Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Unforgettable Tuesday

Today a lot of (countable?) things have happened, but enough to leave me in a haze of confusion and a small panic. This small panic I have disguised quite well for most of the day, and it's nothing really related to Maths or University. It's something to do with me and something that I although expected, wasn't really prepared for, if you follow me. It's like knowing that you have an exam but not revising for it. This panic isn't a pre-exam panic (thankfully), but a deep unrest is stirring within me. On one hand I am quite happy and over the moon, but on the other hand I'm nervous and slightly scared. Scared of what? I ask myself. There's nothing to be scared of but drastic changes I reply.

Changes that could and will change a lot of things in my life, but I have to be positive now and take things on board. If I'm being completely and brutally honest, I'm terrified. That's not very good though and I'm going to obviously bury everything away until it has been internally dealt with. (I worry about how long I have to process everything). On this occasion it is fear of the unknown and the fear of growing up.

Today, thankfully before the Measure Theory lecture, I happened to wake up from my previous zombie like state (resulting from messed up sleeping patterns). We happened to intersects paths with Prof. S' on the way to the lecture and I mentioned how I really enjoy the crunching feeling under my feet when I walk on the leaves. Prof. S' remarked that he too enjoyed doing such a thing but when he was eight!

I am eight though. But then I'm not. No - I am eight. Growing up implies responsibilities. Responsibilities of grown ups are not contained within me hence why I tend towards wanting to remain an eight year old. I don't know what I'm trying to say, I honestly don't.

I don't think one is ever old and that one ever stops enjoying (certain) childhood pleasures. In primary school during Autumn I had once collected a load of leaves, branches, twigs and stones to make a nest. Yes, that's what everyone used to do as rewards from teachers were involved, hence why I had made a massive nest near some trees away from everyone else. Another lad in my class then went and kicked my nest into smithereens and I was infuriated by this. He got into trouble but my desire to create another such nest has never been satisfied. The fantastic colours of Autumn fascinate me.

I don't want to grow up yet. I sometimes feel much older than my actual years, but that's only when I am tired of certain things. I'm not saying that "I'm 20 and it's the end of the world". No - the numerical value of my age has never determined how old I am.

Sigh - the above circular argument will go on forever as I'm not sure what it is that is actually worrying me. Is it responsibilities, growing up or change? Challenges are faced in our every day lives and that is how I will view everything now: a challenge. I can conquer this situation and I will do so. Hopefully!

After my post at around 4am I had looked over my algebra notes and then tried to sleep. Sleep came and went for an hour and I awoke feeling very groggy and not looking forward to the test. My final decision (after a cup of tea) was to just learn the dummy test, namely the proofs.

What stinks at times is when you wake up early and are still late for the blimmin' 9am lecture due to public transport. Everything seemed to be going backwards this morning, but I slept (with my eyes open!) during the first lecture so I'm not really going to complain about turning up late. The test was straight after the lecture and thankfully walking to the building woke me up slightly. I'm not an expert with Lagrange's Theorem, but if I ever forget it I deserve to be banished mathematically from ... mathematics! (How does one be banished mathematically I wonder?)

The test was okay apart from the last question which I made a mess off; but according to fellow Group Theorists on the course, I got the right answer in the end! That's one test down and five more to go - what joy.

Today I must confess that the second struggle of the day had to be the coding theory lecture. Straight after the test my brain went on a free fall and I could not for the life of me understand what the lecturer was saying. I got what we were trying to do but I just couldn't listen. Instead I busied myself in making sure that my hand writing was as "neat as possible" (pictures to follow soon! :D) .

After coding (I missed the example class....) The Tweenies and myself went for lunch in a nice place whose name I have forgotten. Well I only really was in the mood for tea, but nonetheless it was a nice relaxing place (perhaps too relaxing!) I desperately wanted to put my head down (as I do in the AT Building) but didn't manage to do so.

The measure theory lecture after lunch was quite cool in the sense that I only zoned our for an epsilon time. I know that I have promised to type my Measure Theory notes up (one day) but I'm first trying to work through them myself so they make sense to me! We have defined this strange thing called the Lebesgue Outer Measure and I was having trouble with the definition due to my naive understanding of collection of covers.

Well I don't get on too well with covers (and finite sub covers and lots of nasty topological things) which doesn't help. Prof. S' explained things in a neat way to me, but I've tried to cross reference the pictorial understanding I have with the mathematical one and it has been hard work.

Now with no mathematical symbols whatsoever, say that you have a set E and you have a cover for it (which is a collection of intervals covering E). We then compute the sum of the lengths of the intervals in this particular cover, which is a real number. Now say John Smith has another cover for the set E (which is a different collection from you), and once again we calculate the sum of the lengths of the intervals in this cover to get another real number. In this way we end up with lots of covers for the set E and lots of real numbers.

The Lebesgue outer measure takes the greatest lower bound of these real numbers I hope! [Well when I went to collect my money from Dr. C I got into a discussion with him about my pictorial representation of this definition. He did correct something I said about the infimum but I annoyingly can't remember what, and he also helped iron another crease or two out, though another one has just cropped back again.] I get confused by small things and it's this index j which is currently prickling me. (If only I wasn't this tired so I could insert some mathematical notation to make sense of this mess....).

Anyway, that's enough measure theory for now, and I have some slight good news. We have finally managed to get a room booked for the student lectures in week 7. I am waiting for the confirmation email but I was a brave knight and strode into the office to make "enquiries". Actually that's a lie - I squeaked like a mouse for the wrath of the office is one which I would rather avoid. [The office is actually quite nice to me and have yet to chuck me out * touch wood* but I have previously witnessed an office situation where things became mental in one second, due to someone like me! I see the hate for the extra work I bring bright in the eyes of the "officers" i.e. the people of the office! Officers sounds better so officers it its.]

More details about that lecture to follow (titles, abstracts etc). In an ideal world the UG SSLC meeting would start at 2pm, but if it starts at 1:30pm after the first student lecture, I will be happy. The magazine deadline looms and I am very annoyed to find that the University computers no longer have Texnic centre installed on them. Ah well - this means that I now have to annoy the computer "officers" who actually do get very annoyed by me. (It's ridiculous though, how the University thinks that they're making things better for us by upgrading the computers, when in actual fact things are horrible now.)

And I think that now is a good time to sleep.

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