and study guides. It really can be a lot easier when explained by peers! In my Calc class I have always had friends who are willing to help, but I have a great teacher who is willing to dedicate her time to help me understand the material, and likes to see her students asking for help.

In the beginning of the semester I would just attempt all of my calculus and physics problems then turn in the homework for partial credit but now I go to my teachers and classmates for help to make sure I fully understand the material and can complete each problem before turning it in. Getting help can really boost your grade! I am glad I learned this lesson relatively early on in my college career…or at least before it was 1/2 way over

Good luck to anyone enduring panic week…and may the odds be ever in your favor for your exams!

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Typically, Fridays are  very hectic days for me. I have Calculus in the morning, and then go straight to Brentwood Middle School to observe 7th grade math, then I usually have about two hours before I have to go to work. Last week, I got really lucky and not only had Friday night off work, but Brentwood had the day off too! So after Calculus my friends, Katie and Katherine, and I all went to paint pottery! We went to a shop called Baked Goods, which is where Katie and I always went with our friends in high school, so it isn’t a new place to us. It’s so much fun! We all painted different things; Katherine painted a Christmas gift for her sister, Katie painted a cat-treat container (The knob to lift the lid is a gold fish) and I painted a food bowl shaped like a fish for the new kitten I got later that night!

After we painted pottery we went out to lunch at Helen Fitzgeralds which was delicious! It was nice to just relax and have a day where we could all hang out and just have fun, because our schedules with work and classes never match up! Then, after lunch, Katie went straight to lunch, Katherine went home to St. Genevieve which is about an hour and a half from Fontbonne, and I went home so I could go to the Humane Society with my mom to get a cat! :) [If you can't tell, I am really excited to have a kitten!]

We got to the Humane Society and went to look at all the cats…and boy did they have a lot of cats! There were fat ones, tiny ones, old ones, and young ones …. That was a lame attempt at a Dr. Seuss-like rhyme (I should really stick to math). My mom had her heart set on getting either an all black cat, or a grey one, and we had seen a couple that she liked, but then in the back corner there was a bed with three tiny kittens all cuddled up next to each other. These were three month old kittens, and I thought for sure my mom would have liked the mostly black one, or the partially grey one…but I was wrong! She absolutely loved the one that was mostly a dark brown, with some orangeish-red stripes! I was so happy she didn’t pick a black cat, as were my siblings because our last two cats were all black!

We named our puppy, my oldest brother rescued from an abandoned farm two summers ago, Hercules,  because of that my mom wanted our cat to have a Greek name as well, so we decided on Athena! This weekend was one of the times I was really grateful to have picked a school so close to home, because I got to go adopt Athena, and play with her a couple times over the weekend, but my sister who goes to school in Rolla, and my brother who goes to school in Kansas City both are upset because they don’t have time to come to St. Louis until Thanksgiving and they really want to see her!

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This semester I have quite the heavy load! Being a math major is hard work, but at the same time a lot of my classes are really rewarding!

Right now I am in Calculus 2, Physics 1, and Honors Music course, and Philisophical Foundations of Education, as well as an Education course that meets once a week for 3 hours and we also mentor middle school students, and I have to observe in a classroom for 30 hours this semester.

Calc and Physics are a lot of work, and have been really stressing me out lately! I recently took the time to meet with my Calc teacher one-on-one just to talk about how stressed I’ve been and she was a big help to calm me down. The teachers here really do care about you! I am planning to meet with her a lot more because I just had a root canal yesterday and had been getting sick from the week leading up to the root canal because of medicines I was on and what not. And because of all that fun I got a little behind and she has been very understanding and willing to help catch me up.

Also because of my root canal, my observation schedule got a little messed up and I haven’t been able to go as much as I would have liked last week or this week, but the only reason that is stressing me out is because I am student teaching on Friday! The teacher of our EDU class is going to come in and record me teaching seventh graders math! I am nervous and excited at the same time, and depending on when you ask me I may be more nervous or more excited. Overall, this class has been very rewarding! It has certainly showed me that teaching is what I want to do, and it has been a lot of fun getting to work with kids!

My other classes aren’t very stressful at all, they just seem to be when I am stressed out about my all of my major classes. This week for my honors music class I get to go tour the Fox as well as see Les Miserables, so that should be a lot of fun!

Moral of the blog, no matter how much I get stressed, in the end it is all worth it and there is always someone there to listen and help!

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This week, as I’m sure you can tell, there have been a lot of blogs about favorite teachers, staff, and friends at Fontbonne. All I have to say about this is: do I really have to choose?!

Everyone at Fontbonne is so kind, welcoming, and friendly that it would take me an hour or two to mention them all in this blog. So, I’ll save both you and I the time by just mentioning a few of my favorite Fontbonne people that I believe deserve the utmost praise.

1. Dr. Thomasson.  Okay, so I just took his microbiology test yesterday, and he wasn’t my absolute favorite person immediately afterward. However, Dr. T is one of the coolest teachers I’ve ever had. I love how he’s so overly passionate about science and how he is always excited to explain some new chemistry- or micro-related fact.

2. Dr. Paine-Saunders.  Dr. Paine-Saunders is my advisor, and I think that says A LOT. Who else would want to constantly have to put up with me, and, more so, who else would be able to keep a straight, smiling face while doing so???

3. Dr. Rayhel.  Dr. Rayhel is the chairperson of the Biological and Physical Sciences Department. I love talking to her during lab because she always has a lot of really cool facts and ideas to share.

4. Ms. Barbara Story.  Barbara is the secretary of the biology department. She does so much behind-the-scenes work for us, and she’s always ready to organize our BSO meetings – lunch, snacks, and all.

5. Dr. Homsi.  Dr. Homsi is our lab technician. He is one of the coolest people you’re ever going to meet. It doesn’t matter what subject you bring up – Dr. Homsi can strike up the most interesting, intellectual conversion about anything.

6. Doc English.  Doc teaches my calculus I class. Calc is not even close to being my favorite subject; however, Doc makes the class very interesting. Whenever we start getting all glossy-eyed during a particularly-long problem, Doc will do anything to perk us up, including singing a mathematical song. It’s almost worth taking calculus just to hear her sing her song about reference angles…

7. Everyone in the biology department.  Even though I’m just a freshman, I have SO many friends in the bio department. No one really cares how old you are – everyone’s accepted and treated equally. I love going to BSO meetings and hanging out with everyone from the department. Having such a great group of friends with the same interests as me just makes school that much better!!!

So, as I said before, I could go on and on and on with my list of favorites. However, I do have to get back to my homework, so this short-but-sweet list will have to do for now.

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PokéMath

by Elizabeth April 26, 2011

I took my last Calculus test ever this morning.  (Granted, we’re combining the last chapter test with the final exam, and I haven’t taken that yet, but this one was my last normal test.) I guess it sounds weird, but I’m a little shaken at approaching the point where I have to leave Calculus behind. […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.