Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Stop!"

I once commented to someone, that I respect people who do their jobs properly; be it a bus driver or the guy who checks your train ticket. It is tempting to expand on that, however I will resist on this occasion for other matters are more important! (So says the bean).

That being said, I found myself wondering why exam invigilators sometimes take their job too seriously. I know that their job is important, but the 5 minutes that we were made to "stop and listen" to instructions, (which I didn't do) we could have filled the front of the answer booklet out. I mean if there does happen to be a fire, the first thing I'm going to do is find my bag. That's natural instinct and no matter what is said before hand, my instincts won't change. (Unless of course the fire has surrounded my bag, in which case I will be extremely angry!)

Anyway, thankfully this semester my exams have been in the Renold building (just near my precious mss building!) and near the library too. So I casually strolled to the exam hall, munching on my apple without a care in the world. (Well I was thinking about damn Beth tree rules, but let us not ruin the mood now.) Entering the Renold building I was pleased to see that a lot of people were actually outside the exam room, which meant that I wasn't the only person turning up on time. (Well I was actually 5 minutes early--would you believe that? Oh, and no one has told me that we should be there 15 minutes before the start...)

Heading outside C16 (I think) I crouched near a pillar and removed my tools for the exam: a calculator which wouldn't be used, lots of pens and pencils, and the other things you tend to take. I was still very casual because many people were standing outside, but this calmness didn't last very long. I noticed a lecturer from the department standing next to a table, and then it hit me: today was a A Level Mathematics revision day organised by the University! So all the students standing outside were A Level students, and not people from my logic class. Still, I wasn't late, but I did gulp before entering the room...

Rightly so too, for it was then that the invigilators attacked all "people who were not late"! A bemused expression floated around my face, as I tried to determine where my seat was (obviously not paying attention to what was said). I was rather happy with myself, when I successfully realised the system of numbering from where I was told to "stop"; and when the lights went green I quickly sat down.

The exam began and ended in the same light. It was a big rush. An error ridden rush. I forgot to check my Beth Tree, and when I did, I spotted a crucial mistake! However I only corrected what was incorrect, but didn't see how it affected the rest of the answer. You won't be surprised to hear that I did not finish the paper and did not check my answers (Dr. C will not be happy to hear that....)

As dangerous plans go, the one I had conspired for today was the most dangerous. The idea was to get as many marks as I could in section A because section B was close to impossible. When it comes to adequacy I become stuck and the completeness theorem and myself had a falling out not so long ago. I knew that if I was going to get any marks on section B, it would be on the question about proofs. (I had planned to only attempt that one question in section B, and not really make a serious attempt on the adequacy one). In an hour or so I had finished section A (well what I could do, the 17 marker was nasty!) That left me an hour for the proof. After 25 minutes I was still trying to do the proof question (Give a formal proof of (¬(p^¬q) |- ¬p v q) where "^" is and, and you're meant to join the lines in the middle up).

I realised it was futile to continue and that my dangerous plan had failed. Hence I ended up trying the adequacy question, but I seriously had no idea what to do. I wrote the definition down so that should give me at least one mark! (Perhaps I should have just memorised the answer on one of the past papers?) Anyway come the last 15 minutes I find myself in a bad situation. I haven't got anything to show for section B after 45 minutes of "thought". It was at this stage that I think some pray of mine got answered! With a sudden desperate burst, I tried to jot down the proof that I felt was right. Working at that pace meant mistakes were inevitable. Five minutes to go--where's the mistake? GAH--just copy the whole thing out again and forget checking your answer!! As pens downs was announced I copied the final line but still couldn't find the mistake.

It I hadn't had that sudden burst at the end for the proof question, I would be devastated now. My answer was perhaps wrong, but I'm filled with another dangerous substance now: hope. Perhaps it was right? If it was then my dangerous plan of only doing section A might still work... So the thoughts continue to toy with me.

On a positive(?) note, it is over now--not on my terms, but there is no sense in repeating how I wish I had actually been a good student this year. That's not going to change anything. I have a week now (well 5 days because I'm going to "take it easy" for a day or two) to prepare myself for the final exam. Please let this one be the one pulls my stinking average up. A part of me still wants me to meet my real expectations, but that hopeful part is dying fast.

So this is the first actual post mortem I have done for an exam this year. Having woken up at 2:30am, I think I like it when I hit the hyper stage of my mood. Now though, I have slumped and I am not allowing myself to go to sleep until 9pm (ish). The hyper stage will return again which should be fun... (I find myself "not in full" control of my actions in this hyper stage, as the woman on the bus stop will confirm, after I missed the bus! I was busy playing with the camera on the phone and missed it).

By the way, the dentists are evil. They have sent me an appointment for my birthday. Ha. Like I'm ever going to go to it! (Well I actually have the silly SAS so I have to send my apologies... another time perhaps?)

Perhaps you have realised that they hyper stage is just round the corner! I want to do something "extreme". Not in the dangerous sense... in the different sense. Any ideas on what I can do? It seems that quotes are a nice way to shut me up (or poems) and as coincidences go, I have one to do with age:

Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.
- Groucho Marx

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