Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Topology, Thermodynamics and Hindu Gods..

I suppose it's time for a personal update. I've had a relatively busy week. I am glad to be back in the midst of things, and keeping busy. I definitely miss the 40 hours of research and one class. I just feel extended now over different things. I like being able to concentrate on a few things. A big hurdle that I passed was the Physics comprehensive test which is required to acquire a physics major. It consisted on two parts, first being mechanics and thermodynamics, and the second being electromagnetism and optics. I thought I had failed the second test but it turned out that I barely passed it. I was ready to take the second part again. Well, I guess I don't have to. All that's left is my Oral comprehensive test on Modern Physics.

Now, I am the RA at Kohawk village, as I took over Komal's job as she got upgraded. Living in Kohawk makes people feel anti-social, and reclusive. So, I decided to take a pro-active, pre-emptive strike against loneliness and boredom by camping out in the library as long as I could. I also use the time to download my shows as the internet is several times quicker than my room. So, I get studying done and download shows while being online and in touch with the rest of the world. I am studying more and doing a lot of homework. Almost like last semester. I remember spending a lot of time doing Inorganic homework. I guess that rubbed off on me. Except, I liked the one track concentration. There I was studying for that class and preparing for the GRE after work. Now, I am spread out amongst four classes, a possible senior thesis, resident assistantship, possible work study, and all the clubs. So, I'm as thin as carbon nanofibre strands. Well, not physically. But speaking about that, I need to start my exercise regime. I normally run for 2.5 miles and then work on weights. I remember losing a lot of pudge within a month and a half of that routine.

I suppose I could also talk about my classes. The class with the most potential is Hindu Gods and Goddesses. It's fun learning about my culture in more detail especially from an objective foreign point of view. There are a few things that were brought to my attention contrary to my prior belief. One of them was that European scholars believed the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was Dravidian (Indigenous Indian), while compared the Indian scholarly/historic view as IVC as Aryan. For obvious reason, Indian version of history is nationalistic in nature. So, I guess I don't know what to believe. Although to my defense, both theories are very contested. Apart from that, mythology thus far has been coherent to my knowledge. Right now, we are discussing the basic theories of myths. Many scholars postulate myths as truths rather than the literal meaning of a "false story" which was furthered by Plato. Anyway, myths have a critical place in our world as it bring forths stories edifying several morals and values. How many of you know that Hinduism has a trinity as well? The Creator (Brahma), The Preserver (Vishnu) and The Destroyer (Shiva) are our main deities with every other god as off shoots of the personalities and virtues of the Trifecta. Hinduism is not a religion any more. It has morphed into a lifestyle. It is hard to distinguish individual tenets of Hinduism as it is one of the most comprehensive and complex religions in the World. It has an extended base of holy scriptures, from which we notice that ancient Indians were proficient in science and philosophy. Another aspect I've observed is the amazing similarities between different ancient mythologies such as the Graeco-Roman myths of hierarchy of Gods, the concept of creation and renewal, along with the eventual destruction. It is fascinating to see how people in that time discerned the universal properties of creation and destruction.

Let me tell ya, taking Modern Algebra and Set Theory/Topology in the same semester is not fun because both deal extensively with sets. Those concepts aren't a part of my strengths in math. Modern has been fine because I am taking it by independent study. I guess I get to move at a quicker pace that the class would move because I can set my own pace. I have been doing an exercise per meeting, and I've gotten most of what I've been reading and working on. About Topology, that is just mind numbing. It is so incredibly abstract. I know for a fact that I will never use that branch of math in the future. But I need it for my math major. So, I'm forced to take it. We are learning about images, inverses, open-ness, one-one, and onto. That's the jargon used in set theory. And by equivalence, used in Topology.

Actually, I am practically done with my physics major. I'm done with respect to courses needed. So, thermodynamics was a course suggested by my advisor as indispensible for a graduate program in material science. So, I took it. Unfortunately, I don't find this branch of physics too exciting. Sigh. And we are about to dip into statistical thermodynamics. So, it's going to be a lot of integrals, partials, and maybe some math I've never seen!

I just hope I'm alive at the end of this semester.

Tags: Life

[Listening to: I'm Not Sleeping - Counting Crows - Recovering The Satellites (4:57)]

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