I want to take calculus before I graduate from high school so I can be challenged like my friends. Any advice?

NYU is my dream school. Early this year I often was down on myself since I thought there was no hope I'll be accepted there. My family and friends are working hard to assure me, there is.

Here's my 3rd MP report card:

Concert Band: A

Special ed English: B

Comments-Thomas has done very well with his writing assignments. Thomas still struggles with staying focused when reading a novel, however his focus has increased.

Practical Bio: A

Comments-Thomas is a pleasure to have in class, he is enthusiastic and organized.

Well/Fit: A-

Comments-Is a Pleasure to have in Class.

Special ed Social Skills: A-

Comments-Thomas participates in topics of interest in social skills. He often expresses his opinion on matters of interest.

Courses that ended 1/20: Geometry: C+, Jazz Lab: A-

My special ed teacher plans on putting me in the following courses in 11th grade:

- Special ed English for the 1st semester, 10th grade English for the 2nd (I have not completed 10th grade English yet, so taking 11th grade English is not an option next year)

- Algebra II

- Concert Band

- Wellness

- Conceptual Chem (I don't meet the math prereq for academic Chemistry)

- Special ed Social Skills

- Digital imaging

- Web Design

Until this year, I did not spend any time outside the school building studying. I thought I could remember all the important concepts without sacrificing my time listening to "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra to study at home. I was able to get good grades without studying in elementary school, when we did single step problems on math quizzes and answering questions from simple passages in reading quizzes, but now, the problems I get in high school math for the most part are multistep, and we answer questions and write about what goes on in real novels.

The teachers also have considerably low expectations for me. On all my tests and quizzes, unlike the regular ed students, I am permitted to ask the teacher for help, and never this entire school year was I ever assigned more than a worksheet or two of homework on a typical day. A regular student in my school district gets 10 minutes of homework each day for every grade level, so by this formula, if I was in regular ed, I'd be getting 100 minutes of homework every typical day, significantly more when there's a well-announced assessment where it equals several typical days in class in terms of course grade.

I told my guidance counselor it would mean a lot to me if I was in an AP class next year as a junior, but she didn't let me because she believes I'm going to fail so many assignments in the first month alone if I was involved in that degree of academic rigor. I even tried to compromise to get into an honors class in junior year, but my grades and course rigor still didn't do it for her. The important fact is that AP classes aren't just harder, they're also a different approach to thinking and learning. It requires substantial outside work. If you have anything less than an A in the honors classes, AP will be exceedingly difficult and inconveniencing and probably not worth the effort. The best way to do it is to always work your way up little by little. I probably should set my goal to have all As in my regular classes next year.

The reason why I never cared about my grades until this year is because my Uncle Drew got an 8,000 square foot, 3-story custom built house. I would estimate it is $3M. I asked him this: "Am I just as capable as you are for me to get a custom built house no less elegant than yours?". He answered with enthusiasm: "Yes!". But my mom begs to differ. She believes the only reason why he said yes is because he knew if he said "No", I can get depressed and outraged upon understanding of such a fact.

Three companies I have good reason to believe I'd be satisfied with my work are General Electric, Google and Facebook. My aunts, uncles and grandparents wholeheartedly agree with me that any engineering job with a six figure salary will almost certainly get me a healthy and happy life worth talking about. They often highlight that a job is something everybody should always enjoy walking into, and since I am in to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it will be a job I will not regret. My mother, on the other hand, does not. She thinks I'm overconfident and believes if I don't crack more books at home, I could spend the rest of my life living with her.

The high school I go to is one of the best in Pennsylvania. Ten out of the 12 math teachers teach at least Precalculus/Trig III, and I want to be at the same level a lot of my friends and family are. Many of my friends suggest I take a math course over the summer so I can be academically strong in mathematics. I definitely want to have completed more than just through Algebra II in high school.

3 Answers

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  • Mike S
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I took Calculus as a senior in high school and I'm glad I did. I actually didn't take anything more difficult in college! Calculus, although really impractical for most students, did challenge me in many ways. I have never used it since high school.

    Source(s): Over 25 years teaching experience
  • 9 years ago

    It isn't impossible, but you may want to slow down a bit. I've learned the hard way that you just can't rush math. Take your time with it. It isn't a race. If you can't get to where you're friends are, all well. That doesn't mean you have to kill yourself to try and get a good grade in math.

    Also, engineering isn't the only field that pays highly. You won't be making nowhere near that much anyway until a good ~20 years in. Even then, you will have to be exceptional at what you do.

    Also, did you say your uncle built a 3 million dollar house? Wow. I feel like a bum now, haha.

    Source(s): Good luck with your studies, and remember to never rush your education. Nothing good can ever come w/o knowing the bases of what it is you want to learn. With engineering of any sort, basic trig just won't do it. You're going to have to overkill all math you come across. Don't fret though. Just take your time. Math isn't something anyone mastered in a week.
  • 9 years ago

    You said you have a C+ plus in Geometry, and you're worried about taking Calculus?

    Slow down there big fella...

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