Posts Tagged ‘Senior Year (11-12)’

1TB

June 28th, 2011

Today, a very, very sad thing has come to pass. I filled up my 1TB external hard drive.

One thing I have to say on the topic of hard drives: at the pace of technology today, hard drives usually become out of date long before they fail. This is a wonderful, thing, I suppose.

Unfortunately, the pace of technology today still can’t keep up with my rate of anime consumption.

Tsk.

Song of the Nightingale

June 25th, 2011

People often ask me if I’m a gamer upon seeing the workstation setup in my room. I’m not.

Admittingly, a third monitor doesn’t contribute a whole lot to productivity. I mostly use my third monitor for post-its and Skype or iTunes while I work on my first and second monitors.

College apps are hard for me — I’m a very unfocused writer. I go off on tangents, branching off into completely unrelated realms. Additionally, I don’t write towards a purpose or goal, I write for fun, because I like to write.

Now although this is supposedly encouraged by society (as are many other things), one really needs to be able to write in order to accomplish something. Liking writing really does you no good.

My HP laptop’s Windows Experience Index is actually higher than my PC. I was so proud of my PC before — an Intel i7, four cores, eight threads with HyperThreading (rather gimmicky but well), with 6GB of DDR3 RAM and all that good stuff. (Again, I’m not a gamer so the graphics card in my PC is some generic low-end hardware.) This laptop (I’m typing on it as I speak– er, type…) is an entertainment/gaming laptop; it’s got high-end speakers, a huge display, DVD+RW drive, multiple audio/video outputs, and a good graphics card.

It kept crashing, bluescreening, and just generally not working, even after multiple installs of the stock OS. I installed vanilla Microsoft Windows 7, and somehow that fixed everything. The software cooks at HP need sharpening.

The hardware is quite badass. A fingerprint sensor would be nice, I guess, but again those are gimmicky. So many things are gimmicky these days. Like “4G”. Or 3D TVs and phones and consoles. Or colleges.

I’ll leave that out to over/under-interpretationists to meticulously granulate.

The title: according to Wikipedia (accuracy 200% guaranteed), “Poets chose the nightingale as a symbol because of its creative and seemingly spontaneous song.”

Quite true. This post is as spontaneous as they come.

But, “seemingly”. Aha. Interpret THAT. Was that what I was really intending? Or am I hiding something between the lines?

Oh, how about this?

Homer evokes the Nightingale in the Odyssey, suggesting the myth of Philomela and Procne (one of whom, depending on the myth’s version, is turned into a nightingale). This myth is the focus of Sophocles’ tragedy, Tereus, of which only fragments remain. Ovid, too, in his Metamorphoses, includes the most popular version of this myth, imitated and altered by later poets, including Chrétien de Troyes, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, and George Gascoigne. T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” also evokes the Nightingale’s song (and the myth of Philomela and Procne). Because of the violence associated with the myth, the nightingale’s song was long interpreted as a lament.

Wow, I never knew it but it seems there’s a hidden meaning in this post. I totally subconsciously intended this post to do that.

These days, you can get anything to symbolize anything.

Seriously, I chose the title randomly and then Googled it. Turns out it’s also the name of an orchestral piece by Stravinsky. Cool.

Growing up is overrated

June 24th, 2011

Productivity is so much more difficult than entertainment.

Case in point: these first two weeks of summer. Swamped with invitations, banquets, potlucks, decisions, requests, favors, startups, plans, and whatnot. Keeping up with events on my calendar, following up on emails, managing and leading people, making decisions and planning meetings. It’s all so… productive. I’ve never felt so productive.

Productivity takes a surprisingly large amount of time. I see now why there are people whose jobs are just to “manage people” — it’s a lot of work!

Being productive and managing felt so grown-up, yet it really wasn’t that fun. Like, when you’re a kid you look up to grown-ups so much, and when they do their work on the computer you’re like “wow, so mature.” And now it’s like “wow, so retarded.” Growing up is overrated.

free food Physics Team Potluck

Major event that I wanted to talk about was our potluck. I was burned out after junior year, looking forward to the inactivity and lazy days that supposedly lay ahead.

Sucks for me that I have so much going on. Well.

Vincent, my longstanding role model, among many — there are so many respectable people in the world (I never thought I would hear myself say that — I’m usually way more cynical than that. I guess my personality must be different in the summer. Or maybe it’s just that junior year’s over.) suggested that I plan a Physics Team potluck to celebrate our achievements this year and let everybody get to meet each other.

I, in lazy mode, was initially annoyed at his eagerness to spend time that I would normally find wasteful. I was also kind of annoyed that it would be held at my house.

I had this cool back-and-forth with my parents, and the conclusion we reached at the end was that Vincent was lending me a friendly helping hand by nudging me onstage to manifest my leadership, because I wasn’t normally the type of person to arrange social functions. My idea was that the only reason the Physics Team would ever need to meet together would be to discuss Physics or Team. Groups are complicated.

Society is complicated.

Vincent had selected three hopefuls, the brightest sophomores from this year’s AP Physics B, and the last, as Arcadia High School would be phasing out AP Physics B for sophomores (which makes little sense). I’d petition the administration, but there’s basically no chance of restoring the class.

Oh, on a tangent, Calculus D was also killed. It especially sucks for me. I was really looking forward to taking that class.

There was an overage of food, of course, as Asian parents coursed in with armfuls of eatery munitions. We played badminton, basketball, ping-pong, Wii, and even a little soccer. The best part, I think everyone could agree, was our Ultimate Frisbee game.

Usually I don’t have fun during social functions. But maybe, just maybe, they’re tolerable.

Startup, Inc

As much as I try to learn from Vincent and his outgoing persona, social command isn’t all it takes. You do get places by telling people what to do, and having people work for you, but that’s somewhat dissatisfying and unsettling.

Our hush-hush project began with a clang– with a hotpot. Jason Jong loves hotpots, and I see why now. Hotpots are the perfect meal to eat at business meetings. It totally fosters a sense of eating out of the same bowl, and working together to cook the meat. Symbolism aside, it also tastes really good.

The hotpot restaurant we went to (next to the 99 Ranch Market, the leftmost one– for some reason there are two hotpot restaurants in the same plaza right next to each other) wasn’t very good, but I still enjoyed it.

I found myself unfamiliar with the teenager hangouts of Arcadia as we later went to that tea shop next to 99 Cents on Duarte and I ordered my first tea shop snack.

Life’s good. To be specific, mildly spicy with a numbing aroma (麻辣). Sweet potato fries.

Intermission

That was all… two weeks ago. It’s all stuff that should have been blogged in detail, but weren’t, and only now get a brief amount of coverage.

I missed talking about the various gatherings of my Skype group, LSG. Happy really belated birthday, Hanchan!

Aeris dies.

Because of various circumstances, one week ago (hey, we’re making progress!) I started playing Final Fantasy 7.

Now, don’t be mistaken. By “play,” I don’t mean I was playing the game.

My ineptitude at gaming is legendary.

One of the most vital points towards my college application will be the claim that I have never once completed a game in my life. I’ve never beat any of my Pokemon games. Never beat Sonic Adventure 2. Never beat Crash Bandicoot 3. Never beat Ocarina of Time — I’m actually at Forest Temple, roughly the halfway point. That’s a record for the farthest I’ve ever gone in a game. And that was with cheats (load/save state on emulator). My two little siblings beat me constantly at Wii Sports.

I was reading synopses, character bios, game walkthroughs, scripts, and watching YouTube videos. I’ve given up on “playing” games. It’s impossible for me.

FF7 is so deliciously complex.

I also like the name Mint. It’s brilliant.

Internship

Today (wow big timeskip) I visited my new office.

Yes, you heard right. I was amazed too. I get my own office? …

Turns out I had to share it with this other guy, but that makes me feel less bad at getting my own office.

Wow. I get my own half office.

Looking forward to starting my research with spacecraft fault protection and interconnection on Monday.

Dang, I feel so privileged.

Coffee makes me sick

I hate coffee.

This morning I was at a coffeeshop waiting for someone, and, being considerate of the coffeeshop, decided to buy something. I was thinking of getting one of those cold milk-coffee drinks — Frappiccinos or something?

I don’t know coffee terminology.

Well, “cappuccino” sounds like “Frappiccino” so I ordered one. I expected sweet, I got freakin’ bitter. I expected milky, I got freakin’ black. I expected iced, and I got hot.

Stupid coffee.

College Apps

Let’s not talk about this.

Strawberry Shortcake Post

June 21st, 2011

Alright, alright, I haven’t had a real post in weeks. The last two “posts” were just me passing on an interesting article (it’s almost like Twitter now– retweeting! heavens, what is this world this blog coming to?), and posting some lame quotes that nobody cares about.

Even my last “real post” was just me complaining about my life. Oh wait, that’s what I always post about anyways, isn’t it? Just kidding.

God, that wasn’t even funny. I’m losing my touch here.

Oh yeah, I’ve started using the Senior Year (10-11) tag on my posts since summer started. It really gives out a good vibe — I feel like a senior already because I’m using that tag. Uwaahh.

What tag would I use in college? Meh.

If I go to an East Coast school I’ll probably have to relocate my server, eh? Ping from Dallas to Boston has got to be over 100ms, even with those top-tier university networks I’m so excited about getting my hands on.

I wonder if there are people who go to college just for the impossibly-fast internet connection.

Also, I was thinking of doing something about those old anime posts. They’re extremely embarrassing. Every time I click on “Random Post” and see one of them I cringe shamefully. I want people to click on “Random Post” and go to one of the many deep and thoughtful posts written by me and my one-person staff who hasn’t been posting lately (*semi-threatening glare*).

Time to start focusing on an actual topic for this post

Recently I’ve begun using headers like these to divide my emails into topics. It makes long emails less tedious to read, I believe. I’ve been writing a lot of long emails lately. It’ll probably become like a running joke this summer. Ben and his long, elaborate emails. Oh no, I got off topic again.

I think I’ll change my posting style from long, elaborate posts (why is everything I do lately long and elaborate?) to short and sweet. Like… strawberry shortcake. It’s short. And sweet.

The pun on “short” in shortcake was totally not intentional. I was trying to think of something sweet, and I happen to love those strawberry shortcake ice cream bars. Ugh. What I would give for one right now.

So here’s my first strawberry shortcake post of the summer. Ta-da!

What, that’s it, Ben? You’re ending here? You didn’t begin a single topic! You didn’t talk about anything specific at all!

Shush. It’s a strawberry shortcake post.

Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation

June 14th, 2011

I know you guys probably don’t take to heart much of what I prattle about here, but I hope you will listen openly to what Harvard’s Admissions Office has to say.

This is the best thing I’ve read in forever. It’s amazing. Read it.

» Read more: Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation