Friday, October 27, 2006

Bell Curve

On the day I had to write the mid-term exam in question I found out the following three facts:

1. Last year the highest mark was 28/40
2. 3 People passed it
3. The average mark was 35% (out of 100%)

I was already scared shit-less. This just made it worse. I wrote everything I could find on to index cards. I studied them like I've never studied before. Because the week before I found out 3 other facts:

1. The class I'm taking is widely regarded as the hardest course in the school. (Must be an exaggeration... right?!)
2. Professor: "I've made the easiest exam I've ever made in my career... but I said that last year... and the year before... but the point is that it's the easiest yet." (I shiver as a swift cloak of fear darkens my future.)
3. Many, many students fail the course... one guy in my class is taking it for the third time.

Now I've written it and I blew it. The most frustrating part is that it wasn't because I didn't know the material, but because I didn't finish. So 25% of my mark will be a zero.

I can't shake it. It's driving me crazy. It's precisely the reason why academia is rotten in the middle. Success in academia proves you are successful in academia not that you understand a given topic. enforced anti-collaberation and performance under strict time-contrants... how close you can reach an unreachable goal are the domian of academia. I am bad at tests and passing work on time. These two things will keep my marks down. The conselation prize is that there are no tests in the "real world" and I've met very very few deadlines that couldn't be pushed back a few days. and furthermore, individual effort is much less valuable than group productivity. SO my failings will be inconsequential "out-there" but man is it hard on me in here.

At this point my only hope is that the bell curve swings me above water.

Today's song of the Day is "Gayane Suite No. 1: vii. Adagio for Gayaneh" Conducted by Gennadi Rezhdestvensky, composed by Aram Khatchaturian in 1941.

Crazy Fact: The Plot of this Ballet is the main character Gayane, helps entrap a spy bent on stealing Soviet geological secrets.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I have to come up for air...

It's been so fucking long since i've done this I just had explain.

I've never worked harder in my life 12 hours a day one break to eat, one break to walk home then eat then work till the drugs wear off.

It's both envigorating and exhausting. I'm giv'n er. Really giv'n er.

One story from this all the echos with me everyday. I'm taking a course called CSCI 3110 Algorithms. It's the most failed course in our Computer Science Department. On the last assignment one half the class failed one quarter of whom got ZERO on their assignment, to which he commented the marks are still higher than he would have liked.

zero. No 'E' for effort here. FUCK!! it's terrifies me.

Last class he was writing a 'rigorous' proof of the 'master theorem' on the board (which solves recurance relations the "easy way" please note the irony when I say that) and NOT ONLY did he RUN OUT of lowercase roman letters and had to resort lower case greek alphabet to continue, but he got it wrong... HE got it wrong. SO will start again from the top next class.

One big problem for me is I don't know what lower case ALPHA, lower case THETA and OMEGA so when he points to the mysterious mess of symbols on the board and says in a feint german accent:

HIM: "the important thing to notice here is alpha.."

IN MY HEAD: "WHICH ONE! which one- where is he looking- what's he point at is that "L" looking one? Maybe maybe it's the "w" looking one. maybe the half-infinity-thing? WHICH ONE!"

HIM: "As our geometric series approaches infinity our q goes to 2 and we know can drop constants..."


HIM: "So theta of n log a minus small omega to the base of b minus 1 over n to the i log q to the base b..."

IN MY HEAD: "...don't let them see you cry..."

BTW Happy post-wedding bliss Dennis and Antje. I'm a self-involved turd for not saying congratulations till now. Dennis, does this mean you are officially a German?

Today's Song of the Day is "99 Red Balloons" by Nena off her 1984 album "99 Luftballons." (I couldn't find the German one.)

Crazy Fact: In 2005, her album 'Willst Du Mit Mir Gehn', went platinum. She is still... it's 20 years later! crazy!