Exams are coming up.
And not too soon, I can tell you.
I have five days to organise myself for the S383 The Relativistic Universe exam, which I will open at twelve midnight on Tuesday night. There are things for which I am prepared, things for which I am not prepared, and things for which I will never be prepared even if I studied for another year.
I hope to pass; I am desperate to pass. But I will never get a distinction - I'm not clever enough. And people say, "You're only as clever as you think you are!" But I don't think that's true. I know I have my limitations. I wish I were special at these things, but I'm not. There are people who are special; but I'm just not one of them. So I hope to pass, and I hope that we are given the questions which I can happily answer, such as those about tensors, and those about Schwarzschild metric, and those with simple plug and play equations. If I were keen (which I guess I am, but need motivation and inspiration to come from somewhere right now), then I'd sit down and work through the following:
- Special relativity - I'd work through several past paper question ones.
- Connection coefficients - I'd work out how many some metric or other contains - I'd work out why they equal zero in flat spacetime metrics.
- Riemann curvature tensor - I'd work out the derivation - I'd work out the manipulation.
- Einstein field equations - I'd work out some manipulations of these.
- Accretions discs - I'd brush up on knowledge about these.
- Gamma ray bursts - I'd brush up on knowledge about these.
I suppose that's only six things to work on. When it comes to actually doing the past paper exams, I know that this is what most students are doing: They are working through questions and honing their knowledge. I have not done as much. But nevertheless I feel almost ready. I feel that my mind will change, and my motivation will kick in the second I click onto the iCME81 link. I do feel ready, in a way, but I must take heed of these things I have written above, and spend Sunday, Monday and Tuesday thinking about these things.
But this evening (Thursday 1 June), and Friday and Saturday, I must do my utmost to get on with writing down some equations for the MST326 exam which takes place in exactly one week. I must work through:
- Statics - by doing some past paper questions, or understanding their answers.
- The Chain rule - there's a section of a question, a step that I know I'll have difficulty with.
- Navier-Stokes equations.
- Div, grad and Curl.
- Some water waves.
- some other things.
- Mainly the chain rule...!!
- Separation of variables and Fourier series.
- Fourier series actually!
Those are the main things to work on. Actually, as long as I have down the chain rule step that's been bothering me, I think I'll be alright.
I have a revision session tomorrow in town, with two students from the module. We're meant to meet at Foyles in Charing Cross. But I'm not sure I'll make it. I woke up at eight o'clock this morning, had a cup of coffee, some breakfast and a cigarette, then fell back asleep until four o'clock in the afternoon. If I don't sleep tonight, there's no way I can wake up to go there tomorrow, now is there? But I do want to go. I want to ask them about these steps.
So that's it then! This evening, and Friday, and Saturday, I will work through some past papers, writing down some answers, getting a feel for the questions, then Sunday to Tuesday I'll work through some Relativity, and that's that.
There! What's to worry about!?