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Spring Semester 2008 has begun!

So, I've survived the first four days of classes. First, here's my schedule for the semester.

Math 331: Real Analysis, MWF 8:45-9:50am
Math 325: Math Models and Applications, MWF 1:00-1:50pm
Math 311: Chaotic and Dynamical Systems, TR 12:30-1:45pm
Physics 111: Physics with Calc Partie Deux, MWF 12:00-12:50pm
Physics 111L: Physics Lab, T 2:00-5:00
French 241G: Global Connections France: The Class, M 5:00-6:15pm

The upshot of this is that with seven hours in the math learning center, attending Calc II on Tuesdays and Math 101 on Thursdays, Mondays and Tuesdays are packed, especially since I work those nights as well.

So. Classes. I spent Monday running around campus getting everything done before class and talking to various people in the math department about different things, including the Infinity Club event that actually happened last night.

Then classes began Tuesday, the first (and smallest) of which was dynamical systems. There are only four of us in the class: Melissa, Crystal, Jennie, and me. Two math people, two physics people. We spent the first day of class talking about what exactly a dynamical system was, and then on Thursday we went up to the chemistry computer lab, where Dr. Wiseman handed us a paper with a problem and told us to explore. So we did. Crystal and Jennie went to one computer, and Melissa and I went to another, and we explored what would happen with the function when we changed the constant in front and changed the initial value. Very funny things started to happen as the function started to converge--or not, in some cases. At the end of class we came back together and talked about it before I headed for the math learning center.

We have an eight to ten page paper and a thirty-minute presentation for this class, but no final exam. At least we have deadlines for topic selection and those sorts of things. Otherwise it'll be like French again. And we don't want that to happen.

Speaking of the math center! We now have a fridge and a microwave in there. I think the math department has picked up on my sudden residency there. Actually, last semester we were discussing what I would need for the math center to be a comfortable home. Now I'm two steps closer, although I'll be splitting the time between the math center and the Aurora office. :D

Real analysis is actually my biggest math class: Mira, Sarah, Sam, Lily, me, Melissa, Chunying, and Yaya. It's Abstract Plus Three. No, seriously, the first five people are my entire abstract algebra class. Yaya is the sophomore in the class, and she's also taking multivariable and linear this semester. I still think she's nuts, but I can't say much, considering my own mathematical track record. Right now we're reviewing material from 204 before diving into the real analysis stuff. OH! The class isn't in Buttrick G-13, the classroom I've come to associate with Dr. Lewin's classes. This makes me sad.

Then there's physics, where I feel like Dr. Bowling is going even faster than he did last semester. At any rate, I'm having even more trouble sorting out what's important and what isn't so I can write it down. We played with a bunch of things I remember doing as a kid, like rubbing a stick on the carpet and aiming the stick at the paper and watching the paper go up, then down. The grading is the same format as last semester: quizzes every Monday, labs (in my case, every Tuesday), a midterm, and a final, each for a fourth of my grade.

So you know how there's another Sujin at Agnes? Guess what. She's in my physics class. We've been joking for ages that we should take a class together and watch the professor get confused, but now it happened without our evil plotting. I actually ran into her this morning on the way to real analysis, and apparently people have been getting us mixed up again, for she knew exactly what I was up to this semester. How? Other people were asking her about MY stuff. Shall we call that infamy or fame?

Then there's math modeling, with six of us: Mira, Sarah, Melissa, Chunying, Valentina, and me. Oh, and Dr. Wiseman, lest we forget. We also have an eight to ten page paper and a 30-minute presentation in this class, no final exam, and appropriate deadlines, leaving me with two papers to write at the end of the semester. And I thought I'd be paperfree this semester. Oh well. At least he put them due at the end of classes and not at the end of exam period. I would have been forced to do something drastic then.

On Wednesday, we talked a little bit about modeling and how it works, and then he gave us a problem to give us an idea of what modeling was all about: it's raining, and you have to walk in the rain. Should you run or not? Make a model. We had only half an hour, so all six of us got together and started talking about it. Today we discussed an actual model and its downfalls--it assumed constant velocity for rainfall and your speed, for one.

As of now, the Global Connections class and physics lab are unknown entities, but as Dr. Benson is teaching the physics lab again, I can definitely gather what the physics lab is going to be like.

Other notes:
I finished The Wonder That's Keeping The Stars Apart on Tuesday and began Unfolding the Pattern of Our Lives immediately after. Yes, that's less than a month, and I can now say I've completed a Dr. Nbook in my 1001 days. Yay, progress, considering I didn't do any of my weekly things last week. Oh well. This week is another week, after all.

The Infinity Club event last night was awesome. I was expecting just a few people there, but when I sneaked out of the Tower Council meeting and arrived, Teasley was already packed. I read the problems to Mike, and sure enough, he got all of them right. He had so much energy and enthusiasm, and he kept all of us going as he taught us various mental math and memory tricks. It was fantastic.

Having half an hour to eat lunch three days a week is not cool. I really disapprove. Sure, I could store lunch in the math center fridge, but then I'd be eating in class, and I'd be eating even more slowly because I tend to talk in class.

This semester is going to be crazy busy, but crazy fun. That is all.