Thursday, November 08, 2007

Things going wrong all at once.

Brace yourselves, I am on edge. Four(ish) hours of sleep on two occasions in one week, has taken its toll on me.

The title of this post is slightly misleading. I really wanted to say, why is it that when things go wrong they all have to go wrong together?! Or maybe it wasn't misleading after all, and I felt in necessary to write that in a sentence; or ask the question?

Yesterday, I was once again asked by someone whether or not I have tests. This was a subtle way of reminding me on what I should be concentrating on, which I currently am not. I am stressed out really badly at the moment, but know that I can come out of it. I know that for sure, but other people don't know how I work. If I was on top of even one thing then that would make me feel great - just one thing! This stress is not good healthy for me.

EDIT: excuse the disjointness.

I am really sitting here posting for once because I have no intention whatsoever of doing work today. I will be going sleep in half an hour or so and then waking up to a busy busy Friday (what a surprise).

I woke at 4am, but finally got out of bed at 4:30am i.e. after the help of the snooze button! The night before I had revised most things for complex analysis, but lim sup still had me going crazy. I just had five questions to do from the sheet and then I was done. So the morning meant algebra time. I understood most the lectures up till the subgroup business for I had already looked over them. At that unfortunate time I worked through the notes, trying to understand concepts. A few things with question marks clicked into place, but like a muscle when not used, I was having a horrible time with previously simple concepts! As I said this morning, I hate simplified notation at the moment because I am not naturally recalling the binary operation on say C*.

I didn't manage to finish my notes but ended up having a nap! I got into university rather early, and decided to see if the person who I didn't catch yesterday might be about. I know - it is rather stupid of me to not realise that people only ever wake up at silly early times because they have to! I didn't find him about so killed time.

The PDE lecture was thankfully not about PDEs which was great! It was actually an enjoyable lecture and I think I understand the difference between the 'red dot and white cross'! We are onto numerical analysis, which looks beautifully ugly.

After this it was the dreaded Complex test. Surprisingly for me, I felt it went OK. There was a question which I completely misunderstood and kicked myself for, but apart from that it was OK. I was actually quite lucky if I am being honest! In a lecture, we had shown that sinz =0 iff z=n\pi where n is an integer. It was left to the student to show that cos z = (n+0.5)\pi for an integer n (and z \in C). I had, during my revision, tried to do that and understood how it could be done in one way. Thankfully all that I had to remember was to consider |cos z|^2.

After the test was over, I tried looking for the same person as I had in the morning. Let's call him George. Once again I didn't find George, but this time someone else was also looking for him! Then I decided to see DS about *cough* and bumped into a familiar and not so familiar person. (It is inevitable I guess - 3 guesses as to who that might be). DS was thankfully available and I was given a job to do. Having completed the job it was time for some revision. I was actually feeling relatively calm, but that was just the calm before the storm. I found myself a not very nice empty classroom and got to work. Now I wish that I hadn't revised during that period - it only sort of stressed me out, because I kept on making mistakes when doing the problems.

Over lunch I carried on doing the problem sheets and had some tea too. I was calm again and was ready for the exam. 1:42pm I left the building to go to the exam hall. 1:51pm I arrived outside the building. I had walked quite fast on this occasion, but food gives you that energy (I hope). The walk had my blood pumping and somewhere whilst waiting for the lift I became hyper. I became alive. I think this was definitely the consequence of not having slept properly, so rather than waiting in the queue for the lift I decided to walk up to K floor.

As I said to my calculus lecturer as he called me brave: "I am one part brave, and three parts foolish." K floor was a trek, but memories of the mss building swept through me, reminding me to stop taking two stairs at a time but only one. That kept me going, and finally huffing and puffing I joined the group of student going up the stairs. Jake and Bella also joined me at that moment, so we have one instance where my 'conjecture' of walking rather than taking the lift is true. Whoopee! Well not really, for I was not as composed as they were. Arriving in the exam hall we found no seats available. Sod's law eh? You walk up a million stairs, only to be told to go back to C floor. I actually didn't mind this for the test on C floor was more convenient for me due to having to dash off. Also walking down stairs having walked up them is very satisfying.

This is the point that my friends classed me as crazy. I obviously disagree, for I had deliberately had tea at the time I had to keep me going. Also, that was me being normal. Being disjoint and everywhere can be fun at times, but as I said you have to be careful because some people don't like it when you do things spontaneously. We dashed down the stairs, and then I set about looking for the room. Maybe I should have stopped for a second and waited, but once you check if one door is the right one, you go on to check all of them until you find the right one!

The room had horrible lighting may I add. At home when I revise or do work, all the lights have to be on. If they're not then I turn them on. I guess I am used to that light environment, but that being said it would have been a nice room\{test}. Eventually we were all settled in and my heart was still rapidly beating, not having recovered from the torture I had subjected it to.

The test was a nightmare if I am being blunt. I hated it. I honestly don't know what happened. The most important thing is how I disintegrated and lost the plot. How I have not hit my own result threshold. I am really disappointed with myself and kicking myself.

It was more to do with the fact that my reasoning all disappeared. I know the subgroup criteria. I know how to show something is a subgroup - I had done the questions as well. I just melted when I saw three unfamiliar looking sets all shouting different things. The matrices question has got to be the worst one. I know the option A was not a subgroup for GL(n,R) since detA was 0; but then I did a sequence of stupid things. I showed that for the sets B and C, closure happened. Obviously only one of these was a subgroup, so that meant one didn't satisfy a certain other property. I completely ignored this information and kept on going around in circles about the closure. It was only in the dying seconds when it dawned on me what to do, that I made a choice. Do I guess B because that looks like SL (n, R) or not? After pens down was announced I had slowly crawled to the front debating this choice. In the end I left that answer blank.

The one I guessed, well I am expecting a -1 mark for that. Three parts foolish.... The group G had been C*. Something told me that the binary operation here was multiplication, and that became obvious when I figured it couldn't be addition. But the question, I felt was impossible. Or maybe that is because I had lost the plot? Another question had said something about multiplication tables representing groups. I circled two that were groups and then thought - crikey they're both groups, what am I to do now?

Read the question fool, was the reply I heard. The question had said NOT a group (in capitals!)

I have been kicking myself ever since the test finished for another stupid mistake. We were asked to find the order of an element in S_9. The cycles were not disjoint though!! I became worried and thought it was a trick question for no option had said 'no order'. I spent ages in conflict with myself about what to do. In the end, in the box to the answer I wrote no order since the cycle is not disjoint, but if were to express it as a disjoint cycle the its order would be lcm(3,6)= 6 =B. Do you think I will get a negative mark for that? I hope not because I understood the concept and everything, but I thought it was a trick question. :(

That was the icing on the cake. If such a trivial question caused me this many problems, what else can be expected of me? At that point I was a lost case. Why couldn't I have just written B like everyone else?!!! Well I handed my whole booklet in so maybe... ? I am just disappointed at myself to be honest. I was more prepared for this test than the complex one. Last year we got our marks very soon. I wouldn't mind knowing my marks, but on this occasion I think not knowing would be better.

After the test I ran like the wind, and thankfully got to my destination on time.

If you are still reading this post, or are back after a day, I have a last thing to write down. I know my day was pretty rubbish today, and next week will be the same - what with three more tests! However, is there anything wrong with me talking about maths in every other conversation? Note the word conversation implies their are two people involved! Why do my fellow maths students cringe at the prospect of talking or doing more maths after a test? I had really wanted to get my complex analysis book out, but for the sake of others left it in my bag. Ah well - I will not stop talking (nonsensical) things about maths though. BTW a quote of the day by Jake upon finding Bella's bag open: it contains all of its limit (interior) points!

That had me going for sometime! (No weird looks please). I can talk for England, type for England and also make the most stupidest mistakes in a multiple choice test for England! (i.e. by writing 'no order' humbug.) I can't wait for the weekend, but even then that just means I can't wait to revise for stats and PDEs. Double humbug.

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