Sometimes you just get lucky, even with the little things. As I’ve mentioned several times I’m taking Calculus this semester. I can’t really wrap my head around the subject yet, even though Professor Frightful and his voices in the blackboard urge me to do so. I never took the subject in high school; my experience with “Course III” (trigonometry) was harrowing enough that it made me lose interest in “Course IV” (calculus). Looking back I find that surprising because the Course IV teacher was Mr. Kotschevar who was a little bundle of über woofy. He probably still is.

I digress.

We had our first full-blown exam in Calculus on Friday and yesterday we found out the results. I didn’t do as badly as I thought. It wasn’t an A by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a B when curved the right way and that I could deal with. When I took the test on Friday there was one question that completely confounded me. I had no idea how to approach the problem: “find all the roots of the number (cube root of 8i).” Or something like that; I don’t pay attention to the petty details when the numbers get imaginary. I know that it has something to do with adding 360 degrees three times and some sines and cosines but other than that I was lost. So I grabbed a number out of the sky and wrote down “-2”.

I was right! Well, at least for one of the roots. There were two more that I completely missed but I got me some partial credit on a problem I had no idea how to do. 1

Sometimes it’s the little things.

1I’ve since restudied the problem and I know how to do it now.