I am terrible at math so when I had to take the required Math 1010 in college, I just about flipped my shit.  I would sit in class and watch my teacher explain the stuff and show us problems and I would just not understand it so at night while I was trying to do my homework, instead of finding someone local, like in the math tutoring lab, I would call up my friend Corey who was 3 hours away.  As I’ve stated in previous entries, I also harass Corey about technology and he is still my friend.  Cores has the patience of a saint.  Anyway, this system of him helping me worked out fairly well until we got to a geometry section.  So setting logic aside as I often do, I decided I’d still call Cores for help and I would just be able to DESCRIBE the problems to him and he could draw them himself.

Without further ado, I give to you the story of how I got a B in Math1010:

ring ring

Cores:  “Hello?”

Me:  “Okay so there is a triangle and it is asking me for things that I just don’t know.”

Cores:  “Hi Mary.”

Me:  “Yes, hello.  Anyway, so there’s this triangle and I only have just the one bit of information but they want to know what the length is for side x and side y.  How can they do that? They only give me ONE teensy amount of information and expect me to know what the entire triangle is measured?  No.  I don’t even care.  I’m not going to be an architect and I don’t even like this triangle.  There is no need for me to know this.”

Cores:  “Okay.  Let’s start from the beginning. What kind of triangle is it?”

Me:  “Oh it’s not tiny but it’s also not very big.  I’d say it’s medium sized.  What is the measurement for X?”

Cores:  “Sigh.  I don’t know what it is yet.  I need more information.  Do you remember your teacher explaining different types of triangles?  Like isosceles, scalene, or right?”

Me:  “Nope.  Is the size of the triangle really that important?  Just draw a triangle.”

Cores:  “Well it matters because that can help us figure out the angles, which can help us figure out the sides. So just describe the triangle to me.”

Me:  “Ugh.  So many steps.  Okay it’s actually a nice looking triangle now that I’m not so irritated with it.  It’s very straight and it has the tiniest little square in the corner. I like that, it’s cute.”

Cores:  “Great, so it’s a right triangle.”

Me: “Perfect.  Now that you have your details, what is X?”

Cores:  “Mary. This is just the beginning…”

An hour later, after explaining each step twice, putting me on speakerphone with his roommates who were engineering majors and it becoming a collaborative effort with one of them shouting, “SOH-CAH-TOA, USE SOH-CAH-TOA!”, we were done with problem #1.

This is how I got my B in Math1010.

One comment on “SOH-CAH-TOA

  1. Once in my college math class (which consisted ENTIRELY of word problems) my professor got off track and decided to teach us how a pregnancy test worked. No joke. There were other reasons that that class was terrible, but I’ll never forget being like “I truly, TRULY don’t need to know this”.

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