Last week on McNeil river, tons of work stuff and some research readings… no wonder I was practically running out of time when getting ready for my Advanced Calculus final this past Monday. On top of being sleepier than sleepy after munching overdoses of Zyrtec for a few days, thanks to the mosquito army that attacked me on McNeil.
Calculus, and math in general, have always been easy to me. I enjoy logical problems where I can prove the methods used to solve them. If there are more letters than numbers in my math problem, that just simply makes my day. However, I had to spent some time refreshing my memory on how to solve this and that in Calculus. In fact I haven’t taken any single bachelor-level Calculus class in the university, ever. I went to the school in Finland, and my high school Calculus covered practically the whole, regular 3-year Calculus program that undergrad degrees offer in the US. Actually I tried to take Calculus here a few years ago, and was bored out of my mind after a couple of lessons. Hence I begged an opportunity to just test it out, got it, and maxed out the exam. So my college Calculus career was over real quick. And besides, the logic of Calculus is easy and fascinating.
Anyways, the final test day came, I finished rest of the homework at the very last minute. Actually I might have been the one 15 minutes late from the exam, just because of wrapping up the last calculations … and I got the paper in front of me, was looking at the problems and while I got half of them done quickly, the other half was more of a hard work. Also, since I missed classes on the previous week, I didn’t know I was allowed to have three pages of cheat sheets! Three pages, holy smoke! That’s a lot of notes. So I had only two 3×5 cards. Epic failure. With three pages of notes, I would have been able to prove Newton’s laws.
So I calculated and calculated, took derivates, integrated and proved my formulas. Right after the exam I knew I had completely messed up two questions but kept fingers crossed that I got enough extra credit points from additional problems to cover the mishaps. Since Monday I have checked the grading tool a few times a day, wanting and not wanting to see my grade. B would be a failure, C a disaster. And I already had a guaranteed C, even if I hadn’t even showed up at the final. Officially the grades were due yesterday. And last night I woke up to a dream about vector equation where I couldn’t remember whether gravitation constant G was either 6.67384 x10-11 or 6.67348 x10-11 N.
I looked at the clock on my nightstand. 3:18 a.m. Grades must be in the system! So I grabbed my iPad, took a deep breath and logged in.
I could hardly believe my eyes. But it was and is an A. Hard work in previous exams in straight A’s as well as diligently knocking down the homework and doing all the extra credit opportunities in the exam truly paid off.
By the way, G is of course 6.67384 x10-11 N. Should know it, even in my dreams.