July 5, 2016


I'm taking two math classes this summer. Both of them involve online work.

One is a normal class, with four days a week of class time, most of which is spent going over the homework, and very little of which is spent on new concepts. None at all is spent on concepts that are new to me, so I'm just going to start bringing in my laptop and doing all my homework in class until we get to something I don't remember how to do. (I did all of this stuff in high school, it's just that high school was twenty years ago. My placement scores weren't high enough to get out of this.)

The other class is a hybrid class, meaning that most of it is done online, but there's one day a week of classroom time with a teacher to explain things. It uses a system that I (mostly) really like, called ALEKS. ALEKS tests you at the beginning to see what concepts you already know, and then you don't have to learn those again. (This is a godsend to me. Thank you Athena, thank you Hermes.) Then it teaches you stuff you don't know in small, discrete chunks. It tells you after every question whether you got it right or wrong, gives you a chance to correct it or to view an explanation if it's wrong.

The thing about ALEKS is that I'm supposed to spend five hours a week on it, which is a lot for me. I can do about one hour's worth of that in class, but I still need to be on it every weeknight for an hour in order to get it all in. Now, this wouldn't be a problem at all... if I had net at home. Unfortunately, our previous option has gone away, and we have not yet waded through the bureaucracy necessary to get the new thing we want. So I can't just sit in the comfort of my own home, taking turns doing problems and writing and dinking around on the net and doing some other homework and reading comics and back to problems about five to ten minutes later. (This is a common way for the ADD brain to work. It's actually more efficient for me. I learn better this way.) No, I have to go to a coffeehouse, which is a very bad place for me to learn, and sit in uncomfortable chairs and feel like I have to focus a lot more on it because there's time pressure. I have to get a lot done before closing time, no matter how numb my butt gets.

Nor are the math classes the only ones with online work to complete. My class on Microsoft Office does, too, although I can get a lot more of that done in class.

I'm still researching and writing the death rites, too, in bits and pieces as I have brain power, and working on converting the first of those rituals into something to be posted on the Polytheist Death Guild site. I'm still getting ready to open the Rewriting Death blog, on the process of writing the death rites. Oh, and I might have a job doing some freelance writing.

So I'm feeling a bit overloaded at the moment. Which is not to say that I won't be posting here. I certainly mean to try to post at least once, and preferably twice, a week. Expect lots of talk about math and computers, though.

I've been perusing this list of back to school magics, and I'm considering going over one or two of those at some point. I haven't talked about magic here in ages.