Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stress can take the joy away from anything

I truly enjoy figuring out how things work. That's why I am in grad school, I find all of mathematics fascinating, elegant and beautiful...(just like my wife). However, It has been difficult for me, I keep taking these test where the problems that are given to me take me by surprise. There's nothing more discouraging that sitting in a test with a question you have no idea how to answer, not even how to begin to approach the problem. Somehow, that hasn't stopped me from trying. In this grueling process, I have learned a thing or two here and there. Here's what I'd like to share.

You don't know crap until you've done it

That's true, Anyone can read and memorize technical jargon until they are blue in the face, but to really know something, you have to put it in practice. You can't become a good runner without running. You can learn all you want about painting, but nobody can call themselves a painter until you actually paint something. Same thing with engineering, you have to put things together, try things out, make it work, and then the theory solidifies in your head.

Grades don't really mean crap

Ok, it's funny that I say that now that I am no longer getting good grades, but it's true. Yeah, I used to get good grades in my undergrad, but I wasn't trying to get an A, I was really trying to get to know the subject. I knew people who would try to do just enough to get the grade, and not more, any "wasted" effort learning something that wasn't necessary to get a good grade on the class was in their eyes, an inefficiency, the whole point was to get the degree so they could check that box. I, in the other hand, became thrilled when I realized how much there is to know about computers. I had to work hard for the grades, but usually the more effort I put in a class, the easier it was to get an A.

Not Anymore.

These days I study, I memorize, I read, I try to comprehend, but there's so much material, and it's all so new, I feel I've met my limit, however, I am not defeated, I will keep going. I will not give up. I am trying new things, for example, (and this may sound obvious) but I am going to try to concentrate on solving problems, practice, practice, practice. Also, I am going to try this thing I heard somewhere, I am going to try to write all the theory concepts in my own words, that way it forces my brain to process it. It's tough to do with the abstract math, but it helps.

Anyway, I have to go now, Gotta help pick up the house we have visitors coming.

Later ya'll.

Be good to each other.