This week I had three final exams and a project due, but everything was done by Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday, I flew somewhere to do a little bit of work for my old company, for a client I hadn't met before but who turned out to be someone who immediately strikes one as crazy and/or full of shit. I now have more work to do for this guy. I sort of wish I hadn't gotten involved at all, but I guess making some extra money is a good idea.
This summer I am also lined up to make about $3000 doing (paid by the hour) math lab and grading work. I think that comes out to about 140 hours (based on my guess of what the hourly rate is). I hope that instead of interfering with my summer plans, this work will help keep more organized and moving along. (Have you noticed that it is easy for a day with no fixed plans to glide competely by with nothing to show for itself?)
My main goal this summer is to pass my real analysis qualifying exam in August. It's an 8 hour long, written exam. I think there are typically 12 questions, of which you choose 8 to complete. They are typically rather meaty questions, though not usually very novel. (An example might be, "State and prove [famous theorem].") My understanding is that you need to get 6 completely right in order to pass.
I'm worried about whether I can pass this exam, even under ideal conditions and having studied a somewhat large amount, but I need to, as they say, give it the old college try. I have a stack of the old exams (going back so far that the earliest ones are handwritten). The first thing I intend to do is write questions on index cards. I want to determine what types of questions are asked, which questions are asked most often, and so on. If I can at least have answers to the most commonly asked questions down cold, it should help, and of course there is a lot of overlap of material and technique between different ones, so it's helpful in general.
In undergrad, I had a professor who would always point out, when we were starting a project, that you always wish, at the end, that you had an extra day or so, and so you ought to make very good use of the first few days (the ones you might otherwise kind of blow off, feeling that you have plenty of time). I have thirteen weeks before this exam, so I'd best get started.