ASU Spring 2016 Session B Week 3 Update

Well, I spoke too soon… Physics 121 & 122 definitely got more challenging. So much so that I had to make a very hard choice today and withdraw from both of those courses. The decision was not made easily. Over the past 10 days, I had been spending just about every waking moment trying to just complete the assignments and had been completely neglecting my family.

The kids and my wife were home on spring break last week so my normal study routine was greatly thrown off and before I knew it, I was not in a good place academically or mentally and the family was mad. I did a horrible job balancing the demands placed on me, but the family demands right now warranted dropping down to part time school.

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get back to a full time course load. I’m at the point academically where all the physics and math classes are critical path items before I can taken any more electrical engineering courses. There isn’t anything else I could take or double up on that moves the ball forward faster until I can complete the physics gauntlet.

After seeing the amount of time that the PHY 121 and 122 course require, I’m really hesitant to try and retake it summer session. This summer, I’ve already committed to taking MAT 343 – Linear Algebra and MAT 275 – Modern Differential Equations. Fall, provided I am success at my summer courses, I’ll have MAT 267 and that will complete all the math courses required. That will be a very good thing.

Sometimes, slowing down isn’t a bad thing. At least that is what I keep telling myself. I’ll be able to give 100% of my academic attention to mathematics over the next few months and likewise for Physics late this year and the first half of 2017.

So at the earliest right now, PHY 121 and 122 look like they will have to wait until Fall 2016 Session B. Spring 2017, Session A PHY 131 – Physics II and PHY 132 – Physics II Lab, followed by PHY 241 – Physics III in Session B.

In retrospect, I probably should have taken advantage of the local libraries around Elk Grove last week. Having uninterrupted time to focus on the Physics work probably would have gone much better. PHY 121 and PHY 122 are no joke. Both are wicked fast and you can’t just blindly memorize formulas and expect good results. The lab course required a lot of time to put together the data, analysis and conclusions. You’ve got to be able to model the problems and apply the principles to solve problems. It’s a different animals than the other courses I’ve had to date and requires a much different mindset.

So all that on Physics… let’s talk about MAT 266. This week our first two weeks of homework is due. Luckily I have all of that work completed well in advance of the deadline tomorrow at noon. We have to have our first exam completed by Thursday at noon and I’m planning to take that Wednesday morning. It is unproctored but will still be a good reality check to see how well I’m able to apply what we’ve learned.

The exam is covering the Integration Techniques we’ve been focused on- substitution, integration by parts, trig integrals, integral approximation and partial fractions. I’ve been working a lot of problems over the last few weeks and using Anki to help memorize the various integrals and derivatives. The spaced repetition program I think is really helping. Trig substitution I still need a bit of work on though.

The course doesn’t stop though for one to focus on the exam. This week in MAT 266 we’re studying:

  • Improper Integrals
  • Area Between Curves
  • Volumes

Outside of studies, I definitely need to get back to exercising and daily meditation. I did a much better job the first semester and this semester not so good. Hopefully the changes I’ve made today and a hard lesson learned will help get me better balanced and able to complete my objectives successfully.


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