Posts Tagged ‘finals’

Must concentrate, must study.

Must concentrate, must study.

Okay, here’s the plan:

Read through the class notes (own and provided) and jot down any important looking equation.

Go through book chapters looking at pictures, diagrams and equations. Write down any that might be on the final.

Compile a notesheet to use on the file from these notes.

Look over old homeworks for what was done incorrectly and equations used. If there is something that was used on the homework not on the notesheet, put it there.

Do the same with the midterm(s).

Re-write the notesheet clearly in an organized fashion to be used on the final.

Make a second notesheet of material that is not allowed on the first one (if applicable). Read this over before going to sleep the night before the final.

Ensure a solid nights sleep.

And that is how I have dealt with every physics final that has allowed notesheets (all of them).

The finals I dread are those that allow calculators and open-note open-book exams. Those scare me to no end. That and take home finals.

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I don't know what this is supposed to be.

I don't know what this is supposed to be.

The end of the quarter has arrived. And with it the inevitable season of the final.

Oddly I prefer in class finals to any of the other alternatives (except no final). Take home finals results in hours slaving over every bit to get it perfect, projects are similar but with the potential of having a critical flaw in the concept and the most feared is the group project.

Reflecting on the available options I think I have a good mix this quarter. I have two in class finals, two classes without finals and one class with a project. The project is for digital electronics and to get an A we need to get it to work. Once the electronics work adding the A material is quite easy. Unfortunately for me my project has no intermediary working steps. Essentially I am building a driver to connect a camera phone camera to a VGA display using an FPGA board. It will either work or fail. There is one middle step in which it outputs in image in false color.

The work I am putting into this makes me greatly appreciate the ability to plug a semi random device into a computer and expect it to work without problems. The biggest issue I am having is the translation of color space. The camera outputs millions of colors to the FPGA board but the board can only output a maximum of 512 colors. I have to find a way to translate one color space to another followed by a transfer to display through VGA. All in all I might just go with a false color scheme.

After this project is done I just have two finals; compared to the project they will be easy.

Strangely I find finals week to be one of the more relaxing weeks of the quarter.

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Sea of Bikes


Bicycles, bicycles, everywhere. Not a drop to drink.

Bicycles, bicycles, everywhere. Not a drop to drink.

I realize looking back over the week that I have not had any substantive posts aside from the first one which was a procrastination method. Even though I have had a lot of free time I suppose that it is due to a lack of bandwidth from studying and taking finals. Especially from taking finals.

I did take a small break, sort of a break, during the week where I went out with my camera for the first time in a few weeks. The library was a prime target for photographs since about two thirds of the schools population is currently living there in a hopes to catch up on ten weeks of skipped lectures. While I did not venture into any of the higher levels the swarm of bike laying siege to the main entrance was evidence enough for finals week.

Photographing this invariable swarm of pedal powered vehicles a walking cell phone conversation summed up the scene nicely:

“I am totally lost in a sea of bikes right now”.

It was so dense you could have floated a kayak.

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Nothing to see here, move along.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Fall quarter is a very sneak quarter.

The beginning is a fresh year, time to accomplish anything, finals a distant future.

A few weeks in a groove is found, it is known when homeworks are due and when to do them (most of the time the day before).

Then without out warning you are mired in a sea of midterms, one, two, three in the first week. Then that fourth class goes rogue assigns one in the week after that.

Maybe a week of respite or maybe a class has a misunderstanding of the word “midterm” and there is a second or third from the class.

By this time Halloween has gone and November is in full force. Climbing out of midterms and exams you look towards the future and see food.

Piles, mounds, gobs of delicious consumables. Thanksgiving holiday is coming. Rides home are arranged and life looks good. The short week before has some minimal homework but mostly it is about stretching before the big day.

Just one thing lies beneath of the surface of conciousness, a whisper in the dark that barely wakes you in the dark as you dream of pie mountains:

Dead week.

Right after Thanksgiving is Dead Week. Some believe it was named because there were no classes before finals or that work was limited. My theory on the origins of this name is that the week makes us envy the dead. 

Rest is gone and finals are here. Even more critically it is when all of the applications tend to be due: study abroad, summer internships, graduate school or research proposals.

Then it is over. It is done. With the beauty of the quarter system every obligation and class requirement is gone like the memories of October. Two, maybe three weeks of rest before Winter Quarter.

Winter Quarter is not a sneaky quarter.

It is just wet.

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