Last year's problems seem simple with what I am going through now. What is going on? I have to withdray money from my student account which I hold with the Open University to pay for this year's courses, the procedure is simple and fast, really. First you call the course registration line, then you simply ask the student advisor to arrange it for you. But...

... I can't get through.

Not that I haven't been trying. Last week I gave up and wrote an e-mail asking for advice on how to establish contact. They say that it can take 'up to three working days before you get a reply'. It's past three working days already. But...

... no reply.

What's going on? Does it have to do with budget cuts? Queries about the new fees? I never had a problem to get through. The Open University is not just any university. They are =huge=. On a piece on the OU site I read that the OU is the biggest university in the UK with

- 250,000 students

- 7000 tutors ( Associate Lecturers )

- 1200 academic staff, and

- 3500 support staff

It is also an -international- university, they have 3500 students in Ireland, 9000 in the EU and another 7500 outside the EU.

In the meantime I am still waiting. I'll have to figure out something because I can't wait to start studying again. When everything is OK I do the reflection post first.

I haven't dropped the Fearless Symmetry series, on the contrary: I am styding algebra again. I have posted a question about Galois Theory here. Basically a course in Galois Theory makes you understand -why- polynomials with rational coefficients and degree five or higher can't be solved by radicals. At least not in general, if the corresponding Galois group of the polynomial is soluble however then there is a solutiuon. - Which you won't find in the textbooks. And that's what I find disappointing, to say the least. Maybe this is why a study in mathematics never seems to stop. A course answers a few of your questions but you'll have more questions after the course than you had before.

If Galois Theory is a blank for you, then this article ( pdf) might fill it, a bit. ;-)

Stephen Hawking RIP

2 days ago

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