Thursday, February 07, 2008

Madness?

That is the only word that springs to mind about yesterday and today. Well if I ponder some more I could probably add exhaustion to that list. Yesterday was my second "Monday morning" of the week. Yes, I keep on changing my mind about this Monday business, but yesterday I decided that I am allowed to have more than one Mondays. (No ifs and buts, but if you want to have more than one Monday, I won't do anything to you!)

Yesterdays 9am Geometry lecture would have been more saturating, had I absorbed what was being said. I did understand bits and bats but I don't think I retained any information. Straight after the lecture you could find me sat with the Tweenies, head down snoring! I did tell the Tweenies it would be best if I found an empty classroom, but since many lectures happen in the AT building that wasn't possible. So whilst they had their conversations and drank their tea, I slept. Well I drifted in and out of consciousness, and when once I happened to be "awake" I heard them talking about what they would have done to me sleeping, had they been in secondary school! My head had shot up with that remark, only for me to warn them and then nod off again. Thankfully though, my arm and hand went numb which woke me up in time for my next lecture.

That is the second time I have had a "nap" in the AT building, but this time in a noisy environment. When you are beyond a certain point, it doesn't matter where you happen to be-- sleep embraces you. As always, when you wake up you tend to be more "alive" than dead. I hurried to my Discrete maths lecture only to feel myself leaving the room. The room was horribly warm and inviting me to sleep again. Once again I didn't really understand a word of what was said, and hurried to the AT building after the lecture had finished, to overlook some TGG business. In the AT building I happened to bump into Prof. Abrahams, and he enquired as to how I was. I don't think he caught a word of what I said, so I understandingly explained: "It's my Monday morning today!" He just shook his head and told me to get some sleep. He wasn't the only one telling me that, but when do I ever listen?!

The Tweenies had all gone home for they don't do Discrete maths, and I was hanging around for a meeting. The meeting was so and so and once again I embarrassed myself. I was rather impatient during parts of the meeting, as we sidetracked, for I had to leave at 2pm. In my impatience I had prompted "third years now", only for everyone to look at me weirdly. I then quickly explained, "well the second years have finished so I thought erm...". The chair person then said: "Is it me chairing this meeting or you?" Thankfully he hadn't been offended and I was able to laugh with everyone (and say sorry of course!) I had to exercise great control over my big mouth, to stop myself from saying "fourth years now"!

From the meeting one thing has sparked my curiosity. How many of the maths students enrolled at my University know who Alan Turing is (who our building is named after)? As I said, I wouldn't have named the building after him, but I was (pleasantly) surprised to hear that people still don't know who he is. I mean they could have googled his name had they been interested? A depressingly small amount of people probably know who he is.

I believe historical awareness is important, and it helps us to appreciate the current situation. Too much History can be annoying but when I read Fermat's Last Theorem my hard feelings towards Euler fully disappeared. Yes authors do write to sell, but the other excerpts of history that I read made me become even more fascinated by maths. Like I said in my proposals, "it is indeed mathematicians of the past that do still motivate mathematicians and mathematics today". Maybe this could be another way of enhancing that "community feeling"? History? Or is it just me who is fascinated by this... (I was really tempted to send an email out to the student body asking how many knew who Alan Turing is, but decided not to.)

Today wasn't much better than yesterday. I had another 9am start but I had wanted to wake up at 6am and do my homework (old habits...) However due to already not having enough sleep as it is, my mind refused to wake up. I woke up following a nightmarish dream which I clearly remember even now. It involved my dream. It wasn't a very positive dream about "my dream" and I don't know how to decipher it. I was sitting in the AT building where I would like to be sat in two years time. Dreams are a tricky business. I don't tell anyone my bad dreams and this was one of them dreams where I felt it was me running down the streets. Yes--I was making the decisions and I chose to "wake up" once I realised that the horridness was going to continue. Sigh. I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and it won't escape my mind.

I can't remember much about the 9am Algebra lecture but straight after that it was geometry. Sweet horrible geometry, which is very taxing for me to get my hands under. It was a supervision and Dr. K was once again great. I did try to follow parts of the questions but when I lost him I hid. Hid behind the person in front of me so that Dr. K wouldn't see me! He knows my name and I was terrified that he would say "beans, please can you do this on the board for me?" "Erm.. no thanks." "Come on now beans, I'll help you." "No, please....." *runs from the classroom* Well I wouldn't have ran, but next time I'm sitting next to the door.

Thursdays mean that I have five hours in a row. I can't hack that. I honestly can't. Calculus is getting slightly annoying now, due to the course material. All we have done for the first two weeks is recap everything and define what we already know. The chain rule for partial derivatives was defined in the first semester, as were many other things. Why do we need such a detailed recap? Some parts were necessary, but I wouldn't mind getting on with things. I guess I'm bored with it and just sat like a robot copying. Although I must confess I was surprised to see Prof. H in the lecture theatre! I can't help but grin when I see him now, since he knows "my secret". Ha.

The fourth hour in the row was a geometry lecture. Here I totally zonked out. Totally, completely and ashamedly(?). I was trying really hard to concentrate, but Dr. K's lectures are such that you can't afford even a second in another zone. You have to be at 100% for the full 50 minutes. I really enjoyed it though--well the parts when I actually knew what I was writing on paper.

We have three clowns in our lecture by the way. They think they are funny, sitting at the back and acting like clowns. I wish PS had been there and thrown them all out. Yes, you shouldn't wish bad upon others, but I am obliged by the rage that was building inside me. I don't care that they were ridiculing people, but I didn't want to hear it. They were behaving like secondary school children. Throwing stuff, clapping sarcastically when someone replied to a question, making loud remarks about the time when the lecture over ran and so on. Yes, it would have been great if PS had been there.

I have decided not to attend the discrete maths example class, because if four hours in a row is bad, how can I manage five?! It is just not possible. You really have to be something to be able to actually take in information from all four lectures.

As we ate lunch in the AT building I noticed another poster was missing. They may have won this round, but next week they won't know what hit them. All I'm really going to do is get extra posters printed, so that as soon as they take one off I put two back on.

Just before the discrete maths lecture at 3pm a buzz was going through the maths students in the computer room. I was soon informed by a friend that our exam results were online! I knew that this couldn't be possible for we are supposedly getting them on 28th February after the examiners meeting. I didn't get a chance to check them before Discrete for the damn thing wouldn't load and I had a minute or two to get to the lecture. However after the lecture I was shocked to find that my Algebraic structures and PDE exam result was on line. Straight away I knew something was wrong. I didn't believe what was written for a minute for the examiners meeting hadn't been held.

This lead me to DC, asking him about what was going on! I knew that my results weren't real but a part of me wanted to get happy. I couldn't allow that happiness to surface and then be brutally crushed. Whilst DC went to find out what was happening, I bugged a few other lecturers. Maths students if I were you I would safely ignore whatever marks you saw. Although I didn't quite catch all of what he said for I couldn't hear him properly, it seems that a mistake has been made. The results should not be online anymore, and they do not give a true representation of your grades. I don't know how to feel but I'm sure we'll find out more tomorrow. I caught the words "ghost marks" so that can only mean "not real marks". This is ridiculous though. Campus \sout{Solutions} isn't a very good system in my opinion.

Even though I knew it was to good to be true, a small part of me hoped that what I was seeing was true. Not ghostly. As each day passes I cross it off on my calendar, and I feel each cross on my heart. Not a day goes when I don't think about my results, but I can't help it. I make it seem like I don't care and I know I've messed up, however I care a lot. Only PS knows my real expectations and it was embarrassing informing him off them. It's just that since day 1 i.e. in school when my dad told me he didn't want me slacking, and I should get more than a certain mark, have I set myself such a target. When I don't meet it I fail. Even if it is one mark below it I fail.

Today wasn't a good day. I got the bus twice. I had my hopes dashed, even though I knew that what I was seeing was a lie and my posters were brutally murdered again.

However that being said I am feeling content. A hint of tiredness has been following me throughout the week, and the reminder that I should start doing some work now. This semester is going to be darn difficult (or I'm just being a baby because I have yet to get my head into the books)! Oh and some good news: I got my first volunteer for next years student Galois Group lectures! Hurrah. I am also just waiting for one more title... *hint hint*! I tell you what I felt like doing today? I felt like going to the Head of School myself and asking him about the forum. Call this impatience, but I did say that I didn't want to put my burdens on other shoulders... It's just that the Galois Group is the last priority on everyones mind, except for me. Whereas I could do that task right now (i.e. by emailing and making an appointment first!) others don't have the same motivation. I'm not annoyed, just getting a tad frustrated. I feel it in my blood that by next week I will probably do what I have said, if the opportunity presents it self.

No maths for me tonight. I want to sleep.

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