Year 3 week 2!

Hi! I was thinking about making a blog post on a specific subject unrelated to my week but my week has been so eventful that I decided to just blog about what’s going on with me.

Even though it’s just week 2 I already have a lot of coursework to hand in, lots of exercise sheets, things to read, matlab code to write, and lots of other things going on to try to fit around. I think I mentioned last week that I couldn’t bike, I still can’t so my days consist of waking up around 7 am, walking to the station, taking the train, walking to the university for a 10 am lecture, then the occasional hour or two hour gap at the library where I desperately try to do coursework and work on the exercise sheets but every time I start to make significant progress with a problem I have to rush out and drop it, then the journey back home and I arrive with around 20,000 steps on my fitbit (yay lots of surreymoves points, maybe I’ll get a free hoodie soon), lots of exhaustion and lots of chores to do; I cook, clean, tidy, eat, take care of Ellie and by the time I’m done with all of that I just collapse into bed and sleep like a rock (until I wake up and end up with insomnia at like 2-3am).

All of my modules are interesting to some extent, even if I really really hate matlab. I’m struggling a bit with graphs and networks which is a little annoying. Everyone seems to struggle with the proofs but what I struggle with is being given instructions to then come up with a graph (like for example if you are given a number of dots and then told how many other dots each dot should be connected to and you can do whatever the hell you want as long as that condition is satisfied). Then functions of a complex variable is mostly ok, though I really hate doing computations involving sine and cosine and angles which is a constant occurrence with complex numbers and galois theory is a bit of a pain because we’re doing a lot of exhausting computations. You might remember being taught the quadratic formula in school (which I never memorized, even though it would have made my life a lot easier), we had to derive the formula from scratch, and then do that for 3rd and 4th degree polynomials which doesn’t result in a simple formula and it’s super tedious. I understand the point is for us to understand why the theory is important but I get it, I don’t have to do all this tedious algebra over and over and over on exercises!

I also had a meeting with my personal tutor yesterday where we talked about a potential summer project. It’s not as “pure” as I’d like, but I really like the sound of the project and it doesn’t involve MATLAB (thank God! python is a billion times better) so now we just have to figure out funding since we missed the London Math Society deadline, and whether or not I’ll be at PROMYS to figure out the dates I’d be working on it (I really really hope I’ll get accepted to PROMYS as a counselor, but I wasn’t last time so I don’t want to get my hopes up).

I worked for the open day which was kinda fun. Talking to prospective students about what university is like and helping them see if it would be good or not for them is fun, and finding someone who is really into analysis and abstract algebra was nice, talking to him about math was lots of fun and it reminded me of when I was younger and my (older, and way smarter) friends would do that with me. Plus a lot of the lecturers in the department got to meet Bram and seemed to really like him, which is always nice.

Aside from all the work relating to my modules I got like 8 books from the library to study for the GRE math subject test to apply for grad school in the US. I’m pretty nervous about it because I want to do really well in hopes of applying to MIT (not that I think I’ll actually get in but one can dream!) and I’m not entirely sure when I’m going to take it. I have to submit a bunch of paperwork before I can register and I also have a slight problem with the date, which brings me to the next part of my week, medical stuff!

I finally got a top surgery date which is really exciting! I’ll be having surgery in Brighton on March 18, which means I’ll be basically out of action for around 6 weeks according to the surgeon, which isn’t super horrible considering 4 of those weeks fall on Easter break, though it does mean that I will be missing some of my in semester tests and have to apply for extenuating circumstances, which I tried to do but the system won’t let me submit it. Either way, it’s stressful because last exam period was horrible, but hopefully it’ll be less bad and hopefully I won’t be super dead after surgery and be able to study. I have a pre-op appointment on the phone today in a bit and I also had a doctor’s appointment to talk about the whole biking issue and they sent me an ECG, blood tests and a chest x-ray which I’m hoping will all come out fine. I will have to go to Brighton before surgery for blood tests (presumably anyways) and then again a week after surgery as well so right now my life is a lot of juggling medical appointments and anxiety with lectures, coursework, studying and anxiety :p

Surprisingly I also managed to work on some of my hobbies, though not as much as I would have liked. I finally made a post on bookstagram, I posted a review of Bound by Mark Lawrence and did the title with calligraphy (I tried to make the letters look rope-y but that didn’t super turn out). I also started reading and listening to audiobooks again and I managed to (almost) finish Crazy Rich Asians (so far I can’t decide if I liked the book or movie better, I guess I’d mix the start of the movie with the latter part of the book) and I finished listening to Trans Like Me by CN Lester which I quite enjoyed. What I did not do was realise that yesterday was valentine’s day until it was already too late, so I was a terrible boyfriend and didn’t do anything at all, including acknowledging it, oh well.

I feel like I had more to say about my week but I can’t really think of anything else, other than the fact that I started looking into potential research project topics and the like. I got a few books and found a few Master’s thesis that looked interesting so I’m going to go through those and hope I find something I like to then pick the universities I want to apply to based on that. I still don’t really know if I’d rather go to grad school here or in the US, I guess it would mainly be a question of funding and what I’d be working on. I think I would like to have the chance to take more classes and have more time to fully figure out what I would like to do so the US might be a better fit than the UK but I’d absolutely love to go to Oxford as well and I enjoy research way more than lectures so diving right into that is also an appealing idea. I might go to Germany to see Bonn since I definitely want to apply there but the details are still up in the air. Oh! I also found a bookshop in Scotland where you can stay as an airbnb but you get to run the bookshop however you want! And it’s only like £45 a night! though it’s almost fully booked, but I’m thinking about going there a few days before my birthday, I guess we’ll see how things go.

For the rest of the week I still have a few lectures today and then I plan on being home and studying and reading most of the time, I really want to be super on top of every module and do all of the exercises and everything, I want this semester to finally be a semester where I get to perform as well as I know I can, without everything else getting in the way of my studies, though with surgery coming up and still being a carer etc that might be too optimistic. I’m really nervous about my marks for the last semester and I’m worried I did badly enough to ruin my chances of going to any of the places I’d like to study at, but I still have two more weeks of waiting before I get to find out in how much trouble I’m in.

Oh, in other exciting news, I found out Dear Evan Hansen is coming to London! I really want to go see it, and drag a friend along to watch it with me. And next Saturday I’ll be going to the LGBT Colours festival which is also exciting. I’m beyond exhausted and I have so much to do, but unlike usual I’m hopeful and optimistic and enjoying the ride so life is looking good, though I’ve started to notice that the more OK I feel the less I can focus on anything which is a bit of a pain. Hopefully this post wasn’t super terrible, if it is all over the place I blame the good mood can’t focus on anything situation :p