After a week of doing nothing of any productivity I am back to lectures, and I am extremely thankful.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoying time of from working, and after the mental marathon of cramming for five exams it was very much needed. But a massive problem with any time off for me, is that I have an extremely short attention span. My mind generally feels very cluttered and I bounce around topics in my head far too quickly. Too quick for standard conversation.
It’s not some big headed statement about having a mind too great or whatever other nonsense, but is instead that I am far too practised at flying through extremely tenuous links from point to point. I suppose it is an offshoot of having grown up with so much communication on various online forms and communities. The conversation from thread to thread was usually vastly different, but you would usually have to keep the conversations going between threads. I gave an unprecedented ability to hold multiple arcs within your own head, so it became natural to have these ‘bouncy’ internal conversations.
This has basically lead to it becoming quite an effort to hold my attention for any extended periods of time. The lectures I attend are a stretch, and I can just about get through the 50 minutes by focusing on what the lecturer is saying, and attempting to consolidate it into a vaguely readable document.
I attempted to spend a good chunk of the week off playing video games that have backlogged on my Steam profile. Steam’s heavy discounts mean that you will often pick up a game that you have a fleeting interest in because it costs less than a sandwich. As such I have about 100 games, of which I have truly played about 25, and have dabbled with another 40 to 50.
My attempt to play these games was a small success. I did bash around a good 15 games, and completed several of them, but I would often get to a point in the game that was frustrating or slow and just give up on it for the moment and jump to something else. Steam enables my boredom and allows me to jump into, and out of, multiple games.
A week of this has left me slightly uninterested in sitting down to play games for a long period of time now though, which is why I am glad to get back to lectures. As much as I may whine and moan about having to wake up in the morning (a self inflicted battle, some may say) I genuinely enjoy attending my lectures. I like learning, if I’m not being pushed mentally I become bored and restless, and the lectures fix this. They stretch me and keep me thinking. One of the major reasons I read New Scientist in any free time I get, as it keeps me thinking, and keeps me learning.
The enthusiasm for the new term is probably undeserved, but has been helped by the topics for this term are genuinely interesting. It is about this point in the degree that you actually start to learn stuff that is relevant to active physics research, or to real world applications. It follows shortly after the point where Googling your queries becomes utterly pointless (which is really fun when you have a small problem that you can’t find in any of the textbooks to hand).
We also have okay lecturers so far. Three different modules today, by two different professors, over four hours which were generally pretty good. One of the two is brand new to me a lecturer, and seems solid, if not a little quick with his notes. The second is some one I have had before, though he seems funnier in his state of significant sleep deprivation.
Expect to hear tomorrow about how three hours of programming has made me hate my course again.