Friday, March 19, 2004

Finals are all over now, and so it's time to do my last whining about them. I mean, not to do so would be positively un-Maroon!

The TA for my Commutative Algebra class, Mike, saved our skins a couple of times, not least by looking over the final and telling Dr. Murthy that we'd be able to do at most three of the problems (whereupon he said, "OK, choose three problems!") and telling him that problem 2(b) was impossible (because he'd written it incorrectly). The exam was a 2 and 1/2- hour exercise in pain.

After the final, he sent the entire class an e-mail with the following excerpts:

"Well, of the many predictions about the exam I made and passed unto you all, at best two of them came true: no transcendence bases, and it was pretty hard. Of course the biggest disaster is that I said he wouldn't ask for proofs of statements made in class... Please accept my humblest apologies."

"...and recall that at the end of last term, I explicitly advised everyone against taking this class at all! However, the Chicago student body, known the world 'round for its unimpeachable resolve, was all the more motivated for a challenge by my admonishment, and enrollment from Alperin to Murthy consequently increased."

"So even if the process by which society crudely translates the learning experience into permanent records proves inadequate to capture the extent to which you have all grown over the past ten weeks, rest assured during the holiday that you have been exposed to some serious mathematics."

All in all, though, my 30 hours of hell (time-span for a 10-page European Civ take-home final, in which I had both my math exams) turned out decently (modulo me guessing correctly at the perpendicular subspace questions in the Functional Analysis final), so I can't really complain.

Oh, and my sister and her friend are visiting today before we drive back to St. Louis. I'm taking them Northside where all the cool stuff is. More blogging when I'm home and have less to do...

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