Class of 2020 Blog

Posts from the Johns Hopkins Class of 2020

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How I Failed My Calc Final

November 15, 2016 – damn. I just got a 57% on my second calc midterm. Well, technically, it’s a 56.6, but I’m taking any confidence boost I can get and giving myself the liberty of 0.4 percentage points. I didn’t expect much from this exam – I had just come back from a weekend-long Model U.N. conference the night before the exam and it had been a crazy (election) week, so I didn’t do a whole lot in the way of studying – but I wasn’t exactly anticipating anything in the D-range.


After the requisite amount of time for moping and self-pity, I get my wits about me and resolve to learn from my mistake. “It’s alright Jonah, this just means you have to do well on the final”, I say to myself, “That’s nearly a month away – you have plenty of time to start studying. You’ll start soon and give yourself all the time you need. You’ll know calculus like the back of your hand! You got this!” Famous last words.

November 22, 2016 – Chapter one, here we go. I’m sitting in my cousin’s apartment in New York City, chugging through logarithmic functions and exponential growth. I’m right on schedule, and I feel good – I’ve already stared studying, and the exam is more than three weeks away! Sure, maybe it’s taking me a little longer than I had hoped to review the first problem set, but I’m not worried in the slightest. When will he learn?

December 6, 2016 – So I haven’t gotten quite as much done on the calculus front as I would have hoped, but it’s nothing to fret over. It’s not that I’m completely shunning calc, it’s just that Arabic is taking a bit longer to study for than I anticipated. 200 vocab words, conversational skills, verb conjugation, possessive nouns, adverbs, plurals – oy. Regardless, I should still be fine. I’m reviewing the two midterms and I pretty much have all the questions on them down. Some sticky points are tripping me up – such as the mathmatical equivalent of root canals they call optimization problems – but I’m confident that I can conquer them. Now, how do you say purple in Arabic again? Let the onslaught begin.

December 9, 2016 – Alright, I’ve got four days to study five chapters of calculus, let’s get cracking. I have to go through functions and inverse functions, continuity and discontinuity, limits and asymptotes, Mean Value Theorem and Intermediate Value Theorem, related rates and optimization (blech), inflection points and extrema of functions, L’Hospital’s Rule and Leibnitz’s Rule, differentiation and integration and integration by parts and integration by substitution – and those are just the highlights. No biggie, though, four days is plenty and I’ve taken calculus before, so I’m sure I know this stuff. I’ll be fine. He said, not fine at all.

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December 11, 2016 – We’re in the red zone baby. The exam is tomorrow, and I have to math hard. It’s midnight, and I’ve been studying all day, but there’s a whole bunch to go over. Cumulative change, derivative of arcsin, logarithmic differention? Where was I when we went over this stuff in lecture? I blame this one on math for being so boring. How can I be expected to pay attention to a lecture on implicit differentiation when UCLA beat Kentucky by five in Lexington and Lonzo Ball highlights are up on YouTube? I should still be good though, I really do know most of the material, and I’m confident that I’ll get the rest done by the end of the night. Anyway, it’s time to drink some coffee and get down to business – I can do this! No you can’t.

December 12, 2016 – Wow. That exam was hard. It wasn’t that I didn’t know my stuff – by 3 AM last night, I had actually reached a point where I comfortable enough to say that I was well prepared – the problems were just difficult. I’m pretty sure I got 925/45 for one answer and that optimization problem – where the heck was I supposed to go with that? I knew optimization would do me in! It wasn’t just me though; everybody I asked thought it was tough as well. Oh well, now its just time to sit back and hope that the curve saves me – I don’t think my grade will be too bad. Just you wait buddy.

December 14, 2016 – Well, that didn’t go as planned After nearly a month of studying, countless of pages of review, and too many Brody Café coffees to count, I managed to get a whopping 71 on my calc final…out of 125…I got a another 57. On the bight side, though, I actually got a 56.8% this time, so I improved by a whole 0.2% percent! Despite my improved performance, though, a 57 wasn’t exactly what I needed on this exam. With my impressive 65% midterm average, this score puts me at right about a fail without the curve. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for college anyways, I was always more of a tradesman myself. Maybe vocational school would be exactly what I need, I’m thinking welding. But suddenly, a glimmer of hope!


December 15, 2016 – WHAAAAAAAATTTTT!?!?!?!?!?! I got a C in calc! I cannot fathom how this happened in any way that does not involve the gods, black magic, or both. This is the kind of thing you dream about, the scenario you never imagine would actually come true, the curve that you would give your left foot for. This is madness. But I’m not complaining, I passed calc! I really did it! Nobody can stop me, I am invincible, and I can enjoy my break in peace. And on that note, see you next semester! All is well that ends well.

 

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