Nina's Stillwater Calendar

Thursday, January 10

Real Boring Analysis

I'm a topology kind of girl. There are pretty pictures and shapes and the Snake Lemma and the Ham Sandwich Theorem and Escher drawings and diagram chasing. What's not to love? Real Analysis on the other hand, puts me right to sleep. I start reading a problem and suddenly I am snoring. It takes most of a day's willpower just to focus long enough to understand the problem. I don't know why. It should be interesting. If I think about it later, without the book or my notes in sight, I think integrals and derivatives are kinda cool. You can calculate areas and averages and get a feel for what a function is up to. But somehow the class and the book conspire to take all the fun out of it. Maybe it's the professor's extremely dry manner. Sometimes he says something funny and it takes me a moment because he delivers a joke in exactly the same deadpan he delivers lecture. Maybe it's the book's extremely dry text. No excitement. Just "we start with a technical lemma that is interesting in its own right." Yawn. Maybe it's the total predictability of the notes. I have my officemate's notes from this class when she took it, and the notes are identical. The same variable names, the same word choices, the same homework exercises. And the same yawning stupor lecture after lecture.

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