As part of “The Plan”, my road map for the first six month of retirement, I resolved to take at least two classes at our local community college. I reasoned that it would be good to take a class for the sheer joy of learning not to mention that it’s always good to expand one’s mind. Besides, it might just be fun!
To that end, I enrolled in a Contemporary Mathematics class which is offered for non-science majors needing math credit. Now it’s been thirty plus years since my last college math class, but I figured if I could survive college calculus, how tough could this one be! As the expression says, “Pride goes before the fall”!
This math class is taught online, so besides the book, you are required to purchase access to a website titled MyMathLab; it’s where all the course materials are located. My first indication as to how challenging this class might be was when I opened the MyMathLab envelope to get the access code. When I peeled back the label, I was greeted by the following: WSCMML-DROSS-SELAH-GLUON-SAPIR-TIRES. My first thought was that I had inadvertently signed up for a key boarding class. Why would anyone need an access code with so many letters?
After keying in the code and triple checking for accuracy, I was prompted for the pass word. Foolish me, I assumed that the access code was all that was necessary for entry to the world of math learning. After quickly skimming the directions, I learned the pass word was your instructor’s initials plus the course number. That seemed simple enough, but after multiple attempts, the door to fun and and math was still stuck shut! I must have spent twenty minutes entering various combinations of numbers and letters; finally defeated, I decided that it was time to email the instructor and ask for help. As I was worked my way back thought the web pages, I happened to notice the following in the center of the page: the course id for winter term 2008 is: abcdef94715. Maybe I should drop the math class and register for a remedial reading class!