Archive for the ‘College’ Category

Keeping the Bucket Full

Y’know, after an academic year, one feels, well… less than academic.

A housemate of mine in College Park has what might medically be termed ‘leaky bucket syndrome’. After even a full week’s absence from ‘Teh Learnin’, knowing full well that a whole summer’s worth of procrastination awaits him, everything just starts leaking out. He literally does not recognize the content of a topic he studied a mere week or two earlier. And he is, or aspires to be at least, an engineer of some sort (cringe). I’m sure I’m exaggerating a tad here, but still.

Aside from descrying the wellspring of my life’s sustenance (also known widely as a very emo way of describing the process of finding a job. And yes, I realize that emo jokes are no longer in style. And I’m sure you realize that I realize. How meta do you want to go here, huh?), I think that leaky bucket syndrome is my topmost worry.

I know, mid-swing into the semester, especially what might be my last semester of higher education ever, I don’t feel like picking up the dense manual of obscure cuneiform fuck-all that is a mathematics textbook ever again. But right now, at the end of the gauntlet, with no foreseeable intellectual challenges ahead, I can feel ‘teh smart’ draining out of me. I mean, just today it took me a whole fifteen minutes to solve a simple freaking 3 by 3 eigenvalue problem. Worrisome, innit? How the hell was I supposed to remember that symmetric matrices have orthogonal eigenvectors? (All you non-math people are probably saying to yourselves right now: “Yeah.. uh huh.. yeah I always forget that.. Yep.. *cough*”. Well think how I feel, bitches!)

So I have two general strategies going forward. One is to read lots of science and math blogs. But that’s too easy. I already do that. So, checkity-check. My other strategy, then, is to work my way through five or more pages of a math textbook every single day, preferably on a topic I’ve not explicitly encountered before. That oughta show ’em! Or something.

So yeah. Anybody have any other suggestions? How do I keep my math skills fresh? Or am I doomed, unless I teach or work in academia, to mathematical-Alzheimer’s-land?

Sweet, Sweet Victory..

Look what was posted on my online transcript today…

** Degree Information **
COLLEGE OF COMPUTER, MATH & PHYS SCIENCE
Bachelor of Science
Awarded 05/22/08
MATHEMATICS

Muahahaha… Victory!

Graduautomaton

Yesterday, the University of Maryland College Park officially churned out about fifty or so mathematics undergraduates, one of them being me.

The ungrateful bastard in me couldn’t help snicker at the priestly robes and gewgaw I had to wear (and could not, by university decree, rent or otherwise obtain without buying), sigh repressively at the cramped folding chair lattice I had to sit in for two hours, and squint in disbelief as a Catholic priest uttered the word “God” and the word “grateful” in my presence together within a seven second interval. But okay, yeah, it was pretty exciting.

I was not, as I imagined should happen in such a circumstance, struck in the eye by the corner of a graduation cap. In fact, no one threw their cap. Which has me questioning every movie with a graduation ceremony in it I’ve ever seen. Now that I think about it, nostalgic, coming-of-age pop music didn’t start playing as I descended the stairs of the ceremony building either. Not even a Pachelbel’s Canon. Such a let down.

It feels good though. What am I going to do with myself now? Hmm..

I need to start finding some of that green papery stuff, don’t I? Hrmph.