Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halfway through the quarter (almost)!

Quick entry before I go to sleep! I felt really bogged down by homework this past weekend. By the time Monday came around, I was totally unmotivated to do any more work. Mostly because things weren't really going anywhere.

But I spent about 4-5 hours today sitting in the Blume center cranking out the latest finite element homework with some people and we got through the entire thing. We're not really finished but there's just small bits and pieces missing. So I'm pretty happy with that. We're going to office hours tomorrow to get some answers to those questions. This finite element class is crazy theoretical. I don't think it can get anymore theoretical than what we're doing. We've literally just started on Chapter 2 of our book! I bet if I were to look at any other finite element book, what we're doing would still be in Chapter 1. We've barely begun to solve any problems. We spent a couple of weeks just learning how to define problems so that they can become finite element problems.

So far, I have to say that the structural geology class is the easiest one. If I just read the book, I will understand what's going on. The problem is finding time to sit down and work through everything in the book. It takes me a few hours to read through a chapter. I can't just read the thing either, I have to copy the stuff onto a notebook. This helps me learn but that's where the time consumption comes into play. Anyway, this is one class where I think I understand what's going on and can do the homework with fairly little difficulties.

I've started running again. I think I will try to run every other day. I think I will get too tired running every day. I might try to go swimming on some days. But the pool is far away and I hear they don't provide towels? Not convenient. Anyway, I've been running in the suburbs south of Rains. Part of the route I've been running involves dirt paths which I prefer to paved roads actually. On Monday I decided to add a little more to the loop I've been running to make it longer. Except, I managed to find the most steep route ever! It seemed like it was uphill the entire way and at some point there was a sharp descent. It took me almost 30 minutes to get through 2 miles. I also got a little lost but still... I think I will do the same route tomorrow but backwards. I hope that will go better.

I've stopped going to the classes that I've been auditing... I can still pick them back up but I don't know if I really have the time to do this. I got a little discouraged when I found out that the dictionary I got for Vietnamese has IPA for the English entries but not for the Vietnamese entries. Clearly I got the wrong dictionary! Language classes might be worthwhile though since they tend to cost a lot.

Speaking of things that are worthwhile to go to, there's an info session for Arup tomorrow. I certainly don't need to go for the information but might be a good networking opportunity?? Don't know... I'll see how my day goes.

Anyhow, this weekend should be fun. I'm planning to go home on Friday and bring my brother and cousin to Stanford on Saturday to watch the homecoming football game. I should go buy tickets soon. Next week will be a busy one. I have 4 homeworks due, a day long seminar on Tuesday, and a midterm on Thursday. The midterm is for finite element and it's the only midterm I have. My other classes don't believe in exams (no really, they're all based on homework). My midterm is open book, open notes, etc. So I think I should be fine... I'm used to working on problems with people though. Exams should just be one big team effort!

More pictures of the campus coming soon.


X said...

Same thing with my finite class, except we have a project too. Most of my classes has only one or two, except for my concrete structures class which has almost daily quizzes, a few tests, and projects.

yalu said...

Haha if I learned anything about MEnging in Civil so far, it's that Finite Elements is a hard class.

Man, it's so good that you can run every day! That it's warm enough ;-)