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Over the years, we have found that one of the students’ greatest criticisms of any math class is their claim that they didn’t learn anything. Therefore, as part of their final, I have the students list ten things that they have learned. These items can be anything at all in relation to the class. They are allowed to write their list ahead of time and bring it to the final if they want. Most observations are quite normal, but some make for interesting reading. Each year I list some of them, and here is this year’s list.
1) I have learned not to take a junior/senior level math class my freshman year.
2) Wait until after the class review day to take the test.
3) People complain about having to walk up the hill to the math building even though most people really need the exercise. I’m not saying I need it, but some people really do.
4) Don’t write in pen.
5) The boy that sits behind me is correct a lot less often than he thinks he is.
6) Study sessions should not be held in my apartment with my roommates home.
7) Sitting in the front rows of class is a good idea. Probably not the front row, however because there is too much chalk dust. But if a person gets too many rows back there re too many distractions to pay attention to the teacher.
8) I have found that I am much better at math if I schedule my math classes at the time of day I am most alert. I can’t stay awake in them in the afternoon.
9) In probability I learned that the reason there are treads on shoes is to give the ants a 50-50 chance. Actually, I learned that it depends on how much tread there is. It’s complicated.
10) I learned it is ridiculous that we have to take foundations courses like this one when we already know the stuff. I already had stats in high school, so I didn’t learn anything in the class other than loans, investment, logic, probability, and taxes.
11) I learned that I have little patience for wasting time in class and that I value class time and learning there. However, I have found that if I miss one class, I am lost, and I totally tune myself out, and I need to have more patience there.
12) Penny bidding sites are fun until you lose all of your money on them.
13) I learned how to do taxes and why people are so willing to pay someone else to do them.
14) I had just learned that the cute girl next to me was named Hailey, and then she dropped the class.
15) I learned I will not let another one of my sisters plan her wedding for the middle of a semester and make me miss class.
16) I learned not to take NyQuil before taking a test. I sat down to take my test and the next thing I knew it was two hours later, the test center was closing, and I hadn’t even finished reading problem one.
17) I learned that I could survive in an apartment with five other girls for three months. But I was glad when it was over.
18) I learned that I take a lot of things for granite. [I’m sure he meant granted.]
19) I learned that adult life is harder than I thought.
20) I learned that some things are better left for the calculator to figure out.
21) When I text in class I miss important information.
22) I learned that I actually need to study for exams.
23) I learned that two o’clock in the morning is not a good time to finish homework.
24) I learned how to not get punched by a girl when I am teasing them.
25) I learned that math and I are still enemies and will never get along.