Tag Archives: Exams

Revision is pretty much the worst thing ever.

I really, really dislike revision. It’s not so bad when it’s something that’s reasonably interesting, like Quantum Mechanics or something, but trying to bludgeon my brain into learning Thermodynamics in this kind of heat is frankly just horrific and painful, and I want it to go away and leave me alone.

My exams are:

  • Thermodynamics & Statistical Physics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Applications of Quantum Mechanics & Electrons in Solids
  • Fourier Methods, Differential Equations, & Statistics of Meausurement
  • Mathematical Methods
  • Electromagnetism & Optics

I’ve done one past paper each for the first two, and overall I’m fairly confident, although there are some pretty major gaps in my Thermodynamic knowledge (how do you work out entropy change again?!), which I’m desperately trying to plug. I’ve done some revision in the other areas too, so I’m feeling fairly alright with differential equations, and statistics is just a retread of A Level stats anyway, for the most part.

First exam is on the 28th, so things are moving on.

Went camping last weekend, may or may not do a writeup on that at some point, possibly when I run out of ways to continue procrastinating. Should have struck while the iron was hot.


So, my last exam was yesterday and I’m now pretty much home free for the next two weeks until everyone gets kicked out of halls. Then I’m home free at… y’know, home.

All in all I think the exams went not too badly. I’m nigh-on certain I passed everything, and fairly sure that I’ll get a good grade. Is grade the word anymore? Anyways, regardless the procedure seems to be that we get a pass/fail letter along with info about if we got into the second year on the 9th of July, then a letter from the Registry in August that gives the numerical results.

The Maths Analysis exam yesterday actually went a lot better than I thought it would. The past papers were truly terrifying. It’s not an exaggeration that I actually was unable to even begin to answer without looking up the method in my notes. The real exam was actually better than that, thankfully, and George agreed with me. Hopefully everyone won’t find it easy though or it’ll get moderated in the wrong direction! Which would be bad.

The QP, SoM, and V&W exam didn’t suck too much, and there were only a couple of things I drew a complete blank on.

E&M I’m actually already starting to forget what that was like. Oh well.

Last night was also the Piccadilly Court end-of-year dinner, which is really strange because… it doesn’t really feel like I’ve been here that long. I mean, it’s only been maybe about 9 months or something, which is nuts, really, and it’s already the end. This extended social group of people is going to drift apart. It’s… sucky, really. To steal some words, I don’t know half of them half as well as they deserve.

In other news:

I bought myself some webspace, so I’m hosting this blog myself now, which hopefully means I’ll be able to put some interesting things on it that were impossible while it was hosted at wordpress.com.

Buffy Season 8 #4 came out on Thursday, and it’s the conclusion to the “Long Way Home” arc, and there’s some pretty disturbing imagery in there, I thought. Better minds than me are probably reviewing it, but suffice to say I’m glad to see these characters back.

I bought a copy of Crackdown for the 360, and It’s mucho fun, what with the beating up the gang members, shooting the gang members, and running over the gang members. Oh, and doing Neo-jumps from rooftop to rooftop collecting agility orbs, which in turn give your jumping ever-greater magnitude, which makes it easier to collect ever-more orbs. It’s beautiful.

Until next time, goodnight. And good luck.

Recording Minutiae

I posted a while back that the most enjoyable thing about writing down stuff that happens to you is that you record the pointless minutiae of daily life that, with no reason in particular to stick in your mind, you quickly forget. Reading back those details takes you right back to that moment you sat and wrote those thoughts.

This was the end to which I instituted my Little Red Notebook, which I have been dreadfully amiss in consigning my thoughts to. The last entry is May 13th, and the one before that is April 4th.

Anyways, what I wanted to record before it’s inexorably lost to the entropies of my mind is that before my exams I’d go to the lobby of the Blackett lab and revise and end up talking to other first year physicists who normally I wouldn’t talk to at all. I don’t even know their names, but we were in this exam-mess all together all the same. Made me wish that on the whole people were more generally social; the herding instinct is terribly old, and the symptoms of it are plain for all to see.

Human beings instinctively form the in-groups and the out-groups, dividing down lines of common interests or thoughts, of common experience. Once you lose touch with a group it’s hard to find your way back in, and it’s definitely hard to break into a group unless you already know someone on the inside. And there’s the risk of ending up in an awful limbo where you’re not really a part of any group, sitting painfully at the fringes. Of course, you also get their logical opposites, the social spiders, sitting at the centre of a vast web of connections.

It’s kinda depressing in a way that we all end up playing this ridiculous game, no matter how stupid we all realise it is.

New Lick of Paint

I think it’s pretty good, but I’m none too sure about the tag cloud. Input would be lovely.

Earlier today I had an exam, and…. well, it was something. That’s what it was. I’m probably going to write about exams on Friday when the whole thing’s over and I can step back and take stock.

It’s also going to be great because I’m going to have this just massive stack of free time with which I can get a few projects pushed forward. There’s two I’m particularly excited about which I can’t wait to start driving towards fruition. I’ll probably post more about them in due course.

Anyways, I’m going to sleep. It’s like, lateness.

Why Revision sucks

It’s 23 degrees C outside according to the little weather ticker on my desktop, and it bloody well feels like it. Doesn’t help that my computer’s on, I imagine.

Anyways, I want to go outside and run around but I feel like leaving my room would be an admission at how horribly I’m failing at revising.

I’m so screwed for the upcoming exams.

At some point I’ll also remember to comment on things that really deserve to be commented upon. People like Lucy are smoking me at writing stuff that’s interesting.

Exams, Revision, Silverlight, and the old girl’s birthday

So exams are over for the next 5 weeks, and I’m, rather frighteningly, already going after the revision. I went into the exams a little more unprepared than I’d like, so I’m going to have a crack at the books early and with any luck I should really nail the last three exams. Also this stuff is all going to come up again in the comprehensives towards the end of my degree, so if I internalise this deep wisdom now I might not have to cram it all back into my skull in a couple of years time.

Microsoft have announced something new – they call it “Silverlight” and it’s kinda like Microsoft’s answer to Flash. It’s based on some of Microsoft’s .net technology and it’s a sub-set of their new Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology for making cool-looking programs. I haven’t done any programming for a while so I feel like I’m kinda behind on this stuff, and Silverlight is making me feel like maybe I should get back into it. It looks like v1.1 is going to enable programming in C# in the browser, and that makes me happy. It’s apparently going to be 300 to 1000 times faster than Javascript, and this is only a good thing.

What’s good about Microsoft lately is you can get cut-down versions of their programming tools (like Visual Studio) in free Express versions if you’re a hobbyist and you can’t afford the real thing, so I’ll have to looksee if they have anything for Silverlight/WPF.

Oh, and yes, I did just write about something incomprehensible and geeky. It’s my blog/blag, deal with it.

Also, today is the 300th birthday of our great nation. Here’s to the next 300 years as one nation.