4-2

Revision is peachy. Peachy? Indescribable more like. I was sold when I came across a question in which the decreasing temperature of a hot cup of tea was modelled by an equation. Must’ve been wild for Brits taking a pop at Core 3 back in the “day” (I want to say 2011 but I can’t remember the exact year). 

School is fast approaching and I’m not sure how time has managed to pass this quickly. I have literally a day to begin revising Physics. Question is, will I? No is the short answer, and that’s all anybody’s ever interested in, so that’s all folks! (It’s okay, I’ll work something out next week.)

I watched the first of the two FA Cup semi-finals today. I said to myself that I’d restrict my football intake to Match of the Day only but it really is my weakness. (I watched both.) No point thoroughly discussing here my thoughts on the game – I don’t favour either team – but Spurs were intensely frustrating in that they dominated and played some quality football but made some wasteful decisions. However it isn’t that simple, now is it? Take the 43rd minute penalty. Son went to ground far too early, sliding all over the place in Spurs’ area; Moses had it handed to him on a plate. Before you know it, you’ve got Conte screaming for Willian to take a punt (read: not now Batshuayi) and he’s put the ball in the back of the net. Yes the pen was given but it goes back a step further (for me anyway). Son shouldn’t have been put left wing-back in the first place. Just no. I don’t give a toss how adaptable he is. Not in a game like this, against a team like Chelsea. You’re the best team defensively in the Premier League, remember that. It was such a shame in that he wasn’t able to showcase the brilliant attacking form he’s been in this season. Ah! Anyway. The game was truly electric. It was messy in all kinds of ways, and that’s what had me hooked. From the panicked clearances to Hugo Lloris’ fumbled handling of the ball outside of the box – it was exciting. I hope tomorrow’s other semi-final (Arsenal are up against Man City) will be just as entertaining. 

I look up to footballers possibly more than I should but honestly, I think it keeps me sane. Push aside the extortionate fees and ridiculous demands (although admittedly I do LIVE for transfer deadline day the one day more stressful than Results’ Day) and they’re mostly an admirable bunch. I admire the athleticism, the drive and the determination to succeed in areas of endeavour, all specific to each team member. It all gets string together and bam you have something special. And not forgetting, there’s a lot of maths in football! Statistics, mechanics, the lot! There’s always the tripe, the trollop, but I love it. Life is uneventful otherwise. So I’ll sit here, clad in mis-matched Man U gear, doodling away in my Ander Herrera jotter* whilst bingeing on reruns of Soccer AM.
*My notebook (essentially a planner as it goes everywhere with me) has a plain black cover so a while back I decided to stick his face all over it. It’s the coolest collage ever. 

I can’t maths. 

There’s a week to go until I’m required to trundle back into school (wallowing) and I’ve realised that amidst the hubbub of A Level Maths I haven’t done any Physics. Zero. And so my puny brain has just acknowledged that whatever I get this summer will determine whatever’s slapped onto my UCAS form. I don’t like this. Especially because the new spec Physics has a huge multiple choice section and you know, multiple choice is usually acceptable because if they’re all “A” then you know you’ve made some boo-boos, but oh no. This one is so misleading because each question (I’ve done the specimen paper so I know what I’m on about, don’t worry) requires DEEP, DEEP THOUGHT. I’d rather have a dozen six-markers than a bunch of multiple choice – and this is coming from someone who rejoiced when she dropped English. Ah I don’t particularly want exams anymore. I don’t want to grow up. I don’t want a degree. I don’t want a “bag for life.” 

I think I would definitely be more up for Physics if I wasn’t so knackered. A Levels = never-ending backache. I’m fairly tall and now I’m, well, not. I know you shouldn’t do this but for the past two days I’ve been pounding out C4 revision from my bed. I don’t get distracted, which is odd given the amount of telly I watch, no, I get tired. I know how much I need to do and it gets done but I really can’t wait for this all to be over! Exactly how much coffee do I need to chug? Because even I’m sick of it now. 

I’m getting to the point where I can make a decent attempt at the conventionally harder stuff but can’t add fractions. Legit man I can’t do basic maths anymore. And then I realised that it wasn’t a case of the “haha let me type 4+3 into my calculator” but the whole 1/8ln|x|-20ln|x| shebam (I stared at the question for THAT long). I thought it had a log law. You know what I don’t know what I though. Basic subtraction. My brother also did A Level Maths and when I asked him about what really bugged him, it was how the basic stuff looked confusing because of the “extra” abnormalities shoved in. The ln|x| in the question above; sure it has a meaning but ultimately when simplifying, it really is just a case of 1/8 – 20. And here’s another issue. I can’t seem to adequately press numbers into my calculator. That should be the easier part! I’ve periodically  blown a seventh of a paper on calculator errors. It’s beyond daft. 

Hideous handwriting aside – although by my standards this is pretty okay for me – this is the question that destroyed me for a good 10 minutes. (The “now ok” bit is my way of telling myself I tried, struggled, but got there eventually.)

Revision’s going okay I guess. It’s all kind of plateaued. I’ll get back to “excited” mode hopefully when I’ve done more papers. Surprisingly it’s nearing the end of the holidays and I haven’t done that many papers…which is slightly worrying because at this time last year with my GCSEs I’d done every one. Eek. I hope when we get back to school, when it’s not study leave they let us revise how we want to (as in I’d rather sit in the lesson and do a paper as opposed to do topics as a class again from scratch). 

Revision is très intense. 

Every day a new prospectus is projected through the letterbox and it’s thrilling. Each morning I wonder which one it’ll be today! I’ve ordered quite a few and some of them are still in the sending process. The UCL one came today. Luvvly-jubbly. 

That aside I’ve become increasingly intrigued as to why the entry requirements for Maths at top universities are significantly higher than for Physics. We’re talking A*A*A against AAA here at some places. Don’t worry, I know I shouldn’t be swayed based on requirements, and anyway the furthest I’d go is joint honours with Maths, but an observation is an observation. I must say, as the days roll on, joint honours looks more and more appealing. Who knows what I’ll do in the end! Ma mère asked for mon opinion on Astronomy. Astrophysics. (I’m really sorry but I dont know the different because the two.) I’ve never really looked into it. 

I’m feeling positive about exams? Well. Revision, anyway. I’ve finally found a way that works for me. Revision is such a personal thing, don’t you think? There are so many ways to go about it and whilst some methods may work wonders for some, others might benefit from doing something different. I think that’s cool! I remember during my GCSEs we were urged to make flashcards but I got through without making a single one. They just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t laziness, merely a preference (I keep telling myself). 
I also don’t use colour. Or mind maps. I don’t type stuff out. I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot in the library. I don’t revise at normal times. Or any of the bog-standard methods drummed in from the get-go. 

So what do I do?

I mean look at my subjects. There isn’t really much I can do other than countless textbook questions and past papers. That’s literally it. But what’s really changed things for me is buying the CGP books for each of my modules and ploughing through each and every page. Each module takes me about 4 days to complete, and consist of sub-topics within chapters, end of topic questions and exam-style questions. It’s gruelling but actually works for me. I’ve done papers and seen the results. If anything it requires a sizeable amount of discipline, when I think about it, because I really have been making sure that I try every question. It’s tempting to skip the “easier” questions. But no, I must knuckle  down and do them all. That’s the key to Maths in general. Practise practise practise.
 

Sometimes I feel that if you have a subject which you’re incredibly passionate about there’s the obligation to be a natural at it and so on. Sure, Maths requires a level of numerical competency but I’m not ashamed to admit that I need to work very, very hard at it. One textbook isn’t enough for me. I personally need more questions. And that’s okay. 

The reason why I find these CGP books particularly brilliant is that they’re the only set of textbooks to actually outline the “simple” things, especially in Mechanics. All throughout this year my biggest problem has been my distinct lack of common sense. Honestly, I had absolutely none at the start of the year. But now. NOW! I have seen the light. I am over the rainbow. I am the gazelle, chasing the lion. There is hope for me (I hope). 

Trying to not suck at being a sixth former.

I’m actually getting homework and doing it the day I’m set it, like how magical is that? However I stopped filing my work away for a week and now I have mini masses of paper dotted around my room. The issue with studying A Level Maths/Further Maths is that you have to do tonnes of questions, meaning you get through tonnes of pencils and tonnes of paper. And when you’re pumping out multiple exercises on a Tuesday night, the concept of a rubber goes straight out the window, as does a title or any way, shape or form of numbering of questions too. Hence I have a load of sheets with questions from who knows what chapter of C4, glaring at me from the floor.

Maths is surprisingly okay at the moment. In C4 I’m doing Integration and Vectors, and in M2 I’m doing Collisions. C4 Vectors are weird to me though. As in now there’s the k component, on top of the i and j.

But then that’s weird (again). I’m doing Springs in Physics and k is the spring constant.

I’m chuckling.

Sometimes I wake up right and I’m like what the hell is sixth form? Genuinely it’s such a weird state to be in. A sixth former, that is. On the one hand I’m like face down on my bed despairing at the fact that it’s coming up to mid-March, on the other hand I’m like hit me exam season. Hit me right here.

In a weird way I’m back to enjoying my homework. Rummaging through problems. Picking through the mechanics of whatever’s flung at me. It’s okay. It’s nice. It’s peachy.

“Pulley” is a ridiculous word.  

Life just isn’t all that peachy right now. I’m fifty thousand leagues beneath the sea of homework, consciously rolling around in Mechanics papers, and trying to reassure myself that I actually want to study a degree in Mathematics. I’m barely winging French too which is a tragedy. The effort I put into each subject changes all too frequently for my liking – literally, I’m talking every week. Currently I’m pushing as hard as I can for Physics and French and Maths just aren’t really happening. I’m doing enough to get by but I’m not satisfied. 
What am I doing with my life? One week renders a minimum of three all-nighters. It’s 1AM right now. I can’t pull of the phantom look very well. However, I’ve well and truly converted to pencil eyeliner and I’ve seen an improvement, albeit a fractional one. I’m still at that frustrating borderline overdue adolescent time where I’m still waiting for my face to come together. 
Mechanics has improved though! The first paper I did was a U and I managed to bump that shiz up to a B! Onwards and upwards, fingers crossed. Core maths is my saviour, on the other hand, it’s like a break. 
I’m doing A Level Physics and I still have no clue as to what a bloody vernier calliper is. I need to get my act together. Re-dye my hair because my roots are showing. Lay off the chocolate oranges. Stop wanting to pen disgruntled letters to the exam board because I need to suck it up, build a bridge of high tensile strength and get my sorry butt over it. 
Physics is a headache. A dull lingering patch of skull-clobbering settles in usually on Monday nights. My responses to said headaches have been pitiful. I make Physics puns to alleviate the pain. I see systems. I dream about pulleys. I now aspire to be a fully-fledged, electron back-stabbing positron. 
What

That’s the thing. I’ve stopped making sense. Ever since I started sixth form/college/whatever I’ve completely lost the plot.