can not figure out physics/calc coursework, friend always helps, what should i do.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by benlangdon, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #1
    I am currently attending a community college and i am enrolled in physics 4c (waves, thermo, quantum mechanics, optics, nuclear physics ) and math 3c (last calc class) and i have just realized that,

    I haven't been able to do any of this work (this and last semester) without my friend (who i study 100% of the time with, and a lot of time i might add).

    I got really sick of getting stuff wrong as i always do yesterday and i left.
    So i started to do some simple plug and chug problems and i couldn't figure them out, even wit the solutions.
    My friend gets this stuff very quickly and figures it all out and i am just sitting there trying and failing.
    Then he tells me how and i get it.

    I don't know what to do.

    Ranting Below
    Not informative at all

    he finished all of these two chapters of homework yesterday while i finished one problem, and sat and did nothing the rest of day. Then today he studied the chapters, i on the other hand have finished two problems.
    not including the one that i finished yesterday and i was only able to do it with the solutions. these problems are not even hard, no intense solving 9 variables with 9 equations, just one equation, might have to change a variable or two to something else, that's it. my teacher is horrible though. he is the worst teacher i have ever had. he is working on his dissertation and doesn't do much work for the class. while in lab, my group was waiting for our experiment to cool down and he came over and sat with us and was like " o yea im finding it hard to find fun things to do now. all i have to do is finish this dissertation and im done. ya, last week i went scuba diving and salsa dancing." i have even watched two of the MIT lectures on youtube about thermodynamics and they were amazing, compared to him. i have just been reading the book and this book is intensely dense.
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #2
    did you understand the prereqs to the claases you are currently in?
     
  3. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #3
    no ya i have done all the pre req's.
    but like in physics 4A ( last semester, im taking 4B next semester, hopefully if i start learning this stuff on my own) i was always getting it wrong and he was helping me the entire time.

    i guess my main question is,
    for these classes, i could not do them at all, without my friend helping me, and when i go to a real college, whats going to happen?
    i can't learn this stuff by myself.

    i mean i get it after he tells me how to do it, and i do well on tests, but i can not figure out any of this by myself.
     
  4. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #4
    Well, you can always do what I did: Change majors. I started out majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and I had a similar problem with Calculus. I had a friend who was a math wiz who could explain stuff to me fairly well. Yet when I tried to do it on my own, my brain seemed to shutdown. It seemed to refuse to accept that letters and numbers could co-exist peacefully in formulas. :)

    I eventually decided to change majors. Maybe I could have stuck it out and figured it out, but it would have taken a lot of extra work, and it was making me frustrated and miserable. I decided it wasn't worth all that.
     
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #5
    The best I can figure is try finding a better teacher.

    I had a horrendous time with Calculus. I was failing my first level class twice (each time I dropped out before it was too late and took an incomplete instead). Then I went to a different school. This next teacher was perfect at explaining how to work a problem.

    I did every assignment, attended every lecture, and read each sections overview. By doing this I got every question correct on the homework, every extra credit assignment, perfect scores on every test and the extra credit problems on every test. Giving me 112% in the course and forced the teacher to cancel the grading curve since the next student was in the mid 90's.

    Personally if I was in your position and truly felt I did not understand the work. I would drop the course. Look in the schools schedule for other teachers of the same course. Then either ask to audit for a while to hear them lecture, possibly even doing the assignments to see if it sunk in. That or at least wait outside after the classes let out and ask random students how well the think the teacher is doing.

    Too bad there is not a website to rate individual professors and courses within schools.
     
  6. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #6
    ya i think i was just stressing.
    i like this stuff, teacher is lame but w/e
     

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