# Well now, am I at a huge crossroad! Any help?

1. Nov 17, 2005

### Blahness

Since my school isn't adequately teaching me, I'm taking learning into my own hands and studying what I want to study.

But then... what DO I want to study?

Science, Programming, and math interest me greatly, and I don't go much for art/music/dance(x.x).

So... What branch of science/programming/math should I research?

I know:

Factoids about Nuclear energies

Now, my school hasn't given me many mathematical science classes, so I need to learn how to apply math to physical concepts. Speaking of math, Here's where I am:

Moderately well off in Geometry
Well off in Algebra

However, I make many simple arithmetic mistakes that cost me many points in tests. Any help?

And programming. My programming class is CRAP, ****, AND OTHER FORMS OF BODILY WASTE, What language should I learn?

C++
VB
C
NOT JAVA FOR THE LOG(love of god)
Perl

Anyway, I know I sound like I'm desperate... but I really want to actually learn! ='(

2. Nov 17, 2005

### matthyaouw

I may be a tad biased here, but geology is always good!

3. Nov 17, 2005

### matthyaouw

Ok that wasn't too helpful i guess.
What level of study are you at right now? What kind of work do you enjoy? Practical work? Lab work? Or do you prefer more Maths and theoretical work?

If you have any specific questions about geology/geography, don't hesitate to ask. I'm doing a physical geography course, which encompasses a fair amount of geology, plus I did geology at A level.

4. Nov 17, 2005

### zanazzi78

No one can tell you what to learn as very few people here know you well enough to advise. You seem disillusioned with what your being taught.
Bear in mind that the educational system implements a process of learning that in progressive. You may feel that your current understanding of certain topics is beyond what is being taught but understanding what is being taught at 'this' level is more important that trying to progress your own knowledge. That said if you do truly understand your current topics and wish to expand your skills then researching the fields in which you are interested in is of vital importance. No one can tell you what you find interesting!
You stated an interest in

With regard to programming, it has been made clear to me recently that an understanding of VB could stand one in good stead for the future, it is a commercially accepted program and employers 'require' programmers to have a good grasp of it for employment.

Science s a very wide subject, identify what area you find most interesting whether it be an earth science, as mathtyaouw biasly suggested, chemistry, biology or PHYSICS. If you enjoy a subject it’s easier to study! What ever you choose maths is going to play a very important part, make a point to understand it.

In closing we can not tell you what to study. Study what appeals to you most and remember; far more satisfaction is gained from having fun while you learn than learning while having fun!

Last edited: Nov 17, 2005
5. Nov 17, 2005

### bomba923

Blahness, immediate report here !:

I do encourage you to pursue an autodidactic approach towards academics
(i.e., self-study ).

My most valuable advice to autodidactic learners:

GET BETTER TEXTBOOKS!

(And also some books aside, on specific interests )
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-Blahness, look closely at your science textbooks, and compare them with the textbooks of college/university libraries.

*Do your HS textbooks proceed too slowly?
*Dumbed down?
*Lack sufficient academic rigor?
*Teach nothing but factoids unsupported with rigorous reasoning and procedure?

If you've answered "yes" to any one of these questions....go to a university or college library and demand-->or ask nicely --->for a rigorous textbooks.
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From a personal perspective--->i.e., my HS ---->a "college preparatory" algebra workbook asks questions like:

1) What do you "feel" is an exponential function?
2) Definition of Continuity: a function that "flows" at a point or interval

Neither of these questions/definition demonstrates academic rigor. Just a bunch of blatantly superfluous work masquerading as a "college preparatory" text. Oh...and maybe +10 points for retarded effort...or a neat but pointless notebook--->another incompetent student passes the course . Poor college teachers have to put with this kind of !%#@.
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I don't think that your textbooks are this dumb...but then again I don't know.

Given that you feel unchallenged--->go ahead and challenge yourself. Although I believe you have a right to do so, do NOT expect a academic challenge from a public HS curriculum.

--Perhaps you can organize a Math Club~! Hopefully it will be better than the one at my school, that lets "everyone" into the club. Yes, you have people there who do not understand scientific notation or significant figures . In fact, people don't pursue any mathematical challenges there at all! Just a place to eat cupcakes/popcorn, and do nothing while calling this edifying gathering, a "Math Club"

You see, it is good when a mathematically motivated student joins the club! Even if he/she has not taken calculus, he/she is motivated and more importantly has the algebra+geom+trig skills to learn calculus. Not a problem at all. But when an incompetent and unmotivated student who blames HS teachers for not catering to his/her mathematical ineptitude...well, let's not take him/her into the club. Let's be a bit more *selective*
Shall we? :shy:
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To sum it up,
-When I write, it sounds like a rant. It certaintly does -->sound like a rant.
In fact, even I can call parts of my post here a rant . Anyways....moving on :shy::

*Anyway, although I believe students have a right to do, do NOT expect an academic challenge from your HS curriculum.
*HOwever, you are still a high school student! All this means is that you have not yet learned the basics! You may lack fundamental understanding of the topics....i.e., beyond mere Factoids! Which is why, as I always suggest,

GET BETTER TEXTBOOKS!

Try to follow a more rigorous approach towards academics. Acquire fundamental understanding. And where is that logic along with those basics and fundamentals better covered....without access to University courses/professors??
In TEXTBOOKS!

Whatever time you don't waste copying sentences, labs or factoids from dumbed-down HS books, invest that time in....you know what I'll say anyway:
TEXTBOOKS!

Read them and understand them well. Peruse them word for word until you understand the sentence. And whatever material they try to teach you.

Btw...and you've probably noticed,

I honestly hold textbooks in higher regard than teachers. Rigorous textbooks are more comprehensive, they test your abilities to understand without having the privilege of asking many stupid questions to a teacher. Without that special aid of a teacher.

For me, I see it as an individual student vs. new understanding & comprehension, with good rigor included. Without that nice big special aid from a teacher. It is your mind and your individual abilities to read & understand by YOURSELF. It is at least a measure of competence.
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Well, this was a long post

Anyway, Blahness, I hope you understand what I suggest.

No hard feelings, I just tend to write that way

(get better textbooks----eekk...eek...ok. you get the point :shy:)

Last edited: Nov 17, 2005
6. Nov 17, 2005

### Smurf

study everything. Don't narrow yourself to physics, math or programming. Study everything.

7. Nov 17, 2005

### JasonRox

I disagree with this.

I read the book by Paul S. Halmos, "I want to be a Mathematician.", and he gave very wise advice to focus on one thing. It is too much work to work on everything.

In your case though, I would advise you to learn a little bit of everything. Explore the basics of everything, and after you learned a little bit of everything, start pursuing that specific area you enjoyed the most. Don't be afraid to leave that area if it starts to get boring. Your young so explore.

Personally, if I were you, I'd relax about this whole school thing. We know it's retarded and everything, but keep your grades up so you can attend on great post-secondary school. I don't care if you are doing good already, do better than that. You said you are capable of doing better, so than do it. It's not useless. It gets you scholarships. \$

8. Nov 17, 2005

### bomba923

Yes, but don't be like me, who actually intends to major with MS (at least an MS!) or better in pure mathematics, physics, organic and medicinal chemistry, computer science, and mechanical+electrical engineering.

*Primary goal is a PhD in pure mathematics, with a MS or PhD in physics (however it will turn out :shy:), and an MS in chemistry.

(With "side" interests in philosophy, genetics, neuroscience, and a few more)

(Hmm......I'll try to narrow down my list . But I probably won't be too happy about it :grumpy:)
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Anyway, Blahness, follow Smurf's advice! Regarding majors. It's GOOD!

Last edited: Nov 17, 2005
9. Nov 17, 2005

### rachmaninoff

Looks like someone's going to face serious disillusionment this year...

10. Nov 17, 2005

### edward

If all else fails you can always become a union plumber.

11. Nov 17, 2005

### Kazza_765

Lol. My mate who is a union plumber working on a government site is getting about the same wage as my bosses at the engineering firm I work at casually.