Completely over my head...what do do.

Discussion in 'The Classroom' started by Laura Zone 5, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Laura Zone 5

    Laura Zone 5 Shut the front door! Supporter

    Jan 13, 2010
    Back home again, in Indiana! Zone 5
    I know this is predominately a 'home school' board....and I was a homeschooling mom......but now, I am a college student, and I am lost.
    Drowning, and ready to quit. And it's only been 3 weeks.

    My communications and intro to college classes are a dream. Easy.

    My Math (lowest level) and my English (somehow I tested college level) are killing me.

    I cannot drop them, it's too late, I will lose my financial aid, and my grant.

    For the math class, I am fine, when I am in the room, most of the time. I was doing Scientific Notation like a boss.....until I got home and tried to do my home work.
    My brain went blank, and I forgot how to use my calculator.
    When I was in class Tuesday, I didn't understand what he was doing.
    No, I can't ask questions.....I am terrified of looking stupid (or should I say confirming to everyone in the room, I am stupid!:hrm:)
    By the time I got out of there, came home for an hour and turned around and went to work.....I completely forget every thing he said.

    For the english class. Again. Lost.
    I do not have basic skills. Maybe 3-4th grade level? That's it.
    Everything is done on a computer.
    I don't know how to do anything on a PC, so I brought my mac, then we did something in class that the PC could do but I couldn't figure out how to get my mac to do it.
    My brain got stuck.
    I could NOT move to the next task, because my brain was stuck in "how do I make the Mac do this" mode.
    My brain locks up in that class. He's teaching, and he's good.......but my brain stops.
    I will be finishing what he has asked us to do, and when I look up, he has told us to do two more things.....and I missed them.
    If I go home and go through the slides of that days class, one by one, slowly, I can recall about 75% of what he said, look at my notes, then I can do what he has asked. Unfortunately he wants it done, in class, and turned in.
    I was on the verge of tears the whole way home.
    I cried myself to sleep last night.

    I have dyslexia, and I am telling NO ONE, I do not want a label.
    I am so, uneducated.
    And I am terrified of exposing that in a class room
    (REAL BAD childhood memories of school)
    I am overwhelmed. I have to finish, I HAVE to get at LEAST a C in math, or I have to take it again.
    I so badly wanted to be on the deans list....

    I just want my old life back. and that will never be, and it makes me really really angry.

    I went to a tutor for the English class last week, and she helped a little bit, but it's over an hour away from my home, and I have a work schedule I have to adhere too.....

    If you have any tips / pointers/ ideas, I sure would love to hear them.
  2. farmrbrown

    farmrbrown nobody

    Jun 24, 2012
    If you don't know, you don't know. And if the teacher doesn't know what you need, they can't possibly help you.
    The only thing stopping you is fear. Fear is one of the greatest obstacles to success that there is, and yet it is invisible and quite small when you look back at it in your rear view mirror.
    You might even be surprised when you find several others in that class are in the same position and also too afraid to ask for help. Everyone is waiting for the first person to step forward.
    If your goal is important enough to you, walk right thru that fear and succeed.

    My wife had similar experiences in school with her math teachers, and dropped out of school rather than be labeled "dumb" which I assure you she is NOT.
    With kindness and patience I've taught her math that she was sure she couldn't learn, like fractions.
    She's so proud of herself now when she converts recipes that she wouldn't even try before.
    Don't quit, just bypass the fear and continue down your road of success.
    Waiting2Retire likes this.

  3. tentance

    tentance Irish Hurricane Barbie

    Aug 16, 2012
    FL, Zone 8b/Sunset 27
    most community colleges and universities have free tutors. sometimes you have to ask if there is tutoring, check the librarian. those little old ladies are always in the know. for math, that's what i would do. also maybe take a remedial math class like Intro To... whatever math you are in. also for math there are some youtube videos . also check iTunes U.
    for the english, ask at the college where the computer lab is, and do your writing there. they will have, for free, the latest version of WORD, which is probably what your teacher wants you to use to revise your drafts. the library will have the current MLA handbook or whatever citation book your class is using.
    hope that helps.
  4. ErinP

    ErinP Too many fat quarters... Supporter

    Aug 23, 2007
    western Nebraskansas
    In addition to the urge to find a tutor, can you change seats at all in the class? I mean, are you in a lecture hall/classroom where you can choose your own seat?
    Find someone who looks like they know what's going on, sit by them, and create a connection.

    Jim was a non-trad in my freshman intermediate algebra class. He was around 30, married with kids, and hadn't really understood algebra when he was younger. So, the 10+ years that had passed since he'd done it last hadn't helped.
    He ended up sitting between me and Bart and both of us were skating through class for an easy A. So, we made sure Jim passed. The prof would teach some new concept and Bart and I would help Jim figure out what was going on.
  5. HoofPick

    HoofPick Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2012
    Willamette Valley Oregon
    Professors have office hours, use them for all of your questions you have on homework or don't want to ask in class. That would be the time to discuss your struggles and anxieties about the class. Maybe your English teacher will let you turn in your assignments later. If they know you have dyslexia they will be more willing to work with you.

    If your dyslexia causes you to have trouble during tests, go to the student services center. At my college they allow you to test separately from the class and give you time and a half in a distraction free environment.
    mekasmom and simplerlife like this.
  6. katheh

    katheh Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    I am an adult college student. From what I see, you have a couple of issues.

    Biggest is: You need to stop wallowing in your self-pity. Nobody thinks you're stupid. Being dyslexic is a disability not a scarlet letter. They did not give you a Pell Grant to give you another excuse to beat yourself up.

    Even if you can't fix your self-esteem issues in the rest of your life, you can fix them at college.

    The professors are there to teach you. They have performance metrics like any other job. If someone in their class fails, there are consequences for the professor.

    You need to tell them you are dyslexic. Just go to counseling. It will get you reclassified as a learning disabled student and there are accommodations for you.

    There is free tutoring offered at every single community college, everywhere.

    If you tested at college english placement, you are not at a 3-4th grade reading level. I have taken the assessment tests and they aren't easy.

    You need to prioritize. Communications IS English. You need to do your work on a PC. It is so much easier than the MAC (at a college level). I'm sure you have a computer center - there are a bunch of people killing time there, working for work-study, and they would be THRILLED to have something to do. They would love to help you.

    For the math class, simply follow the syllabus. This tells you what has to be done, and when it has to be turned in. You don't have to listen to the lecture (personally I have taken all my math classes, starting with the remedial, online, I liked it better). You simply have to do the work and turn it in, and take the tests.

    I am SURE you can do this. I can, and I am in my 40s. There are so many resources for you- just take advantage of them. They WANT you to succeed. What they don't want is for you to waste their investment by not asking for help that you clearly need.

    You can do this! (and if there is someone at home telling you that you can't, shame on them!)
    Bret and simplerlife like this.
  7. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

    Sep 1, 2004
    Jeromesville, Ohio (northcentral)
    Are you allowed to video tape your classes so you can watch and glean more from them in a more relaxed environment? I know that wouldn't help with the computer stuff, but it might help with the rest.

    I agree with the others...ask questions!
  8. mekasmom

    mekasmom Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 19, 2010
    Is it a community college? If so, then you will not fail. They are made for people going back to school like you. Talk to the instructor. Tell him you are confused. Ask for help, extra credit work, etc. They should not have allowed you to go into a class that you aren't able to do. Community colleges are made for remedial students and adult students.
  9. cindy-e

    cindy-e Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 14, 2008
    find their tutoring room on the campus. Go to student services and ask. And google is your friend. THere are all sorts of how to videos to help you. Hang in there! You can do it!

  10. farmrbrown

    farmrbrown nobody

    Jun 24, 2012
    A couple more things I thought while splitting some more firewood today.

    As others have said, community colleges are used to adults starting or continuing education, and even if it isn't, here's the thing.
    This ISN'T grade school anymore, you are a grown woman. No matter if you got there on grants, loans or savings, someone's getting paid to teach you. I'm not suggesting you be obnoxious, just be confident, put yourself in the position as you would any other, where you've contracted for a certain service, and you're the customer.
    This isn't about bringing home grades to Mom and Dad when you were a girl, this is about you paying for a service and doing everything you can to make sure you get it.
    If you need to transfer to another class, providing you still can, then so be it, but if you tested high enough in placement, then you already know you have the brains to do it.
    And I'll bet Shrek and others have all kinds of advice on Mac compatible applications like WORD, etc. that you can download for free.
    Just ask.
  11. ErinP

    ErinP Too many fat quarters... Supporter

    Aug 23, 2007
    western Nebraskansas
    Mac uses OpenOffice just like PCs. Free program that runs word/excel/power point/etc docs...
  12. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 11, 2005
    Better off to ask what might be a stupid question than to get a F and possibly lose your funding.
    Talk to the prof, look on the bulletin boards for tutors. Record your lectures.

    College is not mandatory school. You are in the same boat as most of the other students. I sometimes wondered how many others in the class wanted to ask questions but were also afraid to ask.
  13. primal1

    primal1 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 22, 2003
    Quebec, Canada
    Stick with it! I just finished a 2 year horticulture program, of which a large chunk was botany at a university level, many of us in the class were lost but i was too determined to get this degree i decided to ask lots of questions and i assure you many were stupid.. but it helped not only me but other students who also didn't want to ask.
    If you have to speak with the teacher after class, they love being engaged!
    good luck!
  14. SunsetSonata

    SunsetSonata Broken Dreamer Supporter

    Nov 22, 2006
    Upstate NY
    Is it more miserable to struggle like you are, or to tell your professors you have dyslexia?

    Please, take the advice to talk to your professors. If it helps, write down your thoughts before asking to talk with them. State your specific issues and ask for advice. They won't hand you A's just because, but they do want you to succeed.
  15. Laura Zone 5

    Laura Zone 5 Shut the front door! Supporter

    Jan 13, 2010
    Back home again, in Indiana! Zone 5
    The prof does give extra credit points for going to the tutor.
    I was 'whining' because it is an hour away...and I am a little short on free time.
    I will make the appointment today, and go back again.

    I spoke up in math yesterday and asked a boat load of questions and asked him to work out a few different types of problems on the board.
    Ya'all are right....and thank you!!
    As soon as I did, a handful of gals asked more questions.

    This is my education, and I have to take charge of it.
    Facts are what they are, but I cannot allow them to become my crutch/disability.

    Today I am 100% off. No school, no work.
    I am working on my math with my *totally brilliant* daughter.
    I will break, then do another class, etc. until it's all done.

    I can do this.
    I will do this.
    Ardie/WI, primal1, mammabooh and 4 others like this.
  16. Laura Zone 5

    Laura Zone 5 Shut the front door! Supporter

    Jan 13, 2010
    Back home again, in Indiana! Zone 5
    Sure could use a spot of prayer.
    GOOD NEWS, I got an 86 on my first Algebra test!!!
    So far, my grades are all B+ and better.

    However, I am wasted, tired.
    I think I am either catching something, or I have burnt my candle at both ends for too long, and it finally caught up to me.
    I have 3 papers, 6 math home work assignments, 2 chapters to read (about 30 pages each) and 1 Communications test, this week.

    I can do this...and I am doing it....and I am fighting the "I want my old life back" woe is me crap. I am so so very tired, and am just struggling a bit to find some balance.
    If you would ask The Father, to show me the steps He wants me to take, and make it a WELL LIT path (because I am thick headed :) I would appreciate it!!!
    primal1 and farmrbrown like this.
  17. Taratunafish

    Taratunafish Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2007
    Laura- You sound like me during my first time around in college. Notice I said "first time around"? I see you found the guts to speak up in class. You're better than me!! Proud of you for doing so. When I finally found the guts, I stayed at the end of the class and asked my questions then. As far as the math goes, I never got anything better than C's at the college level. For me, the problem was I never understood how the math problems were utilized in real life situations. I stayed late once and listened to how the professor was doing research on cancer drugs, how long they stayed active in our systems, etc.. Math plays a big part in figuring that out. Maybe if you could find out how these problems apply to real systems, it might help you to understand the thought process in problem solving?

    When I went back to college as an adult, I worked full-time. I started off taking one class at a time and did sssoooooo much better. I couldn't handle more than two classes per semester. Took classes over the summer, and it took me 8 yrs to get my BS, but my grades were A's and B's (except for those math courses!!). I also latched onto one, two, or three people who seemed to know what was going on. Between us, we'd get through each class.
    It wasn't easy. You aren't feeling anything I haven't felt. I got very tired of saying "I can't because of school". Take a deep breath and pace out your semester into quarters or weeks if you have to. Kinda that "one day at a time" mentality. That thinking helped me as well.
    Don't beat yourself up.
  18. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    Manitoba, Canada
    "Stupid" is not asking questions when you need clarification. This is your EDUCATION, Laura, and you'll only get out of it what you put into it. You've recognized that it was lacking, and you're doing something about it. You've paid MONEY to someone to teach you stuff -- "stupid" is not getting your money's worth for want of asking questions. Is avoiding the momentary embarrassment worth not getting the most out of these classes... and maybe being left further behind and NOT accomplishing your dreams?

    I guarantee you that you are not the only person in the class who is having some difficulty understanding. Be brave, stand up, ask the questions, and get your education. You're only hurting yourself by not doing so. Trust me, BTDT!!!
  19. bajiay

    bajiay bajiay Supporter

    Apr 8, 2008
    I am glad that you spoke up! Keep doing it if you do not understand. They are there to help you! In homeschooling my daughter, I found that we all learn differently, and a teacher can only teach ONE way. So ask!!!

    I am in my last year of pre-med and I am taking the hardest class that I have EVER taken in my life! Made an 88% on my test last Saturday, which is way low for me. This is depressing, but at least I am passing, cuz I read the first chapter of the book and said, "WHAT?!?!?!" I'm NOT giving up! I only have 10 classes left and I am done! Time has gone by very fast and it will for you too! YOU CAN DO IT!!!
    Laura Zone 5 likes this.
  20. teachermom44

    teachermom44 Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2012
    Ask questions. That's what a teacher's job is, to answer your questions! Good for you for asking questions in class!

    YOU CAN DO THIS!!!:happy:
    Bret likes this.