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Posts tagged ‘coursework’

138. Because I’m Happyyy

Yes it’s been too long…. but I was working my butt off on my beast of a Statistical Pattern Recognition coursework. I handed it in on Friday and pretty much hibernated during the weekend because I was so exhausted from staring at a screen. Saying I handed it in doesn’t quite convey that actual stress of that day; it would be more accurate to say that I was filling in my name and college details in the lift on the way to the 6th floor where I was supposed to hand it in merely 10 minutes before the deadline. Then because I’m a plum I managed to submit it in the wrong slot and embarrassingly had to beg the lady in the office to retrieve it for me. I think she took pity on me.

The whole point of taking this immense coding course was to alleviate stress later because it would mean taking one fewer exam in the Summer. Maybe it’ll feel the benefits later but on Friday I’m quite sure I had high blood pressure coupled with a thumping headache and lack of sleep. Not the greatest of combinations. Oh well it’s over now.

Since then I’ve been pretty much listening to this on repeat. If any of you need your spirits raising, this song’ll do it. Loosen up. Get those shoulders moving.

Oh and for those of you still reading this and persevering with me:

gold star

Over and Out!

131. My days are a blur

I know it has been a while but trust me when I say I have not been ignoring this blog because I wanted to or because I didn’t know what to talk about. The past week or two, my days have actually become a blur of waking up, taking the train, going to uni, coding and courseworking and then taking the train back home to do more coding and courseworking. I literally can’t tell my days apart. I feel like a zombie.

This has been the most exhausting and challenging academic terms of my life. Coupled with all the work I need to be doing for my fourth year project and the fact that it’s my final year, at times I have been feeling overwhelmed. I just never feel like I’m finished. Every time I hand some work in, I can’t even celebrate or take a break because I have another two to do. It has been relentless.

One of my modules has been particularly bad: Statistical Theory. Even the name is off-putting. Stats and theory. Someone hand me a bucket. I made the mistake of thinking that the course would be decent based on the past papers. To be fair for the first few weeks, it was quite good but after that it got worse at like… an exponential rate. We must have studied sufficient statistics for about 3 weeks- I still couldn’t explain to you what they are. The lecturer, bless him, is erm…oh I’ll just say it…ancient. He’s ancient. He has a tendency to call everything trivial and assumes we know a lot more than we actually do. Coupled with his muttering and frightening hysterical laughing at his own jokes, his lectures can feel torturous. However he always seems so pleased that people are attending his lectures and now I don’t have the heart to leave and disappoint him.

I don’t want it to all sound awful so I shall say this: while this term has definitely been stressful, it has felt oddly rewarding too. Coding is so frustrating- little things can completely mess it up- but when it works you feel like a superstar. Most of Mathematics is like that.

Still I am really looking forward to the end of term so I can hibernate, catch up on my tv shows and just have time to go through my notes thoroughly. More importantly I want to spend time with my family and with my cousins. I have really missed their annoying lovely faces.

Over and Out!

129. A day of coding…

…goes pretty much like this…

I’m going to be really productive today. I am refreshed and ready to tackle these questions. Bring it on!

im1

Just look at that positive attitude.

Let me just copy and paste the code that worked perfectly at home. Done. I think I’ll just run it to check everything is working…

It’s not working. Why isn’t it working?

im2

My computer hates me

Oh I forgot to install the packages at the start. Silly me. It should work now.

It’s still not working. I don’t understand why this is happening.

im4

EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Crap now I’m going to have to run everything line by line to identify the problem.

Oh FFS I left out a bracket. Now everything is working.

FINALLY I can start. Oh crap is that the time?! I’m going to be late for my lecture.

im3

When will this be over?!

*sigh* another day of unproductive coding.

And that guys, is basically my life right now!

Over and Out!

P.S New background- good, bad or ugly?

123. The Annual Student Pledge

Like every other student I promise myself year on year that I will do better, that I will work harder and be more organised. Every year I end up short of my expectations. Nonetheless today I make my annual student pledge to improve on last year (and trust me there’s a lot to improve on).

To really drill it home I’ve decided to publish my pledge here on my blog, immortalised on the internet so that I can look back in shame when if I fail.

I Aliya, hereby promise the following:

  • To read over lecture notes throughout the term rather than in a blind panic before exams
  • To tackle problem sheets with the same perseverance I usually reserve for coursework
  • To really think about problem sheet questions rather than jumping for the solutions
  • To make good revision notes and not get bored of the module after the second chapter
  • To not assume something won’t turn up in the exam… because it usually does (just to spite me!)

I really want to do well and leave university on a good note. Hopefully the fact that this is my final year might be the kick up the arse I need. 

Over and Out!

53. So It Ends

Today was the last day of lectures for this year. For some of my friends, it’s their last lecture at Imperial which is totally surreal for me. I cannot imagine being done with my degree right now. The reason I’m staying on for a fourth year is less about wanting to do more Mathematics and more about how unbearable the idea of leaving Imperial and facing the big scary world is.  Even though it’s a year away, finishing my education and starting work makes me feel a bit ill. I’ve been spoilt in the sense that I’m used to seeing my friends everyday and I need that. It keeps me functioning.

The thing is some of my friends are going to leave this year and these are people who’ve been an integral part of my university life. Some of them are graduating and one of them is heading off to Cambridge (such a brainbox- so proud!). I’m so happy for them and they’re all doing what’s right for them… but I’ll miss them and that makes me sad. I hate things changing and I hate saying goodbye. There is nothing good about goodbyes. They should be called badbyes or awfulbyes or ihatehowthisfeelsbyes. I can already hear some of you saying ‘it’s not goodbye’. Okay fine I’ll probably see them at their weddings (or hopefully before) but I am very conscious of the fact that without the talk about lectures, coursework, university and where to go for lunch, what will there be to say? It scares that hell out of me.

Argh, I ought to cheer up. Today I finally handed in my bastard Statistics coursework and had my last M3T visit. For those of you who don’t know, M3T refers to visiting a secondary school on Fridays  to teach and examine how Mathematics is communicated. It’s forms a small part of my degree. But anyway, today was the last visit and I was kinda relieved. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. In the last 11 weeks, I’ve seen a kid puke up. I’ve heard a lot of colourful language. I’ve seen hissy fits, crimes against Mathematics, crying teachers…I could go on. There have been many moments of frustration and it’s been a lot more work than I anticipated but I’m really glad I did it. I have even greater respect for teachers and I enjoyed interacting with the kids and showing off my maths skills (by this I mean knowing my timetables and being fast at mental arithmetic- kids are so easily impressed).

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James handing in the last coursework of the year!

Also there was an incident today. I made the mistake of boarding the bus that had the local drunk guy on it. I’ve seen him around often. One time he unfortunately sat next to me and I was overwhelmed by the stench of piss, alcohol and vomit that came from him. I practically held my breath the whole way. Today however, he was next level drunk. He was sitting at the back alternating between yelling at everyone and muttering completely incoherently. He was literally pointing at people and shouting FUDGE YOU! and FUDGE YOU TOO MOTHERFUDGER! It would have been funny had it not been for the fact I was genuinely frightened that he might punch someone in the face, so much so that I got off the bus and waited 10 minutes for the next one.

Last but not least, I took this picture the other day and I’m not photographer but I liked it so I thought I’d share.

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Natural History Museum

Over and Out!