Friday, October 05, 2007

Not another long one!

Today was a fantastic day. Just brilliant. However, I must pause you before you start thinking, 'Aw, finally beans had a good Friday and we can enjoy a happy oscillating Fridays episode!' Is it one of them weird things that happens to everyone, but whenever my day ends on a good and positive note, I forget about all the 'negatives' (which were plenty!) I am not going to strain myself in remembering the morning, but the last hour of my day defined how I feel now.

Today I am asking myself about how much I should write. Do I write about the things I would normally have written, and continue living in my bubble? By this I mean that last year I didn't exactly 'think' before posting. I am not saying that I do think this year, but I seem to be writing less about what I used to (i.e. my lectures and other random happenings to me). It is just that with everyone in one building, if I was to walk into a pillar and then blog about it, I will be identified. If I say something in a lecture and then write about it, beans will have a face. I know that at times I am able to remove this feeling, since some things are inevitable, but still... (I still fear being... exposed?) [You might have notice some 'subtle' changes in the template too!]

Anyway, let us see what happens!

I have been training myself this week to have at least 7 hours of sleep a day. It has been a broken process, what with waking up at odd hours and then falling asleep again, but I will get there soon! With this 7 hour sleep 'resolution' I am also aiming to get into university at 9am everyday. I have three 9am starts, and two 10am ones so it's not like I am denying myself a lie in! Basically I am aiming to have full days at university. I finish from 3-5pm on most days, but I am talking about some of the free time that I have. I have a full timetable (one could say), and when I finally stumble home, I tend to be physically shattered and it takes me a while to recover. (I am still getting used to walking everywhere, and can happily say that I didn't catch any bus this week!)

Due to my... physical and mental condition, I don't really get the chance to do much work at home. A lot of distractions exist too, one which I have packed away for now (the computer). That makes blogging somewhat more tricky, but somehow I get by. As I reprocess this point, I believe that this attitude of mine may vex a few people out. I think I will not mention my weird learning process in this post, but the words 'partial pin drop silence' should give a hint. I have been trying to utilise some of my free time at university, so that I don't have to work at home. (Well not yet anyway!) It is times like this that I (really)^\ifty, miss the mss building.

The AT building stinks in the sense that to get to the 'study rooms' you have to walk through a large group of people - the UG common room. Even then, it seems that the UG group study room is used for supervisions! Why couldn't they have tried to have at least lots of small rooms for supervisions, and where one could just sit and work... in 'partial silence'. The mss building had rooms on o-floor, p-floor and m-floor too. You could sit there at times (with phones off), and no one in the world would know that you are there. I liked that. Especially when I wanted to do work. You might find this weird, but it was an immensely cool feeling. I seem to have these bouts of solitude, but it is only when I want to do maths. You see I am not only doing the problem sheets in this free time, but I am aiming to try and understand the material; which I hope you agree with me in saying that it is a solitary task.

I don't want to vex people out, but I know it is necessary for me to work in University. I can't explain to people why it is not possible for me to work at home, as much as I would like to. I want the mss building back. I want them empty classrooms, in which I could go on walkabouts; talking maths to myself as I tried to understand material. Boo hoo. I said good morning to it again toady, and it smiled sadly back at me. Cruel fate.

Why am I mentioning this? Well today I realised that I must be stubborn and stick to my plans. I have to suffer being a pain in the neck for others, and possibly be selfish at times. However, I do not require that you should do as I do, so I am hoping that there shouldn't be a problem. [I think the tweenies might get annoyed with this...]

Onto today then! All morning I was on edge today. I didn't get my usual quota of sleep and woke up like a zombie. I was on cloud nine for most of the morning, and I was really in another zone until the Algeb. Structures lecture. I must confess that I was in this other zone for the a few minutes into the lecture, but as always that didn't last! (This zone was the mental block zone, where you hear people saying somethings but it doesn't register). Due to this zone, stats was a miss today and we didn't exactly do much in PDEs. Actually that is an understatement; we only wrote a page of notes! However it is stats that is going to be the biggest problem. I am resigned to this thinking, but I detest copying notes from the OHP. I tried to juggle the copying and listening - I honestly did, but to no avail.

It is lectures like my stats ones, that make me wonder about how a person can seriously consider doing a PhD in stats? I don't mean to cause offence to any stats students out there, but since college I have suffered in this module due to a lot of factors. How does stats excite anyone and how much can a bean try? I wouldn't mind having a word with the man who invented the OHP and telling him off. Or even better, I would love to meet the person who assigned the buildings for the maths lectures and give him a piece of my mind. What the heck does he have against black boards? Oh and if you are that person and reading this, then please email me! How can you expect maths STUDENTS to learn anything this way? Whoops, I must ease of the gas here.

Algeb. structures is blimmin' amazing though. I feel like it is an interactive supervision, and we have fun. Well the Tweenies and I tend to! Toady was particularly amusing, and I must remind myself that Z_n = n. Not n-1. I made the same mistake last year when it came to the set of polynomials (I think) - I forget that 0 is in Z_n. I did not say n-1, honestly! I mean when PS asked who thinks the answer was n, I was in full agreement .... naturally! Today something funny happened in that lecture to another tweenie member. Not funny but something rare. Well it had us all laughing anyway (I thought that Bella had been talking again!) :D I feel involved in this lecture. I try to watch the substance on the board evolve as time passes. When Theorems are wrote on the board, I sometimes ponder on proofs. *bites tongue* ...

I think this lecture contributed to bringing me out of that zone. After this we had some time free during which I wanted to do the PDE example sheet. Why? Well we had an example class later on, and I wanted to do the questions before the class. I didn't manage to finish them all, but I understood what was required which was OK. This was when I think I vexed some tweenies, because of my 'stubbornness'. The eg class was ok, and after that it was complex analysis.

Some of you might have been dreading me talking about this, but I can reassure you that there is nothing to worry about. Yesterday's complex analysis lecture had been enlightening. I listened when the lecturer was talking, and scribbled the definitions from the OHP whenever he paused for something. This worked nicely and I was a happy beans having had a pleasant lecture.

Today was the real test, since even if I am in another zone, lectures (like Algeb. Structures) tend to bring me back (most of the times). Would this lecture do the same? Well it did and didn't. It was a good lecture and in the end I saw where some things might be going, and it sort of made sense. The only problem is that I have to copy the first page of notes out again, but I can live with that. Today I learnt that the OHP method wasn't used last year by the lecturer. He used to write everything on the board (just the way I prefer it). However, this year because some University dude doesn't like mathematicians, both the lectures are in the Schuster building whose boards are not so great. Hence the OHP.

Now I feel bad for the lecturer - it is not like he has much of a choice, and I understand where he is coming from. At least it is only definitions and theorems on the OHP. (The definitions will soon thin out, but because he prefers not to rub the theorems of the board, they go on the OHP). The board isn't very big you see. My proposals would be to have some lectures in the Renold building of course! It is only a ten minute walk from the AT building. (But yes, you might be pushing it if you have a lecture in the chemistry building). That being said, we managed last year. I think my complex analysis lecturer is cool too: he seems to feel the same way about black boards too!

Having just banged my head against a box, as I leaned back to think 'what next', I think I better stop. Not just because of the pain, but because sleep is calling to me. Why was my day great? Because of Complex Analysis of course! I ended with complex analysis and honestly, even I was amazed at how happy I was feeling. The sky was blue with the sun shining bright, as I walked and talked to myself to my next destination. I haven't done too badly with this new 'adapting' strategy I hope.


Anonymous said...

A mathematician needs at least 9 hours of sleep.

beans said...

9 hours?! The question is whether or not that is possible on a weekday. (Most likely not, but I can manage that on a weekend...)