The end is near


It's finals time. And therefore, I have lost all sense of proportion. That is to say, all my usual skills at time management and reasonable goals have flown out the window. This happens every time. Sometimes, my response is to decide at midnight that I need to start baking, and then baking for four hours straight. Another semester, I read something like 10 novels in one week, rather than doing my homework. In others, like this semester, I start watching a lot of tv (though, this time, it's tv on hulu, which is even more dangerous, since there's so much more of it. Oh my gosh, so much more of it).

The bad part, of course, is that I'm still two weeks out from the end of tests and papers. Which means it could, conceivably, get more and more absurd. My five hours of sleep a night might pare down even more. And life will be a hazy, irritating blur.

However, my loss of rationality isn't limited to the fact that I find ingenious ways to waste hours upon hours. No, I'm also adept at taking on way more than I could ever possibly accomplish. For instance, a couple of days ago I made up my to-do list for the end of the semester. Amidst things like "watch WALL-E" and "Islam faith report", I included this gem: Abstract Algebra.

Yep. My plan, apparently, is to learn all of abstract algebra in order to write my final literature and math paper. It can't be that hard, right? I mean, it's just math, after all. Totally straightforward. And, hey, the paper's only a third of my grade.

Ugh. I. am. so. screwed.


Sean said...

Abstract Algebra's a pretty broad topic. What class is this for, and what exactly is your paper supposed to be about? Like, the math itself, or the development of the math, or its applications, or...? In any case, I have some textbooks you can borrow, or I might be able to help you. I took a BUTT-load of algebra classes.

alea said...

Oy. That's part of the problem. My paper is specifically about lace. And I need to tie it into math somehow. And the math prof suggested Abstract Algebra. Just like that. As if it meant something to me.

But, what do you know about self-avoiding walks and lace expansion?

Oneup said...

Just use cooking conversions and it'll all be clear. That's what you taught me about how to deal with math. Surely it must apply to you, right?

Sean said...

Everything I know about self-avoiding walks, I learned today from Wolfram MathWorld. :D

Self-Avoiding Walk

I have to admit I don't see what they have to do with abstract algebra. If I were given the task of associating algebra and lace, I would probably think more in terms of the symmetry groups of a doily or something along those lines.

Symmetry Group

Sean said...

Also: lace expansion looks really, really abstract, and I don't see what it has to do with actual, real-life lace. Um. Maybe I'm not going to be much help to you. :P

alea said...

So, abstract algebra was the direction I was pointed in. But, I came across the lace expansion thing which, you're right, doesn't really look like it has to do with actual lace at all. But, the paper (if I ever get around to writing it) is [hopefully] going to be more about the metaphor of lace. That is, the fact that math uses the idea, even if they use it so abstractly. In fact, the very idea that it's so weird is probably helpful to my paper.

Though, I may look into symmetry groups. That might work, also...

Kris said...

Let me just say that I enjoy my tree skirt every Christmas. It is possible the best thing I got out of my college degree.

Good Luck!

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