I just paid off my spring tuition bill, and was able to register for the fall term. I’m taking 11 hours of classes: Physics 180 (5 hours, including a 3 hour lab every Wednesday morning), Physics 190 (1 hour, a topics course held only on Fridays), and Math 253 (5 hours, also known as Calculus I).
In addition to the challenge of the coursework itself (and also in addition to the challenge of working a student job at the same time), I’ll need to build up as much as I can in my savings account now, so I can keep up with the fall payments and be able to register for the spring term on time. There is no room for mistakes here: no failing grades, no missed deadlines, nothing. It’s an academic path that’s as accepting of detours as the rail freight mainline across Montana. Where I’m headed is clear. What’s not known is whether or not the ground will remain stable beneath the tracks. Not everything is built from Rearden Metal.
I have added several new items to my book collection, and reorganized my bookshelves. Here are the books on my textbook shelf:
- The Ideas of Algebra, K-12
- College Algebra (Lial and Miller, 1973)
- Modern Algebra: An Introduction (Durbin, 1985)
- Intermediate Algebra (Clark and Anfinson, 2012) and Student Workbook. Also my folder and notebooks for Math 141.
- Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus (Stewart, Redlin, and Watson, 2007) and Student Solutions Manual. Also my folder and notebooks for Math 152.
- Analytic Trignometry with Applications (Barnett, Ziegler, and Byleen, 1999)
- Calculus with Analytic Trigonometry: Functions of One Variable (Taylor and Halberg, 1969)
- A First Course in Differential Equations with Applications (Zill, 1986)
- Foundations of Astronomy (Seeds, 2007), plus my folder and notes for Astronomy 112.
- Cosmos (Sagan, 1980)
- Comet (Sagan and Druyan, 1989)
- A Brief View of Astronomy (Pasachoff, 1986)
- Chasing the Shadow: An Observer’s Guide to Eclipses (Harris and Talcott, 1994)
- The Binocular Stargazer: A Beginner’s Guide to Exploring the Sky (Peltier, 1995)
- Observing for the Fun of It (Melton, 1996)
- Chemistry and Chemical Reactivity (Kotz and Purcell, 1987)
- Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life, (Starr and Taggart, 1984)
- Fundamentals of Physics (Halladay and Resnick, 1988)
- Physics for the Utterly Confused (Oman and Oman, 1999)
- Six Ideas that Shaped Physics: Units C, N, R, and T, by Thomas Moore, 2003 (these are the texts for this fall’s Physics 180 [C, N, R] and next spring’s Physics 181 [T; if anyone has units E and Q, give me a call! — Never mind, ordered them from Half Price Books online for, get this, 99 cents each!])
- Student Solutions Manual and Study Guide for Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, Volume 2 (Serway and Jewett, 2004) — on the lookout for this textbook, but only for the sake of completeness. [I just looked this up on Amazon — what I bought used for 25 cents you can buy new for $77.]
- Schaum’s Outline of Engineering Mechanics: Statics and Dynamics (5th edition, 1998)
- Schaum’s Outline of College Physics (6th edition, 1961)
- Bonus volume: the 2011 catalog for the Carolina Biological Supply Company.
As noted in a previous post, this list does not include anything from the history of math or science, anything related to Richard Feynman, anything related to time travel, or any science fiction or general-interest math or science. But it probably will be a complete inventory by the end of this summer.
In other news, I was bypassed for the real-person full-time campus job that I took the Office Support Exam testing for, so I’m back to Plan A — at least, I think it’s called Plan A — of being a full-time student with a regular student job in every spare hour. Tomorrow I should be able to make the last payment on my Spring tuition and finally be able to register for the Fall courses I’ve had sitting in my campus shopping cart since early April.
I’m still doing a pre-study of calculus so I won’t be overwhelmed with it in the fall. I need to add a pre-study of physics so I have at least skimmed all three volumes of the text before classes start. The other physics course is a one-hour Topics class that meets only on Fridays, so no preparation is needed. I sat in one it for about half the sessions last fall, just to get the flavor of it. Oh, and there’s also a massive physics lab that will take all of each Wednesday morning. Woo hoo!
It’s pretty busy for me this summer, what with the part-time job and managing the kidlets through their summer school sessions, vacations, and other explorations, but it will be worth it. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean I can’t do it.