Archive for April, 2011

help exchange Ideas

April 25th, 2011


text logo v1.

I tossed around a few ideas and came up with this.

Here are some ideas on paper, thought of these during Chinese:


Ben, help me rotate those. I can’t find where to do it.

I thought the ‘e’ would look good at first; it did in my head, but it didn’t look to good on paper.

Need font ideas, color ideas, and everything that can be changed. Also anything on those pages that I considered; which should we use?

Five hundred words.

April 24th, 2011

I spent the greater part of my childhood doing what every other kid did: video games; Saturday morning cartoons; trading cards; frolicking around the playground in aimless circles with my playmate entourage in hot pursuit. We pulled pranks on girls and pilfered extra Popsicles during those hot, carefree Californian days. The playground was my empire, the twirly slides my castle spires, and I, high and almighty atop my noble swing, ruled it all. All of a sudden, just as it had begun, I lost interest, and began delving into more mature diversions.

My sudden loss of interest in orthodox childhood pursuits can be attributed to my discovery of books. I devoured the science encyclopedias lying scattered about my home, and savored the taste of knowing how things worked and why things were the way they were — the fundamental questions of physics. After I had depleted my house’s supply of fresh reading material, I plundered my local public library. Isaac Asimov’s organic chemistry primer The World of Carbon and its sequels intrigued me so much, I even learned web design to enshrine its teachings in the stormy internet. My love for technology can be entirely blamed on my parents. My dad got bored one day, sat me down in his lap, and taught me Java. I’ve been coding ever since.

Unlike the golden years of elementary and middle school, my high school experience was not as painless. My fanciful ideals were quickly crushed in the stampede of a competitive, nearly all-Asian public high school. My high school’s in-a-way excellent environment fostered the acceleration of maturity — young adults don’t often meet with this kind of disillusionment until college. It left me — a bubbly, optimistic  newfound teenager — with a jaded mindset that led me to believe that knowledge and problem-solving skills were expendable commodities in the real world, as they were in the microcosm of Arcadia High School.  That’s when I met Mr. Zhang, the teacher of my AP Physics B class.

He led me back through the spectacular world of physics, gently answering my strangest questions, and rekindling my inspiration. Along with one of his former students, he guided me through my intense study of physics. I would like to deeply thank Vincent Li, a member of last year’s US Physics Team, and my physics teachers Mr. Shenyang Zhang and Mr. Mauricio Eguez for their boundless support of my pursuits. Your encouraging words and friendly advice have changed my life forever.

I look forward to getting to know all of you at this year’s camp!

Sense of Impending Doom

April 19th, 2011

Things haven’t been going so well, and I’m just getting this horrible claustrophobic sense of loss and bad omens. First thing I saw after I got home today was an email from Vincent… apparently the USAPhO finalists had all received an email yesterday at noon… and I never got any email.

This is especially depressing when I consider that I was very confident, even thinking to myself that I had a perfect paper.

Next, Bank of America won’t give me back my money after a week of time wasted writing emails back and forth. I’m filled with hate for them at the moment, so let me catch my breath.

Oh yeah, I failed the AP Chem final, and the HUSH test yesterday, and nothing seems to be going my way recently.

And this… itchy mosquito bite. God is totally laughing at me up there.

Brief thoughts on the day

April 15th, 2011

I tried to get at those delicious school breakfast sandwiches again today. I’ve only ever had two in my life. The first was on the day of the USAPhO semi, and the second was during the all-school assembly on Tuesday of this week. I woke at 6am today — no, I didn’t wake at 6 just to get those sandwiches. I woke early to start my homework (Jenglish specifically). Tedious: finding five quotes from Gatsby chapters 4-6 that could be used to argue something about the American Dream, for our American Dream essay. I thought 1.5 hours would be enough, but evidently they weren’t. Good quotes were very hard to find. In the end I was only able to get down five quotes, and I wasn’t able to write the analysis (which would have taken like one more hour). Luckily Zurla is lenient when I need to finish homework occasionally (it hasn’t happened in a while, doing homework in first period).

I was considering signing up (at the last minute) for the AP Calculus BC practice exam tomorrow. My first thought on why I wanted to go was the fact that it’s free. Hey, it’s a valid argument. If you wanted to take an AP Calc BC prep exam at some Asian prep school or something, they’d charge you at least $90. But I decided not to. Seems like my desire to sleep in on Saturday overruled my desire to save $90.

It’s probably not really a big deal anyways, as I’ll see the problems when we go over them in class on Monday. Besides, it’s not like I need the points, and it’s not like I’d pay $90 for AP Calc practice exams or tutoring sessions in the first place. Overconfidence + sleep > Saturday morning calculus.

I’ll have enough of math on Saturday anyways: ARML meeting from one to four.

Today was Wear Purple day in memory of Alice, and I was amazed at how many people participated. Not nearly as many people dressed up in pink for Pink Day in protest of the pink slips (layoffs), although I suppose males would be less likely to have pink in their wardrobes.

I ate a lot of popcorn and pretzel sticks in Jenglish today while watching Gatsby. So much that I skipped lunch and did the weekend Jenglish homework on my netbook during lunch.

I used my netbook a lot today. It matches with Justin’s red Dell full-size laptop — the color is totally identical. In Chem, we had the whole period free, so I spent my time finishing all my Jenglish work and starting on my essay outline. Google Docs is brilliant. I can access my writing from any place connected to the internet. It’s amazing.

I also explored Google Cloud Print. It requires a server to be running, but my web server (the one you’re accessing right now :D) is always on 24/7 anyways, so I set it up right after I got home.

I’ll include a short blurb on yesterday’s interview. I prepared a list of all the questions I expected them to ask me, and a lot of them did get asked. I think I did well enough on the questions I expected, but for the questions I didn’t expect, I stumbled a lot while trying to think of my answer, and I delivered my answer with not-so-spectacular sentence fluency and confidence. It felt very awkward (I especially dislike not being prepared for things), but there are always questions I won’t be prepared for, so I need to practice my speaking skills and figure out what to do to stall for thinking time, and how to use my tone of voice to convey confidence and passion.

I also forgot to record the call. I was in a dilemma between whether to use my cell phone with bluetooth headset (comfort for a half hour phone call), or my landline (audio quality and no chance of AT&T dropping my call). I used my cell phone, so I might as well have used Samsung’s call recording feature so I can go over what I mess up on and better prepare for future interviews. It’s one of those things you’re too nervous to think about before or during the interview, but because extremely important to you after the interview. It’s just such a shame I didn’t get down a recording of it. It would have been so useful to me.

Oh yeah, back to the breakfast sandwiches. I wasn’t able to get one, even though I left relatively early. I got to that cafeteria window about right after the bell rang, and they wouldn’t let any new people get in line after the 7:54 bell. You know, I could never tell if it was a 7:54 bell or a 7:53 bell. It would make sense if it were 7:53, as that would make for a seven-minute passing period between zero and first, just like all the other passing periods, but I’ve always thought it was 7:54am.

EDIT: Eric didn’t make it past the preliminary elections for ASB Academic Commissioner. Shoutout to him.


April 12th, 2011

This is part two of a three-part series of posts on the month of March 2011, in all its fantasy and fragrance. I realize it is April now. This is the result of a curious phenomenon known to mere mortals as “procrastination”.

Life is but a dream. I dedicate this paragraph in memory of Alice Zhang, who lost her life yesterday in a fatal car accident. I cannot say that I knew her well, but as a fellow Arcadia High student and Physics Team member, I would like to send her my condolences from my little lilypad on this watery Internet.

Death, passage; it really makes you appreciate the frail beauty of life when you consider that you could have been the one in front of the headlights. And all the little crumbs of happiness you wade through on your daily crusade through life: they become something deeply cherished, dearly clung to.

I will now take the opportunity to explain the title. Titles are important: the first thing seen, the first thing considered when deciding whether or not to read, whether to skim or read slowly. First of all, this post has gravity. It is important. Serious. Second, I have striven to write with charisma; gravitation. Finally, the post is concerned with the United States Physics Olympiad, or USAPhO, which may involve universal gravitation.

I left early that morning. It was a Tuesday, the Tuesday after a three-day weekend. My parents were excited. Moderately. I was ferried to school around 7:30am. I checked in with Eguez. It had been pretty cold, and to prevent the weather from influencing my test performance, I wore a lot of layers. It turned out that, in the room we were to test in, the thermostat had gone haywire and the temperature was nice and warm. I found it nice and warm; Vincent and Eguez decided it was way too hot and messed with the thermostat to try and get the temperature down. Either way, I never had any problems with the room temperature that day.

The test took four hours; each section was 90 minutes with a break in between. Part A had four questions, and Part B had two questions. I don’t quite remember my answers or the questions very clearly, actually. The room we were testing in was a lecture room adjacent to Eguez’s classroom. The desks were of the fold-out variety in an auditorium setting; very small, but that didn’t bother me much either. Well, it wasn’t quite an auditorium. The room was quite small and there were no more than about four rows, with the back rows slightly raised in elevation.

After rendezvousing with Eguez, and finding nobody else had arrived, I left to turn in my portion of the English project to Ms. Jeng. She was surprised that I wouldn’t be there, and it was very awkward. Then, still finding myself with spare time, I went to the cafeteria window and bought myself the first bacon-egg breakfast muffin sandwich I’ve ever had at Arcadia High School, for a mere $1.50. I can’t believe how cheap that is, especially compared to how much everything else is, and how little they usually give.

If I could, I would buy a sandwich for breakfast every day. Unfortunately, 9.9 days out of 10, I barely even make it to class on time to escape the tardy sweep, much less have time to buy a sandwich and finish eating it before 8am.

Vincent had arrived, and we set up our testing environments. Eguez printed us each our answer sheets. Alfred dropped in a while before first period (students had already begun arriving for Eguez’s class) to tell us that he wouldn’t be taking the USAPhO contest because he was preparing for the ACS National Chemistry Olympiad (NChO) that would be the next day. He won, by the way, with a record high score of 58 out of 60.

All set with our scratch paper and answer documents, we began the exam. I didn’t quite take notice of Vincent at all during the exam, or anything else at all around me, so I can’t comment. The kids in the adjacent classroom were noisy, but it didn’t bother me too much. People I knew in Eguez randomly came in to say hi.

My recollection of the actual exam material will be wholly from memory. The first question was about bubbles or something — initially I thought it would be some strange mechanics or optics question, but it was actually a thermodynamics question. It didn’t stump me too much, except for one of the last parts which asked me to find the work done by an isothermic process. I didn’t figure out how to do that until I had finished all the other problems and come back for it, but I did get it in the end. I’m pretty sure I got all parts of that question (there were a lot of parts; it was a long question!) right. The second was a data table I believe, something involving a rotational system. I don’t quite remember, but I just picked two points to solve for some constant. They gave like ten points, however, so I’m not certain my answer was accurate enough. It made sense, though.

Question A4 was about a planet that emitted blackbody radiation. Luckily I knew the Stefan-Boltzmann black-body equation (although I think the question even gave it to us…). It was some really cool differential equation thing. I can’t remember exactly what I did, or what it involved (something about the planet generating constant power due to radioactive decay, and something involving the temperature gradient), or what it even asked for, but I was confident in my answer so I’ll remain confident. I’m afraid I don’t remember A3 at all.

B1 was a cool alternating-current problem. Vincent had told me not to study A/C much as it wasn’t important, but I had studied it before he told me that, so luckily I knew all the formulae. Barely. I called impedance “total reactance” or something. Wonder if I’ll get dinged for terminology. Nothing else I didn’t know how to do. Of course, knowing me, careless mistakes will devour maybe 1/4 of my points. B2 was also intriguing. It was very complicated and took me a while for me to understand the problem, and its complicatedness prevents me from recalling the exact problem, but I remember checking the last answer with Vincent and we got the same thing, so I think B2 is cinched.

So those were my three paragraphs of bragging to my future self who will be reading this about how smart and awesome I was in 11th grade. Unfortunately, in every contest before this I’ve screwed up in some major or minor way (misbubbling, especially… I could have made AIME last year if I had bubbled correctly, and I could have won 1st in state in PhysicsBowl… and the list goes on), so I was really relieved to have gone through the contest with no mess-ups at all. I did my best, as my dad would say, and everything else is up to Lady Luck. There was really nothing further that could have been done to improve my chances.

That leaves me satisfied.

Continue ≫

The March 2011 Trilogy:
thinly veiled apathy
coming soon!

Excerpts from today’s Jenglish homework

April 11th, 2011

Excerpts from today’s Jenglish homework. I thought it would be a good way to talk about spring break again (since I really had only one short post about it). The assignment was to write about our spring break: a half page in active voice only, and a half page in passive voice only. Thus, please excuse the awkward sentences.

Click to show the parts I cut from the excerpts.

On the first few days of spring break, I watched movies. [spoiler] Mr. Briffit, the substitute teacher for Mrs. Galloway during her maternity leave, had assigned us an extra credit history movie project to do over the break. We had to watch a movie that depicted American history-related events after the 1920s, as previously Mrs. Galloway had given us a similar assignment on an American history-related movie before the 1920s. We had been talking about the Cold War in Honors US History, so I decided to do a movie called Dr. Strangelove which was an offbeat comedy about nuclear annihilation. I had read good reviews on the internet, which hailed the movie as one of the best ever, but I found it uninteresting and not too laugh-provoking. [/spoiler] My relatives from China also came over. [spoiler] It was the first time they had left the country. They were my uncle’s parents – I call him uncle, but he is my mother’s cousin so he would technically be my first cousin once removed. I visited them last year when I was in China, and I had a lot of fun with them, so I hope they enjoyed their time with us in the United States.

A lot of good food was eaten during spring break. So much was eaten by me that for two days a stomachache was had. A physics competition, the AAPT PhysicsBowl, was going to be taken by me on the Monday after spring break. Twenty years’ worth of previous exams were studied by me last year, but this year not much was prepared by me. However, my bed was slept on a lot, so hopefully sleep will not be lacked by me during the competition. A lot of spring break homework was given by my teachers as well, but fortunately none was given by Ms. Jeng. Instructions to finish The Great Gatsby were all that she left us with, and that book had already been finished by me. Three years worth of AP Chemistry free response questions were to be completed, and chapters on the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War were to be read. [/spoiler] The chapter on the Vietnam War was found particularly intriguing by me. Still shockingly held in society today were the corruptness of the political system and the lies told by the government. I was reminded of the Tiananmen Square Massacre by the National Guard put-down of the student protests with live ammunition resulting in multiple deaths. If Tiananmen is called a massacre by us, why aren’t the Vietnam university protests “massacres” as well?

It can’t end like this!

April 9th, 2011

[300TH POST unintentionally]

I’m suddenly so stressed. I’ve been taking my spring break so easy; maybe that’s why. It didn’t feel particularly relaxing, though. Maybe this is how retired people feel after the first week of not having to go to work.

Now that spring break proper has come to an end (it is now 11:57 on Friday), and the weekend is beginning, I can’t help but think… it can’t end like this! There was so much, so many things I wanted to do during this break! I was able to do some of them (band rehearsal, binge on good food, play mabi, watch anime all day until it pissed me off too much to continue watching…), but there is so much I didn’t get to do. New opportunities and ideas sprang up this break like weeds. It’s all just so… tiring.

My memory of spring break will probably be of running in the rain today. The rain on the cement gave off this horrible smell. It felt like all of society’s corruption that had seeped into the ground was now coming up, being released. I think I had stomach flu or something today. I couldn’t eat at all, and I felt horrible. Or maybe it was the email I received right after getting up that told me I had a phone interview for the JPL internship I had applied to. I’m normally a rational guy and have okay emotional self-control (when it breaks down it gets really bad though), so I don’t know why that would make my stomach grow butterflies and my legs lose power. So I’m going with the stomach flu argument. I’m not scared of interviews.

This brings me to think about the control I have over my emotions. Note that successful people can control their own emotions, and read the emotions of others in order to manipulate things in their favor. It’s not optional, it’s a requirement — a prerequisite of sorts for success. However, it’s very difficult. It’s been very difficult. When faced with mockery and dislike, even if I know it’s a test or in jest, I tended to break down. Calmness is key. Without mental composure, I’m unable to contemplate responses and others’ intentions, and I will assuredly make deep blunders.

Bad emotions aren’t the only thing I can’t control. I can’t control my happiest emotions either. It may sound cliche, but my most cherished emotion is a fluttery feeling I feel in my heart. I don’t know why I feel it in the physical location of my heart, given that the heart is not involved in any cognitive processes. I get this feeling when somebody treats me with great, undeserved kindness. It happens all too little.

The last time I had this emotion was yesterday, Thursday, during my volunteer shift at the hospital. It was a small thing. They’re always the small things, the things that matter. My coworkers, the fellow employees in my department, were teaching me Spanish. They were small things, like how to roll that “r” sound; where to put the tongue. Luego nos vemos. Let us meet again. Bueños noches.

Musings on the ideal protagonist

April 8th, 2011

So yesterday (Wednesday) I got bored of all the anime in my queue:

[spoiler]SOUL EATER (just finished today!), Seto no Hanayome, Beet the Vandel Buster (just started it yesterday, and kind of unsatisfied — somehow no old series has managed to interest me since Ranma), Kara no Kyoukai (don’t get it), Katanagatari (accidentally/purposefully spoiled myself on Wikipedia and lost interest), Aishiteruze Baby, Mitsudomoe (it’s so sick and disgusting trying to masquerading as this cutesy-wutsy kid anime), Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (not funny anymore…), DARKER THAN BLACK (nothing that really draws me in), Tales of the Abyss (almost done, but again not excited about it), SHUFFLE (god), Motto ToLOVE-ru (saving for a rainy day), Gintama (can I drop this yet? people say it’s so funny, but it’s… not…), School Rumble II (already finished the manga… and saving for a rainy day kind of?), Utawarerumono (mask-face pisses me off), Code Geass R2 (subtitles are out of sync…), and Spice and Wolf (trying to read the novel. was. like three years ago.), and Kyou no Go no Ni, Mahoraba, Da Capo, Magical Pokan (rainy day), Tegami Bachi (don’t know…), Air (wow), Hidamari Sketch (probably drop), Kobato, NuraMago (fansubbers gave up halfway through), and all of the series from Winter ’11 that haven’t finished yet.[/spoiler]

Not counting the Winter ’11 series, that’s… 26 titles. Counting the Winter ’11 unfinished, that’s 31.

Depressing, no? I’ve been trying to shave this list down, but it seems to have a mind of its own, and is still tending to grow rather than shrink.

I’m just not interested in finishing some of these. It’s not entertaining enough.

Manga is much more entertaining. Instead of one amazing series every 50 that I go through, which is getting to be the case for anime, nearly every manga I decide to start turns out amazing. I can say that my last three were absolutely fantastic: Hoshi no Samidare, Beelzebub, and Oresama Teacher.

I started Oresama Teacher. It’s a shoujo manga about a delinquent middle-school girl. Kurosaki Mafuyu is the name of the female lead. The art is brilliant, and the comedy unbelievable. It’s not just any shoujo manga, either. I mean, Mafuyu is the second-strongest character in the book, and beats up mobs of gangsters to relieve stress. How can you reject a kick-ass MC like that?

The other supporting and main characters complement her well, providing gags and humor as well as drama. The fighting and all makes this shoujo manga have similar characteristics to shounen manga as well, so I think it would not be inaccurate to describe Oresama Teacher as both shounen and shoujo. Meaning… everybody should read this. Boys and girls alike.

Thinking about those last 3 manga, I’ve put some thought into what makes an exemplary protagonist. First of all, the main character needs to kick ass. A weakling main character, like Nagasumi in Seto no Hanayome, is difficult for the audience to truly get to like. Weakling main characters also tend to have weak or cliche personalities. The MC need not be the strongest character — in fact, that would make it rather difficult to come up with plotlines. In fact, when you have MCs like Nanoha who can annihilate anything within a five mile radius with a Starlight Breaker or two… people get bored of the flashy graphics and cool attack names, you know?

Secondly, the MC should be tomboyish. This goes for male MCs as well, I suppose, but we’ll consider females. Protagonists like Sakura (I’m thinking Tsubasa not CCS) who exhibit a silent, kind personality aren’t fit to be leads. Shy or childhood-friend don’t work either. Female leads need to be resourceful, confident, athletic, and cheerful.

The same adjectives need to apply to male leads as well. In fact, those exact adjectives. I can’t think of anything more to add for males. I think it’s also necessary to add a touch of mischievousness. Main characters like Ueki (Ueki no Housoku/The Law of Ueki) lack depth: Ueki exhibits all of the traits above, but is too righteous. Morals that are too strong get in the way of the audience’s enjoyment. Biggest moralfag: Touma (To Aru Majutsu no Index and related).

Now that I think of it, those three manga are also all poking fun at something. Samidare pokes fun at shounen plots… just read the first chapter and you will see what I mean. Beelzebub could be interpreted as a parody of juvenile-delinquent movies that I guess are common in Japan (never seen any myself though). Oresama Teacher has less of a “parody” intention, but in combining the shoujo and shounen genres, it mildly laughs at both: stereotypical male personalities in shoujo manga, and stereotypical boss fights and leveling-up in shounen manga. Well, I guess this point doesn’t apply as much as I thought it would. But genre-deconstruction is definitely a plus, if done well.

I shall leave you with a lovely guide by Mafuyu on how to escape from being tied up in a hostage situation by an enemy gang. I am sure it will be of use to at least one of my readers in the future.

Click to enlarge. Credits to MangaFox and scanslators. Fair use rationale: this manga is not yet published in the United States. Will remove when or if published, or upon request of copyright holder. I apologies for the unclear translations. No offense to the scanslators.

Please do not attempt to practice this at home. Especially if your parents won’t be home for a week and the neighbors hate you.

First band rehearsal

April 6th, 2011

two dimensions away

Remind me to post my photos sometime.

Here’s our final product: Nothin’ on You (cover)

All band stuff from 1st rehearsal:

Post-Tryout Rant

April 1st, 2011

I know Ben had one of these after the soccer tryout, so I guess I’m following the tradition of failure.

There are many reasons why I enjoy watching sports. I guess one of them is that it is one of the few places outside of fiction where you can find happy endings. Sports have many rules, and analysts can pore over complex statistics for months. But ultimately, sports are quite simple. You know what the objective is, you know who your opponent is, and if you score more points than the other team, you win. It doesn’t matter who was favored to win beforehand, it doesn’t matter if the world hates you. There are no politics involved. There is no one to impress. You put the ball in the net, or across the line, or over the wall, and you win. That’s it.

The great thing is that these aren’t movies. These people actually work hard, actually win these games, and sometimes, it results in a great story.

Life is not like that. Yes, sports are more real than a scripted movie, but they are still light years away from how real life works. The concrete rules that must be obeyed. The ability of anyone to succeed, regardless of background and connections. The team that loyally fights alongside you on the journey. The clear cut goals: you win this game, you win the championship. There is nothing of the sort in real life.

Over the last week or so, it seems like there have been an increasing amount of people inquiring about where I want to go to college. First off, maybe it’s just me, but it seems uncessarily nosy and an invasion of privacy. Maybe for adults, its just their best attempt to make small talk, but for other AHS students…yeah. We all know that beneath the surface, we are all competing with each other, and trying to find out what we can about each other. Part curiousity, maybe, but also just finding any way to get a clearer glimpse at the college picture.

The other problem, is that they usually don’t just ask where I want to go, and walk away when I say I don’t really know. The question usually goes something like this (Imagine in obnoxious tones):

“Where do you want to go to college? Harvard? Stanford? … No, of course you’ll be able to get in with your SAT score!”

No. Fuck that. Fuck Stanford. Fuck Harvard. Fuck the SAT.

This is either the result of a lack of understanding of how the college app process works, or, more likely, a form of the subtle kind of insulting while complimenting someone that happens so often in Arcadia. Hard to explain, but I think you guys know what I’m talking about. Unless I’m just crazy.

What is also annoying is that it reminds me of the reality that I won’t be going to those schools. It looks like most likely, I’ll be attending one of the boring, Asian-infested UC schools. Hopefully, a better, more interesting out-of-state college, but who knows the chances on that. Like I said, the system of winning is only clear in sports.

Ok, so I went 529 words without actually getting to what this post is because of, which is me finding out that I didn’t make the first cut of Gov Team tryouts. I’m normally a pessimistic person, but I actually thought I would make this. I already had visions of how fun it would be next year, and how it could mean I would actually enjoy senior year, the only one of my high school years to have that distinction. At the very least, I thought I would make the first cut. But all those optimistic views of senior year are gone pretty fast. And that also brings to reality those other foolish optimistic visions for senior year, like being social, getting with the girl I like, and getting an acceptance letter from a school I really want to go to.

As I was just telling Ben on IM, I am not mad at Mr. Fox or the Gov Team people. I had Mr. Fox as a teacher, and he, to my knowledge, is both intelligent and fair. I don’t know for sure why I didn’t make it, and people seemingly less qualified did. My dad wants me to ask Mr. Fox, maybe I will, I don’t know. Well, I knew beforehand that thinking fast live was not a strength of mine. Public speaking and having a good image for sure were weaknesses. Maybe I was too confident in my arguements, which weren’t particularly good. Maybe my teachers have very unfavorable opinions of me. Who knows.

But the point is that I was not qualified for something I actually thought I had a chance in. I thought that I was more knowledgable in politics than most other students. I thought that my arguments were fairly solid after having to develop my skills in debates with my dad. I thought that I had somehow put up a pretty good performance despite being fairly bad at the whole speaking thing. It looks like I was wrong.

Back to the whole sports thing, life is a chaotic mess. You don’t know what you need to do to “score points” or “beat the other team” or “win the game” .  Sometimes what you think is right is wrong. Sometimes you can screw up, and end up benefiting somehow. And sometimes, no matter what you do, there is no way to win.

I don’t know what exactly the case is, and I don’t know what I should do next, or exactly how much this incident means for my future, both immediate and long-term. But in navigating the vicious  storm of life, this is another indication of how unsuccessful I have been so far.