Welcome to the inside of my head.

Posts tagged ‘Education’

151. The End of an Era

It been a few weeks since I finished uni for good, finished my full time education for good. Last year I wasn’t ready to leave. This year I am. I have loved Imperial College London. I have never been worked so hard, never had my brain fried so thoroughly, never taken such terrifying exams. At the same time, I have never been so proud of what I’ve achieved or learnt so much so quickly or loved the people around me so fiercely. These four years have been really special.

Despite still living at home, I have experienced independence in a way I had previously not known. My oyster card has been my gateway to London, with which I have mastered the underground. I could sleepwalk my way to Gloucester Road; in fact I probably have…9am lectures are rough.

Anyway I don’t want to gush. The pictures say it better than I could ever describe. *gets out tissues*

 

 

I made a video montage with many more pics which can be viewed here, if you wish to experience the full journey.

Over and Out!

Advertisements

133. Can it be the end of term already?!

The end of term is fast approaching and I couldn’t be more grateful. I am exhausted both mentally and physically; I think commuting 3 hours a day has finally taken its toll. Over Christmas I have a truckload of work to do (will it ever end?!) but at least I’ll get to do it in the comfort of my home where I can wake up when I want, eat when I want and work on things at my own pace.

I believe I complained about one of my modules (Stat Theory) in my second to last post. You’re in luck- I’m going to complain about it some more. I had my last every lecture for it today *Hallelujah!*. Considering how much I’ve struggled with the course and felt like I had no idea what was going on, I did well in the coursework which has put my lecturer under the illusion that I am competent.

I’m not.

What I realised was that he likes things done his way and I have no qualms about adjusting my notation and methods to suit him. However there is one guy in my class who started arguing with the lecturer today after he got docked marks for doing something in a different way not taught in the course. I wouldn’t have had a problem if he had spoken to the lecturer in private but he decided to start making his point during the lecture in front of everyone about how ‘real’ mathematicians can accept that there are numerous ways to approach the same problem. The lecturer essentially told him to STFU and I thought the guy would do us all a favour and take the hint but he just carried on.

It very quickly turned into a pissing contest where he’d just start pointing out every mistake the lecturer made, even something minor like brackets. At the end of the lecture he was still moaning and he tried asking other students if we supported his view. I said I didn’t want to get involved and he straight up called us all ‘PUSSIES’. My bad. Sorry for not wanting to be a dick to my lecturer who’ll be marking my exam this Summer.

Personally I don’t see why it’s so hard for him to be flexible- surely that’s also an important skill for a mathematician too. Whatever.

On a lighter note, tomorrow I am celebrating the end of term with my friends by watching the new Hobbit movie. Really excited! Hope it’s worth the hype.

Over and Out!

127. My 11+ Experience

Over the last few days, my mum has been receiving results about how well her tutees did in their 11+ exam. It makes me feel old when I realise I was one of those kids more than a decade ago. For those unfamiliar with this exam, it is an entrance test to get into a grammar school or an ability selective school. These schools are sort of like private schools (minus the poshness and manners) without paying the money thus making it extra popular with brown parents.

It’s hard to say for sure what have been the most important moments of my life but I can say with confidence that passing my 11+ exam was one of them. I am so grateful for the opportunities and teaching I received at my secondary school. If I hadn’t passed, I would have been going to a local girl’s school and I’m sure I would have turned out rather different:

  • (even) more chavvy
  • not as good (but hopefully not bad) academically
  • probably uncomfortable around guys.

I’m not sure I would have made it to Imperial. Who knows if I’d even be studying Mathematics?! I definitely wouldn’t have had James (ewww a boy) as a best friend.

My parents only realised you sit the 11+ when you’re 10 about 4 months before the exam (who came up with that?) so I had limited time to prepare for it. Four months sounds like ages but it’s not uncommon for parents to start years in advance. That’s how fierce the competition is. I had 3 papers to sit: verbal reasoning, non verbal reasoning and maths. Out of the three, my preference was for Mathematics. I remember actually enjoying the practice papers. On the flip side I had to work hardest for non verbal reasoning which tests how well you notice patterns and sequences through images eg.

(I’ll post the answer at the bottom)

Preparing for the 11+ was the first time I really committed myself to something. My parents claimed that it didn’t matter what the outcome was as long as I tried my best. Total bull of course. We were all totally invested in it. And attending the opening evening for my secondary school cemented it further. I walked through the doors of the green and blue school building and decided that it was the place for me.

I don’t remember much about the day except that I had orange juice and a Penguin chocolate bar in the break. But I remember being really nervous… right up till the moment I started the paper after which I just focused on the questions. As the exam was multiple choice, I had no idea how well or badly I had performed. Whenever my mum asked I told her that if I passed, it would be a scrape and if I didn’t, it would be by a small margin.

I was quite anxious about receiving the results but not nearly as much as my parents. I was at school when my results letter arrived. My mum doesn’t believe the whole ‘patience is a virtue’ stuff and tore it in. She then promptly drove to my school, stormed in, found me waiting in the queue for lunch, dragged me into an empty music room and swung me around. One of the happiest moments of my life.

Turns out I did pretty good too. In typical fashion I dropped one mark on the Maths paper. When my dad asked me what I wanted as a present, I wracked my brains for the best possible thing I could think of and said… A FISHBURGER FROM McDONALDS.

Not so clever after all.

Over and Out!

(The answer is B)

55. So it begins

It is that horrible time of year again… exam revision. This has got to be the most depressing, frustrating and lonely part of my degree.

Depressing

Revision means the end of my social life (which I was trying to fit in as much as possible beforehand). I have this bad habit of really letting myself go when I don’t have to go out. It’s only been a few days and my hair is already greasy, I smell like curry, my face is pasty and I’m sitting here at my desk in my onesie. Please no-one ring the doorbell.

This is also the time I will do ANYTHING to avoid revision such as:

  • cleaning… everything
  • ironing things I never wear
  • organising my computer files
  • reading old emails because I don’t even know why
  • playing Neopets
  • watching re-runs of House
  • helping OTHER people with their revision
  • and my personal favourite…complaining about revision…which is what I’m doing now.

Every year I tell myself, I will makes good revision notes while I’m studying the module and every year I end up making them in April. Such a horrible horrible cycle of not learning from my mistakes. *shakes fist*

To makes things worse, I feel hungry pretty much all the time (I think this some psychological ploy made by my scumbag brain to further avoid revision) so I eat up eating everything so now not only am I not working, I’m also getting fat. Dammit.

Frustrating

It sucks having to sit in my room trying to convince myself to get work done. It’s not like I don’t have any motivation. I desperately want to get a First in every module this year (with the exception of Managerial Economics) but clearly I want to watch cat videos on Youtube more. I am convinced that it doesn’t matter where you start from on Youtube, you WILL eventually end up on baby or cat videos.

Lonely

Revision is lonely. It’s something you have to do by yourself. To do this, you have to commit to being holed up in your room with only your fan heater and your music for company which is pretty darn sad. The shitty weather here in the UK does nothing to lighten the mood either. My parents, bless them, do so much to make sure I have what I need. They pop in and say hello and bring me tea but they can’t exactly help me when I’m stuck on a proof or if I’ve forgotten how to integrate. Le sigh.

With all this said, so far today I’ve been quite good. I’m on Chapter 5 (of 19) of Credit Scoring and I aim to finish up to Chapter 7. I will let you know how I far I get next time.

Good luck to anyone else who is also revising!

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).

IMG-20130322-00357

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.

IMG-20130321-00351

Natural History Museum

Over and Out!