I'm finding that I am getting to the point of being hopelessly behind in one of my courses.
What is the best thing to do when it feels impossible to get caught up in the literal sense.
Being "caught up" to me means having read through all lecture notes up to date, and understanding all the proofs/definitions/theorems covered therein.
The place in the course notes that I am "caught up" to is probably about 2 weeks behind where we are in the course currently. I try to catch up outside the class but the pace at which I can go through the proofs is slow at best. I hit certain steps in the proofs that are incomprehensible to me and take 1-2 days turn around time between me and the instructor to get resolved. There is no textbook to fall back on because this is a grad course. There are recommended references but the books are usually just as advanced and are written in different notation and would involve extensive re-reading of material I already understand just to get to the point where I am caught up with notational differences; so I feel like this would not be helpful. The worst part is we're not even 1/3 of the way into the semester and haven't even had our first midterm yet.
I feel like I have only two options:
1) try to rigorously understand the material and continue slogging forward slowly and ever getting more behind
2) barrel ahead reading only the definitions and results until I am at the place we are in class and then try to keep up from there.
The second option seems like trying to build a stone house upon a sand foundation. If I can't follow the proofs of the theorems I have no hope of completing the assignments without someone holding my hand. And the first option seems doomed to get me an assured failure in the course (we are supposed to maintain an A- average to stay in the program). I can't be the only one who's found themselves in this situation?
I feel like I need to phone a math crisis center hotline or something!