Happy Easter everyone! I think everyone, whether they celebrate Easter or not, can appreciate this Easter video:
In my opinion, when someone is doing a particularly hard physics (or other) problem, they go through 5 stages.
First is Denial. They will reread the question again and again in the hope that it will magically become easier. However, this is unlikely to happen so they move onto the next stage...
...Annoyance. Common thoughts and exclamations include 'You've got to be kidding me!' and 'Why professor/textbook/teacher, why?'.
The third stage is Procrastination. This stage is usually bypassed if the question is due next period. Otherwise it may continue for weeks on end until the person is forced past it by the threat of a deadline.
The fourth stage is Intimidation and Discouragement. The person is considering doing the question and is scared or discouraged at the momentousness and difficulty of the task.
And last but not least is Acceptance. This is where the person starts doing the problem for real. They've accepted that it's hard but will try anyway, even if they end up failing. In the case of REALLY hard questions, this stage will not be reached until the last possible moment, unless the person has an unusually good work ethic (I don't).
I really haven't been writing for ages! Guess I haven't been in the mood for it. Anyway, I'm now about to start week 3 of uni and so far it has been exciting, wonderful and kind of intimidating.
The first thing I noticed is that there are so many people! I can barely recognise who I've meet before, let alone remember everyone's name. I'm in two faculties, engineering and science, and each has a few hundred first year students. And there are so many boys. I've been in a single sex school from year 7-12 so it's been a bit weird being completely surrounded by the opposite gender, and there are a lot of them since engineering has a 20% girl enrolment and all the subjects I'm doing are stereotypical 'boy' subjects.
My subjects themselves are absolutely awesome. Physics and engineering dynamics are at a draw as my favourites. Both lecturers are great speakers, breaking up the content with jokes and funny stories. Physics is especially good because we get to use these things called clickers. They pretty much function as a remote device that lets us answer multiple choice questions anonymously. Every so often a clicker question will come up and we'll get the chance to try our hand at the new concept. This is where the awesome bit comes in. We're actually encouraged to discuss the concepts and to work out the question with the people around us. I find it an awesome way to learn and there's no way anyone could every fall asleep in my physics lectures.
Engineering dynamics is pretty much awesome because of the one-joke-a-lecture rule. The lecturer has promised us that there will be at least one joke slide every lecture. Because of this it is definitely the class I laugh the most in. I've learnt that banana plus banana does not equal dog (from a class about the importance of units) and that Isaac Newton, while being a brilliant thinker, was not a very nice guy (see the list of sins he made when he was nineteen).
Astronomy/Astrophysics is my easy subject. It's actually got quite a lot of work for an easy subject but as it doesn't require any knowledge above year 10 level it is so much easier than my other subjects. I've got the same lecturer for astro as for physics which means the lectures are quite good, except minus the clickers and the awesomeness of physics.
Okay, when I said all my subjects were awesome I was lying. Three out of four are awesome. The last one just sucks. I hate uni maths. Listening to someone talk about maths for an hour is a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE. The maths itself is reasonably interesting but I generally switch off after 5-10 minutes because the lecturer is so BORING. To make it even worse his handwriting is horrible and if you stop listening for just ONE SECOND you have no idea what he just wrote. Sometimes even if you are listening you have no idea what he just wrote. The lecture theatre is full of whispers of 'What is the word after *insert description of part before illegible word*?'.
Other than that, uni is pretty awesome. It takes me over an hour to get there and I have three nine o'clock classes so I'm currently quite sleep deprived, but as I get used to going to bed earlier that should fix itself. The classes have been doing quite a bit of revision so the content has been reasonably easy (but still not that easy!) and hopefully I'll be okay with the hard stuff. I'll try to write more often but I'll see how it goes since the work is already piling up!