Thursday, January 24, 2008

Flying Without Wings!

"Pens down", the invigilator declared, as the clock struck four pm. A nervous tremor ran throughout the room, as those who had yet to finish the paper scrambled in panic. "Now please". The assertiveness of the voice, rattled even those who had not heeded the first call.

Another shiver ran through the fifty people, seated in a lecture room with no blackboard. One person in particular wondered how people managed to stay awake in such a lecture theatre, especially considering the lighting of the room. A powerful feeling of freedom vibrated around the room. The same person was finding it difficult to number the questions properly, and fill in the details on the front of the booklet, due to the tremors coursing through their blood.

As I sat, waiting for my paper to be collected, tears glistened in my eyes(\hyperbole!) and a big grin was plastered on my face. I wanted to exclaim loudly to the girl sat next to me: "I have never cried due to happiness, but today I feel I can!" However she didn't look like someone who was feeling the same sensations that were rippling through my veins. Poor girl--she had chosen to do some stats modules next semester, I concluded.

Even so, I didn't have to wait long to release my urge to run around like crazy with joy. As the final script was collected we were released from this nightmare. Spotting Jake I didn't need to wait long to repeat: "I can cry out of happiness". I was ecstatic. Freedom has never tasted sweeter. Thoughts and conversation returned to the paper though, as expected. I wasn't grinning because of the paper, in case you were wondering! The paper went fifty fifty. After the exam I said that I think I have done enough to pass stats. But after further though I don't like making such a bold statement, so now I hope to have done enough to pass.

My euphoria was due to this assumption that I had got at least 40%. (Well section B\{question that I stupidly didn't complete} was OK. Section A though was evil! I didn't deliberately revise hypothesis testing rigorously, because I had been quietly confident that it would be a section B question! That meant I could choose not to do it, but Sod's law dictated that this year the darn question had to be a section A question! I wrote mumbo jumbo down, but it didn't make sense and I ran out of time. 2 hours I feel, is not enough. Not enough to check your work, especially if you do a question wrong twice and then realise on your third attempt what mistake you were making! Do you think the marker will be light on me because of the note I wrote at the beginning? I just wrote "Sorry for not writing neatly" and the when I had to cross out my working out twice, I made sure to write "sorry".

I never work linearly through an exam paper and didn't this time. I started with B6 then B5, A4, A3, A3 and finally A1. I felt stupid when I hadn't done part (iv) of a question and hadn't left sufficient space. (I managed to squeeze it in though).

That's enough paper dissecting. I haven't successfully been able to fully complete a single exam paper this semester, so maybe I will deserve the marks I get? The quote of the day today is: "The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities." That is the sole reason as to why I have been depressed and panicky of late. Panic attacks will plague me for the rest of my life I'm afraid. My Dad had asked me what's the matter and I had nervously replied: "My hearts beating!!" Laughing he had said that's the whole point! I didn't see the funny side of it. Sitting in a darkened room, a pressure in your chest and a loud constant thudding vibration in your head, is hard to recover from. Never mind that, it is next to impossible to sleep. There are two ways I can calm myself down. It has been four years and I have worked these two things out. One I won't mention but this is far by the best thing, and the other is the obvious and embarrassing thing which is to make sure that I understand the material before hand. (There is a big difference between revision and understanding). Only twice have I semi-managed to do the second thing. Never again will I "not" do it though. (As I always say...)

How do I explain this sense of freedom? I had become a prisoner of my own actions, and unfortunately for me I tend to panic. I had been on edge and not been able to relax and do things which I wanted to. Whenever I was on the computer or sat watching TV, my eyes were always on the time, rationing it. I became another person. Someone with a constant fear over their head. Things that I did for enjoyment, brought with them a large amount of guilt. These thoughts and fears, drained hope from me.

But then today I felt like me! I felt that spring in my step return. The smile that was plastered on my face, reached my eyes. The depression associated with all my exams, which I have unfortunately not done as well as I would have liked, remains in that prison cell. Locked away for now. I hated that place.

Today was a fantastic day. Although I didn't eat much due to feeling sick in the morning, I feel alive. I feel, as lame as it sounds, that impossible is nothing again. It's a new semester on Monday, and my resolutions will follow some other day. I could climb the mount everest today--that is how I feel. It's like seeing everything in black and white for four weeks, and then suddenly you see the yellow, effervescent sun. You feel the rays shining on your face, and you bask in the sunlight. This is as close as to flying as I can get. My heart shakes, but not in distress this time. Instead it is doing cartwheels of relief from that horrible prison cell that I had been in. Touch wood beans, I say. Touch wood.

It's just that, honestly, I haven't felt this happy in ages. I have a three day weekend now, and all that is on my mind is to sort the Galois Group lectures for the next few weeks! I can even think about that without any pain. But then, I ask, if I am feeling ecstatic now due to exams being over, why do I put myself through that prison? Why?

I went to a meeting on Wednesday, and in it someone suggested that maybe we should have supervisions in the semester that has just passed by. I had never thought of that before and I must say I fully agree with that, for the modules we did were compulsory, as in my first year. In my first year supervisions gave me the motivation to do the work that I hated. I knew that I had to be on a certain problem sheet by a certain time interval. They gave my learning some structure, which was needed due to my reluctance to study the modules I disliked. Now in the next semester everything is down to my choice. Whatever I do is up to me and so I already have some motivation to work. A lot things went wrong this semester, and I don't know how many lessons were learnt.

I'm just glad that the spring in my step has returned! For too long have I been carrying a dark thunderous cloud on my head. The Recess advert is going through my head. "It's good to have you back beans (TJ)"; "It's good to be back! (Spinelli)" Yes, that is what I watch in my spare time--cartoons. Tom and Jerry is always fun to watch, and I could go on talking about cartoons. My advice to anyone who wants to "stay young at heart" or some similar mumbo jumbo: never stop watching cartoons. I grew up on cartoons and will watch them for the rest of my life. They're the best way to waste your time and have fun.... or so I claim.

OK, I better shut up now! I've been up since 5ish (same old same old), but don't feel like sleeping. My room is a mess, what with all the stats and numerical analysis books still lying around. They're all going to be gone soon though, and what a brilliant thought to end this post on!

Hmm, I wasn't going to link this, but I didn't want my driving lessons diary to overflow here. So if anyones interested, they can find how my lessons are going at driving disasters. I will post here whenever I update it, for I don't have regular lessons. I went over to the darkside but I think Blogistan is better than wordpress. PS: If you do comment please can you not link any maths sites or blogs! Sorry to ask this, but a few people I know have that link, and "maths blog n driving blog = the empty set". (i.e. their intersection hopefully is the empty set!)


Jake said...

Haha, I know what you mean about the catharsis. I am really looking forward to a fresh start and the new term.

Beans said...

Lol, I just looked at the course descriptions and despite another week off being nice, I want to get back into the maths. Who needs new years resolutions when they can make "New Semester" resolutions!