It’s all trigonometry and calculus and algebra and crazy nerdy shit that I haven’t touched in 11 years.

Earlier this week, I received a couple emails with more details about my interview with the provincial electrical utility: It’s two days of assessments, and they call it “boot camp”. How absolutely terrifying. On the plus side, they’re flying me to the mainland, putting me up in a hotel, and paying for my food and transport while there. I’ve NEVER experienced any job interview like that, and it makes me hopeful, because why would they invest so much money in me if they didn’t really want to hire me? Calming thoughts, calming thoughts.

Unfortunately, I had another fright this morning and it hasn’t dissipated: To prepare for the 1.5 hour quiz on grade 12 mathmatics and physics that I’ll be required to write, I looked up the provincial curriculum for these courses. Fucking hell. It’s all trigonometry and calculus and algebra and crazy nerdy shit that I haven’t touched in 11 years. I’d been thinking the topics would be more like the stuff I did at trade school, which was practical and challenging, though fairly easy… I loved it. Not trig, though! Oh, and graphing functions… I hate graphing functions, and they send me into a mind-numbing spiral of anxiety.

More importantly, as I mentioned: I managed to scrape by in these courses in high school, but that was over a decade ago.

I spent the afternoon at the local library, where I picked up comprehensive books on the BC curriculum. My idea was that I could simply go through their practice quizzes to learn the main concepts, but I rapidly realized that I have no clue how to even start answering any of the test questions. I don’t understand what the questions are even asking me to do. My memory of this level of math and physics is so hazy it’s like starting from the beginning, with the constant pressure of having only 18 days to learn it.

So that’s what I’m doing. A Saturday night, a kitchen table, a pad of graph paper, a stack of “Complete Idiot’s” guides and their ilk, a pencil, a calculator, and a cup of tea. I’m trying not to questions my choices, because it’s getting tiring to constantly wonder what the hell I’m doing, or rather why I’m doing it, so instead I’m trying to pretend this is fun and useful and the sort of thing I’ll look back in another 20 years and really get a kick out of.

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8 responses to “It’s all trigonometry and calculus and algebra and crazy nerdy shit that I haven’t touched in 11 years.

  1. Break a leg:-) I know, you can do it!!! I would run like the wuss I am but, you are FERAL. You go girl.

    • feralgeographer

      Thanks! I gotta say, it’s the feral part of me that’s the problem, because it keeps saying that no job is worth this much time sitting at a desk and cramming information into my brain…

  2. Argh! That’s when you would want to have a neighbour like me! I (somehow quite miraculously) can do math and can communicate math to mathematically-challenged people. No kidding. When I wrote my GRE last year, I spent just 4 days on the math and I got a 700+ score on it (out of 800) and I hadn’t done any math since high school either.

    Since I can’t be helping you out physically and intellectually, I’ll help you out spiritually by sending good vibes to the West Coast. Works?

    • feralgeographer

      I’m not surprised to find out that you’re a math genius too… Is there anything you aren’t good at?

      I’m happy to realize after studying for the past two days that my ability to comprehend and retain math concepts is a million times better than it was when I was in high school, so good vibes would be awesome, thanks!

  3. Daunting. I commend you for taking trig by the horns. Math is a ghost to me; it’s scary and it escapes me. All the best with your two-day interview + accommodation :)

  4. Holy moly. Is there a way you can get a hand on an old boot camp test from the utility, or a breakdown of more specific questions? I feel like you will only need to know a few different kinds of questions and if you could find out what they’ll be, you could narrow down what you have to study.

    I’m studying for the LSAT right now but this sounds a lot harder.

    • feralgeographer

      Sadly, I’ve been completely unable to find out anything else about the test, though I did go online and find lists of the sorts of questions the panel asks during the interview portion. At least the other applicants will likely be in a similar situation to me… I hope…
      Yay, LSAT! I used to have one of those study books, and really liked it. Good luck!

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