I feel like UNM's math department has some funny ideas about what should be in a trigonometry class. We spent like two weeks rushing through the unit circle and all the basic functions. Then we spent another two weeks or so rushing through pretty much every identity in the world. Then we memorized a bunch more stuff, but never really got any homework or tests that used it.
Now it's looking like we're going to spend the second half of trigonometry learning DeMoivre's Theorem, vectors, and parametric equations -- certainly at the same crazy breakneck speed.
I feel like the basics of parametric equations and vector calculus probably belong in pre-calc...especially if cramming them into trig requires the class to go at this (frankly insane) pace.
I'm required to take pre-calc, but not trig. I took trig anyway...because I wanted to learn trig. Not because I wanted half a semester of highly compressed trig and an extra redundant half semester of highly compressed pre-calc.
The good news is that -- looking at their curriculum for pre-calc -- this class should make pre-calc feel like a cakewalk.
On a side note -- I'm pretty mad that it wasn't until my mid-twenties that I discovered I'm actually quite good at math. My middle school algebra teacher was just such a horrendous bitch that she crippled my ability to even mentally approach the topic for almost a decade.
I wonder how many other people she fucked up, but who didn't have art and design skills to fall back on as a major and a career while the scar tissue faded -- and are now permanently relegated to the under-educated lower class? How many engineers and scientists did she personally deny the world in her decades of teaching?
They say a high-performing kindergarten teacher is worth something like $300,000/year in the future increased productivity of their students. How much of a drain is a bad teacher? Someone who in their career turns thousands of impressionable kids from STEM-track to burger-flipping-track?
I'd reckon paying the worst teachers $50,000 a year to stay the hell home and not try to teach anybody -- and then paying somebody else another $100,000 to take their place -- would be a fucking bargain for society overall.
So why won't we even pay the good ones more than $30-40K starting?