Martin's Blog

Exams 2008

Posted by Martin Orr on Saturday, 07 June 2008 at 13:11

I had exams for the past week. For the past few weeks, I was doing not much but revising, although I went to Oundle two weeks ago for an IMO training camp and the final team selection. I did another geometry problem session, which was not as good as my one at Trinity because I had less time to prepare due to exam revision and because I had already used lots of my favourite questions on the first sheet.

I had four exams this week. All are essentially the same, and you are free to choose from 38 questions on all the different courses in the year. Of course noone has taken anywhere near all the courses - I took 12 and revised 9. In the end I did an average of five questions on each exam; I might have liked to do a bit more, but that is more than adequate for a first.

With exams over, I have a couple of weeks until the results with nothing in particular to do.

no comments Tags cambridge, exams, imo, teaching, trinity, tripos

Eating in College

Posted by Martin Orr on Sunday, 19 November 2006 at 09:19

Just to continue a little on the food theme, I thought I would clarify to you how I normally eat. The College Hall does three meals every day, except for Sunday breakfast. Lunch and dinner are cheap - £2.30 for a main course and dessert. Breakfast is pretty expensive. I usually go to Hall for dinner, or sometimes for lunch if I prefer the menu. Normally I have a simple lunch in my room, and a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

I am too lazy to cook for myself - going to Hall is much quicker, more friendly and probably cheaper. In any case, the hobs have been removed from our kitchens last month, because they do not meet recently-introduced safety regulations. The College are looking at what can be done to bring the kitchens up to standard, but say that it does not look likely that this can be done - I think because the kitchens are too small. Such are the difficulties of living in an old building - it turns out it was built in the 1820s, although I would have imagined it was older than that (hence the name "New Court" I suppose).

-- Martin

no comments Tags accommodation, cambridge, food, trinity

Busy week: TCMS

Posted by Martin Orr on Sunday, 08 October 2006 at 16:43

I have finally got some time to rest after a very busy week. First we had two events to recruit new members for TCMS: the Chaplains' Squash on Sunday night (a small, fast event within the college) and the Societies Fair on Tuesday and Wednesday (a huge university-wide event). Finding people to run the stalls was hard; our new Director of Music also decided to hold a party to meet college musicians at the same time, and our committee had to put in a good appearance at that.

Said Director, Stephen Layton, is a fairly significant international conductor, so why he chose to come to Trinity I don't really know. But while his primary responsibility is for the College choir, he seems very enthusiastic about getting all sorts of students involved in playing music. This looks like an exciting future for TCMS, although this term things don't look so good: we don't have a huge number of concerts lined up, and the termcard still isn't finalised (but that is always late). We did manage to appoint directors for the Trinity Singers and Players this week (our non-audition chorus and orchestra), and the Singers have already begun rehearsing Handel's Messiah.

-- Martin

no comments Tags tcms, trinity

May Ball

Posted by Martin Orr on Tuesday, 20 June 2006 at 15:40

This week is May Week, which is full of post-exam parties. In particular, a number of colleges hold May Balls which are absolutely massive; last night was Trinity May Ball (£205 for a double ticket). It rained lightly during the fireworks near the beginning but fortunately it was only a little, and the weather was otherwise good. We queued from 7pm but this was worth it as we got in very quickly after it started at 9pm, and stayed until 4.15am (it goes on until 6am, when it ends with a survivors' photograph).

As for things to do, there were so many it was impossible to keep track of them. There was a main stage with rock/pop bands, a jazz tent, a classical music room, swing/salsa/ceilidh dancing in the Great Hall and a cabaret tent, each with six or seven different acts over the course of the night. There was also a fairground, a synthetic ice rink and an endless supply of food and champagne.

During the fireworks, the Cam was totally blocked by punts who had come to watch - there might have been forty of them, plus some canoes. A few people came in punts in black tie and made an attempt to run up the bank and enter the Ball; these may have been just symbolic and certainly had little chance of success, there being a security guard every few metres.

-- Martin

no comments Tags cambridge, mayweek, trinity

More musings

Posted by Martin Orr on Thursday, 18 May 2006 at 09:26

Two weeks today until exams; the past papers seem to be reasonably doable - at least when you are used to olympiad problems that take hours each. We are still getting some lectures as well, of which the most interesting and hardest are on topology; I have been spending quite a bit of time thinking about this and learning it by discovery. (Very briefly, topology is the study of continuous maps: you start off with some space or surface, then map each point from that space to a point in some other space; the map is continuous if points that started off close together end up close together.)

There have been three TCMS concerts in the past couple of weeks, including a special one in the Wren Library instead of our normal venue of the chapel. That meant lots of moving of chairs from the chapel store to the library. It's a nice building but a slightly odd concert venue; actually both the Wren Library and the chapel are very long and thin, which seems to me a strange shape for a chapel.

-- Martin

no comments Tags exams, tcms, trinity, tripos

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