Friday, February 08, 2008

Badly Behaved Maths Student

Today I went to zero lectures and zero example classes. How many should I have attended? Erm... I am timetabled for 3 lectures and 2 example class today, so that might give you some indication on how badly behaved I have been.

For those however, who saw me in my lectures writing notes, let me assure you that your eyes deceive you. Yes, please give them a nice rub and remove the slumber from them. OK fine, I confess--it's me who needs to rub my eyes and rid them of the weariness that currently resides there. Even though I was "sat" writing notes during my three lectures, and even though I attended one example class, I might as well have not been there. My three lectures drained what energy I had out of me, which was very little to begin with (although I had deliberately had a big breakfast today!) There were periods when I was paying attention, but sadly I had a disappointing day.

In metric spaces I was annoyed with Bella and Arthur, who were having a nice conversation about something or other, and with the the lecture theatre too. It was too blimmin' warm--enough to put even you asleep. This module is going very slowly too, which is against my very nature. (Although I don't want it to go too fast so that I'm rushed of my feet, some direction would be nice.) I do realise that I can never have that comfortable middle ground which I seek, but doesn't stop me from complaining. This semester, none of the lectures are going at a pace at which I am comfortable with. One goes slightly fast, and the others apart from discrete are going backwards! (Discrete I don't get a word of so I excluded it).

What I miss more than anything from my first three semesters is structured learning. I understand that I am now 1.5 years old (in mathematical terms) so I should start growing up. It is the same case with proofs. Firstly you construct them with every single detail, but as time progresses you might find yourself omitting certain steps because it is "obvious". My modules from the first three semesters had a more structured element to them, in terms of how the lecture happened and the notes on the board. I feel that now it has become very "free flowing" (apart from calculus- hurrah). It's not that I don't mind making my own notes from what the lecturers say, but I would prefer it if they helped us to do this. Once again I think the best structured lectures I have had were by Dr. C and Prof. S. They had an agenda for their lectures and we were part of it. The truth is that I've been missing their lectures a lot, and it saddens me that I might not attend another lecture given by them.

I really detest this one thing that many other people like. I believe that if a lecturer is going to give online notes, then they should be somewhat disjoint from the notes we get during lectures. Somewhat is very vaguely put, but I mean that they shouldn't just quote from their "online notes" and not write on the board. It spoils my written notes, which I love(!) very much; and it also ruins the story telling feel to the lecture. The flow of the story is not natural but badly "cut". It puts a sour taste in my mouth if I am being brutally honest. Sigh. I don't mind notes being put online, but it would be better if they were our secondary resource, and the primary resource were notes from the actual lecture. (Online notes could always have extra reading material for any interested student, and various other things). Ungrateful is what people would probably describe me as, for it takes a lot of time and effort from the lecturers to write their notes. They probably feel it is for our benefit, and I am not denying the positives of their notes. I'm just whinging because the online notes are spoiling lectures for me and I would rather they not interfere. Lecturers feel they can be vague because we "have the online notes".

Before my logic lecture it seemed that my results were still online, when I thought they had been removed. So before going to my lecture I told DC about this, for it is unfair on the students who have seen their marks and are oblivious to the problems occurring. The logic lecture was very formal with lots of definitions, and a watery proof at the end. I left the building a lot, but understood the general idea (I hope).

Today I met a very old friend for lunch and it was great catching up. I was just disappointed that the time passed by so quickly, and before long I was rushing to my algebra lecture. I have been a very bad student today, namely because I deliberately went to the example class for algebra without attempting any questions before hand. It was a waste of my time, and thankfully my plan to not take in what was being said worked. (The lecturer does questions on the board on Fridays). Wow- another sigh just escaped me!

This hasn't been a very positive "mathematical week" for I can't recall doing any of the problem sheets, or indeed reading my notes! But wait, what do we sniff around the corner? The weekend of course!!! We all know what I have promised myself this weekend right? If you don't then I am thoroughly disappointed to remind you, that I am going to do maths and nothing but maths during the weekend! And if I don't, you ask? If I don't then what... well I just asked silly Noddy and he suggested that I throw my maths books in the bin. How very dare he. Actually I am too tired to even get "pretend angry", so if you can think of anything better than that I am all ears.

After algebra I had once again checked my portal and the results were still up. Once again I went and informed those parties who were concerned and it seems that they should be gone by Monday. (They had actually been unavailable on one part of the site, but I could view them from another part). I actually gulibly believed that my marks for the modules were going to be halved, after I kept on enquiring as to what to believe (only for a second though, as thoughts of being fooled into thinking gullible wasn't a word in the dictionary resurfaced. HUMBUG. I am still plotting my revenge, and one day I'll have it....) Wow-- to myself my "mock revenge claim" is sounding tired too! This whole post sounds tired.... GAH

Indeed today I happened to walk with DC as we headed home, and I had actually wanted to discuss TGG. However, as always we got sidetracked and somehow talked about my blog. It was an interactive discussion and I was told that it is pretty obvious for eg. who Dr. X might be. I retorted that I can't exactly write something like "Dr. Muffin" for everyone local knows who I refer to. (They can't "not" know who I talk about). I explained to DC as to why I don't mind lecturers or "mathematicians" reading my blog, as opposed to other students on my course (including the Tweenies). The positives of this blog were discussed (and Steve you got a mention!) Well for anyone who doesn't know, Steve helped me a lot (I can't think of mathematical word for "lots") with TGG proposals (and many other things too) so he always gets a mention! DC has read the blog once or twice and even he is scared of my long posts! My excuse is that I talk a lot and very fast, hence why the same thing continues in my blog. (I'm sure one day you'll all have got used to them).*

We did discuss the TGG for an epsilon amount of time, but I wasn't filled with much hope upon what I heard. I think, after I have obviously done my maths work on the weekend, I am seriously going to start working on phase two of "The Galois Groups" aim. (Don't tell Bella though, otherwise I will get a huge lecture which I will obviously ignore!)

I realised that it feels "nice" when people say positive things about this blog. Yes, I'm weird like that but encouraging words never harm anyone... I am trying to think really hard about which lecture interested me the most this week (well from those that I was actually awake), and my mind, after much thought, thinks to geometry or logic. Hmmm, if I am able to do my geometry work then that it is (logic posts will be too messy at the moment). Now though, I must retire to my sleep. (HA)

Reminder to myself for Monday: See CDC about email to other schools; try to get email sent to all lecturers, kindly asking them to announce TGG's Wednesday lecture at the start of lectures; rearrange the induction session i.e. ring that woman! (Anything I forgot?)

*I decided to keep this one shortish, namely because I am really tired!

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