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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?

My time at university, much to my surprise, is coming to an end. After a mere three and a half years as an undergraduate, I've suddenly realised that I have just one and a half years to go! More frighteningly: in less than six months, I'll finish one of my majors. As my university career thus far has consisted mostly of adding new majors, finishing one is going to come as rather a shock to the system.

In an attempt to reduce the impact a bit, I've started this new blog [yes, I know - it's an addiction] to record the dying gasps of each major as it bites the dust. My intention is to update every day or two during the trimester with the details of how each course is going [but I'll try not to bore you with too much of the actual content]. As such, this blog will probably become my "main" blog while courses are in progress. For those of you who don't use RSS, I've put some nifty widgets in the sidebars of each blog, which tell you when my other blogs have updated [with a lag of about four hours, so far]. That way you only have to check one blog for updates and I can continue to delude myself that I have some actual readership!

When I title my posts with Queen lyrics, the first person to comment with the correct title of the song they're from gets a gold star ;)

So let's get down to business.

My four majors, in case you don't know, are ECON, QUAN, MATH and SOSC. First to go is mathematics, with MATH 301 [Calculus] this trimester being the last math course I'll ever have to do. I do not derive great pleasure from this fact. Studying math has been an amazing experience and it's taught me more in terms of useful skills than any of my other majors. Not that I expect to use a lot of my math knowledge in that thing called "the real world" - what I've learned from math study is more along the lines of persistence, courage, teamwork, determination, creativity, bloody-mindedness, time management, initiative, and how to do really good quality work in the middle of the night. Y'know, all the stuff that you're supposed to pick up at university, but no one quite tells you where to find it.

MATH 301 in particular is going to be an exercise in persistence. I've done the first four weeks of this course before - last year, when I was fresh out of the 200-level prerequisite paper and didn't know anything about anything. The first four weeks of MATH 301 freaked me out and I dropped it. In retrospect, I probably could have handled it then, but I wouldn't have had time to enjoy it - or the other three courses I was doing at the same time.

Since then I've got MATH 312 [Analysis] under my belt, which means I have a rough idea of the general theory of what we'll be doing in detail in 301. I've also learned to work at a "300-level level", and I've got to know one of the key lecturers for MATH 301, Chris. All things considered, then, 301 probably won't freak me out quite so bad this year. Instead of running screaming from the classroom, I'll just quietly melt down in the back row. You get the idea.

Just for completeness, here's a list of my math courses to date.

  • 2004
    • MATH 114 - Algebra and Discrete Math
  • 2005
    • MATH 113 - Calculus 1
    • MATH 214 - Discrete Math 2
  • 2006
    • MATH 206 - Calculus 2
    • MATH 207 - Linear Algebra
  • 2007
    • MATH 312 - Analysis
Math has been terrific, but it's finally ending. 14 weeks to go... starting Monday.


gliderguider said...

Surely not including this one? Oh well "Bohemian Rhapsody". That's not worth a sparkly gold star. Maybe with an allusion to "Another One Bites The Dust"?

Gael said...

Yes, this one is a bit blindingly obvious. Still, you get a star!


I can see this is going to turn into an enormous quest for the perfect ASCII star, which I will eventually have to give up because this font is not fixed width, curse it.

Gael said...

Right, enough messing with ASCII. Gold stars are going in a list in the sidebar.

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