Reprieve, but no slowdown

Finally a week with no midterms. I had an assignment due this morning, which I did yesterday. The assignment was mostly doing set theory proofs (ie: logic), but there was a little probability and combinatorial thrown in there. It was fun. I know, I've gone mad. At first it was incredibly frustrating because I was having trouble learning the proof lingo. I could see that a statement was true or false just by looking at it, but couldn't express it in the top-down logical way needed. After a few hours of banging my head against a wall, I went to see my prof and we went over a few together.

It turns out, if a statement is false, you don't need to prove that, just provide a counterexample! Well duh. That's easy. And it turns out that once again my programming background is a serious asset, because it means I am able to think critically and iterate through "edge cases" (ie: potential counterexamples) quite quickly. Apparently this isn't something most people can do quickly. Then I found that if I can explain something in English, I just have to listen to myself a little better to translate the words into logical / mathematical notation. Sometimes, spoken words are very terse and need to be expanded into several logic statements. Essentially that's the tricky part.

Armed with new understanding, I was able to get through the proofs pretty easily. They still took some time, but I didn't get frustrated again, I knew I could do it. This is a very, very good sign.

We were supposed to have an assembly language assignment due tomorrow, but due to instructor illness, that due date has been pushed back to Monday. :-) So, this week I can focus on catching up on suggested homework assignments, reading, and do as much "real" work as is sent my way!

I think I am finally finding balance in my life again. Partially it's because I'm finally seeing just how much work is minimally required to excel at school, and partially because I haven't been quite as busy with business work. It would be nice to be flush with business during the ebb of school work and not during the flow, but that is probably asking for too much. I just have to accept that there will be unlucky periods where something has to give, and periods where I can't work as much as I'd like to. Somewhere in there is the median, and that's reality.

Written on October 27, 2004