Niall’s virtual diary archives – January 2006

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23rd January 2006

Summary of past year

Monday 23rd January 2006: 9.23pm. Strange how my todo list now is pretty similar to the one I outlined last entry, but hey - I can only work so fast. The lecture series is more or less rolling despite not having a lecture hall and such, but I didn't clear more than 150 of those emails in the end. Exams began, and as I had had no alternative to a fire-fighting strategy during last semester I had to use a targeted topic study mechanism especially for Management - but luckily, as the topics I had predicted did rise, I couldn't have done any better. Let's see if I get the 2.2 minimum required to get into 3rd year!

Exams finished last Friday, so I spent the weekend celebrating and chilling out. This Friday I head off with Johanna to a family get together, then Hull, then Amsterdam returning the following weekend leaving me just these next few days to get a lot of stuff under the bridge. The most important is the lecture series, then get the new python bindings for TnFOX working and if I have time, integrate FOX v1.6 RC1. I was going to write an article about changeables and unchangeables in a human population for the PAECON journal, but it'll just have to wait.

The more astute of you will remember that my birthday passed over a week ago. So, this is the birthday entry! Major events of the past year:

  • Wrote more of Tn
    Added some 5,489 lines to it since this time last year. Yeah, I know that's not a lot, but I did add a lot to TnFOX in preparation for adding stuff to Tn. Most work since the summer has been bug fixing and upgrading to use new tools, and that's again mostly in TnFOX rather than Tn. I haven't had the free time to do anymore more.
  • Worked extremely hard at this degree
    This degree in Economics & Management at St. Andrews since this time last year has proved to be extremely hard. Not in content, but rather in sheer volume of work which one is supposed to get done in a forty hour week. The simple reality was that in this past semester, I simply couldn't keep up despite working every hour available to me - and neither did anyone else I know. In many subjects if you missed more than one or two tutorials you were out of University, and when coupled with minimum grades to enter third year it creates a lot of hoop jumping. To gain that extra ten percent turning a 2.2 into a 1st requires a mind-boggling quantity of extra study and even then, in Management many students hold that an inverse relationship exists between grades and work rate . The fact it is so luck related and what students learn is mostly dictated by the topic's frequency in past exam papers I don't view as a mark of excellence. Furthermore, and quite frankly, if I had more free time I would be able to write articles for journals etc. and me doing a lot of pointless hoop jumping is stupid when I could be already contributing academically. Still, that's the system we live in.
  • Longest relationship yet!
    Yep, very soon it'll be a year, which is by far the longest relationship I've had yet. It astonishes me that she hasn't dumped me yet, or screwed with my head or something, but hey what can I say she's a great girl.

    Now, some of you have wondered why I haven't talked about her more (or put up a photo - no, that won't be happening ever) given that I always witter on ad nauseum about every girl I date for more than a few days in here. Well, firstly I haven't had time for entries let alone long entries. Secondly, there haven't been any problems with this relationship - it just works, so no stress means no need for Niall to vent frustrations, which means no lengthy diary entries. Does this mean we're not serious? Well no, if things go right we're going to marry - no, this doesn't mean I've proposed, but rather I see no reason why I shouldn't when the time is right. In the meantime, we should be living together next year which is de facto marriage anyway. So to put it in more explicit (and gooey) terms, she is a beautiful, intelligent, fun, engaging, supportive, creative woman whom I love very much. I'm still not sure why she seems to like me given that I've always been traditionally a difficult boyfriend, but well that always seems to be the way in these things.

Well the new python bindings are coming to end of compilation, so I'll be off. Hope you're all well, some of you I'll see in the next week and for the rest, be happy!

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