Sunday, May 27, 2007


Well woke up around 7:00am and just laid in bed till 9am or 10am. Returned a missed phone call from the previous night. I am not really at liberty to disclose many of the details but I will say that it and eye opener in some respects. After having breakfast (well I guess brunch would be the accurate title but I always just call my first meal of the day breakfast unless it comes after 2:00pm) I checked the answers to the problem set I had done the previous day. Gladly not too many questions were missed and of those I missed many were because of stupid division or subtraction mistakes. There was the occasional question where I had no idea how to proceed so I need to go back and try solving them again to make sure that I understand what is going on. Not too much excitement took place for the next few hours. Around 12:30pm I started to get hungry, but sadly realized that there really wasn't any food in the apartment. Really I had food but I didn't have anything that I was excited about eating. I ended up walking to Publix, which is only about ten minuets away. Once I got back I decided to cook the raw meat right away; mainly because there wasn't enough space in the refrigerator. While cooking I turned on the television and went thought my usual channel check. It turned out that Comedy Central was playing Office Space, since I have only heard good things about this movie I decided it would be worth while to watch.
Overall today was no to interesting or fulfilling after that "early" morning phone conversation.
After typing that I got to thinking about my phone usage. I don't really call that many people. Even when I call home I for some reason choose to call my sister before resorting to calling the house phone. Then the person whom I call the most isn't the person who I spend the most time on the phone with, and I find this strange for some reason. Normally when I am on the phone I usually have a reason for calling the person and try to get to that reason as soon as possible. There is however, one person who I speak to and somehow manage to have interesting and sometimes pointless conversations (average length of 20min). We usually only call each other about once or twice every two months. I know you might be saying this is why we talk for so long but that's not why. We talk almost regularly online thanks to various instant messaging providers.
I don't know but for some reason I feel stressed and angry. I have no reason to be stressed really. There are no projects or assignments I have not done nor are there any imminent appointments which I must attend. Actually my life is pretty dull and predictable right now, and for some reason this is causing me to stress. Now the "anger problem" I can identify where it comes from but I can't actually explain why it makes me mad. One source is the cable news stations. I guess it's because every time I tune in it is either something on the war or about some celebrity. Really, is there nothing going on in this country that is more important than the 10 people that were killed in the last few days and Lindsey Lohan's possible DUI charges? Another thing that makes me mentally scream is the lack of creativity in naming new products. Take for instance this new software that Facebook uses called "iLike" or Google's personalized homepage which is called "iGoogle". Now I am not a big fan of Apple but I can imagine that they are not too happy about this. I have no problem with Apple doing this for all of their music products since they are the one that came up with the theme, but other people just mimicking this naming style just makes me sick. Why would you name your product in such a manner so that when people use it they either assume you are affiliated with Apple or they think of other Apple products? I am not saying that I am the best person for naming new products but I am pretty sure I can do a better job than "i____". Really Google come on you have been pretty good at naming products in the past (Gmail, GoogleTalk, Orkut) why resort to iGoogle? Here is an "original" idea, how about making iGoogle GMatrix (of G-Ray). I'm pretty sure that people know what an array is. If you (the reader) doesn't then let me explain in a layman's terms. An array is something computer programmers use to store and receive information from. Basically this is what iGoogle is used for. Basically you choose what applications you want and they each present you with a different bit of information. [A matrix is basically an array if you were wondering]

Thursday, May 24, 2007

...And Tomorrow I Rest

So I just realized that I need to really work on my basic math. I was working through a probability text book and missed a few problems, not because I did not understand the material but rather because I had made a stupid subtraction error. This mostly happens when I have to evaluate definite integrals. Really I don't have a problem with integrals (I find integration more interesting than differentiation but that is not the point), I just do not like having to actually plug in the limits to evaluate them. The main reason is because I sometimes make a mistake with the subtraction and this throws off the whole answer. Really I guess I just need to be more observant.
I finished reading and working through the book "Probability for Risk Management" a few days ago. In my personal opinion it is a good introductory book since the problems are not all that difficult and the authors do an excellent job at explaining the material. The hardest part for me was having to just accept some of the formulas on faith. I have just gotten accustomed to reading math books a theorem is stated and in the ensuing lines there is a proof. However, even though they did not provide proofs for every formula they did site other works where one might learn more about the particular topic and most likely find a proof.
Currently I am working through the 2005 ACTEX study manual. The first four sections were basically review for me since they covered some set theory and counting principles. The set theory stuff was mostly intuitive while the counting stuff was easy since I have been doing it since junior year of high school (and the problems I encounter then were much harder than the ones in the book). I did however, manage to get to challenging material. I even looked at a few of the practice exam problems to get a hint of exactly what I am in for. I think that was the biggest reality shock/ego killer I have had this year. Looking back on it I am relieved that I did that, so now I know just how much of a joke the exam isn't.
Linear is going smoothly. Honestly I don't see why people are always telling me it is so horrible. We just finished chapter 1 in class and none of the material was really taxing. I am about half way through chapter 2 and still nothing too bad. Right now I am contemplating if I should actually even take the number theory class in the fall. If I don't I will take Advanced Calculus 1 instead. I have arguments for whether or not I should take either class. However, there is no way I will take them both because one alone will be enough work since I have not taken the Intro. Number Theory class and from a reliable source and a few professors the Adv. Calc. is hard and time consuming. O well I am sure I will think of something by the time I need to make a decision.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My Busy Body...

The one week break between the spring and summer semesters was amazing. I'm not going to go into exactly what I did because that is not the purpose of this post (if you really want to know then ask me on AIM or GoogleTalk). However, I will say that both Fridays were amazing.
This summer I am only taking one class (Linear Algebra). Even though this might seem like a light load I will not have too much free time since I will also be studying for my first actuary exam. It is recommended that you spend 100 hours studying for every hour of the exam (the one I will be taking is 3 hours and in August). Sure this might seem like unnecessary amounts of studying but if you knew just how hard these exams are then you would understand. Also I start working with some high school kids on June 4th.
So far the studying for the actuary exam is going alright. I am currently working through Probability for Risk Management by Hassett and Stewart. I am working at a rate of one or two chapters per day for Monday thru Friday and then spend the weekends to review what I covered that week. Currently I have finished six chapters. The only problem I have is matching the formula for the variance with each probability distribution. I can easily derive most of the formulas but during the exam I would not want to waste time doing this. Chapter 7 starts talking about continuous random variables so instead of starting this I think I'll spend Friday and the weekend going back over the first 6 chapters. So far most of the material is familiar from AP Statistics and probability problems from math contest so I have not run into much completely new material. If all goes as planned, during June, July, and August I shall be working through a study book or two and taking practice exams from the internet, hopefully I will be prepared in time.
In regards to the class I am taking; I have heard mixed reviews from past students. Most of them say that it is hard and almost made them hate math. However, others [who I would say have a mathematical background similar to my own] have claimed that the class was not that bad. So far it looks as if the class will be manageable if I try to stay about a section or two ahead of the class.
Well time to get back to work.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Academic Portion of Spring '07

Think I will start things off by just listing my grades before giving my opinions on each of the classes.

Numbers and Polynomials -A
Elementary Differential Equations -A
History of Jazz -A
Man's Food -A
Introduction to Financial Accounting -B

Now that I have gotten that out of the way I would like to make it very clear that I am somewhat disappointed with my grades, more precisely the B in accounting. I know that I could have gotten an A but there is no point in dwelling on it, I just have to accept that it was my fault I received a B and move on.

Numbers and Polynomials: Interesting class. The purpose of the class was to help math students transition to proof based mathematics. Personally I found this class very easy and somewhat unnecessary since I had been writing proofs since the end of my junior year in high school. Regardless, the class was pretty cool. The first few weeks were a pain since was had to prove what many would consider trivial statements; such as "Prove that for any real number v that v*0=0." I know stupid right, but since the class was here to help us build rigours proofs we had to provide a proof, which for this problem was not all that obvious.

Elementary Differential Equations: First let me say that this class was geared more towards engineers than to those of us who crave rigours math classes. Now you can imagine that I was bored out of my mind. I spent most of my time in this class bored out of my mine. Occasionally, he would provide an interesting proof but I think this only happened twice. The one that I remember the most was when he proved the formulas for the Laplace transforms for the sine and cosine functions. Instead of the usual process of integration by parts he used Euler's formula (e^ix=cos(x)+isin(x)) and worked with a simple complex integral. I know that he did not explain why the usual rules for integration over the real numbers also applied to integration over the complex numbers but I guess that will be left to another class. However, this class did somehow manage to make me want to take more differential equations classes...hopefully ones that are for math students.

Man's Food: Class is online and boring as hell. All he does is read off of a PowerPoint presentation. You really don't need to buy any of the books or do any of the reading. All you need is the CD which enables you to complete the first assignment. If you are willing to spend $45 to buy notes then you can easily make an A. I only spent $30 because I chose to actually study on my own for the first exam but then realized that there were more important things in life. If you are looking for an easy biological general education credit then I would suggest this class.

History of Jazz: Thank you Bethany and Wanda for suggesting that I take this class. I do have to admit that the class was very easy but unlike most easy classes it is actually interesting. Sadly this was the professors last semester at UF. This was probably my second favorite class, after Numbers and Polynomials. Reading the book was not the most enjoyable thing but it was better than reading for other classes.

Introduction to Financial Accounting: The information was interesting. The reason for the B was that I did not study as much as I should have for the first test. However, I managed to get A's on the second exam and the final. I am sure that the professor actually new more information but was not able to openly show it because of the way the class was set up. He would basically just review some PowerPoint slides, which all contained information that could be easily found in the textbook.

Overall the semester was one step short of a success. Now I am looking forward to linear algebra, actuary exams, working with Buchholz, and trying to still have a social life; let's see how things go.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Day After Day Three

Well as stated previously I have decided to stick to the plan regardless of my two finals. The main reason for this is that I had devised a plan to get around the problem. Well my exams would last from 7:30a.m. to noon with no time for me to take a nap in between. So I am going to take a nap at 6:20a.m. right before I start so that I will not be insanely tired come the end of the second exam. Also I plan to finish the second exam early since it is structured like the usual class test but instead of being 80 questions it is only 60. In addition I have studied like crazy for this exam so I should be finish early and not miss many questions. Immediately following the conclusion of the second exam I am going to take another nap before I proceed to finish packing. Then I will return to the originally scheduled nap times.

Just got done with my all of my finals. Numbers and Polynomials was easy. We only had to answer ten of the twelve questions. I knew how to do eleven but only wrote ten proofs because I pretty much had an A in the class unless I somehow managed to bomb the final, which didn't happen. History of Jazz was nice, the whole final took about 31 minuets. However, you have to consider that it took him about 5 minuets to pass out all of the test. I feel really good about that one, should get an A. Right now I am really glad that I didn't stress out about the clash between the finals and the sleep because it turned out to not be a big deal. For breakfast I ate half of a Subway tuna sub (I think vegetarians can eat fish right?).

Well on my way back home for a week and then more school. Yay work.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Il Prendra plus de Trois Jours pour Me tuer

Most people never get the chance to see what campus looks like around 3a.m. Sadly many of the people who experience this tend to be drunk. Well I went for a walk around campus this morning, between 2a.m. and 3:15a.m. For the majority of the walk I was alone and had time to do some thinking (nothing too serious mind you). However, there were two instances I will not likely soon forget. The first was walking past a guy who I believe was drunk, even though I couldn't smell any alcohol. I really am not sure of what he was trying to say to me but from what I was able to gather it sounded like he was under the impression that I was high (I don't smoke so this clearly wasn't the case for those of you that were wondering). Basically he repeated the words sticky and rolling while occasionally pointing at me. Near the end it seemed that if I continued listening things might have gotten a little physical. I am pretty sure that if this did happen that I would be able to outrun him, even in my sleep deprived state. The second event occurred about five minuets after talking to the previously mentioned man. I was walking by Beaty and heard people talking behind me, so I stopped and looked to see what they looked like. However, to my surprise I did not see anyone. I stood there for about a whole minuet just looking to find people who were talking, since I could clearly hear voices, but still nothing. I soon began to think that the lack of sleep might be having some mental side effects. Just a few seconds later I heard the voices and for some reason decided to look back; I suppose this was in hopes of convincing myself that I was not going crazy. Sure enough there were people talking across the street. The reason I had not been able to see them before was because they were being hidden by a large truck. Now whether these people were real or were just created by my mind is a whole different story, one which I would prefer not to think about at this point in time.

After the walk I got back to the dorm and talked to people on AIM (I was just as surprised as you that people are), played a few games on, and then finally downloaded and watched the first few minuets of the new Bleach episode.

The nap at 4:20 was greatly needed since for some reason I was unable to fall asleep during the scheduled 12:00 nap. Well needless to say I woke up from this nap completely refreshed...until I looked at the clock and saw that it was only 4:50a.m. (I should really stop doing that) Then it finally happened. Around 5:00 I had my first thoughts of quitting and returning to my "normal" sleep schedule. Really I don't know how I convinced myself to suck it up and continue but I did and am very proud.

Overslept. Don't know exactly how it happened since my alarm was right by me and my other alarm was across the room. O well, no use in dwelling on it too much, I should just accept that it happened and move on.

Due to the recent events (not getting up to my alarm) I have decided that I will not do this sleep cycle until I have taken my finals which last from 7:30a.m. to 12:00p.m. I know this will slow down my ability to adjust but I think that getting to my finals is just a little more important. Right now I am not 100% sure on whether or not I will actually stop, but it is just an idea.

Well I have decided to stick with the naps and just adjust the timing before my exams so that just in case I do oversleep there will only be a small probability of me missing the exam. 4:20p.m. nap was pretty good. Off to study right now. [Just in case you have not noticed every paragraph or so is written a short while after I have completed a nap or am about to start the next nap.]

The rest of the day nothing special or worth reporting occurred, so I shall end here.
The last of my finals for the spring term are on May 4th, wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

El Segundo Día

Let me begin with this trivial observation. Twenty-four hours is a long time. I know that I am only actually awake for twenty to twenty-one but it seems like an eternity. The night hours are not as bad as I had first imagined. This is because of sites like and, if you do not know what splashdot is then I strongly recommend that you visit it in the near future. After some reading and application I have come to the conclusion that sleeping on your back helps you fall asleep faster. Other positions that I have experimented with include; on my left side, on my right side, on my stomach, and the fetal position (both facing left and right).
The time between 12:50a.m. and 4:20a.m. was filled with me trying to learn some linear algebra from a book that I had previously downloaded. However, I soon realized that I was not as fine as I would openly admit. I realized this when I started making basic addition errors and was also unable to retain material that I had just read no less than five minuets ago. Normally when this happens I know that I am in dire need of sleep and will head to bed, but because of the constraints of the schedule I was forced to find a way to keep myself entertained. Before going to I played a game of Yahoo Spades, which consumed about half an hour. I find that playing puzzle games work the best since I have to keep my mind active. The 4:20 nap was subpar. This might be my fault actually, since even though it did feel like I had a full night's worth of sleep my mind quickly reminded me that in reality I had only been asleep for at most half an hour. While waiting for my next nap I started to play more puzzle games on, hopefully I will be able to find one soon that is challenging but not so much that I give up after only two hours.
After I awoke from my 8:20a.m. slumber I did something I had not done since my first or second week at UF, I actually went to the dining hall for breakfast. Taking the advice I was given by my friend the previous day I avoided meats and excessively fatty foods. For some reason I chose to eat grits, it should be noted that I hate grits and have for the majority of my life.
The time leading up to my 12:00p.m. nap was hell. Well that is an overstatement but it was worse than the entire night cycle. I think it was because of the 4:20a.m. nap. During this period I experienced my first real case of fatigue. Every time I closed my eyes I was tempted to fall asleep, truthfully I do not know how I managed to hold out till noon. Well the nap at noon was AMAZING. I felt totally refreshed, but this elated state did not last long because I soon looked my clock and realized that it was only 12:50p.m. bummer. Around 2pm I started feeling very tired. It got so bad that I was afraid to even try and walk for fair that I would fall over. So I decided to take a nap even though it would not be at one of my scheduled nap times. I woke up from this nap disgruntled because I once again looked at the clock. I think I am noticing a pattern here, maybe I should try and test it with mathematical induction.
The 4:20p.m. nap was the best to date. I was in such a deep sleep that my alarm was going off for about a minuet before I was able to hear it. Also my roommate was about to wake me up just a few seconds after I heard the alarm. I think that this was the first nap where I was not hungry when I woke up. I was able to get a lot of studying done during the first two hours of the transition period between naps.
The final nap of the day could have been disastrous if it were not for my roommate's girlfriend. I don't know exactly how this happened but when the alarm that signaled the end of the 8:20p.m. went of I did not hear it at all. Luckily she was helping him move out and she just happened to walk in as the alarm was going off. The ensuing interaction took place. For the sake of privacy I will call her "L".

L: Nick.
Me: F**K!

Now, I didn't say that out loud, but it is how I felt on the inside for two reasons. One was because I did not hear my alarm go off. The second is that she woke me up from what felt like a ten hour nap. Luckily I did not over sleep, because from what I have been told and have read over sleeping makes it more difficult to adjust to the new schedule. To make sure that this never happens again I plan to use two alarms; one will be on my cell phone and the other will be an alarm clock with the volume near its maximum.
Overall today was not as horrible as I had originally anticipated.

The First Day

Today was my first day with the Uberman's sleep schedule. As I have previously stated I did not plan to start this till next week but today I just happened to take a nap at 12:20 for some reason. Usually I don't take naps, in all honesty this is probably my fist one since second grade, so me taking a nap today was kind of a big deal. After taking the nap I decided, what the hell might as well start a week earlier than originally planned.
So far it hasn't been too bad but then again it is only the first day and I had a whole night's worth of sleep the previous day. Just a little earlier I was talking to my friend who had tried this, he had to stop for a while because he got sick but plans to start back soon, and he advised that I try to become a vegetarian, cut out as much fat from my diet as possible, and to exercise during the night cycles. I had already planned on doing the exercise bit but the part about changing my diet seemed a little odd. However, after thinking about how your body digest fats this made perfect sense.
One obvious advantage is that I will have more time in the day to be productive, all I have to do now is draw up the will power. During the first half of the night cycle I am going to spend learning more about material that is not directly related to my class, then in the second half I will exercise most likely by going for a run.
Well it is almost nap time so I have to wrap this up. I guess I will keep a log of how I feel for the first week.