Seriously, why would an English or Linguistics major need to know college-level trig?

Or is American college-level trig the same as Malaysian Form Five trig?

I have no frigging idea since I can do neither.

Today, I went for my Math and English assessment at the college where I’ll be starting classes this January. Walking onto the almost deserted college grounds on what was a rather frosty Tuesday morning in my old-new coat (bought it a couple of years ago – never been worn), I felt my heart swell with the crisp morning air and my feet doing a kind of moon-walk (the actual bouncy ‘moon’ walk – not the MJ variety) because today, I open a new chapter in my life. And as that new chapter smell hit my nose and flooded my gut, I said to myself, "Bring it on. I am ready for anything!"

Anything but college-level trig, of course.

As the lad sitting in front of what was presumably the Math and English Assessment SUPER MASTER COMPUTER briefed me on how the test would go and how opting for "Most Difficult Level Math" worked better on the system because for some reason, the software was not able to adjust up from "Easier Level Math" should you be, you know, a SUPER MASTER MATHEMATICIAN, I nodded at the right places and "mm-hmm"ed away, confident that at 34, I was at the very least an AVERAGE MATHEMATICIAN. Besides, I am going to do English or Linguistics, right?

Apparently, even future literati or linguists still need to be able to compute algebra and work out mathematical models, understand quantitative and symbolic reasoning, that sort of thing.

Long story short, after about 18 grueling minutes of "If X is all, then x(2x -6) (3x + x2) =" Answer E: Who the fack knows or cares?, I got a 32, which, according to Mr SUPER MASTER MATH COMPUTER, would place me at Introductory Algebra II aka Math 098. That would be where I’d need to start this Jan to make my Math proficiency.

Gr…eat.

Anyway, the good news is that UW has a Department of Linguistics and I will be going there (spot on, Irene!) and I would need to make about 45, 50 credits to get in so that’s just a year at the CC before I can apply (instead of two years). The bad news is that the sooner I get into UW, the sooner I need to pay the big bucks, versus a BA in English which would allow me to do two years at the CC to save the money.

Well, one step at a time. I might not even survive Introductory Algebra II.