Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bad Beans

Initially I was going to use a different title, but obviously it wasn't chosen. Surprisingly for me, these past few days have been quite busy. More importantly, not busy in the way I would have liked to be. This post is just a slab of all happenings in the past few days.

Funnily enough, my mind just went blank. I know there wasn't much there to begin with, but my short term memory is too^{\infty} short. Actually I don't have a brilliant memory, full stop. I was nearly involved in a car accident today, which might explain this weird post. Relax, I wasn't driving but I had been sat in the front passenger seat. This silly silly driver, driving a silly silly BMW, had seen our car but still decided to pull out. If the driver hadn't stopped suddenly, I would indeed be a squashed bean. A few well chosen adjectives escaped me at that moment, (nothing to fancy, a child was in the back!) but there are some really stupid drivers out there. I think I was more in shock than anything else, at the drivers nerve to pull out on a busy road (read: really busy). But thankfully nothing happened, apart from me being on edge for the rest of the journey. :o

On the topic of driving; I will hopefully be having my first official driving lesson next Monday. You have been warned- it may be better if you stay indoors from 5pm! (Well it depends where you are from). Hmm, maybe you don't have to be over cautious... I won't exactly be driving you see. My driving instructor seems nice, and after our phone conversation it has been noted that I talk really fast! Shock horror. (Actually it doesn't come as a surprise). So what do I do about this? A teacher in college had said to me that I'm already thinking/saying the next sentence whilst I am talking. (Can't remember what his exact words were you see.) In my defence, when I am nervous or excited I can't help but speak slightly faster. Thankfully though, it was negotiated that if I was to ever speak too fast, then my instructor will ask me to repeat what I said. The key thing is that I will have to keep on repeating what I'm saying, until it has been understood. Just the way I like it, if I'm being honest!

So I guess that's a message to everyone out there. If you ever do happen to meet me(!), then PLEASE PLEASE ask me to repeat myself if you didn't catch what I said. I honestly don't mind repeating what I say a million times if I have to! Hopefully it won't get to a million times, and I have been 'training hard' at slowing down (pft), but even 10 times is ok. ;) OK, I jest, but supposedly once you get used to my 'presence' then it won't be so much of a problem. Maybe I should invent some brakes for my mouth? It's just that when I do s p e a k s l o w l y it feels r e a l l y s l o w! (Just like them words).

Whoops I was talking about my driving lesson wasn't I? I think that if you know how certain things work, then that aids your learning process. I'm still taking this driving thing the way I take playing a 'new game'. (I know it's a NOT a game, and I can't drive on pavements or through lamp posts; but new game as in adjusting to the controls). Do you think if I knew more about the engine, and what happens when you press the clutch etc. it would be better for me? Since I am more of a visual person, I think it will. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. (My instructor isn't brave enough to let me drive on the first lesson. ;) Wise choice I believe.)

Moving on (yes there is loads more) I have finally registered academically for the second year. BUT (you knew that was coming I hope), as always nothing is without problems when it comes to registration. On my self service screen I am only enrolled on two modules. That isn't such a problem but my financial registration is full of mumbo jumbo. I have decided to phone the university tomorrow and do the financial registration over the phone. Since the loan company are paying for me it should have been simple. (Damn that is a lot of money- £3070!) I think if I were paying that money out of my own pocket (i.e. on cloud nine), it may have been a different matter. If all students were paying out of there own pocket, would there be any resists etc? (I mean, how dedicated would students be?)

I really need to get out of the habit of sleeping at 4am since it isn't very productive. I'm weird in the sense that I am an owl at times, and other times an early riser. For instance, I can never do a revision all-nighter but have to wake up at 4am to revise! But when it comes to coursework or homeworks, I most likely do all nighters... Can it be put down as a skill, or is it just madness?

If you have suffered through this post, you might be scratching your heads and wondering when the 'bad beans' is going to surface. Or maybe, you're hoping it won't surface! I haven't been 'bad', but I have been foolish. I know for a fact that it's bye-bye games console when university starts (at least during the beginning) so I have been scheming. During term time, I might play on weekends but I gradually lose interest (and the time).

Recently, I have added a few members to my clan on Resistance Fall of Man. NOTE: If you're a mathematician and you play the game, then send me a buddy* invite and you can join without fulfilling any requirements! Normally, I initially consider players who beat me in a round, or who came in the top four. Then I look at how many games they've played and how many people they've killed. For every one game 10kills should be registered, so if a person has played 573 games and only killed 3789 people I no longer consider them. (I don't really care about much else i.e. how many deaths etc). I have a nice sized clan, but I don't know how many actually know about 'Galois the mathematician'! So any mathematician members are most welcome, (but please don't be too bad though).

You could say that I sometimes become competitive in situations such as these. As always this is friendly competition, but the thing is that I want to become a Supreme Commander before the year officially starts. I'm currently a General (1pip) I think, so need two more promotions (which takes forever). I didn't start this competition, but silly microphone head (MH), who is ranked higher than me, has started it. I just play for the fun of it; especially when I'm a Chimera with a Rossmore in Grimsby, or anyone in Nottingham! My competition tends to be with people who are currently playing the same round as me. However, MH has now pushed me too far. I can now longer resist the urge to zip his mouth you see, and although I have been feigning disinterest in the game, I badly want to become Supreme Commander as soon as possible.

It doesn't look possible, but hey 'Impossible is Nothing' right? (I know I should grow up and what not, and maybe concentrate my efforts on maths to prepare myself for the year, but that has been covered or so I hope). BTW, I don't play all day!! I have a certain time limit in which I have to play as much as possible.

Now that's over with, shall I talk business? I mean maths? But alas, apart from trying to teach a 9/10 year old maths I haven't done much. (I've been busy... erm playing RFOM.) This kid doesn't know how to read numbers properly and doesn't know how to order them. I dedicate about an hour everyday to help the child with maths. I don't know if negative numbers are known, but I'm assuming they're not. (I did a 'bank borrowing money' example and no indication of negative numbers was made). I have been asking the student to write numbers in words. Hopefully this will help aid the kid in being able to read numbers properly. (Hmm, what shall I refer to this child by? Misty (from Pokemon) it is.)

I think some people wanted to say 'not nice' things to me today, because I sort of got over excited. Well it has been a while since I played football, and that was one of my reasons; but I have kept these not nice comments in peoples heads for now! It has been a great day today, and hopefully this week is going to get better. I'm already feeling quite excited.

As I bang my head against the wall, and try to remember what has been forgotten, I will leave you with some pictures. EDIT: There are too many of them, and I am tired, so will post them some other time. So what 'bang' can I end this post with? How many hours do you think I can go for, without talking? (That's a random question I just asked myself.) I'm sure that with a hopeful look, people will be saying, 'FOREVER', but come let us be realistic now! (Erm... is there anything that I haven't mentioned?) I have be awake at 9:30 am \sout{tomorrow} today. Humbug.


Jake said...

Do you think if I knew more about the engine, and what happens when you press the clutch etc. it would be better for me?

Resoundingly yes.

I am one of those annoying people who insists on knowing as much about how things work before using them as possible and hate just following instructions without having at least a vague idea of what is going on under the surface and the whys and wherefores (I guess that is why I didn't like work so much - I never mastered the 'bullsh*t baffles brains' system)

As much as I appreciate that this approach isn't for everyone; I still think that if you are going to be handling a big piece of powerful, potentially lethal machinery such as a car, one should at least have a vague idea of how it works.

For instance, understanding how the clutch functions in connecting the moving engine with the transmission and how the gear box aids in transferring engine power to the wheels in an efficient manner helps in controlling the car naturally rather than just following a set of instructions. Of course, in reality, one goes off 'feel' rather than perhaps having an image in the mind of the gear box and drive-train but I found that having an understanding helps one to become comfortable at driving faster.

Understanding the basics of how a car works can also help with minor maintenance jobs. For example, my first car had somewhat suspect electrics so when a couple of times, I turned the key and didn't hear the starter motor attempt to turn, I was at least able to attempt to check some connections and notice that a connection on the battery was loose and was able to purchase a part for £3 from a scrap yard and fix the problem, a simple problem but if I had called out a mechanic; I probably would have had to pay £100 or so to get fixed.

Sorry for the epic comment!

beans said...

Hi, don't worry about the epic comment (just worry about the epic reply!) ;)

I think I'm another one of them annoying people too! I agree with everything you have said. You may have hit the target by saying 'annoying' too, since most people have become annoyed at my questions about such matters. Following instructions when you know what you're dealing with, makes it much easier to do the task at hand.

I was talking to the driver of yesterdays car, and they basically know squat about such things. I also talked to another friend, who is learning to drive, and the answer to the question: 'Is it a petrol car or diesel' was 'I don't know; what's the difference?'!

On my very first unsuccessful attempt at getting the car to start (when I used the wrong foot to brake), the driver had actually been telling me about what happens when you change gears etc at the same time. But on that occasion I was asked to multi-task(!), and so failed at listening! :o

That is one reason why I reckon that my driving might be 'bad'! Go public transport. :D

BTW, I think my attitude to wanting to know how things work, is similar to maths too. One reason why I initially struggled in sequences and series, was because I couldn't see the big picture. I'm one of them weird learners it seems.

(Does stalling a car damage it?)

Jake said...

(Does stalling a car damage it?)

It depends how you look at it. Theoretically; every time you drive a car you are damaging it, or at least causing some wear and tear.

When you stall a car; I guess you are causing excessive wear on the clutch (and perhaps even the drivetrain) but unless you stall the thing a lot, I doubt whether it would be possible to tell the difference from normal wear and tear. Everyone stalls cars, especially when learning or driving a new car so I wouldn't worry about it too much.

beans said...

Thanks for that! I had just been playing around with gear change and what not, when I had stalled twice. (Whilst being stationary as well...) I was worried that I may have damaged the car, but I can relax now.