Calculus 2, Geology 2, etc, seem intentionally hard

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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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17 Dec 2019, 2:02 pm

As if the second course in a degree (or minor) sequence is when they decide to start weeding out students.

Even Voice for the Actor 2, for crying out loud. Voice 1 was interesting vocal exercises such as Fitzmaurice Tremoring Voicework (built from yoga positions), and then Voice 2 is going to be how to log speech in tedious ways?

Apparently so.

And apparently, the 2 of a sequence is where they try to kludgeware it into being technical, pretty much for the sake of weeding out.

So, don't take too many 2's for any one semester! . . . or go in there pre-warned.

Your thoughts please. :D



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17 Dec 2019, 2:20 pm

I remember Calculus 1 being fairly easy compared to Calculus 2, but I had also opted to take a "Pre-Calculus" class, which was just algebra similar in complexity to what we would be using in Calculus 1. So maybe that contributed to making Calculus 1 seem easy?

All of the mathematics courses seemed to get much harder after Calculus, though, culminating in Fourier Transforms kicking my ass the first time I took it.

On the upside, college is much more forgiving than high school of students needing to retake courses. I think they expect it. And a class really is easier the second time you take it (which leads me to suspect some of them should be split into two classes in the first place).



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17 Dec 2019, 2:21 pm

I found them easy, but I don't think there were any easy engineering courses.



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19 Dec 2019, 9:15 am

Oculus wrote:
I remember Calculus 1 being fairly easy compared to Calculus 2, but I had also opted to take a "Pre-Calculus" class, which was just algebra similar in complexity to what we would be using in Calculus 1. So maybe that contributed to making Calculus 1 seem easy? . . .
I think pre-studying is the royal road. 8) And it can be as casual as leafing ahead in a geology textbook.



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19 Dec 2019, 9:35 am

Well, of course second-year classes are harder than first-year classes!  That's just how it goes.  Whether or not the intent is to "weed out" marginal students is a moot point, since marginal students are likely to fail anyway.


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kraftiekortie
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19 Dec 2019, 9:37 am

Ironically, I have always found "intro" courses to be usually more difficulty than subsequent courses.

I would work hard in the "intro" courses---which did form a great foundation.



jimmy m
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19 Dec 2019, 11:40 am

Generally I have found first year courses in college (such as the 100 series) to be where the weeding out occurs. The problem that I personally encountered was that my advanced college courses in mathematics were taught by foreign professors and it was difficult to understand them. I suspect this problem may be getting worse today, because many of the college courses are taught by graduate students rather than by actual professors.


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19 Dec 2019, 11:42 am

I took a second semester Economics course taught by a Korean grad student in 1985. He was a great instructor and I did very well in the course. :D It was a small class of less than a dozen students.



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19 Dec 2019, 12:11 pm

BTDT wrote:
I took a second semester Economics course taught by a Korean grad student in 1985. He was a great instructor and I did very well in the course. :D It was a small class of less than a dozen students.


Class size is also another variable. My second year calculus classes were over 100 students in a very large classroom.


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kraftiekortie
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19 Dec 2019, 1:49 pm

Class size does have a bearing on how some students do. I agree with that.

I'm fortunate that, when I went to college, I was never in a class with more than 30 students.



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19 Dec 2019, 2:09 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Class size does have a bearing on how some students do. I agree with that.

I'm fortunate that, when I went to college, I was never in a class with more than 30 students.


I pretty much always had small class sizes, too. I don’t think I’d like a big class although it would add some degree of anonymity if that’s what someone wants.


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19 Dec 2019, 2:24 pm

Colleges already have an effective method for weeding people out. It's called the application process. Colleges don't make a habit of accepting people they think can't make the grade. Accepting students only to cull them later only lowers the school's graduation / retention rate numbers. Investing in students who won't complete the program is a waste of money. And a student who will complete the program will spend more money at the school than someone who takes one semester and drops out. Schools would really rather not accept people in the first place, than try to axe them later.

There are schools that will accept just anyone, but they will usually also just pass anyone as well, so they keep attending, keep paying, and keep graduating - which is profitable and makes them look good, but the degrees are usually of questionable use.

Also, as Fnord said, things kinda get harder as you get more advanced. Just how that works. Comm 2 generally *will* be harder than Comm 1. Comm 3 generally *will* be harder than Comm 2. Because each one isn't just more of the last - each one is a more advanced application of the last. That's why you're generally required to take part 1 of a class before you can take part 2.



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19 Dec 2019, 2:46 pm

uncommondenominator wrote:
... as Fnord said, things kinda get harder as you get more advanced. Just how that works. Comm 2 generally *will* be harder than Comm 1. Comm 3 generally *will* be harder than Comm 2. Because each one isn't just more of the last - each one is a more advanced application of the last. That's why you're generally required to take part 1 of a class before you can take part 2.
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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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19 Dec 2019, 7:08 pm

Okay, in a textbook on “Historical Geology” (history of the Earth), which was the 2nd geology class, they’d take a time period much more specific than Triassic, Jurassic, or Cretaceous,

often use the word upper or lower,

and say something like: The upper ______ was the beginnings of _______ and the heyday of ________ . [naming two obscure plants or animals!]

==========

Yes, it did seem like it was kludge-ware technical simply for the sake of being technical.



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19 Dec 2019, 8:34 pm

Temple Grandin said we on the Spectrum tend to have one of three preferred intellectual styles:

1. Visual thinking — poor at Algebra

2. Music and Math

3. Verbal Logic Language Translation — poor at drawing

(with some overlap of course)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgEAhMEgGOQ

Please see 21 minutes into the speech.

----------

I'm the "Verbal Logic Language . . " Although I more commonly call it story/narrative. We might also call it the case study method (just like business, medical, or law school). I mean, to give myself some credit and all. :wink:

I have learned through long and bitter experience that if I have three technical courses in one semester, I'm at real risk of overload.



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04 Jan 2020, 1:59 pm

Last semester I took Calculus 2. On the first day, the professor straight up told us this was the hardest course in the calculus sequence, and he was a merciless grader.

I got a good grade in the end, but the class was hell.


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