As registration for fall semester approaches with a hurtling and terrifying speed, UMN sophomore Jenny Mason has come to the realization that unless she wants to be taking her math gen-ed her senior year, she needs to bite the bullet and register for ‘College Algebra 1’ in the fall.
“I’ve taken all of my other gen-eds, so it’s the end of the road for me,” Mason explains, her face white with terror at the premise of the combination of numbers and letters. “I’ve put off taking it this long with the excuse that I have a language or science class. But this past semester when I planned on taking math, I changed my mind at the last second and decided to take an online health course instead because math is hard.”
Mason is a communications major at the U. She hasn’t taken a single math course since ‘College Math Prep’ in her senior year of high school, which was a joke class in which she sat in the back row on her phone and smacked her gum for nine months straight.
“I didn’t, like, prep for college math!” She winces at the memory. “And now I’m regretting it since it’s been two whole years since I’ve done anything more complicated than finding a GPA calculator online to tell me whether I’m failing my psych class or not.”
When taking the entrance exams two years ago after admission to the U, Mason managed to test into a pre-calculus level class by some miracle, but she doesn’t plan on taking anything more complicated than algebra.
“The algebra class only barely fits into my schedule where the pre-calc would be super easy to find room for, but it’s more important to avoid calculus than to stay on track in my major,” Mason says.
Mason’s roommate, Polly Rinks, says that Mason has spent a cumulative seventy-two hours on Schedule Builder just in the math section, wincing her way through every single class description for the past two weeks.
“I’m pretty sure Schedule Builder is just always open on her laptop,” Rinks explains. “I doubt she’ll take the math class at all because she’s got about six other back-up classes ‘just in case’ the math class is full. I wouldn’t put it past her to get wasted on registration day just like she did last semester and sign up for the easiest online course she can find.”
Mason has already bought a large bottle of Pinot Noir that she’s planning on drinking at exactly 2:30 p.m. on April 22, an hour before she registers for fall classes.
“I can’t control what Drunk Me does,” Mason says with a shrug of her shoulders. “And sure, I could go back and fix it later, but a decision is a decision, you know? Drunk Me knows how much I hate math, so I’m sure she’ll look out for me come registration time.”