It has become evident that as I have aged, I have become quite a fair bit sharper in mind than I ever was even five years ago. I got two major items back, one in Core Humanities, one in IS101 (the latter of which I've colloquially called "the bane of my existence"), and I got perfect scores on both.
For Core Humanities, this all but clinches an A in the class, as on my last paper I'd need to get no worse than 79 points out of a hundred (in other words, at least a B-minus), and I've gone A-, A, A on the first three. Mind you, the last paper will probably be 15 pages like the midterm was, but the paper writes itself.
For IS101, on the other hand, the 60 points (out of 60) I just picked up means that of the 28 points I can afford to give away, I've still got every last one of them left for the stretch drive---the remaining assignments (including some extra credit work, which thank the gods is there or I'd be dead in the water already) count for 60, 70, and 40 respectively. 142 out of 170 is 83.5%. I'd been worried earlier in the semester that I might be closer to a B than an A; it is only over the last month that I've really knuckled down and pushed full-bore after a dreadful start that was about entirely due to me grossly underestimating the level of effort that would be required in that computer class---who knew they taught networking, database management, and basic programming at the 101 level? In 1998 when I took the equivalent of this class, it was basically "if you can turn the computer on without asking the instructor how, you get an A." Dear gods---I'm becoming an old fart who needs instruction on "new technology"---that, or someone realized that if you're going to teach someone computer skills you might as well go whole hog so the resumé isn't a total joke. Next semester I'm not going to give away points early on by screwing around.
In other news, I've already clinched an A in Statistics---I don't even need to do the third homework assignment, never mind the final exam. I'm so far ahead thanks to some extra credit that a zero on both still puts me seven points above the minimum level required for an A. Not bad for a guy who had to get a waiver from the Economics department to even be allowed to take the class (my math test scores were too low---more on this in a bit.)
Nutrition, my science requirement, has been similarly good to me---I need 58 points out of a possible 150 (and when I say "possible 150", it's closer to 180 because of extra credit points on offer) on the last lab and the final combined. What this basically means is that I could get an F and a D and between the two items I'd still have enough points for an A. For what it's worth my current average in that class is 111%, the class high.
Accounting will by its nature be a "down to the wire" situation only because the final is 30% of the grade and it is therefore not mathematically possible to clinch anything better than a C-minus going into the last day on December 9th, but considering I've pulled a solid 97% on everything else, this means I only need an 87 or better on the final to average an A for the semester. Let's just say I'm really not worried about it.
As for those math test scores, in order to get into the University of Nevada's school of Business as a full-status junior in the fall of 2010, I'll need to take Math 176 (Calculus I) at TMCC. Trouble is, my test scores only pass me into Math 126 (Pre-Calculus, or "math I took in 11th grade in high school"---old age has not been kind to my math skills!) Still, I was only seven points (out of 120) short, and the college will allow me to re-test once and see if I can pass it the second time around. I'm going to put a flyer up on the campus bulletin board and say "Anyone taking Math 126, I will buy the book from you and beat the bookstore's price" (still cheaper than me trying to buy the book new). Then I will spend winter break basically self-teaching myself trigonometry from that book. Before spring semester starts, I will use my newly regained knowledge to pass out of Math 126 and keep myself on track to graduate on time without having to take a summer course or waste a semester trying to pass into the school of Business so I can set about dual-majoring in accounting and finance, crash through the coursework with style and aplomb, and keep on track to become (as this blog's title so nicely reminds me) a CPA by 40.
And to think---some people will spend winter break snowboarding and opening Christmas presents. Ahh, ambition...