News & Events
Does flying feels like falling, or does falling feel like flying? – The Quantum Traveller
- November 21, 2020
- Posted by: Aradhana Pandey
- Category: Education
I woke up this morning feeling like an energizer bunny. It really is remarkable how much good enough sleep does. It turns out I didn’t do as badly as I thought I did on the sheet. Most people only turned in Problems 1-4 (to the point where we only covered those in the tute). I did fairly well on everything but 4, which I kind of butchered, because I didn’t know what the question was asking.
I basically got out of bed, showered, ate breakfast, and went to the tute at 10. Never really caught up with my normal schedule (although my alarm goes off at 7:30). When I got there, the two people before me were still discussing their sheets, so we went over the end of 4 and 3 together. I totally rocked 3, so I was able to explain it when called upon. That felt so good. I was concise and correct on pretty much everything. Still figuring out how they want me to talk through solutions though and I’m not used to remembering names for all the things.
Oddly, the other person who was supposed to be in my tute didn’t show up, so I had the tute to myself. This turned out to be a boon. I was able to step through my questions with the tutor without feeling embarrassed about asking easy questions or taking up time. He also told me I was actually doing pretty well, which was good to hear. It was not nearly as awful as I expected and was actually kinda pleasant. I also have a textbook for Field Theory when I want to learn it.
Then, I ate lunch and did yoga with my mom. I picked an energetic standing practice because I was feeling very energized from a) sleeping well and b) not completely bombing the tute.
Then, I had to work on the sheet for B2, which I had barely started the previous night. I had a pretty cozy setup at least:
Five hours later, I had about 2/3 of the sheet done. It’s not too bad if you’re just cramming from the PJCC notes, lecture notes, and google. One of these days I’m going to have to review and study the concepts so I know them more than superficially though. This is pretty great for gaining familiarity through intensive immersion at least.
Then, I decided to get pizza, because I really wanted pizza (and I really didn’t want to cook dinner). It also got me out on a lovely walk. I went to Zizzi again, which is about a half mile walk from my accomodation. I took the street route this time, rather than walking through the gardens with a flashlight trying not to walk into the lake. It was a bit nerve-wracking being out alone at night, but it was a fairly pleasant walk.
The food wasn’t quite as good as last time (too much cheese and not finely sliced enough basil), but it was still a fun treat. Then, I settled down to knock out the last of the sheet.
Around 9:30, I finally had work down for the last problem and sent it in! I finally completed a sheet thoroughly and mostly, I thought, correctly and fully. Such a good feeling. There was very quiet shouting.
Then, I was a panelist on SPS’s Study Abroad panel, which was a distinctly odd experience. Everyone else on the panel (except for the language immersion person) was talking about all the travel they did, organized program activities, and not turning in homework and terrible academics. In other words, it being easy fun. I was cackling over Zoom chat with my friend who was the host (who went to Oxford last year) about how very different our experience has been. We’re such Oxford snobs. Oxford is hard and all-consuming. I think I scared people off, but I don’t think you should come here unless you want to live and breath and die physics. Unless you not only dismiss someone telling you ‘you can’t do that’ but take it as a dare, an added incentive.
There’s one person I talked to who I think will be fine. The other wants to take just one course towards her degree at Wellesley and that feels like a waste. As long as she takes a second year course she’ll probably be fine, if stressed.
I stayed up too late talking to my friend. I don’t get to talk to here enough.
Doing physics at Oxford feels like falling and flying. The question is, does the flying feel like falling or does the falling feel like flying?
-Piper, a snobbish Oxfordian