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Re: Amazing stuff

Posted by alexandra_k on August 22, 2020, at 2:45:37

In reply to Re: Amazing stuff alexandra_k, posted by sigismund on August 22, 2020, at 1:47:30

> I don't know what AP refers to there

Neither do I.

Did you have High School / Secondary School that went
Third form
Fourth form
Fifth form (Fifth form certificate)
Sixth form (Sixth form certificate)
Seventh form (University Entrance or UE).

And...
If you did really really well in Sixth form then you could go to University off the back of that (but smaller more exclusive schools earned more 1's and 2's (the highest grade to be given) on the basis of how well their studnets did in the Fifth form certificate external examinations...
And most studnets completed seventh form before going off to University...

And now they are called year 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

So...
Seventh form was meant to be good preparation for University.
Because it was at the same level, really, or something like that...
It just gave studnets 1 more year to mature...
Socially...

So...
AP is apparently a curriculum.
That is apparently something you can claim as University Credit.
And in the US there is a distinction between 3 year Degrees (offered by community colleges) and 4 year College Degrees (offered by... A 'real' University, in some sense).

And so if you go to a good school they might offer a range of AP classes...
And if you don't then they won't.
And then your AP credits can be used for various things...
I'm not entirely sure on this...
I think the idea is...
Say...
For example...
If you want to go to Brown and to a Bachelor of Science then you need to pick a concentration (or make one up) and it is very very very very likely they won't let you make up a concentration that would count towards a Bachelor of Science unless it had a calculus paper in it.
Perhaps unless you already had AP credit for calculus. Then they might let you get away with taking different subjects becuase there was something you wanted to pursue...
So... AP credits can be used to get you out of what would otherwise be a compulsory subject. A calculus requirement or a language requirement or something like that.
At some Universities I think you can use AP credits to reduce the time it takes you to get your Degree... But I don't know...
That might be a sneaky way of... Well... Basically offering you a 3 year degree instead of a 4 year degree.
Or.... Well... 2 year degree with a year of Secondary School AP credit...

I guess people apply to what seems right for them.
It's all good.
So long as people know what they are choosing to do... I mean... Aren't being sold something under false pretenses...

Some Universities are scathing of the AP thing.
Because they say that the AP courses are not substitutes for subjects they offer.
E.g., a John's Hopkins Professor has a rant about how his college Calculus classes would not get AP credit (would not be recognised in their curriculum) because they think using calculators is important and he doesn't let people use calculators...

But the issue of the AP thing... Is more...
That it provides a curriculum.
As opposed to no curriculum.
Or... Well... Take a look at the NCEA (New Zealand Curriculum).
Our maths teachers go on and on about how terrible it is...
They keep faffing up the grading and asking stupid questions and not recognising correct and actually intelligent and out of the box thinking answers when they are provided...
They penalise studnets for solving problems without calculus when they don't need calculus to solve the problems... Because they didn't ask questions that needed it...
They aren't conceptual...

From my perspective... I don't imagine that AP curriculum would teach me as much as I could learn from doing a course at MIT or wherever... I know it wouldn't... But the point is that if I am not capable of following along the AP curriculum... When it is as well presented as it is on something like Kahn Academy. When I can work at my own very very very very slow and relaxed working pace... Without a frustrated person breathing over my shoulder... Then if I still can't do it... Then I know there is no way I can do it. But if I can do the stuff online for that... Maybe there is hope for me that I could complete a course in calculus to a satisfactory standard.

So... That I could have a concentration option locked in (for an Arts Degree) and get it done in 3 1/2 years... So I'd have a semseter at the end there where I could try for calculus or physics or whatever to get a science concentration to get a Bachelor of Science Degree. Yays. I don't know...

So, yeah, that's the AP thing. It's a curriculum that counts (in some sense) for University credit (in some sense) in the US.

I forgot about the MCAT. That's another test. Darned it...

Sigh.

Oh Dear...

ONe step at a time...
One foot in front of the other...

I am realising that a huge part of the maths problem for me was the lack of maths books. We had books of problems with unworked answers to every 5th question only.

I never learned to speak math.

Sal Kahn is great because he read the equations so I hear what they mean. And he explains them in differnt ways so I come to understand what they are saying. It is a language, yeah. For me... Learning the words is the hardest bit. Learning how to read it... I'm a bit slow to get started... But need to take the time on the foundations... Yeah.

> I never could understand what the hell triangles had to do with rates of change.

Hmm. Slope? Rise over run? (biggest y minus smallest y) divided by (biggest x over smallest x)? Or... A difference in change (y values) over a difference in time (x values)? Sigh. Chemistry... Sigh.

Titrations scare the hell out of me...

Our goggles were cheap and the plastic was not very clear and not very... Even or something. So it did some weird distortion. Not quite fish-eying everything, but it did funny things to space... LIttle portions of magnification and little portions of warping... It made me feel like a migraine and I don't get migraines. And then the graphing paper was very very tiny little tiny little squares... And then we had numbers with lots of decimal places... And we had to manage reading a time off a clock and reading a value off a Ph meter and record the instantaneous point in time that the ph read whatever... And I would jumble things up, rather.

IN one of my physics exams I just... Couldn't read. Then the most basic of things... I needed to do 4 x 6 or something like tht and I went... I don't know... BInary or something. I didn't know the answer (never learned my times tables). Or... I could have a stab. Sometimes I guess right. It just seems right.. Whatever occurs to me. And sometimes it is right. But othertimes it is wrong... So... So I tried to convert it into an adding problme because I can count on my fingers... Under the table... Sureptitiuosly so the invigilator can't see what I'm doing... ONly I can't do it very well when I can't see my fingers and counting on my fingers is problmeatic because of the whole numbers meetin gin the middle so I have to remembe the number I'm carrying into the next column and it's a mess basically.

ANd I swear I ended up donig something.... With zeros and ones trying to figure out a simple (haha) multiplication that I just should have known.

And that was physics.

Oh Dear.

That was a few years ago, now. To be fair. It was also a summer school course where the lecturer for the second half would only give us problems in batches of about 10 with no worked answers until the following week... It was designed to set people up to fail to gain entry to Engineering (again). It was not designed to help people learn physics. And it was too compressed for someone who hadn't heard it all before... At least 1 previous time... ANd not for someone with no algebra...

I suppose I have learned a lot of math in chemistry and physiology, really. I don't mind physiology. The equations. For neurones and for blood flow etc. I can do that. But titrations are harder...

The cartesian co-ordinate thing is really really really really helpful. To put the numbers on a line properly.

I need to practice basics more. Bedmas rules etc. It's just so helpful hearing Sal say what the equations mean or say in English. And explaining them a few differnt ways...

My intuitions are often upside down and back to front so it's a bit of work for me to set them right.

E.g., 'approach from the left'. Or... 'approach from smaller numbers to bigger numbers'... or 'moving to the right'... And then keeping straight what the `-' means at various points... Just that bit... Needs to take time to settle. Go over and over and over... Until seeing it that way is automatic and easy.

Like... Orienting yourself with anatomy x-rays and mri's and so on... That took a bit of work with the planes... But then you just see them rightly... Orient correctly... But that took a bit of work, too...


> I would have been better off with classificatory sciences, botany, geography, history.....

Geography is classificatory??? Do you mean differnet kinds of rock? Yeah I see that... HIstory?? How is that classificatory?? Or do you just mean that you like history as well?

> in those days unless you did straight physics, chemistry, maths1 and 2, and French......I'd have ended up in a class in which I'd have felt very threatened indeed.

Was maths 1 and maths 2 something like calculus and statistics? I started doing a first year course in statistics (had to drop because of my thesis)... I was surprised that I was following along...

But my intutions got weird again. With addition / subtraction and multiplication / division and sets. The do unexpected things... I think because I tend to think of addition as an 'and' operator... But with sets it doesnt' do that... It picks out what I think of as 'or'. THe overlapping subset.. That's not how I was thinking of 'and'... Then I get stuck for a bit...

But I was actually really enjoying it. ANd it was my first exposure.. And I was following along... But then our course book (actually MY coursebook other people's printed coursebooks were fine). MY coursebook (randomly given to me by the centre) had a big chunk of the wrong content in it. They put some of the previous years notes in or something...

It meant that I had problems that didn't match the content. So I was having a hard time doing the problems... ANd then I thought I wasnt' following along....

ANd after wasting an entire weekend trying to solve things that I couldn't do... Getting really really demoralised... Going to a tutor for help (and he thinks I'm pretty dumb because it should b eunderstandable from the book)... AN dthen figuring out that I learned a bunch of stuff that... I don't know.. And I didn't have the content I needed. And then interference effects and...

It was a bit of a mess...

_____

Khan Academy is saying something about getting rid of some of their courses.

NOt sure why.

Politics, I expect. People don't know why they would pay for their kids to go to high quality schools with AP content when you have Khan academy providing high quality content online. So... Yeah...

They said the MCAT (med school admissions test) content will go... They are delaying removing it while people find an alternative...

I forgot about that.

I guess i need to study for that test...

I think... From what I've seen of the test... It is something to be... Crammed for??? I think... I would rather get a high quality undergraduate education. Particularly the stuff on inequality and public health... Sociology... I don't know...

I would like to help people.
But I am wary of things like 'doctors withotu borders'.
Sustainable change. Genuine change.
I guess I would like to understand more about international relations and the like... From smart people who are trying themselves to genuinely help things be better for mor epeople.

And of course there is a lot of work to be done within the US, too...
A lot of unhappy people.
:(

 

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poster:alexandra_k thread:1111776
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/poli/20200805/msgs/1111823.html