I’m struggling to revise, just because every time I learn something I think ‘oh, I wonder if anybody on the net can explain this better’. And then I end up reading some random blog about the subject, which is generally useful and great and all, and then I follow some links, and two hours later I’m looking at funny pictures of cats and I’m suddenly pulled back into reality by the half written notes on the other monitor and damn, I’ve wasted infinite time.
Even worse, I occasionally get so desperate to procrastinate that I write a blog post about revision, rather than doing it.
The other big time sink is the constant sneaking suspicion that I could be revising better. I’m currently just scribbling notes into tomboy as I flick through the PDFs of the lecture notes provided by the comlab. And then I end up looking at some article about revision (god only knows how), and how diagramming can help you learn things, and Labyrinth comes to mind, and I’m wondering if I could integrate Tomboy and labyrinth myself as a quick project. Or, alternatively, write a diagramming extension to Tomboy myself. Meanwhile I am very much not learning Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms.
Some of Advanced Data Structures and Algorithms (ADSA) is actually really interesting stuff though. I’m doing Disjoint Sets at the mo, and they’re not bad, but bits like Splay Trees are amazing. Deceptively simple, and yet freaking good (amortized) complexity. I’m not entirely confident they’re that great in practice, but this is Oxford; relevance to real life is very much secondary.
Interestingly, at some point I have to sit down and learn OOP properly and as the module consists of lots of code and lots of patterns just writing a random program in java from scratch could constitute revision… Maybe I should start that now?