### It all comes crashing down.

My high didn't last long. I mean, dreaming about a job is all well and good, but meantime, I have two that are real and require actual work. And oh boy, the work I have this week...

We are starting the first week of a three week lab in the class I am teaching; this week will be a lot of background material and very little actual lab work. And the background material has a lot to do with rates of change and the associated calculus.

When we had an organizational meeting last week, the Wise Professor who actually wrote this lab tells us "Your students will be intimidated by the math. Don't let them be." So I casually turn to the page with all the math... it is easy to find, what with the f(x)'s and such... and holy crap I AM INTIMIDATED.

Do you know how long it has been since I have taken a math class? Um, wait, it takes more then two hands to count, and if I can't use my fingers than it is beyond me.

So I've been googling rates of change. Right now I am on the high school calculus help page, relearning (which would be accurate if I'd ever really learned it in the first place) about derivatives and such. Do you know, Wikepedia has a definition of a derivative. It made perfect sense for the first few sentences, and then I scrolled down. What?

Maybe I'm just tired. I'll deal with it tomorrow. Class isn't until Thursday.

Meanwhile, anyone who can help me with this... think ELEMENTARY CALCULUS...(is that an oxymoron?)... please feel free to comment with a nice primer on what the f that f in f(x1)-f(x0) is.

Addendum:

OK OK, I got it.

y = f(x). f'(x), is the derivative of f(x)

And if m= delta y / delta x, then

for (x+h, f(x+h) :

delta y/ delta x = f(x+h) - f(x) / (x + h) - x = f(x+h) - f(x) / h

Duh.

Don't even get me started on tangent lines. I don't know how to type all that mathematical stuff in to blogger.

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