Thursday, September 18, 2008


" Is it really neccesary to spam the whole of the maths dept with a 'high priority' email."


I have a lot of explaining to do about my absence, and apologise for not replying to emails, but everything will make sense tomorrow (and the replies should start coming then too!). The only emails I have been able to check are my university ones, hence the above peach of an email I just read now. I haven't replied to it today, for as Dr. T once advised me, you should only send emails at a reasonable time otherwise you might write unreasonable things.

I would probably agree that initially an unreasonable response had formed in my head, but then I added a little "humour" and it suddenly became reasonable. Nevertheless I will send it tomorrow. [However, I welcome any suggestions of humourless and reasonable emails].

Perhaps I was a little "cheeky" when sending the following as "high priority", but at this time of the year I wanted my email to "stand out" (perhaps?)

"Hi everyone,

This is just a reminder of the deadline for any submissions of articles that you are writing for Infinite Descent (the maths magazine).

Here's some information for you to keep in mind:
1) Article guidelines are at most 1500 words, and pictures can be included. Also at most 500 words for book reviews.
2) The deadline for any submissions is Friday 24th October 2008.

If anyone is also interested in giving a 25 minute lecture on a topic of their choice, then please email me.

Best wishes, Me!"
Am I right in assuming that if I continue sending such reminders but they are not "high priority", it won't affect people? This is just one email I know, but it has been a very bad day today and tomorrow is going to be much worse.

This Galois Group stuff might just be beginning to tick me off. It's not an easy job and some peoples attitudes are not very pleasant. Meh. I shouldn't let this get me down, but with such things I sometimes feel like saying that this is the "last but one straw". Yes. I'm not out of this fight just yet.

At Manchester we have email lists for all staff, postgrads, first year students, etc. I did have a discussion with Dr. Coleman (once upon a time) whether it was possible to write an email like: "toeveryone\{beans}" but we came to the conclusion that it's not possible. Believe me - if I could "not send emails" to certain people I would. They could always black list my names if it offends them? Sigh again. As you might have guessed, I'm quite used to such emails but I'm getting to the end of my tether. I wish University wasn't starting soon.

I'm waiting for a student to reply to my email about his lecture, but I've suddenly become invisible. The magazine doesn't seem to be materialising. I'm not getting a go ahead for rooms being booked, so no posters are being made. I've decided to scrap the website for now, due to the fact that it's too time consuming. I've still not chosen my modules. University starts in 1.5 weeks. How the heck can I do this all? But then I will do it. That I know I. The question is when, but we don't really want to know everything do we?

After tomorrow I'm going to put my head straight down and work on the magazine and the posters. (Thought I've never experienced straight down, I will let you know how I get on!)

A little part of me feels very tired though, and it's taking me a lot of effort to want to do anything at all next year. I just want to do the Maths. Is that too much to ask for? Isn't that what I went to University for? Three years or four years, what I want is for me to enjoy the maths again. My first year was brilliant, but am I only destined for one brilliant year at University?

I don't blame that email for one main reason: everyone is on the verge of sending me such email, lecturers and postgrads included. The small sighs and the "tsks" are not missed by me - which might be connected to the fact that I have zero consideration for timing, but I can't help it!! It's a shame that Prof. S is going to be away. He's always a massive supporter of TGG and he helps me too.

Fragile. That's how I would describe myself today. And perhaps "confused".

PS: I have drafted a humourless email, with a similar tone, and I will let you know if I end up emailing it!


Jake said...

Sometimes, its best to go ahead and write the angry email/letter/sms etc. justto vent it out but then not actually send it.

Beans said...

Hi Jake,

I normally tend to vent out on this blog (oops!) but I think I kept my tone civil with this:

"Dear xyz,

Perhaps it wasn't neccessary to end this email as 'high priority', however because it is the start of term I wanted to draw everyone's
attention to this 'spam'. Nevertheless, in future, I will take care not to offend anyone and refrain from sending 'high-priority' emails (but I make no promises!).

Best wishes, Me

PS: You could always consider creating filters for incoming emails to your inbox."

By the way, how has it been going with module choices? Do you know which six you will be choosing? (Are you looking forward to term starting again?!)

Beans said...

Or should I not send that... Meh! (I'm thinking that the silent treatment might actually work best - though I have no idea who the heck sent the email!)

Jake said...

No, I've not decided on a final six yet...

Basically, I want to work out what I'm going to do for both years so I am making sure that there will be enough stuff that I want to do next year (only a limited amount of pure courses available) and I also think that I might exercise some of the free choice points I have available... I think I will probably have to consult my personal tutor about the options. I want to try and spread the workload between the years as evenly as possible to give myself a fighting chance of good marks!

Beans said...

I definitely know what I'm going to do in my fourth year second semester (Egrodic Theory, Galois Theory and differentiable geometry), but the first semester will be decided by my modules this semester.

At the moment I'm thinking of leaving Calculus on Manifolds and Measure Theory for my fourth year, and doing Intro. to Toplogy, Coding Theory, Group Theory and Linear Analysis this semester. (I haven't decided about the other two but it will be from: Matrix analysis, applied complex analysis or graphy theory and combinatorics).

I would advise speaking to a personal tutor, for when I went into University I actually started considering other units which I had previously dismissed. (I might have to bite my tongue and do Green's function in the second semester, but that will be decided later).

Good marks sound like a great idea - I should start thinking about them now, for the third year is worth more than the second was!

Jake said...

I would advise speaking to a personal tutor, for when I went into University I actually started considering other units which I had previously dismissed. (I might have to bite my tongue and do Green's function in the second semester, but that will be decided later).

I know what you mean although I still feel that I would be at a major disadvantage with the applied /numerical analysis type courses as:

a) I have little to no base knowledge in these areas - I did no applied courses or vector calc. in my first year and the bare minimum to pass in my second year.
b) I don't have enough interest to put in the necessary hard work to get the benefit out of the courses.

At the moment, tentatively, I will probably be going for:

Topology (4th year), Coding Theory, Group Theory (4th year) and Linear Analysis (probably 3rd year but then I am not sure as I'll belosing a 4th year option), Graph Theory

Beans said...

I'm trying to avoid applied courses too, but I can understand where you are coming from. With regards to (b), I feel that a lecturer can always generate interest within me that will make me do the necessary work. (In my first year I really enjoyed such courses). If I can avoid numerical analysis I will, but if Bella does Matrix analysis I might not be able to avoid matrix analysis!

Hmmm - are you saying that you will be doing the 15 credit topology and group theory modules in your third year? You will most likely have to see your personal tutor for that and he will advise you to see either Dr. E or Dr. T. (But Dr. E is your tutor so should be okay there!!)

I had the same issue you see. Would you not consider applied complex analysis? I've been convincing myself that it will help me in hyperbolic geometry and the number theory course in the second semester, which is why I might do it. (But it looks damn hard!)

For my fourth year first semester I have currently put down: calculus on manifolds, measure theory, and an unknown which might end up to be Model theory. All these will be 15 credits in my fourth year and only three are required.

I decided against doing any 15 credit modules in my third year for it will be much harder; especially considering the workload of TGG.