I’m so backlogged on anime it’s not even funny. (Almost two weeks behind, which is like 20 episodes. It would take me 10 hours to catch up.)
Alright, so I’m back. From Florida. Damn NASA scrubbed the launch. It was still fun though. I loved the exhibits at Kennedy Space Center, although the annoying sun made me have to keep swapping my sunglasses and my glasses whenever I went outside or needed to read something. We also went to Downtown Disney (they have one in Florida too). Before, I would totally call this trip a big waste of money, but it’s not good to be that pessimistic, and it’s not entirely true. I did have fun. True, the plane ride (I HATE AIRPLANE AIR) and the stupid alligator park was less than accommodating for me. But it was an interesting trip. I feel bad for my mom’s colleagues who came with us, spending money on plane tickets and all, and didn’t get to see anything. Well, we did see the launchpad, and random secret Air Force Base buildings or whatever. Friggin facility was bigger than LA. So that’s what they’re doing with my tax dollars.
You may have noticed that I have ignored the jubilant subject of US Physics Team. I’ll post magnificently later, I promise.
Anyways, got back last night at midnight. Very tiring. The airport parking lot shuttle was very late. Also, my phone GPS has been very stupid during the trip. It won’t hold a GPS signal in the car unless it’s like, taped to the window.
Other stuff… I was selected as the leader of my department in the hospital for next year (first thing during the interview: “Are you THAT Ben Li? That made it into International Physics Team?”). AP Chemistry this morning was fun. I had some time before the test, so my dad drove us to 7-Eleven to get some food, and I had some donuts. Alhambra HS still does not know where they will be conducting their AP Physics C exam as of today’s phone call. In fact, they just told me to ask at the gate. I’ll just go like 2 hours early then… I’m certain I will have extraordinary trouble finding the test site. Tomorrow is APCS and Wednesday is APBC. Interestingly, Ms. King is having a breakfast pre-AP party thing on Wednesday morning (which is great, I love American breakfasts). She also heard of my Physics Team thing and asked me if I was crazy. “Just a little.”
By the way, people, it’s not “International” Physics Team… although it’s fine really, I don’t mind (we are competing in the International Physics Olympiad/IPhO). We are the US team. Not the international team. I’m sure we could totally pwn the Martians at the Intergalactic Physics Olympiad.
I’ve been thinking to myself about my reactions to people congratulating me on USPT. I’m trying my best to not seem condescending or “of course I made it, I think I’m so smart and all, you guys are all dumbasses and losers”. Of course I’m probably totally overworrying and all. Re-rereading the post (and re-rerereading) to make sure I don’t sound like a stuck-up bastard. I really care about that too much.
Speaking of self-image, I practiced smiling for cameras in Florida. For USPT, we were asked to provide a photo of ourselves. I looked and looked, flipping through my family’s albums… and I could not find a single one where I was smiling. I don’t know, it’s not that I wasn’t having fun. They were pictures of my China trip, and that was one of the greatest times I’ve had in my life. I think I’m somehow unable to smile on camera, or my smiles don’t show up on camera somehow. I try to smile, I do, yet I never look happy in the photos despite my extreme excitement in China. Which is why I devoted myself to studying the art of smiling for the camera in Florida. I improved significantly, according to my mom. My smiles are very stunning and natural, she says.
On launch day, there were so many spectators in Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center watching the launch from a big LCD screen. The parking lot was completely full, and the Visitor Center was packed. I don’t get it — you’re watching it on an LCD screen anyways. Why come all the way to Cape Canaveral? Just watch it on YouTube later.
That’s what I’m going to do.