I know this may sound drastic in what I'm going to say next, but here goes: I do not want anything to do with Maths at all for the rest of my life. Seriously, whenever I try improving my Maths skills most of the information fails to penetrate my brain, which hinders my learning/progress even further. I strongly resent the fact that you have to have a Grade C or above in both English and Maths in order to get most jobs in this day and age. I've got no problems in English as I already achieved 2 Grade As, not to mention I got a BA Degree in English Literature. When it comes to Maths...well, that's a different story. I got a Grade E in Maths when I was at school, so yeah anyone can clearly see Maths is not a strength for me. There's no use in fighting it - I might as well accept that I'm no good at Maths and no amount of learning, practice and assistance will ever work in my favour. So, what is the whole point in me trying?
I started my Maths course last Thursday (the 23rd October). The class was told that the duration of the Maths course was for 6 days, so the last day was on 30th October. So from last Thursday to Monday I was more or less enjoying the course. I got through some modules with ease - sure, there were the odd times in which I got a little frustrated but nothing too serious. The modules that I took were Entry Level 3 and Level 1. Entry Level 3 is more or less basic Maths skills and it's lower than Level 1. Level 1 is equivalent to Grades D to G. Like I said before, I already got a Grade E when I left school, so I'm already at a Level 1. When I was working through these modules I felt a boost in my self confidence and as much as I hated to admit it I convinced myself that Maths wasn't as bad as I made it out to be in the first place. There was no use in freaking out before the course actually started.
Unfortunately everything went completely tits up much to my surprise. Honest to God, it felt as if I was being mentally tortured. For those who are avid Red vs Blue, do you remember the scene in which the Director had tortured the Alpha AI while Gamma and Sigma watched on as well as assisted in the act? Well, let's just say that I have a very good idea of how much anguish he went through before eventually reaching the point of no return.
Yesterday was just the beginning of my struggle. And believe it or not, I spend the whole day on a whole bloody module. Personally that caught me by surprise as previously each day I progressed through 3 and half modules depending on on easy or moderate the learning was in different sections. This was the first hurdle for me because it was the first Level 2 module I started, and to tell you the truth it was the proverbial thorn in my side that I couldn't lodge no matter how hard I tried. The learning and the questions increased in difficulty and it got so bad that my calmness turned into anger/frustration. Hell, there were a few points in which these negative feelings rose to the surface and I expressed them out vocally by swearing, sighing, growling/making noises of agitation. I didn't care if anyone were to notice how emotional I got; all that didn't matter because I was more focused on my state of total despair.
In hindsight I shouldn't have let my emotions get the better of me in challenges such as that, but it's easier said than done. I got so miserable and so hard done by that I realised that I was actually crying when others were around me on the computers getting on with their work. Eventually I had to exit the room and locked myself in the cubicle in the ladies' bathroom sobbing for a good 10 minutes before pulling myself together by taking deep, steady breaths. It worked like a charm as I was able to calm myself down in the end while taking my mind off the difficulties I was facing. I decided to go back into the room and have another go at the troublesome question. But did I manage to do it? Nope! Even approaching the question from a different angle served no justice, so in the end I caved in and asked Mohammed (the Maths tutor) some help.
He sat me down and he instantly could tell I was distressed from the state I was in. And the most annoying thing about it was when he tried to help me, I started crying again - by this point I couldn't cope. I could barely keep my emotions in line, let alone solving a Maths problem. So what happened was Mohammed took me to a secluded area of the room away from the class and he basically supported me in the best way he could. He told me that it wasn't worth getting worked over for and that because I was getting so easily flustered/emotional it detered me from breaking down the problem into small, simply parts
Well yeah, that is how I react when I'm faced with bigger numbers/complex equations. I take one look at the amount of numbers and alarm bells goes off in my head. I'm not one of those people who find it very easy to work out a sum and seconds later get the correct answer in my head. When it comes to English and expressing my creative side I can excel in pretty much everything that I put my mind to with hardly no trouble.
It took him a few times to show me what I needed to do in order to arrive at the right answer. But you know when he was explaining it for the first two times? My brain simply refused to take it all in because I was trying to process the information slowly so I can understand it to the best of my ability. Anyway he advised me if I were to come into any more difficulties I should give him a shout and he'll come over straight away. So in the end I took his advice, but the rest of the day was spoiled as far as I was concerned. I just wanted to get the hell out of there so I could go home and not have to deal with anymore shit. Later on when I got home I told my family about my day from hell. All they said was to soldier on and if I get stuck I should immediately asked Mohammed for help instead of getting stressed out. Oh, and my brother said for me to last until the last day of my course and if I don't complete all the work by then then I should cut my loses and not go in for an extra few days if needed be. You see, Mohammed told us that if we do not complete the modules as well as the assessment documents and take the final exam by tomorrow (Thursday) then we have to roll over. In other words, it means that we have to spend another 3 or 4 more days on the course.
Today wasn't so much better sad to say. The only good things about it is I progressed through 2 and a bit Level 2 modules and I didn't end up in floods of tears unlike yesterday. You could say that was kinda an achievement. I mean, the morning was going good until lunch time where Mohammed said that from 1:15pm onwards we wasn't to disturb him as he was busy marking people's exams so we were all on our own pretty much. But fate had a way of changing things from okay to horribly wrong. It turns out when Mohammed was busy marking that was when I run into so many problems. On two seperate occassions two of my class mates asked me if I was okay and I told both of them my worries and concerns. The first time a woman who was sitting by me actually helped me solve a question, and I couldn't help but notice she was already on her practice tests. Safe to say she was way ahead of me in the course judging by that. The second moment a middle aged man noticed me sitting there with a blank/worried expression on my face while staring dismally at the computer screen, and he chatted to me briefly. When he asked me what part I was up to I told him and in response he said I've got a lot more work to do, which I silently agreed with. I have no idea why but I admitted to the man that I was finding it very hard and I also wanted to quit. He told me I shouldn't give up and it turns out we have something in common as we didn't like Maths when we attended school.
Also, during my conversation with Mohammed when he eventually helped me out I felt really drained of all energy, not to mention the fact I could only muster a few words in my zombied state. So here's what basically went down in our chat:
Mohammed (seeing me stuck on a question): What's the matter, Kay? (repeats this a few times in different variations)
Me (thinking): You're not my friend, so please don't call me Kay.
Mohammed: What are you stuck on, Kayley?
Me: All of this. It's just so hard...
Mohammed (sits down and the proceeds to assist me and when I'm showing signs I'm getting the hang of it, encouraging me at times by saying "Good girl") See, you're getting yourself worked up over nothing, girl! You remember what I told you yesterday?
Me: Yes. (carries on with more questions for a good 10 minutes before approaching him) Mohammed, I'm going to go right now.
Mohammed: Oh, right. Also, like I said yesterday if you're having any problems then don't be afraid to ask. How do I know you're stuck when you're just sitting there and not saying a word to me?
Me: I know.
Mohammed: Alright, let's make a deal. In class tomorrow if you're stuck then you'll ask for help and I'll be there to support you. Promise?
Mohammed: See you tomorrow, darling. Take care.
Well, the joke's on him as I'm not going to turn up to class tomorrow. I hate to say this, but I'm throwing in the towel right here. I'm quitting the Maths course, only because I'm not enjoying myself. All I'm getting out of this is even more stress and this stress stays with me for the remainder of the day as I come home feeling slightly upset and discouraged and I get the beginnings of a headache. Needless to say I don't work well under stressful conditions and I can't relax at all. I really don't give a damn that it's the last day tomorrow; I have survived as best as I possibly can and this is where the line ends.I have reached my limitation, and if I were to push them even further I'd lose whatever sanity I currently have at the moment.
I have to put my well being, happiness and state of mind first and I'm doing this for my own protection. Only I have the right to know what's best for me, therfore my decision of quitting the Maths course will work for me in the long run. Besides, I've already completed 8 and a bit modules - I've gave it my best shot but right now it's time for me to realise when to stop. I have to accept that I will never get a Grade C in Maths and to be honest I'm qite fine with that. At least I've tried my best, which is something I should be proud of in spite of the terrible two days I've had. If Mohammed thinks I'll successfully complete the last 8 modules including the mock tests and the final exam in tomorrow's class he is mistaken. That is a hell of a lot to accomplish from the start of the day (9:30am) to the end of the day (4:30pm). And I don't fancy the idea of spending another 3 or 4 more days of the course while most of the class have completed their final exam. It will only increase my distress and frustrations ten time mores. Why continue with something I don't take pleasure in?
Oh, and if you have read this journal from start to finish without skipping parts, you have my respect and admiration
I just needed to vent. I feel slightly more better in getting things off my chest right now. I apologise if I'm the harbinger of dismal woe from my recent personal journals over the course of this month. Hopefully November can bring brighter and better days, starting with my birthday.