Leave it to Physics to put you back in your place. One minute you’re watching a performance by the world’s greatest Micheal Jackson impersonator at Lundakarneval, the sun is shining and everything seems to be coming up roses.* The next, you are sitting in a room after two days of almost non-stop studying, fighting the futile war against your own mind by trying to figure out how the heck to express the chemical potential in terms of the number of particles, find the entropy of a double helix, or remember some dimensionless mathematical trick. And all of a sudden you find yourself frozen, staring the paper…. staring at the five other students, wondering if they are going through the same turmoil…
The Arabic guy gets up and hands in his test after one hour. Is he a genius? or did he just give up?
After three hours my friend/study buddy hands in her test. I think she gave up.
After four hours the the very quiet Swedish masters student hands in her paper. She looks confident. Damn.
At 4:30, the Swedish Nano Physics PhD lady hands in her paper very collectedly. Although this woman, with her perfect unaccented English, her extremely accented Malmö Swedish, and her very broad and deep knowledge of physics is sort of one of my new heroes… I can’t help but feel intimidated by the fact that I’m in the same class with people who have been studying Physics ten years longer than I have. In short, she probably aced it.
Soon it’s only the Japanese girl (the ONLY other bachelor’s level student in the whole class), the French guy, and me left. The test administrator is halfway done with the thick novel he started reading at the beginning of the testing period. Has it really been that long?
“You have ten minutes left”
Damn. I am not going to pass this. Lowered GPA, possible hindrance to summer plans due to retaking the test, and possible enrollment in Berkeley Physics 112, here I come. I do my best with ten minutes, hand it in, walk home, eat two chocolate bars, and fall asleep for four hours.
Such is life in the Physics lane.
Pictures of the Karneval to come after I recover from eating almost exclusively chocolate for the last 24 hours.
Yea, that happened.
* I couldn’t resist. Which musical is this referencing? I’ll even give you a hint: it’s Sondheim!