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School thread


You will pardon me for having assumed that you were in college.

Physics can be a daunting subject, especially without the proper mathematics background. If you are in 9th grade and are already learning physics, you must have gone ahead and done something right, to be learning so far ahead.

It’s hard to put pieces together and to make something really meaningful out of it, to turn words into equations or mathematical phrases that give you the thoughts of “why does it matter?”

But at the end of the day, it might still not make much sense, no matter how much time or effort you put into it. It’s supposed to make sense, because macrophysics (Newtonian physics) is supposed to be more common sense.

Try getting some help from the teacher maybe after school or if you have self-study periods in school. I don’t know how things are arranged for you. And maybe you play some sports that prevent you from actually sticking around with a teacher after school.

When it was high school, everything was directed learning and being in New York State, we have our standardized tests at the end of the year for all of these subjects, including physics. That’s why our instructions were very much in line with what the tests wanted us to learn.

When you are in college, you will be expected to learn a lot more by yourself, doing a lot of reading and learning through trial and error in your own time aside from the formal lectures. That’s when I remember missing some of the regimented and structured learning of high school. But ultimately you end up learning whatever you can stuff into your brain. Some of it will stick longer than others.

Back to the idea of whether something matters, one approach I currently take is that there’s really not much out there not worth learning about. It’s just a matter of perhaps some things not fitting our personalities or the ways that we think that make the topic less interesting than others. For sure, we all gravitate toward some things and shun others. But there is worth in all pieces of knowledge out there, and while you are in school and hopefully not having to worry about food/job/finances/etc, you can soak up information a bit more freely.

Despite what I saw, I have tons of information that is thrown in my direction every day and I cannot absorb it all. I have hardly any time to absorb most of it. But fortunately most jobs that are out there for people have specific tasks that you learn and get used to and things become easier.

Similarly, just because we learn on the job and things get easier, doesn’t mean that we have to learn something perhaps really complex just to get into it. So take whatever opportunities that you have given to you and try to learn to the best of your ability the things that are out there. So what if you end up with one bad grade in a class that you don’t care too much about?

My parents would have freaked out too if I had been close to failing anything in high school. But that’s what parents are supposed to do, because they want to see you do well in school so that you can excel in whatever field that you choose for yourself in the future and get ahead of the curve and have a life where perhaps you can have some luxuries and not live paycheck to paycheck, which a lot of people struggle with. But parents can seem overbearing when they want to start bossing you around, and I don’t know your family dynamics, but if you tell them that you can handle it on your own and you show them progress by proving to them that you can handle things, and act maturely, then they are more apt to allow you to handle difficult situations.

Failures never look great, but they don’t determine the rest of your life. If you learn from it and improve, then that would have been a good lesson.

Sorry, I digressed a lot…

Physics is useful, to a lot of people, but it may not apply at all ultimately in your future. Nevertheless, try to learn whatever you can and make it meaningful for you to learn the material, not necessarily on someone else’s agenda. If one method that your teacher is explaining something doesn’t make sense, look to someone who understands what is going on and try to have them help you out. Or ask the teacher to explain it in a different way.

A lot of times it could be the matter in which the sentences are phrased in the explanations that are causing you to be confused.

Physics is also hard, Do your best. And good luck.


Woah. I’ve been too used to studying outside of the US, a 70 sounds just fine right now. Took me a few minutes to remember that’s not a great grade here.

Just know that while it sucks and it’s hard you can get better and you’ll make it through.


Even when we manage to learn something, he ends up giving us questions that literally have nothing to do with what we just learned.

With this information alone, I will be making incredible assumptions about that teacher. Here’s the secret, they don’t know or don’t care.

I know your next question! “But then how does the teacher make test questions and quizzes when they don’t know or don’t care?!”

Here is the second teacher secret. On every textbook there is a website written on the back. These websites have readily printable quizzes and tests for every chapter in the textbook. If a teacher feels guilty of their laziness and need to feel better, they reword the questions or rearrange the answers. But most of them don’t.

I have personally passed entire courses that only use those quizzes and tests. And when you know the teacher copies these, you can expect the teacher to do it for all the other courses they teach too. So maybe they teach another class you need and you might as well take that class too.

So go ahead and check! Because from what you said, the teacher is saying one thing and testing another. That is what makes me think this is the case.


Don’t do what I did and skip most of school in favour of visiting the arcade to play Street Fighter 2 Turbo and Killer Instinct.


Dang it. Another thread I slept on for two months. Sorry for reviving the long-forgotten stuff, but a couple o’ things:

I gotchuuu I gotchu! This is FREE! And really good at teaching the basics, which is more important (in all fields) that we oftentimes think. Ah, the sweet sweet basics. Scroll down and you’ll see there’s also a Subreddit. Give it a shot! Hope it helps. :blush:

My dude! That’s totally me when I was in high school. You’ve got loads to read from the fellow chronies here so I’ll refrain from talking about my seriously funny but ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING (yeah you can bundle those two things together, y’all) Japanese physics college teacher. Then there was the younger, cheerier, (also Japanese) physics teacher who got one of the “toughest” boys in the class to cry one merry day.

LMAO physics amirite

Alright, now this is exactly how I got through high school physics and I’m not kidding:

It’s free, Khan is a demigod, and it likely has whatever you’re studying in physics right now – they even have quantum physics! Check out their Math section, it’s how I survived Geometry myself (that and catching extra study hours with my math teacher while powering through her sermons about how all men are equally bad and us women should empower ourselves by giving pole dancing a shot.)

GOOD LUCK! You just gained: +1 endurance and +1 patience


At least you have the maturity to admit it. Now, you need to find a way to fix it.

I hated all the Maths and Sciences but I learned them because I needed the grades. I had to have scholarships to get into uni. I spent hours in the library because…No internet.

Right now you need to get your head on straight and get to work. I have heard good things about the Khan Academy that @coralinecastell suggested so check it out. You don’t want to be all over the internet looking at this and that. Just concentrate on THAT site. Spend an hour or more. Take a 15 minute TIMED break then back at it. You can do this. I know it. :heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation:


LMAO at 11-year-old @delenn13 crouched on the corner of the public library bent over trying to make sense of her little abacus while consulting some dust-ridden scrolls

@Inferry how much I own you for a drawing of this?


@Buzzyboii, so you can show your parents you are studying on the internet for a “good cause”.

This is all about Kahn Academy:


I gotchuuu I gotchu! This is FREE!

This made me laugh :joy:

I have never heard of drawabox. I will definitely check it out today. Thank you!


Is it outside the boundaries of things to ask why you are taking physics without a solid mathematical background?? Is this a normal progression or did you take this class as an advanced option.

In my opinion the best bet is unfortunately, that you need to divide your studying between 2 fronts:

As a forewarning, this will likely not be easy, and I apologize to recommend it late in the year, @YQMaoski has already provided a good framework for the process, but I can’t help but throw my 2 cents into the ring, so apologies about that.

In brief, in order to understand and learn the physics you should approach the math you are unfamiliar with, be especially certain you are familiar with the following (from my understanding of physics, but I am a field biologist so what do I know?): Unit conversions & the formulas present in class (I assume you are working with formulas for forces involving electricity, gravity, liquids and possibly gasses).
The major thing that you need to get comfortable with in physics is the ability to identify what terms you have & then solve for the terms you don’t have. Basic calculus will be almost necessary here, but don’t be too proud to avoid brushing up on things like order of operations and other mathematical minutiae.

Classes where there is a difference (no matter how small) between the coursework’s level of knowledge and your own are always tricky, and the one thing I would recommend is that you take this experience to heart and learn to recognize where there is a difference between the coursework and your knowledge. A lot of the time students pay little to no attention to their grades until the end of the semester/year/trimester and then panic close to final exams. I would advise that you for sure take this opportunity to learn to recognize what struggling in a class looks and feels like (and remember that this struggle is not because you can’t learn this subject, you aren’t intelligent or clever or any other reason/excuse) and when you see it happening again, take steps to correct it. I absolutely agree with @YQMaoski that talking with the teacher or attending some kind of study group.

Full disclosure: I got a C in Physics in high school myself, I was lost the entire class because I wanted to treat it like chemistry, but physics is a really different beast. I didn’t want to talk to people about it because I was embarrassed and felt like I couldn’t learn it. Physics remains something I vaguely understand to this day because I was always afraid to go back and relearn it.

And I was a stocking assistant in a library when I was in high school. Whoo Library represent! They are the best places to go and find information, especially once you learn how to navigate them… Nothing better than finding a good book nobody else knows about.


Thank you for all the comments, everyone. Here’s to clarify/comment on a few things:

Yes, there are tutoring sessions in my school! The thing is, I have absolutely no clue what to ask or to show them. I’ve been more of a self-learner/getting all resources from class time, so I’m a bit iffy on the tutoring stuff.

Would definitely agree with that. My parents just want to see me go to a good college and provide for myself. They rarely make me feel lesser than I am, and that’s why I feel so guilty when I get something like a 70 for physics - that doesn’t show them that I’m doing particularly well.

lowkey just glad that I’m not failing haha

I mostly just hang out with my friends afterschool to play badminton and then finish my homework when I get home. Good boys don’t skip :wink:

Yes! Khan Academy, my worst nightmare in middle school, but my savior in high school. I started on one or two topics and then stopped for some reason. I’ll try to pick back up, but I’m not sure if I’ll even get through another topic. Thank you for the links.

The library is one of the most wonderful places to be. Finished a lot of homework at the school library.

I’ve actually never really thought about that - all my 15 minute “breaks” turn binging sessions of food videos and what not.

Thank you for believing in me.

So basically, I’m not sure if anyone here is from New York apart from @YQMaoski, but we have these tests called Regents (a summative assessment for a subject, you’re placed into a more “advanced” class). I took the living environment (diffusion, osmosis, cells, what have you) Regents and passed it in 8th grade, so I got placed in the next class, which was physics.

The thing is, my high school had a harder curriculum for classes.

My mathematical background is shit to say the least. I liked Algebra I because of how amazing the teacher was, along with the rest of the Regents classes I took in 8th grade. The teachers took their time to explain everything and make sure that we were prepared to take the Regents. In 8th grade. The Regents didn’t matter as much, but they still did their best to prepare us. I liked math back then.

All I have to say is - fuck.

Thank you, everyone. Seriously. Those of you that took the time to reply to my comment and encourage me to do better. @YQMaoski, @Vindace, @GDBringer, @NME1, @coralinecastell, @delenn13, @hivefleetbothan (if I missed anyone, I’m very sorry, I appreciate you as well), thank you. To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll commit to my studying habits (as if I had any in the first place), but either way, I thank ye.


I won’t fully quote you hear, but don’t despair! IMO the parts of calculus you need are the way that logic applies to formulas side of calculus.


Hey. It’s been a while

Small updates!

  • I started back up with Khan Academy and this new thing called (my school offers us free accounts). I gave up on it a few weeks ago, but I’ll try to continue it soon.
  • Physics! Still struggling. Hopefully this project will boost my grade.
  • Winter break is impending, very nice (snow is fun!)
  • Quit art club a few weeks ago. Wasn’t my thing. Starting to play at badminton club, although I’m not going to join the club for a few reasons (also, my friend has a volunteering club! hopefully I can join next semester.)

That’s about it for now. I’ll let you know if I die in midterms week.


I mean, I’ve given up on the hope that everybody should enjoy science, but being able to derive equations is most of being a scientist or engineer (once you cut out the bureaucracy you have to deal with). I can’t speak to the quality of the classes you took, but the general premise is not at all unreasonable. Consider the alternative: having to memorize an effectively infinite list of equations. No, thank you.

And this is why a strong foundation in math is extremely beneficial. If you understand the fundamentals, you don’t need to memorize very many equations. Take circles and spheres. If you know how to find the circumference of a circle, you know basically all you need to know about circles and anything related to them.
-The integral of the circumference is the area of the circle.
-The integral of the area is the volume of a sphere in the positive quadrant (so 1/4 the total volume).
-Or take that integral over different intervals to get the volume of a cylinder, or torus, etc. And this applies to all shapes. So you know one thing, and you can figure everything else out.

Same thing with combining equations. You just need to know a few basics and pay attention to their parts (in other words, don’t blindly use them). Do I know the equations for orbital velocity? No, but I bet I can derive it pretty quick:

  1. Intuition tells us orbital velocity has got to be related to acceleration and distance. The only sensible arrangement is a = v^2 / r (because that gives us units of distance^2 / time^2 / distance, which is distance / time^2, which are units of acceleration, which is what we need for both sides to match). This is just basic reasoning.
  2. F = m * a (worth memorizing)
  3. F_gravity = G * M * m / r^2 (worth memorizing, but easily derived if you know gravitation is subject to the inverse square law)

Put those three equations together and you’ve got it:
a = v^2 / r
a * r = v^2
v = (a * r)^0.5 (hold that thought)
F = m * a = G * M * m / r^2
a = G * M / r^2
v = (a * r)^0.5 (okay, back to this equation)
v = (G * M / r^2 * r)^0.5
v = (G * M / r)^0.5 (and you’re done; just split up “r” if you want to account for orbital eccentricity)

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Nothing more than a couple of equations and a little bit of logic. Post got a bit longer than I intended, but I was having fun ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So @Buzzyboii I know it’s too late to do much for you in this specific course, but my best advice going forward in the sciences is to get a really good grip on the fundamentals (which includes math). Remember, science (especially at the educational level) is generally complex, not complicated. If you know the pieces, it’s trivially easy to put them together like LEGO blocks. If you don’t know the pieces, it’s always going to seem like a wizard did it.


You don’t want my opinion of snow…Being from Florida. Good luck on the midterms :heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation:


Hi. It’s been a month or so now!

Quick update before the week starts - this (and one day of next week) marks the start of midterms/finals week! I am hoping that I will pass most of my midterms, but who am I kidding, I’m not going to pass haha

I wanted to say this before I go offline for another two weeks, just to

  1. Bump this thread
  2. Update everyone

Alright, that’s about it for now. Thanks to all of you for reading and just generally being awesome. Have a great day, people.


Good luck. Not sure if you are in high school or college or whatever, but if its just exams, its probably not as horrible as my assignments probably. Or maybe it’s because I’ am taking an IT course lol and a lot of my assignments are due soon ugh! At this point if the assignment isn’t dead simple I 'am beginning to prefer exams a little more. Sad I know.
I said a little.


Good luck!


Just do your best and know we are here urging you on to Summer Vacation…:rofl::rofl::rofl:

JK Just keep calm and pay attention. Best of luck :heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation::heavy_heart_exclamation:


I’m back
Not good

Midterms week is finally over! (one more midterm left next week, but I only have to come in one day next week, so it’s pretty great!)

Some bad news:

  • I got a 36 out of 100 on my physics midterm. The rest of the class did fairly okay, but the majority got a very low score (I’m pretty sure I had the lowest score out of the 3 classes). Because someone got a 100, our teacher’s POLICY is that they wouldn’t curve everyone’s grades up. As the midterm is 20% of my grade with me having a 75 right now, I’m destined to take physics again for another term in junior year (which is fun).

  • Most likely going to fail my geometry midterm, but at least for geometry I can study and catch up because I have a half-properly working teacher (unlike physics)

Some good news:

  • One whole week off next week! Amazing!
  • Going to spend some time with friends to just chill.
  • Ended off the term with pretty decent grades (apart from geometry and physics)
  • Everyone here! You guys are amazing - I’m sorry that I didn’t get to see your messages earlier, but it’s great that I came back to these messages before I continue my 1-2 week hibernation. So, thank you :heart:

Let’s see how the rest of this year goes. Have a great month, everyone!