Friday, June 1, 2007

Summer: Yay or Nay?

So, summer is here, but what does that mean for me? School ended yesterday, but it still hasn't set in. I still have to finish my online classes, hopefully I'll wrap everything up next week. Oh yeah, and I forgot...I'm going to CMU this summer. (Of course I didn't forget!)

I actually sat back and thought about everything that happened this year earlier today. I started the year off really confident, almost cocky, I'd lived in the shadows too much the year before. Academically, everything was fine...I had straight As. The clubs were okay. I really cared about robotics, but I was always hoping for something better. I still am. Still jealous of all of the wonderful teams that can hold events, gain members, deal with problems, keep people interested, and just be happy and successful. We planned out a lot of stuff, but everything fell through. I can say that it was a little better last year, as far as productivity, organization, and success goes, but we're still in the same place that we started. You always want to say that there is no one to blame to remain diplomatic, but there are several to blame, somewhat including myself, and I am still unable to justify all of the actions and situations. I remember all of the meetings. No one was really into everything, yet everyone was always extremely opinionated. The meetings were absolutely pointless, why didn't we just have a huge chat or something without wasting all of our time. It just doesn't make sense. There were problems, and we planned to fix them, but it just didn't happen. I won't bring myself to say why, even though I know exactly why. The reoccurring problems started off early with confrontation, deadlines, commitment, organization, and lying. January comes along and we are a mess. I have to say that it is a great thing that we didn't have a lot of freshmen this year, or else we would have been screwed, well, more screwed. This was all apparent at kickoff when only 30 people showed up, yet there were almost 70 names on the roster, yet everyone "agreed" at the meetings for the past month to show up and bring an essay. Yes, the essay was pointless, we had to write one at the beginning of the year, and now we must write one again stating almost the same thing. Redundancy: One thing that 108 knows nothing about. Err Er! this looks like "a delicate situation". It has been for the past bajillion years. Whatever though. Build season progresses slowly, frustration continues, and lets just say it was all a huge disappointment. The only thing that I got to keep for myself was chairman's, which could have been better, but we lacked the material and proof to support the words. Sure, that sounds horrible to say and exclude, but at this point, I really don't care. The Florida regional was fun, better than last year and we were this close to winning. Curse you BaneBots! 2nd Place ain't so bad though. This is where the tension escalates, but it is overshadowed by our close victory. Off to Las Vegas we go! Everyone is so pumped. Everything is justified by "Hey, but's Vegas!" Harhar, no excuse. The tension is ridiculous at this point. That Broward Schools' poster is right, Silence Hurts! Nothing really comes out, but everyone is scheming in the background, and there is so much that is misunderstood that it is just a headache. I actually left the venue quite a few times and walked around UNLV during scouting breaks when I just couldn't stand to be around it anymore, it was just too frustrating. Being in dead last place didn't make anything better. We played horribly. No one wanted to admit the real problem. I had fun with some team mates, but the whole time I was thinking "I don't believe I traveled all the way to the other side of the country, Las Vegas at that, for this!" We did win a design award. Yay. After all of the drama at the airport on the way back, we barely plan/prepare for ATL, which we should have been doing for months. I decided to buy a pass to the FIRST Conference that I shared with Gustavo. Well worth it. It was a great distraction from the team, and a learning experience. I was not needed at all in ATL, so I didn't take any guilt in walking around for hours talking to FLL teams, other FRC teams, and just wandering around. I stopped by for a few matches and to have lunch with some, but otherwise, I enjoyed the Championships more without 108, rather than if I participated fully with, whatever that might encompass. Right after alliance selection Shara called me down because they needed help with SOAP, so I did the elimination matches on Curie and went back up to the stands to watch the Finals on Einstein. We cheered for 1902, 233, and 179, I was happier for them! The 2007 Season ended with a sour taste, financially, organizationally, and just overall. That meeting about the manager selection still haunts me. The environment was uncomfortable and uncalled for. Especially the elitist, stuck-up bitch part. I say that I'm over it, but it still bothers me a bit, even though I know it doesn't matter. I felt bad for everyone else that didn't expect all of the pressured questioning, I didn't either, but I was prepared for whatever. I had hope last year. There's still hope, but the future just doesn't look quite as bright.

All of this robotics drama really fucked with my 3rd quarter grades too. Only one A. I wish I could go back and fix it all. So much time spent on robotics, sacrificing school, all for nothing. Why did I bother? Something that I definitely regret. I cleaned up pretty well for 4th quarter, but it took more effort. I usually never have to put forth any effort, but I needed to definitely prove to all of the teachers that loved me so dearly that I wouldn't sacrifice my academic success for another EC. Sure, my knowledge proves that I'm competent, but as much as we like to push the matter to the backburner, actual grades and test scores matter more than anything else. The FCAT is over for me, except science. 6 writing, 5 math, 5 reading. Highest in all levels. Good enough for me! Exams were pretty easy, I did better than I expected in PreCalc, although a C+ is still pretty low. I'll just have to live with the fact that I'll never get an A on a Theiss exam.

I've been having trouble with my laptop for the past two weeks, and it is finally somewhat back to normal. The first issue was with the burning/melting/scorched connection to the computer. The insides of the cable were scorched, yet the pin on the laptop looked unharmed. I talked with an HP technician and they mailed me an extra AC adapter for free because I still had 12 days of warranty left. In the meantime, we took the computer to CompUSA, where I have a 2 year warranty, 1 year left, to check to see if there was an internal problem. The associate that handled our issue was apparently high. After going in circles for about 15 minutes, he took my computer into the back and said that the computer was burning up his charger. No duh! I figured the problem was internal, so I chatted with HP again, and they arranged to have my computer shipped to them, for free again. I kissed my love goodbye and dropped it off at FedEx, and less than 4 days later, it is sitting at my UPS box! They sent another AC adapter back with the computer, and everything was in the condition that I sent it. But when I turn it on, I get a weird Windows error. Startup files are missing. Uh-oh! I talked to HP again to see if they would send me some recovery disks for free. Nope! 28 bucks! Turns out I was supposed to make my own recovery disks from the recovery partition when I first got the computer. I tried, but the computer kept eating up my DVDs, so I left it alone. I got the disks within 2 days ran through the repair utility, and now everything is just dandy. The connection is still very, very hot, almost too hot to touch, but nothing has gone wrong, except for a little scorching, and only once, but at least it's not melting. But hey, I have two extra AC adapters if anything else happens. HP says that everything is okay, and my warranty is now up with HP, so we'll see what happens...

I really don't have anything planned for my extra time this summer. I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing. I'll do the things that I do naturally, like college research, SAT, ACT, and AP prep, but I still need to do something else. Who knows what CMU will bring! Otherwise, I still need to find something else to occupy myself for the next 29 days!

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