I'm trying to figure out what the heck I'm supposed to do with this:
I'm supposed to solve for vertex, focus, and directx... how do I put this into the y=ax^2+bc+c form??
The first is a parabola that opens upward or downward, and the second is a parabola that opens left or right. Sometimes this form is preferred because you can see what the vertex is.
Looking at your equation:
h = k = 0, so the vertex is (0, 0). The x is squared, and the y coefficient is positive, so it opens upward. Solve 4p = 8 to get the focal length, which is 2.
Since the parabola opens upward, the focus would be defined by (h, k + p), or (0, 2). The directrix is an equation of a line, in our case, defined by y = k - p, or y = -2.