Sitting in on Classes

I get many questions about why I sit in on classes as opposed to actually taking them. The first reason is to get knowledge just like any other class. Which always raises the real question, “Why don’t you just enroll?”

  1. I don’t have natural mathematical ability to be assessed on how fast I can learn

1a) If I enroll and do bad, it will mess up my GPA which in turn would lower my job prospects and grad school opportunities

1b) if I don’t enroll and don’t understand, I can follow at my own pace and not have to worry about falling behind

Well, most of the classes I sit in on are math classes that I would probably not do well during a normal semester. To be honest, I’m more of a self learner and usually like to learn on my own time from books. With math, it’s different though, somethings I read in higher level math books feel *impossible* for me to understand without a lecturer. My biggest guess as to why I cant seem to parse this type of information from books is that the authors of textbooks of higher math don’t know how to explain the material well enough to newcomers. In fact, I believe a lot of them, in a subconscious way, rely on the fact that their content will probably be taught by a professor. It’s not to say that this is a bad thing, as most mathematicians are expected to undergo some sort of formal education, and to assume that their content will be taught by an expert isn’t too much of a stretch.