Revision and Review

The exams are coming up and I’m not exactly prepared for them, more so this semester than in others. I think it’s more due to the fact that my university experience has shown me that last-minute mugging is more effective than a semester’s worth of intense concentration.

Statistical Physics is my largest concern, having failed it two semesters ago. A look back at my blog entries last year show that I really knew very little about it back then. Maybe because I just didn’t have enough maths to fully grasp the concepts, or simply because I wasn’t trying hard enough. I can find plenty of websites with information on ststistical mechanics these days, and I actually can grasp a bit more than before. Contrary to my department’s advice regarding education, I do believe in the fuzzy osmosis of knowledge from lecturer to student. Or at least from his/her notes. Or other peoples’. In any case, unlike last year it’s actually interesting this year – I know what’s going on and I can actually attempt some of the questions in the past exam papers. With some luck I’ll pass this semester.

All’s quiet on the Computational science front, though. I’m afraid Prof Wang already knows of me as the awful student who never turns in his labs. Chances are I’m not going to be doing any research projects with him. Unfortunately for me he seems to be the one in CZ who leans more towards physics research. Ah well – we’ll take it as it goes.

And on the non-exam front things are boiling. Well – not so much boiling as cold and unmoving. Studying so much after two semesters of intense relaxation have left me not wanting to wake up in the mornings. It’s rather disheartening to wake up in the morning and think that there’s YET more tutorials to go through, more stuff to read that I just throw my blanket over my head and go back to sleep again. My life is so boring I seek entertainment from my dreams, which I unfortunately can’t remember, and other peoples’ blogs, which just depress me because they seem to be having so much more fun and excitement than I am.

There’s this short thing – too short to be an essay, too ugly to be a poem – written by a publications senior of one of my ECAs, this girl named Angela. Angela was a smart girl. At least, that’s what she claims in her little dissertation. She was a literature major, and had an excellent command of the english language. In her short piece she describes her intelligence and how threatening it is to the guys she knows, and how she uses it to manipulate them into thinking that she’s wonderful. Angela’s little piece has attracted much attention, from the scrawls on the paper its written on.

Arrogance aside, I do applaud Angela’s confidence and honesty. Plus she doesn’t violate any truths – she only THINKS she’s smart. Also, I, too, suffer somewhat from megalomania. I have the MENSA card to prove my IQ, the single bar to prove the trials I went through in my army days, the kiddygarden grades, the reading accolades, the brooding, philosophical insights. I, too, think I’m smart. And because of that, I have the romantic idea that my life must be special, must somehow be different, that I have some right to aspire for more than three square meals and a roof over my head. Mediocrity embarrasses me.

Compared to Angela, my arrogance is overwhelming.

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