Thursday, May 24, 2007

My mechanics nightmare.

A glance at the time and notice it’s 10 am. I don’t notice anything wrong with this, and so continue revising for my mechanics exam toady. Another glance and I realise that it is now 10:15 am. Time seems to be flying, I think to myself. However suddenly, out of no where, my exam timetable gives me a low blow to my stomach- making me keel over in pain. My exam- its toady. It’s at 9:45 am! What the heck am I doing sat here, revising nonchalantly when all my other classmates are sitting the exam. Panic overtakes me. I have to find the number for the lamb building and tell them I’m going to be late, is all that I can think of. But I dare not turn the computer on; otherwise I’ll never get up.

In my panic like state, I am able to think rationally- wow, that’s a first. I hurriedly try to locate the number from my file, but it’s useless. I’m never going to find it. Another panic falls over me- all rational thought out of the window again. I can hear my heart- my sharp, short breaths breaking the silence.

My heart continues to pound ferociously. I notice that my curtains are still closed and wonder whether this is some cruel trick that is being played on me? Is it not really 10:15 am- surely if it was my curtains would have been opened. A quick look at my phone confirms my fears. I have no idea what to do. I’m like a headless chicken- thinking of my friend, probably sat in the Sugden Sports centre rushing through the exam. I can’t even quickly get ready and run to the exam hall, since it’s not exactly round the corner.

Without thinking, I rush downstairs and try to explain the problem to my Dad. Everyone seems so calm about it- why doesn’t anyone understand! I’m supposed to be sitting in the Sugden centre, doing my mechanics exam! I ask my Dad whether he can drop me of to Manchester, and he seems to take an eternity to come to a decision. Finally he agrees and I think that in 20 odd minutes I should be there.

The next five minutes fly and I find myself in Manchester, outside the Sports centre. From the outside I see people running on the exercise bikes, and I remember that the entrance is on the other side. Suddenly, I feel calm. It’s a three hour long exam, I think to myself, I’ve still got about 2 hrs left so it’s not all that bad. I no longer know the time. I rush in through the doors and barge into the exam hall. Everyone looks up. I don’t care. My seat number has been committed to memory, so I go about locating it. My search comes to an abrupt end as I run into a mountain, and fall backwards. In my confusion the only thing I’m able to do is glare at the mountain which seems to have hands that drag me to my feet. I’m being forced outside! Damn- the panic returns. Why doesn’t this guy understand- I only have two hours left and he’s not helping!

Everyone’s eyes follow me as I’m forcefully dragged outside and told that I can’t sit the exam. The room turns upside down. Words seem beyond me. I can’t ‘not’ sit the exam! This mountain can’t do that to me! If I don’t sit the exam I fail mechanics- that means I have to re-sit it. That I don’t want to do. I pleaded with the man, but no words I said changed his decision.

However something must have happened- I call it divine intervention- because I soon found myself sat at the desk with the exam paper. With half the time remaining, I cast aside the horrible events which had happened and set about answering the paper.

[In my last supervision my supervisor had talked about exam technique, and I’d formulated a plan upon this discussion. The idea was to glance through the paper, and start with one I can do- not necessarily the first one- and then look at the remaining questions (most likely try to do a mechanics one first). Obviously since this is a three hour exam- well it would have been- one tends to ‘zone’ out or have a mini-nap in the middle of it. The idea is to leave the questions which at first glance you feel you can do, for this middle period when you’re feeling slow. This is a good plan in my opinion, since then one doesn’t later ‘freak’ out for the lost 5 or 10 minutes. (Questions like separation of variables I suppose). In this way you get the mean and nasty questions out of the way and towards the end you can be on cruise control.]

So with this in my head, I went about doing the paper. Since I’m slightly more comfortable with half of the ODE stuff (darn them oscillations) I decided to do all the mechanics ones first. I started one, did half of it and then moved onto the next one. This cycle continued- there seemed to be an infinite amount of mechanics questions!! The time was announced and my heart was in my mouth. I couldn’t even answer the mechanics questions and I still had the ODE ones to do. I had to get started on them since any hope of getting any marks was on them. What happened remains a mystery- the ODE questions remained incomplete. The mechanics questions- impossible. I’d failed was the conclusion that I came to.

Now if that actually happens next Tuesday, then I’m a dead duck. My ‘nightmare’ last night had actually been something like that. It was pretty realistic too- I felt everything, and after leaving the exam hall I even walked it to the mss building with someone and complained, groaned etc. (Much to the annoyance of this person!). I really can’t remember any of the actual questions of that paper, which maybe is a good thing after all! I must say that it’s weird how I’ve remembered most of it, maybe it’s a sign of things too come! This wasn’t one of them weird sensations which I had about subspaces- it was real.

My motivation to do start revising properly couldn’t have come at a better time! I have devised a plan- I’m going to do all the mechanics first, and then the ODE stuff. There’s so much mechanics though- central force fields, moments of inertia, motion confined in a plane etc. You see I’ve started slowly and I have yet to accelerate. I’m sure that once I’m got through mechanics I’d feel better. I’m hoping to do about four lectures a day, with the problem sheets and so should finish mechanics revision on Friday. Nine times out of ten, my plans fail. So let’s just call this a provisional plan. The one thing I’m dreading is learning about oscillations. Bella is trying to convince me that they’re not going to be examinable- but I’m pretty sure she must have been attending different lectures to me, since I never heard the lecturer say that! (But why is my head dead bent on believing her?) They’re just so ….gah! If the picture is given to me, then maybe, possibly 1% of me might stand a chance of solving it, but that doesn’t leave me filled with confidence.

All I can hope is that this nightmare doesn’t become reality.


I have to make a big decision today- one could call it a life changing decision. I'm conflicted on this issue, since I don't know where I'm heading in life and this decision in some sort will define that. I like not knowing where I'm going one could say, so maybe that's why I'm afraid of making this decision. On one hand I could make someone extremely happy- which I want to- and on the other hand, the opposite can happen. There is a lot at stake for me in this decision, a lot. Ultimately it boils down to whether I want to make this one person happy, and in doing so do I disregard my own 'undefined' path in life? One thing I hate is when I'm indecisive over an issue. I have previously claimed to not letting other peoples opinions bother me, but in this case I fear these opinions. I don't want anyone else to know of this decision, but ultimately they will. And then how will I react? What will I say? The better thing would be to tell these 'friends' of mine the decision before hand, but I'm scared. Scared that they'll laugh- scared that they won't understand, and scared that I'll become someone else. There's a lot of conflict within me at the moment, but I have to get rid of these feelings of how others will react. Will my decision actually change anything? It might restrict me in some sense, and possible make me more maturer- which is another thing that I dread. But this persons happiness is at stake, and I can't not make them happy. For a soon to be seven year old, I do seem have a lot going on! I have to try and convince myself that I'm making the right decision, but that's not possible at the moment. I think of Bella, Ash, Asia, Bruno and I become nervous. I think of society and think of people and wonder how they'll see me.

Weirdly two weeks ago I'd made the decision and was happy, so everyone was happy. Is it exam stress that's causing me to change my mind? I don't know. Sadly. One day I'll have to enevitably make this decision so why not now? Sorry- I'm just trying to convince myself. I think I'll speak to this person and ask them what they want. Ultimately in life that's the most important thing for me- well it should be! If I make this person happy, then I believe that IA I'll be happy. Yes- it is decided, I shouldn't restrict myself to thinking of the here and now, and of how others may see me. I've always been considered 'weird' so what the heck- this isn't going to change anything! It's going to be scary, but I hope that I'm able to stick with my decision and live with it. Sometimes I do so wish that life was a smooth curve.


beans said...

Boo! Just confirming that my nightmare didn't become a reality! Phew.

Revison is going so and so. I don't really understand frames of reference, and the sick feeling in my stomach is telling me that there's going to be a question on that! We didn't do Problem sheet 5 in my supervision, so well I'm a 'dead duck' if that happens. :/

Yes, todays going to be a long day, and I have a bad feeling about the exam. I don't want to do badly and then again, I feel like I don't care.... Sigh. Just got to do problem sheets 2 and 3 for the first half of the course, and the past paper. Obviously I'm going to look over my mechanics notes for the millionth time, and pray that something clicks about frames of reference. I know what I'd rather be doing at this time... erm sleeping! :D About 3 hrs left...

egm said...

Crazy nightmare. I've had a few like that too! So, how did the exam go?

beans said...

It was crazy indeed, and thankfully most of it didn't come true! We should make a collection of crazy dreams- or is that me being crazy again...

Thanks for asking. :) All will be revealed as I hobble to my dashboard... :D

beans said...

Ah-I think it's best if I answer you here! (The post is probably mumbo jumbo).

It went fifty fifty (but I'm trying to be positive about it!). The thing is, exams either go good or they go bad, fifty fifty is making me uneasy! (so much for being positive eh. :D)

egm said...

Well, with 50-50 you are neutral. How does that make you feel now? :)

beans said...

Neutral I suppose. :D