I Can Almost Taste It Once Again

The holidays are nearly here! There is of course nothing better that soothes the soul of the student than the pending arrival of holidays. And after 14 years of education, you get used to the fact that there is this big hurdle called “final exams” right before holidays hit. In fact, you’re so used to it that you can actually get sick and tired of it (if you aren’t already).

 

Nonetheless exams are here again; some people had their first (or even second) today. My first exam starts tomorrow, Saturday. Wacked up I know, but I suppose we’ll just have to accept that. It’s funny, ever since I’ve started uni, my marks have slowly deteriorated over the semesters. Each semester the workload gets bigger and bigger and the content is more and more difficult. Why I think that’s funny is because this semester, my marks are have strangely picked up.

 

I haven’t counted them in full but I do know at the least that for two of my subjects, I’m sitting on a clean 100%. Miraculous and unbelievable, I know (I think I’m only on 99% for one of my subjects). There were factors that led to my academic position at this very moment. I’m sitting on about 75% or more for my other two subjects. So I’m actually heading into my exam tomorrow with a fair amount of confidence given where I am now.

 

The thing that makes my marks worth less than the way I described above is the fact that their scaling isn’t very high.

 

Actuarial Studies: Being the hardest course (or is meant to be the hardest course), I am in disbelief that I could be sitting on 100% for THIS particular course. Having said that, I’ve only earned 25% of my final mark; in other words I’m sitting at 25/25 of what I’ve done so far. It’s great but not as awesome as the 100% would imply. The final exam of course is then worth 75% of my final mark. Still, it goes to say that I only need to earn another 25% from my final exam to pass the course. That’s equivalent to getting 25/75 = 33% of the final exam right. This course is really dud because of the lecturer, a fob Korean. He couldn’t teach, couldn’t explain, couldn’t even do the tutorial problems right, he practically sucked in every way you could imagine. With that, he set us the easiest mid-sem test and assignment ever; and so I ended getting 100% in both assessment tasks. The average was over 90% for both the test and the assignment. That just goes to show how messed up this “prestigious” course is.

 

Computing 1A: This is my WAM booster for this semester. I’m not sure if I’ve already blogged on my subjects at the beginning of semester, I probably have, but again I’m going to say that this was the easiest course I’ve ever done; mainly because I’ve already learnt this stuff before in my spare time. I’m sitting at 99%+ for this course (missing the odd mark I think from an assignment) without ever attending lectures and just Facebook-ing during tutorials. The final is worth 65%; but I intend to get the whole final exam right as well. I’d really love to see triple digits as my final mark haha. Plus I remember some of you placing a wager that I can’t get 100% in this course. Well, we will see…

 

Algebra + Linear Models: For my other two math courses, I’m only sitting on a distinction (sorry about the “only” but I do have high expectations). But I have to admit both courses were really fun to go through. Both lecturers were very articulate, very intelligent and very helpful and such. It’s a shame that I’m not doing amazingly well given their ability to teach. The class average is at the distinction level; so my marks look a bit grim here because I’m sitting at the average mark.

 

If you made it to this paragraph, thank you. I know my blog posts haven’t been interesting to read recently but I promise that once my mind clears up after exams I’ll have heaps of good stuff to properly rant over. But just to give you a heads up on what my first proper post will be about, take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4v9tfSCaHg. It’s so horrible that I’m not even going to embed it here. Best of luck to all of you with exams, and of course the year 12s with the HSC.

Temporary Intermission

Wow I haven’t blogged for so long that I’m starting to get rusty at it, language-wise and all; but then I have been exposed to nothing but numbers over the last 2 months. Anyhow, perhaps in this moment of peace I should give an update as to what’s been happening since the absence of my presence here. The exam timetable was released and I completely devastated to find that I had 3 exams over two days (just this past Tuesday and Wednesday). I had my hardest two exams on Tuesday (which was the real setback) and my least important one the following day. In total, those 3 tests came to a total of 185% of my final marks. So in the span of 26 hours I had obtained nearly 2 courses worth of marks, how sad.

 

So for the last few weeks especially I have been stressing over how to manage that foreboding flow of exams; I (tried to) study day and night but even so I wasn’t as productive as I would’ve liked to be. I realized towards the end of last week, that temperature played a factor in my concentration. Clearly, the colder it was, the shorter my attention span was. But it was too late to reconcile for that at that point, so I made with what little time I had left and did my best.

 

My marks this semester will be at their lowest yet; but then again, second year courses are more challenging than first year ones, so it comes to no surprise that the amount of effort required for this semester should be double that of last year’s. I’ll pass, but sadly I’ll have to let go of my ambition to get the same level of marks as in high school. But that’s life.

 

Amongst other things that have distracted me while studying, the following are the top 2:

 

AnimeNFO

AnimeNFO is an online Japanese radio broadcasting from either Europe or South America (not specific I know, the point is that it’s not from Japan) which broadcasts all sorts of Japanese music 24/7. I found the site while I was at work, and wanted some anime music to listen to. The music they play is completely user requested and offers everyone a chance to hear something new (even if it’s a really old song), which is the point of a radio. This site sort of re-lit my passion for Jap music because of just how fun the site was. Below is a screenshot of what the site page looks like:

 

AnimeNfo Radio V2 -- Your BEST source for Anime and Japanese music!_1276822076094

What’s good about the site is that it shows you the playlist, including current song, upcoming songs and recently played songs, plus the album art. That’s useful information because the thing people hate about the radio is hearing a good song but not knowing what it’s called or who it’s by. This way, once I come across a good song I’ll be able to find out what it’s called (and promptly obtain it via the Internet haha!)

 

The site also allows you to rate the songs that get played, and hence gives you a rough indication on how everyone has been reacting to that particular song. There’s also the option to add songs to your personal favourite list, but that’s only available after you donate money to them or rate a total of 500 songs, whichever comes first. Ah the joys of combining anime and radio together.

 

Check it out at: https://www.animenfo.com/

 

 

Angel Beats!

The last anime series I picked up just as semester ended was Angel Beats!. I hadn’t realized it at the time but it was actually the biggest thing hitting Japan at the moment. Anyway, the series is about a bunch of teenagers who have died and are taken to purgatory (the setting is a high school), where they are meant to live a satisfying life that they otherwise were unable to obtain while they were actually alive (hence dying as youth). The characters, on the other hand, recall how horrible their lives were and instead of trying to find satisfaction in purgatory, seek to rebel against god for the injustice that he has committed on them.

 

vlcsnap-2010-06-17-21h25m47s27

 

The series provides a wonderful balance between action, comedy, and especially the deep down personal side of the story, as each character talks about the way they died. It’s that last aspect that sort of appealed to me. And this is the second time that an anime has made me legitimately cry; the first was “Voices of a Distant Star”. Anyway here’s the scene that made me cry:

 

 

Yui, the pink-haired girl, was my favourite character, mostly due to her cuteness, which was probably why I cried haha!

 

The anime is really popular and appealing also due to the fact that they’ve marketed it really well. Music has been a really strong point of this anime, the opening and ending theme hit no. 3 on the Oricon charts in its first week, as well as a number of other songs listed under the band name “Girls Dead Monster”. Wacko name for a band yeah; but three of their songs also hit the charts that same week, they ranked like below 10. But as you can see, a single anime managed to secure 4 slots of the Japanese music charts in a single week, now that’s popularity. The band technically exists within the anime itself, but they did make a real version of the band, using the same singer. Here is their first PV and also the song I’ve been obsessed over for a while now:

 

Looks like I’ve gotten back into Jap music now; probably push aside the K-Pop a bit. I realise now that the major appeal that J-Pop has to me is the strong vocals combined with an equally strong bass, makes for awesome music!

Time Out

Finally, the mid-sem break has come and I finally feel a bit more relaxed from the never-ending wave of math homework and youth group activities. Let’s take a trip back to some of the things that’s just passed and are about to come.

 

Camera

Well it took a long time but I finally got my camera fixed. I’ll rant a bit about this because there were a few things that I was not satisfied with. First off it took them a whole month or more to fix my camera. Are you serious? Slow much? I went in like on the Thursday just before uni started, so like the end of February. They told me that they would call me back the next Monday, ie March 1st. I thought that my camera would be ready by then, which would be amazing. But even if not surely by then they would tell me to wait another week or so? There was no word from them for a couple of weeks and I was starting to get annoyed. Initially I just thought that I needed to get my camera back before April, when church camp is; and suddenly halfway through March made me feel a bit anxious about getting it back.

 

So I called them; that is, I “tried” to call them. Nobody answered the phone, which was ridiculous. When I finally got through I asked them, and then they put me on hold for more than 10 minutes just to track down my camera, and ask them how long it would take to fix it; obviously they hadn’t even started by then. I called on a Wednesday, 17th March. They finally said it would take 3-4 days and that they’ll call me back once it was done. Furthermore, it would cost $86 on top of the $55 consultation fee. I already prepared myself to stomach the cost, seeing as I was stupid enough to break my camera in the first place. The fee was a bit ridiculous though if you think about it, but far better than buying a new camera.

 

I called them back next Tuesday. Same deal, had trouble getting through to them on the phone, had to wait 5 minutes for them to find my camera and tell me it was fixed. I told them to freaking call me didn’t I? Geez, absolutely pathetic. So I popped down to Granville on the Thursday, so last Thursday. And had to stand in line for 15 minutes to get my camera; there was ONE person in front of me. I’m starting to see just how pathetic some customer service people are. And funnily enough the man on duty was the same one I had tried to call on 3 occasions, who had put me on hold for a total of 15 minutes, and was about to waste a grand total of 30 minutes of my life. There is no need to second-guess the ethnicity of this man; make a few logical links and you’ll see how this reflects on my article about discrimination.

 

Anyway there was ONE man in front of me who’s SIM card was stuffed up and the man (slowly) helped him to see what the problem was. Phone calls came in over the next 15 minutes, he didn’t answer them; which explains what happened to my calls. Both of them didn’t know what to do. And at the end of 15 minutes they reached the conclusion that there was NOTHING wrong with the phone, but with the SIM card *palm face*. Finally picked up my camera and left, grumbling but accepting that it’s probably better if “these” people were left with the low demand jobs, put the inefficient people in the dead end jobs and keep the prime of the flock in the important roles, aka the “Low-Hanging Fruit Principle”.

 

The train ride back was scary because it was about the end of school time, and the kids that come from the west are…scary. It was an exact re-creation of the typical “hood” in America, where the black kids wander the streets with a giant stereo system pumping music; only this was on a FailRail train. Those kids ran back and forth inside the carriage, yelling, screaming, pumping R&B, acting exactly like their American hooligan counterparts. It was a scary train ride that’s all I can say.

 

 

RICE ‘10

It’s back on again this year, as if it would ever disappear. My only comment at this time about RICE is that I’m completely thumbs up at the new leaders’ meeting HQ for the first three prime meetings: Burwood Presbyterian. Yes it’s a bit far from home still, and yes it’s after a long day at uni once again but this year there shouldn’t be much fear of being killed on the streets of Redfern at 10:30 at night. Those three meetings were scary, having to walk all the way back from Moore College to Redfern station. I never came across anybody which was okay, but then again things might’ve turned out heaps differently. Burwood Presbyterian is heaps close to the station, which will definitely make getting home all that much easier!

 

I’m excited about this year’s RICE because I’ve gotten to know the other leaders there and because I’ve done the leading thing once already from last year.

 

 

Church Camp

We’re having church camp at the end of this mid-sem break, which coincides with the first week of holidays for the high schoolers. I’m somewhat ashamed that each our camp falls so short of other camps such as next gen or MYC, primarily because those camps are 5 days, or 4.5 to be exact, compared to our camp of 3 days, or to be precise, 1.75 days. How is a 3 day camp that short? Simple. Start on a Friday night, end at Sunday lunch.

 

I’m not so enthusiastic about our church camp anymore, a short camp is never fun. And you end up missing camp, not because of the tighter friendships you built up there, but because the camp is so short that it’s over before it even started. Of course long story short there are reasons why our camp can’t run for longer, such as lack of public holidays and that adults have to work. But if we take the “me” out of camp then the focus of camp now is the youth whom we are serving. Even if this camp will be dodge for me, I still have next gen, MYC and NTE coming up to re-kindle my flame. But as for the youth, this camp is relatively important for them.

 

It seems I’ll have to redouble my efforts for this camp to make it as enjoyable as possible for the youth; being a youth leader is hard work, especially when it requires picking up the slack from other people. But we all know I was never the fan of picking up slack back in the days of Soul Purpose; didn’t change the fact that I had to do it. However, in saying so about how difficult a task seems to be, I really would need the encouragement to continue serving faithfully and whole-heartedly.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I think I’ll leave it here for now. Heaps of work to do over this mid-sem break, that is, catching up with all the work I’ve slacked off from. A lot of *face palm*ing to do in regards to a few upcoming things and then there’s some Starcraft II to be had. Last night I watched Police Story again, such an epic movie; honestly beats all of Jackie Chan’s Western movies.

 

Before I go, I think I’ll leave my song for the moment. This is from a guy group called “BEAST”, from whom I’ll have to download more of their stuff. This is track 4 from their new mini album “Shock of the New Era”, called “Take Care of my Girlfriend (Say No)”. It sounds half like Jason Derulo’s Watcha Say, and something else. Help me figure out what that something else is 😛

 

Semester 2 Exam 4: MATH125

Last one. Wednesday was really rough for me, stressing heaps hard for this one final exam which I hadn’t much for prior to Wednesday. I tried to get as much done on that one day; probably the most I’ve ever studied, including the HSC. Maybe this was because it was the first time I had to “cram”. Usually my study patterns were nice and consistent, there has never been a day in the past where I studied for the whole day; at most half the day.

 

I was lucky to even be awake and alert for the exam. Luckily most of the past papers were 3 hours long, I was getting really tired of that. Our paper today was only 2 hours. They recently changed the course structure so that the exams were shorter and it’s simply much easier for us. 4 Questions: 2 on calculus and 2 on algebra, a fair balance. I had most of the questions done with 30 minutes to go back onto the ones I missed; I was in relatively good shape. I felt good afterwards too, up until I started to Yitian and other people. I think I’ll still do well. More of my satisfaction came from the fact that I didn’t have the do any more uni work until next year; which means I couldn’t really care much about how I went haha. I’ll find out at the end of the year when the marks come out. But hopefully things turned out okay.

 

Saw Sophia (with a bunch of guys) at Central station; they were just standing there aimlessly, they couldn’t decide between going to eat or going home. Their loitering kept them from catching the train, so we just left without them. There was more Cityrail fail this afternoon again! The express didn’t leave Central until like 15 minutes after it was meant to leave. Some crap about a door not closing or something; geez. As such the train arrived much later at Epping and yeah it just simply slowed everything down. Far out, a lot of hate goes out towards Cityrail right now. Hopefully these holidays will be kind enough such that I won’t have to rely on their unreliable service haha!

Semester 2 Exam 3: ACTL1001

Oh man, this was a scary exam: Actuarial Studies. I already wasn’t doing that well in my first Actuarial Studies course, only 75% for both class tests; and the final was worth 70& of our course mark, now that is scary. To make things just that little bit harder, most of my studying got pushed back to about 2days prior to the exam. Remember, Accounting was only on Saturday, and ACTL was on Tuesday; that didn’t give me much time. Plus Maths was on Thursday, the two days leading up to the this exam were pretty big for me. I spent one of them solely on maths because I was just that unprepared for it. Just trying to balance out the study such that I’d get enough for maths.

 

The day was really hot though. The exam room was bad as well, no air conditioning =.=” We had fans but that isn’t enough. Practically anything that was in contact with anything else was sweating. This meant my thighs, my butt, and even my hand, which was holding the pen. I didn’t worry too much about the heat though, I had the test to worry about. 2 hours, 8 questions, 100 marks. I knew I wasn’t going to do any better than my class tests but most of it went well. I’m glad our lecturer agreed that he would be lenient in marking, the reason why there were 100 marks in total was that each little question was worth heaps. This was to ensure that even if you didn’t get the final answer, any working out you do beforehand could be awarded accordingly. That proved to be quite helpful throughout the class tests as well.

 

Oh well. I went well enough for this test; I always had maths in the back of mind as I did the exam; it just meant I had to really stay focused after Actuarial Studies which wasn’t going to happen haha! The journey back home was met with a lot of Cityrail fail. The express which was stopping every few minutes in the middle of nowhere for no apparent reason threatened to make me late for the connecting train at Epping (heavy sigh at the new timetable still). But even when I did get there, turns out the train I wanted to catch was like 20 minutes late, twenty wth? The heat cause power problems to a number of Cityrail fail trains, one was stuck on the Harbour Bridge, one up in Hornsby (I think) and another “somewhere out west”, quoted from the train driver. They were smart to change one of the dodgy trains that terminate at Epping and make it continue up to Hornsby. That train driver I spoke about was the one apologizing to us on this train; he had a pretty “yeah everything is messed up” sort of tone, which was sort of funny.

Semester 2 Exam 2: ACCT1511

Round 2, right after round 1; no time to rest. I poorly spent the rest of yesterday; mostly gamed to get down the nerves and such, did a bit of reading. But hopefully having done most of 4 past papers that I was ready for today. Well I can’t complain. Today’s paper wasn’t too hard, it was long of course but not too hard. Luckily most of the questions that required short answers were mostly common sense and just some simple bs-ing.

 

Weekend trains weren’t too helpful. We were almost late to the exam, arrived with only a few minutes to spare. Examiners didn’t let me into the room with my blue drink bottle because it was not “clear”. Well I could easily that granny’s ugly face fine through it, as if it wasn’t transparent. And since we’re on that topic, I’ll buff this post with ramble from yesterday.

 

The examiners for Macroeconomics yesterday were rather appalling. The head examiner exhibited a suspected case of PMS; but at her age that almost seems impossible, right? She kept talking in a loud voice, and repeatedly, saying the same thing over and over again: “Examiners please hand out the exam papers now.” “Examiners please come down to the front and distribute the exam papers.” “Examiners, we have to start the exam in one minute please distribute the exam papers quickly.” “Examiners we need the papers distributed very quickly now.” Oh my gosh! Shut up! Talk about being rude to the examinees and her own colleagues, just what was this woman “on”?

 

Most definitely hate the hypocrite examiners who tell you to turn your mobile phones off but keep theirs on; and it’s obvious when their phone goes off with a loud retarded ringtone and they answer it inside the exam room during the exam. That pms woman was one of them. Tsk tsk. A general rule that power comes with responsibility, and obviously this woman has demonstrated a lack of skill and simple etiquette, far from respectable and deserving of her role haha.

 

But anyway luckily nothing disturbed the accounting exam as such. I was seated in A1, for once. Wow a corner seat; of all the odds. It wasn’t a great position because being in the corner means it’s harder for the light to shine onto my table. And then I had examiners towering over my desk because that’s their “at ease” position when they’re not patrolling the exam room, right in front of seat A1, smart.

 

I got fed up with the exam at 2 hours in, like last semester. I had finished it and checked it relatively thoroughly once and then left. I only checked my calculations and multiple choice. Any bits of short answer writing I didn’t bother going over. I would not know how to get rid of that answer and write a new one in the same place, without making a complete mess of my exam paper; best leave it as it is and hope for the best.

 

Some people left before, I didn’t count. I could’ve been the first if I hadn’t bothered checking haha! But I was about the 10th person or so to leave. Doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s no more accounting for me, ever. I mean perhaps it is an okay subject. But the course this semester was taught in a disgusting way, with those pathetic lecturers; made every Wednesday afternoon a day to die for. And now we come down to the final 2 big exams: Actuarial Studies and Mathematics. Now the game is really on.

Semester 2 Exam 1: ECON1102

Ho ho! Here we go again! I almost didn’t see these exams coming. Somehow the entire semester has been rather hectic, I haven’t even had proper time to prepare for exams and such. And in a flash they came today. It was only two weeks ago where I said: “Hey exams are around the corner…meh…” and that “meh” sort of dragged into a two week procrastination and here we are T.T”

 

Today was day one of all UNSW exams; we kicked things off with Macroeconomics 1. It was the only course I’m doing at the moment that didn’t have past papers to practice on. All we had were online multiple choice quizzes, which proved to be quite helpful last year. There were a bore to do, but I got through them quite a fair number of times.

 

Waking up at 6am but a real drag, after not having done it for 2 weeks. And again facing Cityrail; why are there more people on trains now than before? Aren’t there meant to be more train services, it’s as if the number of passengers doubled in total. We were crammed into Randwick Racecourse again; I don’t like it as an exam venue but there’s not much we can do to make them change the rules.

 

The exam was two hours long: 20 multiple choice questions (20 marks), and choosing 3 of 4 short response questions (15 marks each); creating a combined total of 65 marks, which is worth 65% of our course mark. Damn that’s 1% per mark, real heavy stakes. Can’t complain about the exam, it wasn’t especially hard; it was what I expected from the lack of study I did. I felt like I stuffed it up like for Microeconomics last semester but that turned out fine. Maybe it will again this time?

 

Doesn’t matter, this course means nothing to me; it’s the Actuarial Studies and Mathematics courses that have any sentimental value to me. But tomorrow is Accounting, another 3 hour exam set at such an early time in the morning; don’t like at all.

 

Caught the train back with Victor to Epping and then with Sarah back to Pennant Hills after I realized she was on the same express. Nat was moping about her exam, as usual. And everything else obviously isn’t safe to talk yet with Accounting just around the corner. My exams end as of next Thursday, it will be a short exam period for me, one that allowed me to buy a travelpass; yes, innovation for once! But then again, there isn’t much time to study the other two subjects, apart from tomorrow’s exam.

Semester 1 Final Exams (Part III)

And six days after the previous exam, I come face to face with the last one for this semester. And just like in the HSC it happened to be the hardest exam, the “legendary” Actuarial Mathematics exam. It reminds me of the 4U maths course last year, it was a fairly rushed course and was exceptionally hard; well the HSC exam was anyway.

 

I would never have figured that it was be extremely hard studying for this exam. Actually I don’t really know what was wrong with me; I found that I couldn’t do even half of last year’s paper, this was right after the Microeconomics exam, when I had do no proper revision yet; and somehow as the days progressed, I seemed to be making little improvement. I turn to a new past paper and there was another quarter of the paper where i didn’t know how to solve the problems. I think that these last six days have been my most stressful ever; I lacked a lot of confidence since my estimated performance was reflected in how much I could do of the past papers and so I was extremely worried.

 

It was only recently that I discovered that other people were having just as much trouble and that eased my mind a bit; I had hoped there would be major scaling from the raw mark of the exam, just as they had done in the HSC. Hopefully this is still the case here.

 

Exam 4: MATH1151

Course: Mathematics for Actuarial Studies and Finance

 

This is the big one, the past papers were so hard I thought that I should just concede with doing about three-quarters of the paper and just hopefully scaling would produce and exceptionally high mark for me still. This is supposedly my best subject and if I were not to get a really high mark, it would cut down on my self-esteem.

 

Lots of people were worrying prior to the exam as well; I could hear them. And for once I was actually cramming hard right before an exam, something I normally would never do; I was actually quite into it, only affording to look at my watch every few minutes to see how close the exam was. When at last the exam was finally to start, knowing that everyone had the same thoughts as I did made me feel a little bit better. I know that’s wrong but in terms of relativity it’s a fair thought to have.

 

The paper was two hours long and this time I was careful not to underestimate it like for Discrete Mathematics. Given only four questions the paper doesn’t seem entire hard. Most of the past papers had a different course layout so their final exam back then was three hours; shame I never actually timed myself for any of them so I couldn’t really estimate how long it would take me to finish today’s paper.

 

The funny thing was that I found today’s paper rather easy, compared to previous years, as did many of my friends. This was a bit of a relief for me; and judging on my performance for this exam, I might not even need and scaling; that would be nice. Of course there were a few questions I couldn’t do; I gave it a shot and conceded after a while in favour of moving forward in the paper so I know I’ve lost marks here and there, but at least it won’t be as serious as missing half the paper.

 

I finished exactly when time was up and I was really glad I had a shot at every question and that I had just enough time to do as much as I could; I managed to do the last question and that constitutes doing the whole paper, even though any extra time I had could’ve been utilised for those questions that I didn’t manage to completely finish. Hopefully I’ll still get a relatively high mark. I didn’t count how many questions I didn’t properly finish but things should be alright I hope.

 

And that’s it, I had finally finished the first semester of university. Gonna work out ways of making the next one easier to study for.

Semester 1 Final Exams (Part II)

With less than one day’s rest on Tuesday, my third exam came very promptly on Wednesday, again in the morning; and again at that ridiculously early time of 8:45am. Wednesday proved to be a fairly gloomy day, as opposed to all the sun since last week; it threatened to rain since the morning, and that just simply lowers my mood for the day.

 

I wondered if there was going to be another cram session on the train like on Monday. I was trying to get Sarah to cram with us; but she didn’t get my message in time and caught an earlier train; I saw that train enter Penno station and leave it. I was too lazy to rush and catch it because it wasn’t really the one I was aiming to get on anyway. I met Isabella instead; and during our conversation when she realized that she forgot her ruler; she phoned up Jess (who still hadn’t left her house (!!) ) and managed to scab a ruler off her.

 

Nat got on at Beecroft, Jess got on at Cheltenham and Charmaine got on at Epping; by that time we had accidentally ran out of seats for her. We were trying to secure those 5-seat sections on the top level; but we were a tad slow and some Asian guy playing his DS was already there; we took it anyway, but we couldn’t make enough room so Charmaine sat by herself at the other end of the car.

 

Anyway we crammed just as much as Monday; got a lot done; were the loudest on the train as usual. And as usual we got to the racecourse slightly early albeit the rain which made traffic a bit slower; and walking to the venue a bit more annoying. Lucky I brought an umbrella today because it was pouring like later on. I had a bit of trouble finding my examination room; especially when I’m really blind and cannot read the signs. Still my picture memory helped a bit and I soon made it to my Yum-Cha-restaurant-like exam room on time.

 

 

Exam 3: ECON1101

Course: Microeconomics 1

 

This was a 2-hour exam, featuring 20 multiple choice questions and two 20-mark response questions which we had to pick out of four choices. I already had a fear from the multiple-choice questions in the mid-semester exam, because I got 6 of 20 wrong and that really does cut down on marks. So I was particularly scared for today’s exam, also because I procrastinated a lot on Tuesday, which I tried to leave as my final tuning-up day for this exam. Guess it didn’t work out too well huh?

 

I know I’ve got one or two wrong in it, I guess that can’t be helped. And the worst thing about that is that each multiple-choice question was worth 1.25 marks; that is annoying. The exam was worth 65% of our final mark; and if you count it up now, the paper was out of 65 marks; a bit slack to make multiple-choice questions worth a bit more than they stereotypically are worth.

 

The extended response sections weren’t as bad as I expected although if I count up the marks I’ve lost, then it really does make my performance look really bad. The questions weren’t too hard in this section, but it is questionable what the marking criteria is for these questions, how much to write for 4 marks, etc. But of course diagrams are part of the answer so surely my pictures will help make up for the seeming “lack” of writing I gave as answers.

 

The fourth option question was split into three smaller questions; worth 8, 8 and 4 marks respectively. Now that is scary, having an 8-mark question, for which I only wrote like one page T.T” Hopefully I’ll lose at most one mark for each question, hopefully no more than that. But the option questions I picked were the ones I felt I could do best; so with that rigged mark allocation in the last one, I didn’t really have much of a choice.

 

I finished the exam with a few minutes to spare, willing to go through my answers slowly, and seeing if I had made any mistakes; I honestly don’t know what I’ve done wrong still so it’s all a compete guess for me. I might  not get distinction for this course, which does leave a hole in my desires to do well in every subject. But then again, I didn’t pick Microeconomics so doing bad in it is alright. Somehow I feel they’re going to mark our papers just like in Chemistry, with dodgy marking criteria where they ;look for specific keywords and that’s it; I hate that system so much.

 

 

Aftermath

Well after the exam we all proceeded to go home or chill out with each other. But first we had to catch a bus back to Central, which proved to be the biggest pain ever, and the rain making things worse. In fact the rain made everything completely horrible, because few people brought umbrellas so we all had to share. And then the buses were coming so slowly that we were all crowded in the same area; and it was cold, and eventually we made it to the head of the bus stop where we were forced to stand really close to the curb, and the rain made huge puddles build up close to the curb; and then trucks would come along in the lane closest to use, and the tires would whoosh in those huge puddles of water and…

 

Yeah; that’s how bad it was; I got soaked pretty thoroughly; had to shove my iPod and mobile back into my bad for fear of short-circuiting from the rain. Still we did have a bit of fun using umbrellas as shields to block off the “waves” released by passing trucks; it didn’t help much but we all had good laughs watching each other (or me) get soaked. I was really glad when the bus finally came; after 45 minutes oh my gosh! I was freezing cold by then since water had seeped through my clothing and the wind chilled my body completely; might’ve caught a cold who knows?

 

We went to Charlie’s house in the afternoon to play poker; that was nice. Oh and before we went to Parra Westfield for lunch; saw a few year 12s from our school, because we saw their jerseys, which had “B.H.H.S” writing in large white letters like at the bottom front part of the jersey. They look so ugly this year; they were a darker colour, just like James Ruse; man if it wasn’t for our school’s insignia or the huge initials, you might’ve thought that they were from James Ruse. Well I give a sigh at how pathetic the jerseys are this year; I feel mightily sorry for the grade below us, who had to pay good money for something that seemed to be designed by some of our noob English staff (they actually approved the design as well?!)

 

Well that’s my Wednesday; six more days till my last exam, and it’s the hardest one as well; all in good timing, leaving the best till last. Time to super cram now!

Semester 1 Final Exams (Part I)

Well here we are, at the end of our first semester of university and sadly they are going to come with a whopping huge test every single time; we’ll learn to get used to such a fast-paced course. I think I’ve studied moderately well for each of my four subjects, considering how much interest I have in each of them. I still keep wondering what mark I should be aiming for, whether I should try for 100% like I normally do; or just be content with an average mark like a majority of people. I still feel like “nerding” up and it does make it hard to talk to people who have the whole “Oh my gosh I am literally going to fail!” thing to say. I can’t say I’m even close to failing, and I can’t say I’m close enough for a 95%+ mark, but there is so much room in between.

 

Nevertheless a mark is a mark, and it’s what you feel about it yourself that matters. My first day of exams was Monday; and as a worst case scenario, I had two exams; morning and afternoon. Think back to the HSC and you’ll see just how stressful it was to have two exams on the same day, because in truth that’s a total of 5 examination hours for the day; and that takes heaps of energy right?

 

Anyway, on Monday I set my alarm to 6am, the earliest I’ve had to wake in a week; and my body was certainly not ready to take on such punishment so soon. I rushed to make breakfast and pack everything; all without my mum’s help (because she’s still in Hong Kong) and I was nearly late for my train. My first issue was not knowing how to get to my examination venue, Randwick Racecourse. I know it’s next to our uni but then you can’t really just walk through uni to get there, there had to be a special bus; luckily I managed to find out in time haha.

 

Bad omen for the morning was that I forgot where my second was; and only later realizing it was back at uni, forgot that I needed to find a way back from the racecourse to uni. Some good luck that came was meeting up with Jess, Nat, Isabella and Charmaine on the train and having a half-intense cram session; we were by far the loudest in our car, but it was certainly justified. We sort of got a lot of stuff learned; poor Nat just moped the entire way with her pessimistic “I’m so screwed” attitude.

 

Our exam was to start at 8:45am, that is so early and we also had to make sure we got there on time; that meant catching an earlier train and getting on the bus as soon as we could. The bus that we wanted to get to the racecourse was really packed; we had to stand around for a while before we could actually get a bus, which sucked a bit.

 

We managed to get to the racecourse moderately early but we still had a good 10+ minutes to find our friends and have a last minute encouragement.

 

 

Exam 1: ACCT1501

Course: Accounting & Financial Management 1A

 

Randwick Racecourse was a fairly large venue, but luckily all the exams were held roughly in the same vicinity, just buildings, like the “Tea House” which was easily marked by the toilets on the side haha! We were in the pavilion, it was a fairly huge room; not bad for an exam to be held.

 

The exam was three hours in length, I wasn’t sure if we needed that much time, but if we did, I knew I had to take it slow. Main reason was that I had to play conservatively so that I would still have enough mental energy for my second exam today; I learned from my mistake during the trials, when I fully died for Chemistry in the afternoon and got 67% for it. So here it was smart to sacrifice a few marks if they were just too hard to achieve.

 

The exam consisted of 5 questions on five different topics, all divided into small sections, and then 30 multiple choice questions. Having said that, I had a look at the past papers from several years back and they looked really scary; so scary I felt like I would’ve failed if our final exam this year was just like it. Luckily it was not, the exam was moderately easy compared to what I expected and so I went through it. I messed up one question because I obviously didn’t know it; a lot of people did, it was on like the last thing we learned so fair enough; also fair that they would’ve asked a question on it.

 

Basically we had to give our answers mostly through calculations or just writing journal entries, there were 3 short response questions for one chunk of he exam but other than that everything else was short answer or calculations. The multiple-choice questions were about the same as the mid-session ones, same old tricks; same pathetic “non of the above” answers. I really despise those options because they are meant to be obviously wrong. And yet we realised that three of our answers was exactly “none of the above”, who would’ve thought that they were serious about putting that option in?

 

I walked out of the exam a 2 hours in, didn’t really check over my answers too in-depth;  wanted to conserve energy so I just closed my mind and walked out of the exam room; that gave me one-hour to chill, with nobody, although some other people were also waiting outside; finishing their exams early. I studied for my second exam for a while until I got tired. I think I did well for accounting; I can estimate how many marks I’ll lose; hopefully I’ll still be in the High Distinction range; and don’t say it’s a high ambition, I just know that I can achieve it, and that’s why I try to.

 

 

Exam 2: MATH1081

Course: Discrete Mathematics

 

After the exam I found Yitian and a few other people who were doing Discrete Maths and we walked back to uni; luckily I asked Victor and Ben, otherwise…well…nevermind; nothing ultra-bad could’ve happened right? We had lunch and after revising a bit, our 1 hour 45 minute break passed by in a flash.

 

We were privileged to have our Discrete Maths exam in the beautiful Scientia building; the bad thing was that the chairs and tables were dodgy so that balances everything out. Oh and I forgot; about calculators, we needed to have them approved by the university first; just asking some people to slap on a simple sticker that said: “UNSW Approved”. What purpose does that serve? Couldn’t we just slap that sticker onto another calculator for “cheating”? If that even is possible? Also we were fairly confident that we weren’t allowed calculators in this exam, the website said so and yet when we asked the guys guarding the entrance they said okay.

 

The Discrete Maths paper is two hours long, consisting of four huge questions split into a few smaller ones. I have to admit I got stumped by a few questions and after discussing with people afterwards, I realised that I made a lot of stupid mistakes, as expected. This will hurt my final mark a bit; I’ll be lucky to still be in the 90%+ range; hopefully I will be. I guess I under-estimated how hard the paper would be; after all, this course is so much easier than Actuarial Maths; and I’ve been so overly confident that I’ve skipped a fair number of lectures; guess I was wrong huh?

 

But even so, I sort of realise now that Mathematics is a fairly large subject, and it can be divided into various “concentrations” such as Algebra and Calculus. But Discrete Maths is like the study of random maths things which you can’t really apply for anything else. Like you learn simple Algebra in year 7 and you use those concepts up to year 12, like that. With Discrete Maths, I’m not sure you can take the concepts we learned and apply them elsewhere. We learned stuff like “Counting – Permutations/Combinations” again and then we played with weird things like “Graphs” which are a bunch of lines and dots; quite a strange course really.

 

But all in all I think I was fairly alert for this exam, trying to conserve energy since accounting, maybe my performance was still hindered by my fatigue from earlier today; but oh well; what’s done is done and I felt like I did the exam all right.

 

It is still kind of annoying to have two exams on our first exam day for university; never would’ve expected such pressure to come so soon. But now that’s half my exams done, that’s something to be proud about.

Mid-Sem Break

Ah at last, the mid-sem break. Even if it is only a mere week I’ve realised that a lot can be achieved and certainly the upcoming week will be a time to really make further plans about the rest of this semester, and other stuff. My first five weeks have been interesting; getting into the routine of lectures and tutorials wasn’t all too hard; and of course combining that with my church life only gave me a small problem so far.

 

I find that it is rather easy to skip classes, and also somewhat beneficial. I would’ve never thought that jigging class should be something that can be safely done but for some people it can; and most it is especially when the lecture is not helpful at all. And now our so-called “fixed timetable” is in fact rather flexible. Mixing and matching lectures is fairly fun and I’ve found that it’s sort of made a couple of my days easier.By killing off my Mondays, so I end at 6pm instead, I can leave uni on Tuesday at 12pm and go have lunch with my parents in Eastwood, a fair trade.

 

But enough of the whole timetable thing. Obviously the significant thing that’s on everyone’s mind is exams. And surely everyone has gone through at least a class test at this stage. I’ve been through a few number of maths quizzes now. They aren’t big but there were many of them; four now. And to hell if I don’t get close to 100% for all of them, I’d be really shocked if I can’t maintain a HD average for my course haha! We have a mix of online tests and class tests, all are fairly short and hence all are worth little in total. Even if a test is worth like 1% it’s still worth trying to get 100% in it since they’re all add up eventually.

 

But one thing has been troubling me for this week especially. Don’t know why I suddenly had this huge emotional drop, very strange indeed. But now thinking back to something Vanessa said on her blog a while back, I would never have thought that friends do come and leave, just as she said. One of the reasons why I’m not making such a huge effort to make new friends was that I wanted to hold onto my old friends strongly. Why wouldn’t I? Isn’t that the point of being friends? You stay as friends? If you were to ditch your old friends for new ones every time you had to make a new transition into another living environment, then don’t you suck as a friend because you discard them for others? Are people that “selfish” then, that we would jettison our old friends because they become “useless”?

 

Fair enough, ever since uni started, staying in touch with a lot of people from high school has been hard. I know some of my group have gone to places where we might never see them again, or at least not see them much. And so what then? Do we just take them out of our lives because they’re no longer reachable? Is that how shallow friendship is? For sure with the aid of the Internet these days especially, staying in touch with friends, being connected with them, is a much simpler task. And yet why don’t we for some of our friends? Why would we show favour for someone we’ve just met, over someone else you’ve known and hung out with for 6 years? Is it because it’s easier to talk to them? (ie. face to face as opposed to being physically separated from your former friends?)

 

In any respect I still wonder why there’s this desire to “make new friends”. Yeah it’s all good to make new friends but does it come at the cost of your other friends? Surely it really does suck to be left behind by your other friends because they made new ones. It’s like everyone turns their own way and it’s a mere “good-bye” that’s it. Stay as friends for 6 years and then become mere classmates after that. What would be the point in being friends if the friendship didn’t last? If you don’t maintain it you can’t expect it to still be there.

 

And so the source of my mood swings for this week would have to be based on that troubling fact. I know in particular that there is one person who I’ve felt has betrayed me in the way I have just described. And it hurts to think that you can depend on someone and yet they simply end up lying to you. As harsh as it is to say, that person is somewhat a hypocrite in trying to encourage a growing friendship and yet on multiple occasions have lied to you and then simply stopped staying in contact with you DESPITE what they said. In a situation like that I’d call it “destroying hopes”. And surely no-one likes having their hopes destroyed, it’s not nice. And it bugs me to think that the person in question can live with doing that to me. Oh but I suppose that as long as you have some friends, it’s okay to ditch others right? It’s not like you lost anything important because there’s lots of it. Is that the feeling we get when we want to push someone away? Intentionally or not?

 

So for this week I do wonder if that person knows they hurt me, whether they even remember it. Or whether they’re too caught up in their “new friends” that they find it justifiable to f*** up someone else. It hurts I’ll tell you that. It hurts to lose hope in someone you thought you could depend on. And yet I wouldn’t hate that person or wish them a bad future. And yet what am I left with? “What am I left with?” indeed…