She Stumbles

// October 6th, 2009 // Blog

Day 2 did not go as smoothly as Day 1. Maybe I should have brought my MacBook in with me? Though I doubt it would have done much to help, other than give me access to Twitter, so I could complain in 'real time'.

Basically, we had our first proper Bioinformatics lecture today. It started off well, as the Apple-loving professor covered the basics of genetics, evolution (wahey…) and population biology; the kind of thing one learns in first year BSc Biology.

But then, for the next 80 minutes… Slide after slide of algebra, quadratic equations, and crazy graphs. Ah! I had no idea what he was talking about! Suddenly familiar concepts were converted into single letters, and jumbled up with random symbols. What did he dooo?!

I looked at the person next to me: she sits silently, staring intensely at the screen. Was she really getting all this? Seriously? Where did I leave my brain today?

Then about half way through, the prof says: “Oh, btw, we don't expect you learn all of these equations. You won't be examined on this. If you don't know this Maths, don't waste your time with it”.

Eh?!! But… Why?!?! Gah!

I guess I was relieved, but still… Why did he spend 90% of the lecture on these crazy mathematical models? I think there should have been more explanation of their practical application to research, rather than confusing dumb people like me with endless equations. Sniffle.

Anyway, exams or no, I still feel compelled to open up my A-level Maths notes (yes, they're buried somewhere in the loft), and try to relearn some of the basics. Just because I won't be examined on it, doesn't mean it won't come up in project work, or even later on in my career. And how bad will it be then, when I'm truly old and stuck in my ways!

I think that's part of the mature student experience: you understand that there is life after exams, and you need to learn how to become a well-rounded, capable indiviudual who can function in a challenging work environment, inshā’Allāh; not just someone who crams to get good grades, but is generally clueless.

I am praying that my first computer lab tomorrow will go much better. Āmīn! That's the main reason I took this course, so I really can't afford to be confused, like I was today… Subhanallah!

One Response to “She Stumbles”

  1. Specs says:

    Sounds like an exciting first day! :-)

    I agree with you there; after one’s had some post-study experience, you realize the importance of all those courses that were just a pass/fail one and you knew you were going to pass so you never bothered much with the course work because there was no grade to get. :( I wish I had stayed more awake in A Level math class;i really had to work twice as hard in Bachelor level Statistics courses because those differentials came to bite me in the a$$. :( :(

    Good luck with the computer class tomorrow! I’m sure you’ll do great ;-)

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