A Mind for Madness

Musings on art, philosophy, mathematics, and physics

The Past Few Days


Well, I did not pass my prelim. This is perfectly acceptable as I did not think I had passed. Luckily I found out that I had three significantly correct, and four is a pass, so I wasn’t too far off. Darn you classical analysis! Give me topology or algebra, just not analysis.

In other news, it is great to have students try hard, but sometimes too hard is just plain annoying. I’ve had one email me three times today to verify things like proper format for the homework. I understand that some teachers are very concerned with this, but I for one am not. If you somehow give some sort of indication as to which problem you are doing, and I can read it, that is good enough for me. (OK, so I may be a little annoyed if you stick to those bare minimum requirements, but you get the point).

I finished Libra by Don DeLillo. It was good, but if you want to do a DeLillo I would definitely look to White Noise or even possibly Underworld before this one. It was rather dry. It also had ridiculous amounts of recurrent ideas from his other novels (which may be why I didn’t like this one as much). Everyone smokes Lucky Strikes in Libra. This plays a major role in Underworld. The line “Hidell means don’t tell” surfaces in many many forms throughout. This is one of my favorite aspects of DeLillo’s writing. This same thing happens with the line “Who will die first?” in White Noise. The JFK assassination/the Zapruder film of it plays a major role in Underworld. It is the entirety of the plot in Libra. Recycling ideas is fine, but I feel like DeLillo is really stuck on certain things.

The one really, really great thing was the film Quiet City. I can’t believe films like this are dismissed due to their low budget, lack of plot, and hard-to-watch “arty” shots. The film was utterly brilliant in capturing the reality of an entire generation. The things people do and say are so spot on that it was scary to think there was a script involved. These are the types of films that should be archived and saved as great. One hundred years from now, people will look back and say, “I wonder what life was like then…” They will look to our mainstream cinema and will not learn the truth. It is misleading what is being saved as classic and indicative of our time. Oh well, that is a rant for another time. In the meantime, watch this film to understand what I’m talking about! I will without a doubt rant about it later. A whole post of films that I think should be archived as brilliant vignettes of modern society!

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Author: hilbertthm90

I am a mathematics graduate student fascinated in how all my interests fit together.

2 thoughts on “The Past Few Days

  1. Sorry that you didn’t pass your prelim. How many tries do you get?

  2. As with most schools, there isn’t really a hard and fast rule since there are many “or’s.” I guess the best answer is 2 more tries. If it doesn’t work out after one more there is an “oral option.” Which people often use in place of the third try, since they can pick the topics tested and skew it towards what they know and like.

    The other thing is that I can choose 3 out of 5 prelims to pass, and the main reason for analysis was to try to have a good excuse to skip the corresponding course associated with the exam. There is a “3.8 pass” rule, where if you get a 3.8 or better for all quarters of the class, then that will automatically count as a prelim pass.

    Etc with other options as well. Overall, I took the prelim without the class and got pretty close, so I’m not too worried.

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