Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Mid Week Reflection

Sometimes, it is absolutely necessary to simplify your life to make room for what is most important. I am finding that the hardest part about simplification is that I may find that I need to give up something I like in the short term to reap some other long term benefit. I had a discussion with my father about this a couple of days ago. To be honest, I really hate the topic, but it seems appropriate. The fact is that in my day I must eat, sleep, bathe, go to school, go to work, and enjoy some “free-time”. The other fact is, that between school and work, sometimes that “free-time” isn’t so free.

I woke up this morning just a little bit after six. It hadn’t been a restful night; I was too worried about understanding my latest set of mathematical challenges. I read the book until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and though I was slowly understanding the model, I was unable to figure out how it related to the problem that I needed to solve. I fell asleep wondering how a given exponential term ended up in the differential equation. As I mulled this over in my sleep last night, I woke with some answers, but not all of the ones I needed.

Class started at seven thirty, and we discussed an upcoming assignment that would be due after the exam next week. The assignment wasn’t trivial at all, and I get the feeling that I had better get to work on it this weekend. Following class, I went to the math tutoring center and finally got the help that I needed in order to finish the assignment. The good thing is that the assignment is complete; the bad thing is that I took a day off of work to figure it out. I am really grateful for patient tutors, and kind classmates who are willing to help someone else out. I don’t feel like the brightest crayon in the box right now, but I do feel like the most determined. I am fascinated by the subject, and I really do care to learn it. I will stick it through.

Yesterday, I found myself a tutor for Discrete Structures, and another tutor for ODE’s. It won’t be cheap, but in the past I was willing to spend money to take voice lessons and to be in a choir. I am sure that there is some analogy for this as well. The tutors should be able to help me figure out the concepts that I don’t quite understand. With their aid, I will do better in the classes than I would having tried to do it all on my own.

The other thing I have decided that I really must do is find some people to study with. That is probably a blog on its own, but I think that there is a good dynamic that comes with groups of people. We all have different strengths, and being able to play off of them really helps us all in the end. I was working with a fellow student on the assignment that we turned in today. He didn’t understand how to use Maple, I was able to help him work that out, and together we solved the problem. Kudos for strong team work.

I still have a ton to do this week.
- Test in Discrete Structures tomorrow
- Maple Lab due in ODE’s on Friday
- CS assignment due on Monday
- Various and sundry other side projects that I haven’t wrapped up yet (getting back to simplifying my life)

It was almost therapeutic to sit down and write it out. Time will keep moving forward, the important thing is that I use it to my benefit.

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