Homework and Friendship

There is a limit to what you can learn by having someone describe how to do things. Calculus is a subject of ideas. You learn ideas by thinking them. The best we can do in a class setting is to suggest things for you to think about, and help answer questions that may arise when you try.   Ideally the process would be like this:
  1. Someone poses some problems for you to consider.
  2. You think about them and read the text for guidance.
  3. You get a chance to hear some explanation and ask questions about the ideas.
  4. You try to write up a clear exposition of your solutions.
  5. Someone reads what you have written and gives you feedback.
Learning to communicate ideas clearly is as important as having them in the first place. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU WRITE UP YOUR HOMEWORK.  You need to have something that somebody else can read!   We will have a homework reader assigned to the course. He will keep records of who has turned in homework and will give as much feedback as he can. He will not have time to write detailed comments -- but you will get a general reaction.
The situation is not hopeless. The greatest resource a student has at a large university is "study friends": people who agree to help each other learn a subject.  You should write up homework and have a study friend read it (and return the favor). If a friend has no idea what you are talking about, it usually means that either you really don't know what you are talking about, or you aren't writing your work clearly.

You need a "study friend" at about the same level as you -- not someone who is always explaining things to you, or who you are tutoring.  You need someone who can be objective enough to tell you that your work stinks when it does.

I am not sure if studying with someone with whom you have a romantic relationship is good or bad. Studying with a girlfriend or boyfriend might deepen your relationship -- and it might destroy it.  Sharing thoughts about Calculus could, in fact, be an experience of intimacy that convinces a couple that they want to spend the rest of their lives together! 

The homework policy for this course has been developed to let us handle homework this way.  It is not treated as an exam -- but rather as something you (and everyone else) need to do when  learning. 
The course grading policy is not competitive, so there is no downside to helping each other. 

There is really no point in trying to pass off someone else's work as your own.  It is better to write up what you can do at the time homework is due -- and ask questions about things that have not yet jelled.

As some beer commercial once said (which?) " you only go through life once, so you need to grab all the gusto you can".  Please try to see homework as part of the gusto you should be grabbing at the moment.