Posts Tagged ‘USAMTS (10-11)’

This is another one of those “sorry for not posting in forever, let me summarize my fantastic life” posts.

January 27th, 2011

Here’s the compulsory apology. Sorry for not posting in forever; let me fill you in on what’s been up.

So my last real post was back on the midpoint of winter break. The week after that I told myself, “Okay, gotta write a post summarizing my winter break.” Never happened. Then a week later “Ugh I should post about my awesome week.” Never happened either. “Crap this week sucked I need to pour my grief out onto my blog.” Nope.

So here’s Ben on the Thursday of finals week, reporting live. Let’s jump back three weeks. Latter half of winter break. One of my favorite things to do was to sit on the dinner table next to the window and read my chemistry book. My only gripe was that there wasn’t wifi there (that place is the southwesternmost part of my house). So I took one of my family’s old routers and put it in my parents room (right above the dining room). Set up some weird Windows tunnel thing that didn’t work 90% of the time. Yeah, so basically it was a waste of time. But it would’ve been cool. Well, it kind of works. When the computer is on (cuz basically the computer connects to my room’s router and shares it with the router through the ethernet port). But only sometimes. Sometimes. Yeah.

Oh, another high point of my break was watching The Count of Monte Cristo. I think I’ve talked about that before, however, so I’ll leave it at that.

Next week, the week after finals, for some reason every day that week I woke before 6; usually at 4:30 or 5am. That’s amazing, considering how I usually woke up at 7:50am, ten minutes before the late bell for first period, with a 15-minute drive and dash through campus. I think it had something to do with my setting the alarm to play classical music on Pandora at 4:30am, but I haven’t been able to reproduce it. Seriously, after that last Friday, I have never been able to wake before 7am again, up to the moment. (In fact I’m writing this at 3am…)

Another event in that first week after break was my persuasive essay speech in Jeng. I think I thought I was good at speech-making (I mean. I did win the SC presidency in middle school. Right?). Well, I didn’t do too bad. I didn’t prepare much, but I tried to put my very best into delivering the speech (which is on a VERY RELEVANT TOPIC and I have yet to post the essay that goes with it). I hope Ms. Jeng was able to fully receive my feelings towards the topic.

Other stuff also happened that week, like me doing math contests and wasting time. The next week I tried (LOL “tried”) to focus on something very important to me. My focus didn’t completely narrow until the following week though. I think this was dead week. Anyways, I think I got more work done in class (hiding it from the teacher) than I ever did at home. Too many distractions. Do you know how annoying Skype is when you’re trying to work? No wonder our lives suck… j/k.

Then it’s finals week. That week was so unproductive, counterintuitively. However, I enjoyed going out to lunch on Thursday and Friday with my dad. On Thursday we went to the Korean BBQ restaurant next to the CVS on Baldwin and Naomi, and on Friday we went to a Thai restaurant that was extremely cheap and extremely good. Oh yeah, I was going to talk about my Monday of perfection.

So the Monday of finals week was like the perfectest day ever. (I like how spellcheck didn’t catch “perfectest”. Spellcheck also caught the world “spellcheck” as wrong, although I guess technically it’s “spell check”.) Anyways, everything that day went splendid. Just wanted to throw that out there. (This paragraph is so short because, due to my short term memory loss, I remember no particular details of why that Monday was so fantastic, except that it just was.)

Oh, on the Friday of that week I did something interesting, I applied for an internship in less than one hour. Or maybe one and a half, if you were timing. Seriously… an entire internship in one hour! Essays and all! My mom and I are amazing, and I felt so good about that, even though that day was the deadline for the application, and the post office wouldn’t accept the package at 4:30, so the postmark was after the deadline. But I still felt good about it. It felt good.

The last Saturday and Sunday were spent working on USAMTS problems (I wasn’t able to completely finish #6 due to one last annoying step in the proof that I could just never figure out) and studying physics for the F=ma competition to select the members of the US International Physics Olympiad Team. So yeah, I ditched my friends and studied. Like a loser. Haha, but no regrets.

Competition was on Monday. I know I got at least one question wrong (source: Alfred). It was quite a simple question too… I’m a fool. After the competition, I did absolutely no work at all. None. Nada. Nil. I messed around and watched anime (A LOT OF ANIME) and did cool stuff like that in celebration of my hard work (cough).

I had an ortho appointment yesterday (Tuesday). It hurt a lot, but hopefully my braces will be off within a half year. That’s, what, four years of braces? *frown*

Oh, and today’s Math Team meeting was interesting. Hank and I (and Calvin and a bunch of freshmen) did Research, and I explained a problem with Calvin. Ate three bags of chips (very satisfying). Then we spent a long time discussing the next meet at Arcadia.

And I went home and refrained from doing work, and Mr. Zhang came by and gifted me a ticket ($40 worth!) to the Chinese Parents Whatever Club and their annual Spring Festival Whatever Dinner. I just KNOW what’s going to happen there… swarms of Asian moms are going to mob me, and I will be assailed by countless questions on how they can torture their kids more effectively. I’ll just hide in the bathroom and play with my phone, I guess. Hopefully the food is good. Maybe I’ll flash a ROM or two in the stall, just for kicks. Hopefully AT&T has signal in the community center. Think they have WiFi?

[end at 3:41am.]

towards clearer skies

December 26th, 2010

(edit: 275th post!)

Dear Diary, (hm are you supposed to capitalize Diary or not)

Today I solved a USAMTS problem from start to finish in one hour. Feel so good about myself!

Anyways, that’s what compelled me to post. I thought I would write about something, since it is the very midpoint of my precious winter break time. Let me inform my audience of what I have accomplished: started 5 animes and 2 mangas, finished a few, obsessed over Android 2.3 Gingerbread until 4am (multiple nights…), plotted terrorist acts over Skype, watched a Civil War movie (OMFG American movie WTFBBQ), and probably lots of other miscellaneous tidbits I’ve forgotten. Oh, I did manage to finish all my winter break homework (except ACS… wtf how am I supposed to do chem stuff we haven’t even learned) by Christmas Eve, so I met my goal. I admit my goal was initially to finish it by the first weekend, but you know, postponements happen. A lot. Ehehe.

So my main obsession these days is Android 2.3. The Nexus S came out… and disappointed everyone by being identical, or well, worse, than the nearly year-old Galaxy S series. It’s missing an SD card slot… only losers like Apple do that. And the processor… wasn’t dual core or anything fancy at all. And no 720p camcorder… I don’t even see why they removed that. But there are two sides to everything. The good thing is, because the Nexus S is so identical to the Galaxy S, porting Gingerbread is relatively easy. Easier, at least. Working builds of “Nexus SGS” have been out since a day after the release of the Nexus S, but it seems wifi and 3G are a bit flaky, GPS and camera functionality are missing, and something is generally unstable (apparently a wifi sleep problem) that causes the device to randomly reboot. I’m sure the non-losers at xda will get it all sorted out soon though. I worship the gingerbread thread >.<

Also apparently I found out something interesting about my anime habits. I absolutely despise anime in which the protagonist is a loser. I can’t even bear thinking about them =_=. That and my dislike of female characters that wear glasses (a few, extremely rare exceptions exist) are probably why I don’t like highly acclaimed anime like Dennou Coil (glasses… ugh). I’m currently dealing with Albert’s loser-ness in Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, an adaptation of the novel. I haven’t seen the movie or read the book, but it’s pretty captivating. And usually I’m extremely picky about serious animes. In fact, I can say that I rarely watch serious serious anime. However, when I do, I almost always stand back amazed at the creative beauty animators put into making the audience contemplate deeply. However, I like to use anime to relieve stress and provide a break from thinking, rather than to make me think more. But still, good serious anime, rare gems as they are, are the best of the best.

I realize my grammar was all over the place in that last paragraph. Please don’t read it. Pretend it was never there.

Oh yeah, speaking of grammar… for the December 4th SAT, there was a fire drill during the exam, interestingly. (Two, in fact. We just ignored the second one.) It didn’t really affect me, because I was on a math section, and I really couldn’t care less, even if the proctor hadn’t given us time to make up for the evacuation. In the end, they let all the kids who took the December SAT at our school make it up if we wanted. Of course, whether or not to take the makeup must be decided before viewing the score. But… I’m mad that the fire drill denies score-viewing even to those who aren’t intending on taking the makeup. The make-up should be opt-in, not opt-out. In the end, we made a phone call to the SAT people… or rather, the SAT automated phone system =_=. Eventually we got a hold of a real person (omfg/probably outsourced to India), and they got me my score within 2 days. Which was too long. It should have been instant.

Oh yeah, my family has a relative staying over for the two weeks of winter break. He goes to a boarding school in Indiana, apparently a military boarding school. I can’t imagine going to a military school at all. I have enough trouble waking at 7:50am every day to get to school and listening to the annoying bell schedule ordering me around my classes. I really don’t want to imagine what it must feel like being confined in such a rigid environment. I guess it works wonders, though. I wish I could be as self-disciplined and well-mannered as he is. You know how normally rich kids that come over from China play video games all day, grow fat, talk fobby, and act all spoiled making you wipe their asses for them? (Sorry for my cruel stereotyping >_<;;;;;) Well, his accent is probably less than mine, and he’s so much more polite to my own parents than I am. Maybe it’s just because he’s one generation higher up than I am (even though I’m older, I think). What was the relation again… he’s my… mom’s uncle’s son? Something like that.

I like how it took longer to write this post than it did to solve the problem that compelled me to write the post.

Also, concerning the name of this post, I spent a long time debating “toward clearer skies” vs “towards clearer skies”. According to some, “towards” is British English, and “toward” is more American. Another source says “towards” refers to direction, while “toward” implies “with respect to” or “on the verge of”. Either way, I like the British, and I’m referring to direction.

Post name refers to incessant rain we’ve been having lately, as well as being a metaphorical representation of our futures as high school juniors.

Woops, crossed the 1000-word mark. I should really get back to being useful. (1191 wtf)

I found so many typos correcting this post… and SO MANY grammar errors… and ugh my writing just sucks. apologies to all those who have read this post.

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