Thursday, May 08, 2008

To all the negative people who are out there.

Are you happy now? Did you get what you were after? Were you pleased that this Wednesday was the first ever Galois Group Wednesday that I ate lunch? That I was deflated like a balloon whilst I ate, despondently watching the door to G205 and for any familiar faces?

(scroll down a bit)

If you aren't happy then I blimmin well am!! This Wednesday's Galois Group lecture was amazing. It had everything (that includes people too). About 62 people attended--would you believe that?! I had mentioned in my email to students, that let us make this lecture as well attended as the first, and that is what actually happened.

I was gobsmacked--honestly! As I had been eating my lunch with Dr. W and a second year student, I had noticed four students hover near the door to G205. My lunch remained unfinished after that--Beans was back. The students were contemplating attending and I just helped them inside the room! This was the first Wednesday that I hadn't asked everyone to move down, so any late comers would be able to find a seat; but perhaps I should have.

The introductions were going to be done by Professor Glendinning (who obviously happily agreed to do this!) and an hour before the lecture was due to start, Dr. Coleman informed me that I was to do the conclusions! You see I had to do the refreshments today as well (due to the Tweenies sending their apologies) and I had already told Dr. Coleman of this. Unsurprisingly I did go into a small state of panic at having to the conclusions, for I wasn't sure how long the refreshments would take and whether I would return to the lecture in time. (I understood that it would be better for me to do the conclusions, which is why I went down without a fight on this occasion!)

Introductions complete, the lecture began to a fullish house. I've even forgiven those individuals who informed me that they would be attending, but forgot! (Had the attendance been not nice, then I would be singing a different story of course...)

The lecture was amazing in case you were wondering. I'm going to be careful from now on, before I make any erm... rude remark about applied maths! (I'll reserve them remarks for probability or stats..muhahaha.) I think people who scoff at you when you say I study mathematics and moan about how useless maths is, should attend such a lecture. It was an eye opener to say the least, about what role mathematics plays in a variety of places (some which you I would never have considered).

Although all this stuff fascinates me (and will continue to do so), I don't think it is quite my cup of tea. I am still looking for "the cup" which will fit snugly into my hands, but I don't think I will be finding that any day soon. One thing that I feel motivated to do now, is learn some programming. No real reason for this, but it's another skill to have.

At 1:45pm I had slipped out of the room and rushed towards the kitchen. During the day I had asked Rob about how many tea bags I should use (etc), and we had settled on 12. As I faffed about in the kitchen, wondering how the heck I was supposed to make coffee in a kettle when I didn't even know how to make it in a cup, Dr. S came to rescue! He apologised for not being able to attend the lecture and told me that he would look after the refreshments. The powers that be had felt sorry for me today, and were on my side. Thanking them and then Dr. S, I quickly headed back to the lecture and tried to calm my pumping heart. (On the back of some paper I quickly jotted four words, to give me a guide for the conclusion.)

I did find my legs shaking slightly when I went to the front, but as I spoke I felt myself calm down slightly (but not enough for me to talk slightly slower!) Anyway, as I reminded everyone present, the Galois Groups' aim was to create a mathematical community for the School of Mathematics, which I feel it has done to some degree. It was meant to bring students from different levels and staff together, to interact in a positive way. This was when my nerves left me: please stay for the refreshments, I had said, for that is when this important interaction happens. Talk to the speaker and other people, whilst munching on jaffa cakes of course.

I thanked everyone for making The Galois Group into what it has become, by attending the lectures consistently and being supportive. This message is to thank those who didn't come today but have been supporting the group, and most importantly myself throughout the year. There were periods of instability, when the towel was so close to leaving my hand, but it stayed put. (It is not only people in Manchester who supported me, but the online community has been of immense help too.)

I further went on to remind everyone (as I am doing so now!) that we are looking for student volunteers, to do a lecture for 25 minutes next year. You have all summer to prepare and can even volunteer for a 50 minute slot. PLEASE get in touch with me if you are interested in volunteering (either post a comment or email the.galoisgroup at or get in touch in some other way!)

We are also looking for student submissions of articles for Infinite Descent. The email will be circulated again (once exams are over of course), but please do consider writing something. I will be telling you a secret soon (obviously that's when it will no longer be a secret!) about what you could achieve if you submit an article. At the moment it suffices to say that if you are passionate about any area in mathematics then please get it on paper.

I'm not sure where I'm going with the next few sentences, but if any student is reading this blog and you are not from Manchester, then we might still be interested in your articles too! I should be seeing Dr. C soon to get the ball rolling for next year, and that will surely be discussed.

So, although my conclusion here has been four-ish paragraphs, I can assure you that it was said much faster than you read it. After I had sat down, Dr. Coleman went on to embarrass me (that's two things that I have to get him back for now!) and that concluded the final Galois Group lecture of the year. The end. It really does seem like one of them "happily ever after" moments, apart from the fact that exams are starting next week and I haven't started my proper revision yet. Ha...that didn't ruin my mood but I seem to have lost my priorities these days, for I prefer attending meetings and other things, as opposed to revising.

Anyway, a final big thank you to everyone again, and I hope that you continue showing us your support next year in whatever ways possible. It has honestly been a great year\{studying} and I have enjoyed every second of it. The negativity and despondency (at times) was necessary maybe, for the delight that followed was immense. The highs, lows and a full history of the Galois Group will be posted "one day" but that day is not today. If anyone does have any constructive feedback about The Galois Group, then I am all ears.

I'm going to try and turn my computer off and keep it that way for a couple of days; but did the weather have to be so great now? It is no longer cold at night when I sleep on the floor as well! Oh and "one more thing Jackie" I lost one of my to do lists (I think it fell out of my pocket when I took my wallet out) so my reply to anyone wanting me to do anything is: 6th June is the day to find me.

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