Chapter 3 test, derivatives. I go through the study guide as though it is the terms of a death sentence. I think I know all the problems, I get them all right, but I still walk in the next day feeling nauseous.
A few days later, I am handed back the test. Per Ms. Evans’ usual policy, there is no grade, just an assortment of checks and X’s. My eyes zoom in to find my mistakes, sure that I had approached every question from the entirely wrong angle. The more I examine it, however, the more I can tell that I actually only made a few small mistakes. Nicholas Chan, next to me, remarks “Wow, you actually did pretty well!”, the surprise in his voice unmistakable. For some reason though, the trepidation and dread do not leave my stomach. I ask myself,
*…show more content…*

And when I when I really thought about it, derivatives were not nearly scary enough to warrant the pit in my stomach. Sure they are confusing, but they still somehow made sense to me. The most challenging part of calculus was not the derivatives, the volumes of cylindrical shells, or the Taylor series, it was the class. It was sitting in class with Richard Wang, Nicholas Chan, and Neville Taraporevala. They were all great guys, but over the course of that first quarter, I let myself question whether I was the odd one out. It was a few days into Chapter 4, applications of derivatives, when I remembered why I had signed up for the class. I was reading a homework problem on the changing velocity of blood through a vessel, and for the first time in a long time, curiosity overcame uncertainty, and I approached the problem eagerly. I remembered that the challenge of the class is what first drew me to it, and how math used to be a place of comfort and excitement. I remembered that I did, in fact, belonged in the class. The first day of senior year I walk into Ms. Evans’ AP Statistics class, as one of the seven girls in the room, but this time, nothing and no one can convince me that I do not

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