Book of Fail and Win

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bluefoxicy
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:04 pm UTC

Book of Fail and Win

Postby bluefoxicy » Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:26 pm UTC

I don't remember if I mentioned this before. I don't know if I should put this in Mathematics.

I've looked around, but nothing McKeague did impresses me much at a glance. I was hoping this would be a favorite author, but oh well.

I'll restate my back story for the fifth time: I went to public school, got very (very) good at math, then decided (probably blindly from hearing it so oft repeated) that math was insane and annoying and hateful and I would never study math again. Five years later, I can't do math, and thus I've been planning to study (...).

So a couple years ago this came to light when I could only handle half of Calc 2. Being the studious genius I am, I decided that my problems with Calc 2 must stem from having a poor grasp on Algebra--for with Algebra, I can wizardly move around both numbers and symbols, simplifying or reorganizing equations as I see fit to accomplish my goals with minimal effort.

Thus it came to pass that I and many others enrolled in College Algebra.

And with enrollment comes books.

College Algebra Enhanced with Graphing Utilities, 5e

This was the book proscribed for the class. To make a long story short, there's this quadratic formula that's like x=(b^2 +/- sqrt(2b - 4ac))/2a so you can handle this by... well, you can see the equation. LET'S SEE HOW IT'S DONE ON THE CALCULATOR! (*I pulled that equation from about 5 years of long term memory so it may be a little wrong)

Elementary and Intermediate Algebra, A Combined Course

Was not assigned. I found this when looking for my own text. The book actually has a feature list in the front. The author saved all that fancy calculator stuff for the second half, because he thinks we're supposed to be learning math instead of technology. Up front we get a bunch of fully explained exercises, sample problems to work on, then sample problems that call forward to Geometry (because Geometry is an application of Algebra and thus more interesting than rote drills), as well as real-world examples like how much crap can you fit on a pallet truck of a certain size? He also likes to cover stuff you should already know--ONE sample problem will expand some of the stuff from before, rather than assuming you remember it from the last chapter; after that, you're on your own cowboy.

College Algebra Enh. w/ Graphing Utilities: FAIL

Elem. and Interm. Alg. Combined: Win

What courses have you taken where the instructor assigned book was crap, and you either found or were assigned (on retaking the course, after failing or dropping) a much better one?

Brickmack
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:48 am UTC

Re: Book of Fail and Win

Postby Brickmack » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:50 pm UTC

When I took algebra in middleschool, the book I was given for the class was very unhelpful because it didnt actually say how to do anything. Also, many of the answers in the back of the book were clearly wrong, so that was of little help. It would have been ok if the teacher explained how to do what we were supposed to be doing, but he didnt (he really shouldnt have been teaching anyway, on the few parts I could figure out, I saw him make numerous mistakes, then wouldnt admit he was wrong), so I failed the class. Then I had to take it again, with the same teacher (I passed that time though, after realizing it would be easier just to figure out everything on my own and hope that it sort of resembled the math we were supposed to be learning)

bluefoxicy
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:04 pm UTC

Re: Book of Fail and Win

Postby bluefoxicy » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:45 pm UTC

Brickmack wrote:When I took algebra in middleschool, the book I was given for the class was very unhelpful because it didnt actually say how to do anything. Also, many of the answers in the back of the book were clearly wrong, so that was of little help. It would have been ok if the teacher explained how to do what we were supposed to be doing, but he didnt (he really shouldnt have been teaching anyway, on the few parts I could figure out, I saw him make numerous mistakes, then wouldnt admit he was wrong), so I failed the class. Then I had to take it again, with the same teacher (I passed that time though, after realizing it would be easier just to figure out everything on my own and hope that it sort of resembled the math we were supposed to be learning)


I had this happen in high school with statistics, except after 3 months we kicked the teacher out and demanded another one. They gave us this Asian math teacher I'd had for 2 prior years (yeah I had the same teacher for 2 different maths already), and she not only taught better, but also started over from the beginning and caught us all up AND we all got As (well, except me--she was PISSED because I got 4 questions wrong on all tests combined across the whole year, but I got bad grades because I never did my homework... I asked her why I needed to do homework if I was better at this than her?).

Yeah. Threw the bad teacher out. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

User avatar
sam_i_am
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:38 pm UTC
Location: Urbana, Illinois, USA

Re: Book of Fail and Win

Postby sam_i_am » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:09 pm UTC

When I was pursuing my CS Degree, after freshman year, I decided not to buy books at all until I was a week or so in.

The reason for this was that the "required" book often wasn't used for many classes.


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