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Did i screw myself over?

  1. Sep 14, 2009 #1
    So During my highschool year from gr 9-12, i screwed aroudn too much. I never did any work or the least amount of work possible in order to pass. So basically i got 50s. Then last year, i tried our stone masonry thinking it was the thing that i really wanted to do. Well it wasn't and now i'm back for another year at highschool. When it was the first semester of gr 12, i took college level math. I don't know why either. But I spoke with my teacher (he was my gr 10 academic math teacher but i switched out cause of too much yelling..) and he just said "ray if you don't screw around and just do your hw, you'll pass this course no problem" In the end i passed and i really enjoyed math to be honest.

    I don't know.. it just spoke to me like it felt really good solving problems. But i still wanted to be a stone mason. So i took the whole 2nd semester dedicating myself trying to learn the trade through a co-op program. It's beautiful and amazing. I now have a whole new respect for masonry. It's not just bricks. It's a 5000+ year old craft that still holds true beauty today. Anyway, i loved the thought of me being a mason but i was in constant fear of dying and i didn't like being screamed at. The boss was nice though.

    Anyway, When i told my guidance i tried it and didn't like it, she told me "well what do you want to do next year?" I said "something with math... " I think alot of it had to do with my best friends who took the sir isaac newton exam and well.. I was kind of the dumb one in the group. I wanted to be on par with them. She told me that my math scores weren't really high and i was missing alot of courses needed to fully understand gr 11/12 math courses.

    Here's the things that i took

    math gr 9 (academic) with 50%
    math gr 10 (applied) with 67%
    math gr 11 (mixed) with 54%
    math gr 12 (college) with 69%

    I didn't take gr 9/10 academic science or any other science after gr 10.

    But for some reason, i really didn't care. I think i really started enjoying math for once. I think i understood why math started making sense to me. It's all about work ethic too. Also from gr 1-8, i never tried in math. So my fundamentals are extremely poor. Actually i never tried in anything. I guess part of it was because i had such a poor self esteem and i kinda wished i wasn't there.

    I want to learn math, physics, computer science almost more than anything at the moment. So currently i'm taking gr 11 math, physics, computer science. I go in for extra help every day. I'm just kinda worried about it not being enough. I plan on taking the sir isaac newton exam as well. But i have gr 12 physics next semester and apparently they aren't offering gr 12 advance functions at 2nd semester so i have to take it at night school. I'm also taking computer science and calculus + vectors next semester.

    What i want to do at university. Well i'm not entirely sure but the sudden huge appreciatetion for math, i want to learn everything i can about math. Every day, i look forward to attending school now. I love working doing math now. My work ethic came from a talk my jiu jitsu (yay lost 40 lbs from jiu jitsu) instructor had with me (he's my hero). He told me that he believed in me and i could do better in jiu jitsu and life. He said i should follow the way of the samurai (bushido) and to always ask "what would a samurai do?"

    I think that really gave me a huge confidence boost and i wanted to work hard at anything ever since. Having your hero believe in you is an amazing feeling and you dont' want to upset him/her.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2009 #2
    You haven't screwed yourself over, you'll just need time to catch up. When I was in high school, I didn't even take grade 12 math and my gr 9 - 11 math marks were always less than 65%.. Anyway, I caught up and I'm going to do a math specialist program at my university.

    I did it through various math textbooks, I really like the one titled "Principles of Mathematics" by Allendoerfer.
  4. Sep 15, 2009 #3
    I never took math beyond 9th grade geometry in high school. I got a degree in Kinesiology without ever taking a single math course. I decided at age 29 that I wanted to study Physics.
    I still have never taken algebra, trigonometry, pre-calculus, or even Calculus.

    I'm taking a 5720 level course in Complex Analysis that is listed as borderline graduate/undergraduate in our course catalog this semester.
    So, as far as I'm concerned, you're not screwed by a long shot.

    It took a rather obsessive approach to self studying to self-teach mathematics up through differential calculus, but despite ever-present concerns that I'm still not prepared, I seem to be keeping up.

    If you really do enjoy it, then continue pursuing it.
    Although "loving it" is probably what I'd consider the most important aspect of choosing a field of study.....you most certainly won't love a large portion of the studying, homework, labs, etc., that you'll have to complete. So you have to have a mindset beyond just enjoying the material.
    If you're lost 40lbs through hard work, you'll know the mindset I'm talking about. It's what people in medical school have or what people that get PhDs in mathematics have.
    It's the "thing" that's different between the times you may have said you were going to lose weight and the time you DID lose weight.

    I don't know how else to explain it, but it seems like half the freshman any University are "pre-med," yet you can usually tell rather easily which ones will be doctors and which will be majoring in "general studies" by year 2.
  5. Sep 16, 2009 #4


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    Also what im doing right now, if you dont get accepted into the 4 year you want, get your AA at a community college and use your grades there to transfer to a 4 year, its much easier, my HS grades arent stellar either :[ Im a senior now and doing running start. Part time community college part time high school. I really hated science and math until last year, now im a physics geek only because I study physics on my own time outside of school for hours on end. Read lots of books when you got nothing else to do. Good luck to you man.
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