Tuesday, July 03, 2007

There is an answer to the darkest times. It's clear we don't understand it, but the last thing on my mind is to leave you

Well here's my half-annual contribution again. Ingrid normally keeps you up to date as good as she can so I don't need to make any more comments. For those of you who know her: frankly, I am not allowed to mess up her blog!

I've finally finished my first year of uni in Belgium. It has been a wonderful year and one of the best choices of my life to commence something I really believe in. I made it through with only 2 fails, which for Belgian standards is not too bad, especially because I didn't consider myself smart enough to pass even one in the beginning of the year.

Quick note: In Belgium the schooling system works a bit differently from the Australian one. We have 2 semesters which contain 12 courses (7 the first, 5 the second semester). You have a 3 week period of exams. If you do not pass an exam, you get a retry in August. That's when you need to pass, otherwise you can't go up a year. I can give an explanation of median and average and standard deviation to show you all what I learned and to prove that I am not doing badly, but I'll keep it to the simple explanation that the average is 3 to 4 fails on the first go (for psychology anyway). Since I did not receive my complete score yet, I am still better than average.

The problem with psychology is that it is one of the most popular courses at the moment. We started with 240 students. By the time the first exam period had approached, there were about 180 left and for the second exam period we had numbers of around 100. Of the remaining 100 students probably another 60-70 will remain in the second year. This is all due to the simplicity they give to psychology on television these days. For once and for all - people, psych is NOT telling people what clothes to wear to feel good or how to stop eating because you're fat! One of my favourite therapies is electric shock therapy; it looks like fun and you can inflict pain on somebody without being blamed.

Anyway, I'm pretty confident for the summer because I know which errors I made. With this blog I'd also like to give full credit to Ingi for allowing me to go and also to withstand my moods during the exam periods, she's been bliss! Kym and Ben, I'd also like to thank for their patience when they came over during the first exam period and noticed my tension. At least with all the techniques we learned it was better the second semester.

Most important thing we learned over the course of the year: "NEVER EVER have friends or family as patients and if you do: charge double"

Now everything is finished and I am having a week off before we fly to Australia. It feels like a camp I've been on and now I've returned home. You always come home from camp or holidays and you feel bored, restless, missing the buzz,... There's no more studying and I still have to get used to it.

But I am sure that it's not going to take long since I am now rejoining my friends to say goodbyes before we leave (read: drink alcohol and talk about soccer).

I would promise to write sooner now, but I won't since Ingrid will take over.

Funny quote: "80% of statistics is invented on the spot"

Think about it next time somebody tells you that 70% of all people do this or eat that...

Whoever knows the author, I'll buy you a beer


Anonymous said...

Tom, congratulations on getting through your exams. Enjoy your time off now. And unlucky for Barcelona on the last day of the season. I've decided that Messi truly is the next Maradona, after seeing that 'hand of god' goal that he scored the week before. Dirty cheat! :-P

I hope you both have a good time in Australia.


p.s. I think the guy who came up with that quote is John Paulos... fairly well-known mathematicican.

Ingrid and Tom said...

Of course when there is a free beer up for grabs, an Aussie will come up with a likely answer

Anonymous said...

haha... yes, indeed. And if I didn't know it, I would have just made up a name! In fact, maybe I did ;)