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First Week of Semester

Day's Slideshow

19:27

I've learned something this week: I'm now a real physics student. In Mechanics Lab, on Monday, our professor came in saying that this experiment is used in the nonmath physics class to demistrate the conservation of momentum. However, the experiment constantly results in a 20% error rate and it was our job to discover why because he did not know... <sigh/> Well, we don't know exactly. The cushion of air probably has something to do with it. The carts are certainly losing energy somehow. However, we've overcome the problem by moving the carts slowly and carefully placing everything close together. He's given us two weeks to write our report on the experiment.
In Microcomputer Interfacing, our current assignment is to design a battery tester to determine how long a battery can maintain enough potential to operate various electronic devices. We don't know how to use the software in which we must design the instrument and I do not believe he does either. He said the best way to learn to use a computer is to just play with it and discover the effects of our actions. To that end, all six of us have created our unique front panels for the instrument. None of us, however, know yet how to put into it a voltmeter or how to obtain readings from a voltmeter. Today I discovered on my laptop how to store the data coming in into an array so that it will be properly displayed on a graph and to be analysed at a later point. However, I'll need to put my newfound abilities into the Battery Tester and I want to change the chart into scale to display the current voltage readings and I'll need to add a graph and analysis area to the front panel. Also, I'm currently using an manually adjustable scale as my temperary voltmeter, just until I learn how to put a real voltmeter in its place...
Also, I'm wondering how, on Tuesday, my Differential Equations professor already knew my name! I think she's good with faces. She probably remembers seeing me at the RUMC last year or, most likely, a brief introduction of myself to her last semester as I waited for class in the hall and she entered her office and questioned me if I was someone she was expecting... Who knows. At the start of class, Tuesday, she asked who was a physics major, and I was the only one to raise my hand. She looked at me and said "Are you the only one Samuel?"
This morning, waiting for her to start class as she waited for it to become time to start class, I was scribbling on the table she wanted us to print for future reference. She saw me and asked if she had made a mistake. "Uh, no, I just find it a little redundent," I replied. She put the derivatives of eu and au in the table and I said that the former was just a special case of the latter. She responded saying "But do you think everyone knows that?" No, I know they don't, but I didn't have much else to do during that two minute period...
On Monday, wanting to not waste time and very expensive gas in a futile attempt to find a parking space on campus during the first couple weeks of the year, I drove ¾ the way to school, parked in an over sized shopping center, and rode the new HEAT express bus to school. I got to class 30+ minutes early. I also had to ride the bus back to my car in the evening. I repeated the process on Tuesday. However, Tuesday afternoon, after I had finished classes and bought one last school book, I rode the bus downtown. I liked being able to sit on the bus and ride to my destination as I read for my Euro Lit class. Once at the Depot, Tuesday, waiting for the next bus to the shopping center, I read. Then, as I looked at the bus route pamphlet's list of "points of interest" along the route, I realised that I could take advantage of this time downtown to walk to the courthouse about five blocks away (rather than wait for the bus to do so, like those damn lazy Americans) and get them to issue me a replacement of my lost voter's registration card. I then walked a block north and a half block over to the bus stop. Thank goodness the bus was several minutes late, or I would have had to wait another hour for the next bus! If that would have been the case, I would have walked back to the Depot so I could sit inside (where it's cool and not so humid).
Anyway, my name finally came up on one of the parking deck's waiting list! I heard the wait was three years, but I guess I picked the one people didn't want. I've been on the list since I enrolled to this university two years ago. It's nice to easily come and go and not have to wander all around campus a couple times trying to find a parking spot. The only problem is that southbound E Lake Dr does not permit going strait across W Friendly Ave, meaning that I either need to take a two block detour which involve changing lanes six times or I go down a different street, take the ramp to Friendly Ave, and wait for the light so I may turn left and get slowed further by the next two lights. I'll just continue to use E Lake Dr and I'll petition the city to put up a light at E Lake and W Friendly so I may go straight southbound, one day...

20:19 I'm a Physics Major

It's kinda nice to start to feel like one of the six physics majors. Three of them will be graduating in May. Two guys did just transfer here this year, making it eight physics majors, but they're new and not really part of the group, yet. All eight of us have Mechanics Lab together. The six to which I refered earlier are all in Microcomputer Interfacing. Then the three of us who are not graduating this year plus the two transferees are in E&M (Electrodynamics and Magnetism).
The classes I'll need to take in the spring will need to get me as closely aligned to the next year of study in England as possible. So, I'll need to find only one math class so I can be a third year student over there. As for physics, I'll probably have to take a mixture of first and second year courses... Darn those English for having better physics programmes! That's okay, I'll get my revenge soon enough... <laugh type="evil"/>
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