FE/EIT exam, I felt in good shape. I was in the groove.
I was sticking to my study regimen. How awesome would I be at time management after this exam? If I can find 3 hours every night to do homework questions, I can certainly find an hour to go to the gym.
Math and physics were back in shape. I started to feel less impostor-like with my rediscovered intuition for forces, moments of inertia, and stress/strain.
Around this time, I regretted chucking out ALL OF MY COLLEGE NOTES in a massive purge after our last move. Boxes of books, always getting shifted from the closet in each old apartment to the closet in each new apartment. The last time, after a long day of moving, I looked at a ridiculous mountain of course notes stacked up in the dining room. They had to go. I did hold onto everything related to materials science, which might come in handy at work, but I tossed out calculus, differential equations, physics, biology – all the subjects I thought I’d never need to study again.
Looking through old notebooks is always a trip. I had some from high school, too. I don’t remember writing those words, but that is definitely my handwriting, so I know it was me. I did solve those problems. I did used to know this. Look, I even got an A! Try this with your own relics from your younger days.
Also around this time, I started to dream in sines and cosines. This phenomenon has been called the Tetris Effect, named for the way that prolonged visual/spatial activities (like video games) spill over into the rest of our mental processes and possibly take over our thoughts and dreams. Back in college, I remember experiencing this after playing the addictive game Snood, and of course Tetris. Apparently, too much math homework has the same effect.
On the upside, the Tetris effect has been credited with edging out the flashbacks caused by PTSD. Some think the Tetris effect illustrates how our brains use dream time to keep learning. If the little math problems I ruminate on in my dreams represent the work my brain is still doing, that can only be good news.