Volume 8, Chapter 5-2: Calc II Midterm Preparations

Thursday Winter Quarter 2016 Week 8

“Kristoph….,” I called out after our chemistry midterm.

“Nope, not even gonna talk about it. It’s done, it’s over,” Kristoph shook his head, leaving with a disappointed and sad expression.

“Yuki, how did you do?” Felicity asked, walking next to me.

“I probably missed one of the lab questions, but I got most of it,” I replied, feeling confident.

“I did better than the first one. I’m glad I asked Shigetzu for help. It really made me feel prepared,” Felicity revealed.

“That’s great. Now I have my math midterm to worry about,” I said.

“You’ll be fine, Yuki. Did you ask Long or Jin yet?” Felicity asked, heading toward the library.

“No, I was just going to ask my cousin,” I answered.

“You really should ask them. They’re really good at math,” Felicity insisted.

Felicity really was pushing the issue. Did she get something out of it? Or was she simply vouching for how skilled her friends were?

“I asked Yukie yesterday and she’ll help me out,” I said, opening the library door for Felicity.

“That’s too bad. It would have been nice to have a study session,” Felicity revealed her true intentions.

“You’re not even taking math. It would just be us sitting around a table, all working on different things. Zhuyu and Kisai are in upper level classes, right?” I searched for a free table.

“That’s true, but it’s nice to have them, just for their expertise. I’ll ask Jin next time and see if he can help us study for the chem final,” Felicity decided.

We looked around for two minutes, but all the tables on the first floor were already full. We headed upstairs and Felicity stopped at one of the study rooms. She peered inside, waving at someone.

“Fel and Tomo. Are you searching for a place to study?” Tess greeted us, opening the door.

“I knew it was you, Tess. We were planning to just sit down and go over some notes. Yuki has a math midterm so she wanted to study for that,” Felicity explained.

“You can come in and join me. The room is still booked for another two hours,” Tess offered, heading back inside.

“Perfect. You get to have Tess’ knowledge and an isolated spot,” Felicity remarked, walking inside.

“Hey, Felicity, are you sure?” I questioned.

“It’s fine. We won’t distract her at all. I just want to go over notes,” Felicity assured me.

“I guess. Might as well,” I agreed.

There were four massive books on the table, each with a large number of bookmarks. Tess stared at the board, drawing molecular diagrams, labeled with numbers, accompanied by mathematical equations. Just more evidence of Tess’ amazing skills.

“You’ve been working hard. Have you taken a break yet?” Felicity asked.

“Yes, a fifteen minute break after my study group left. I’m resuming my work now,” Tess replied, uncapping a marker.

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“Don’t overwork yourself, Tess. If you want, we should all grab dinner later, after you’re done,” Felicity suggested, taking out her notebook.

“I have an exam in a few hours. Thank you for the offer though, Fel,” Tess said, crossing out one of her pictures.

“Too bad. We’re doing something over spring break for sure!” Felicity declared.

“Tomo, how was your training the other day?” Tess changed the topic.

“Different. I encountered a scary monster and had to escape from an even scarier one,” I summed up.

“I shall have to ask Jin about this encounter,” Tess said, still looking at the board.

“I’m still not sure how he beat it,” I shuddered, recalling the beast.

“Jin is pretty good at everything. I’m not surprised,” Felicity added, looking up from her notes.

“Kisai wants to try the fortress next. I’m assuming you still won’t be free,” I informed her about the plan.

“Yes, I will be busy until finals are over. However, I have the utmost trust in Jin that he’ll manage to lead everyone. Despite his carefree attitude at times, he is more than capable,” Tess supported him.

“It’ll be hard without you, Tess,” I commented.

“If you locate Kisai’s seal, please take caution. I do not expect it will be broken easily,” Tess warned.

Felicity and I spent the rest of our time in the library. When I got home, I heard nothing from the kitchen. Weird, Yukie usually was cooking by now. Maybe she finished early today and was up in her room. I threw my backpack down and then knocked on her door.

“Yukie, you there?” I asked.

Hearing no response, I went downstairs. The dinner table was clean. I didn’t smell any food either. I checked the garage next, but no one there. I headed back inside, finally noticing a note on the kitchen counter.

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“Okay, what does it say here? ‘Yuki, I took your cousin with me to my workplace, so she could shadow me. When your mom comes home, tell her to not wait. We should be back by nine or ten. It’s kind of sudden, I know. -Dad’,” I read aloud.

“Thanks, Dad, that’s just great,” I muttered.

My cousin wasn’t available now. I was left with asking Kisai or Zhuyu. Let’s try Kisai first.

“Please leave a message for….,” I heard.

Time for Zhuyu. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason, but I didn’t want to ask him, despite his past experience with the same professor and class. He should have been the first one I turn to. Whatever, didn’t have much of a choice now.

“Tomo, how nice of you to call,” an unexpected voice picked up.

“Kyoi, where’s Zhuyu?” I asked.

“My, you recognized my voice. Long, catch,” Kyoi responded with a laugh.

“Sorry about that, Tomo. Something happen?” Zhuyu asked.

“You said that last time too,” I said.

“Huh? Oh, I guess I did. So, what do you need?” he asked.

“Are you busy?” I inquired.

“Just doing homework,” he responded.

“Can you help me study for my math midterm? I just wanted to go over a few things,” I requested.

“Let’s see…. I should be done by seven or eight. I’ll be on G-Chat so just call me then,” Zhuyu provided a time.

“Yeah, that works. By the way, is Kyoi helping you with homework?” I asked, curious.

“Sort of, it’s something related to my powers. Since Tess is busy, I asked Feng,” he replied.

“Good luck with that. I’ll talk to you later,” I hung up and sat back in my chair.

I turned on my computer, checking old exam archives. I worked through half of them, but was uncertain on steps provided in the key. Mom should be coming home soon, so that meant dinner was around seven or eight. Might as well do more practice exams. When Mom yelled my name, I turned my screen off, and stared at my work for one of the problems. Ugh, it was ugly, and the answer key contained seven less steps. On the bright side, this was from an older test, so maybe this wouldn’t show up.

“Yuki, how did your test go?” Mom asked.

“Pretty well. I’m studying for my math one right now,” I replied.

“It’s bad timing your dad took Yukie. I’m sure you can ask one of your friends for help,” Mom noted.

“Yeah, I already did,” I answered.

When I walked back upstairs after finishing dinner, my phone rang. Kisai was calling me back.

“I saw you called. Something wrong?” Kisai asked.

“I was just calling to see if you could help me study for my math midterm. But, Zhuyu already said he’d help,” I answered.

“I’m actually at work right now, so I wouldn’t be able to help. Good luck, Tomo. Tell Long I said he was a little bitch. See ya, Tomo,” Kisai ended the call with an insult.

I logged into G-Chat, seeing Zhuyu online already. Should I call or wait for him? Damn, I needed help now. I had to do initiate the call, no other choice.

“You ready, Tomo?” Zhuyu asked.

“Yes, I appreciate your help. Both Tess and my cousin are busy,” I answered, pulling up the exam archives page.

“Which practice ones have you worked on?” he asked.

“I haven’t done any early ones, like 2005 or earlier,” I answered, checking the page again.

“Okay, you don’t have to worry about those. They’ve changed the exams since then, unless you really need the practice, but don’t try the long story problems. Those are actually pretty hard. I got stuck and asked Feng for help,” he advised.

“Alright, what’s the earliest exam that will be useful?” I browsed through the list.

“2007, but the format won’t be what you see on your exam. It has six questions, and three are story problems. The answer key is on there, so take a look if you get stuck. I can try to help you with that one,” Zhuyu suggested.

“I’m more worried about the one from 2010, uh, spring quarter,” I checked the date.

“Give me a minute,” Zhuyu requested.

I continued my work from before, while waiting. Damn it, why did they make calculus so hard? Zhuyu muttered something, but didn’t address me directly.

“Tomo, I think I understand most of it. What are you working on right now?” he finally said five minutes later.

“I’m doing the last problem right now. I don’t know how they got their integral expression,” I replied, tapping my finger against the screen.

“Hmm, the last one, huh? Let’s see…. this integral came from the inverse trig sub you apply. There are two ways to do it. The first one would be to draw the triangle and see which sub you make. Or refer to the book. I don’t really like that way since drawing the triangle makes it easier for me to visualize,” he explained.

“The professor talked about it in class, but I still don’t really get it,” I recalled, reaching for my notebook, flipping to that page.

“Hold on. I’ll draw it out and maybe it’ll make sense. It’s going to be rough though,” he said.

“Okay, I’ll just work on something else,” I responded, clicking on a different exam.

My application window flashed and in the messages, there were three photos. Oh, that’s what he meant by the triangles. What the f***? This was different from the professor’s method. Upon closer inspection, it was actually the same. Zhuyu added extra notes and circled the important parts. On the third one, he provided an example problem, listing all the steps. They were pretty meticulous, going through the process, and the substitutions involved. I scrolled down the picture and saw the answer.

“Oh, that makes sense,” I finally understood.

“Yeah, the tests are vague on how they want their answer. I would leave it in the trig form, if you don’t have time. You’ll find as you go on in math, these kind of things get more and more vague,” Zhuyu laughed, the sounds of him writing still audible.

“I don’t know why you love math so much. Seems like a hassle,” I commented, following his procedures.

“It’s fun, don’t you think?” Zhuyu provided his reasoning.

“It’s a damn hassle. But I guess if you like it, that’s a good thing. At least you know what you want to do,” I disagreed with his claim.

“It just seems that way. I’m lost just like everyone else, Tomo,” Zhuyu countered, his voice containing no discernible emotion.

“Yeah, that really makes me feel better,” I stressed the last part of my sentence.

“Always glad to help, Tomo. You probably hate me right now, but that’s okay,” he remarked, chuckling at his own statement.

Zhuyu seemed less reserved than usual. Was it actually not a pain to talk to him? Shan gave responses that pissed me off, or didn’t tell me anything of substance. Same with Tess, but she was different. I just liked Tess better than Shan. Speaking with Ichaival felt the most natural. Something about him made it easy.

“Huh? Uh, I didn’t think about that. Can you write it down on the board for me?” Zhuyu spoke to someone in the background.

“Sure, Tess warned you about it,” Kyoi responded.

“It will help out. Besides, might as well try,” Zhuyu replied.

“Right. Hey there, Tomo. Having a rough time with studying?” Kyoi asked, her voice now clear.

“You wish, don’t you? No, but with Zhuyu’s help, it’s going good,” I answered.

“Isn’t that great? Seriously, Long, you need to stop helping people, or they’ll get the wrong idea,” Kyoi joked.

“Yeah, yeah. Tomo, just say something when you need help,” Zhuyu dismissed her statement.

With Zhuyu’s help, most of my concerns were resolved. Was I really ready? I closed my notebook and shut down my computer. I could stay up longer, but wanted to sleep earlier. I never did too well with last minute studying. Besides, if I pulled an all-nighter, it might make things worst.

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