Tuesday, November 20, 2007

(Last) Weekend

Lego League
As far as competition went, we (the crew) all encountered the same ol' issues with parent and coach confrontations. Seriously, they need to back off and let the kids have fun. It's still great to return year after year and see what younger minds have been inspired, in spite of their little-league-esque coaches. I really need to mentor a team for next year. Pictures here. (I was too lazy to upload or link all of them to blogger)

Marcus' Party
Mmm DS Cake!

Everyone was so surprised to hear that I'd never been to Dave & Busters before. It's a cool place, but for some reason I still like Gameworks better. D & B has a better everything-in-one atmosphere with the large food/bar and restaurant scene, billiards, and party rooms galore. Perhaps I'm just more used to Gameworks and disappointed that D & B didn't have DDR, but Pump It Up instead and no other rhythm games. Though D & B has more ticket yielding games and a much larger selection of prizes to choose, I couldn't find a single thing with my 612 tickets from the night. One highlight of the night was the 'Super Triva' game. Of course a group full of dorks was attracted to it! We probably played more than 10 matches, finally managing to synchronize our swipes to get a full amount of 6 people playing. It was hilarious to hear the moans when the spinner landed on the 'Sports' category, yet the cheers when it landed on 'Science'. Plus, it was an very high ticketing game. I won two matches, one worth 100 tickets, and the other only worth 70 because of a tie. I can make up for my lack of gaming skill with knowledge! Though I still own at Super Shot basketball. Good times. I need to get out more. Pics here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mixed Feelings

It's been a pretty good semester so far, but I have these really odd mixed feelings about school in general. I'm doing really great, I just got my report card today and I have a 4.325, weighted, for the quarter, though it didn't effect my cumulative very much. Calculus is great. Shockingly, I got A's on the last two quizzes. Not enough to recover my grade from that one time I completely blanked out and forgot everything...like even how to add, but it was enough to give me a significant boost. I don't think I've gotten any smarter, I guess it's just the way the stars align...

(no, I don't really care about astrology, I just don't have an explanation for my ups and downs in Calc)

So everything sounds like it's going great, right? Well, last Thursday I received news from my wonderful guidance counselor that AP Physics was canceled due to low enrollment. WHAT?! Yeah, it's gone...forever! Being my normally calm self, I didn't react in that manner. I simply asked what other options I had and also had a backup plan in case they decided to throw some bullshit in my face. Of course, going to Dillard, scenario two was a given, and I was told "there are no more science classes, there is nothing we can do. How about another elective? A nice easy A, huh?" Yeah, that's what type of guidance department we have. I'm deprived of a science credit needed for graduation, and they offer GPA-lowering-filler courses instead? After that, I suggest the possibility that I can receive a study block the time that I would have AP Physics and complete the Honors Physics (crazy easy!) online with FLVS, or I could do the same thing, and they could code the class as Research VI, which I could test out of easily, and still have plenty of time to complete my online course. DJ was also in the same situation since he has ALL of my classes. A little side story with study blocks. They just do not do them. People have left the school because they couldn't get a block because of their Dual Enrollment classes and whatnot. Just the mentioning of that is so taboo around here and gets a huge automatic no, so of course I expected that to be immediately rejected and for them to have to accept my original proposal. It requires little effort on the school's behalf, I planned everything out! Of course they said no to the study block, fine. But the next answer was appalling, completely silencing. Do you know what answer we were given? "That is impossible! There is no way that you could ever do that." ::confused looks:: I can register for a course right now and start working on it, they can enter a stupid filler code for AP Underwater Basketweaving in the system, and it would work! But at that point, there was nothing left for me to say. As of right now, I have Graphic Design II listed in place of AP Physics. There is no way that I'm taking that in addition to Physics online if it'll just be a waste of my time. It still hasn't been solved, but supposedly he's "working on it" Mhmmm....

This is one of those moments where I am tempted to leave Dillard. Why am I even here? Oh yeah, for robotics...eh, that's not going to great either! But then again, I have no transportation to BCC for Dual Enrollment, my mother would never let me become a full-time online student, and it's too late to do College Academy...so I'm stuck here until May 2009. Hmmpf! My other option would be to take AP Calculus 1st block, but I don't think that I'm prepared enough yet, and I'm not sure if I want to add more stress on top of what already will exists second semester, as the robotics build/competition season and having to take Physics online regardless of what I have 1st block won't go away. I could probably manage a 3 on the AP Calc exam, but I'd like to do a little better than that, and I really don't want to be forced into it.

On a less stress-inducing note, the Junior Experience College Fair is tomorrow. I get to miss 1st and 2nd block to go down to the convention center and look at some schools that I'm barely interested in. We were given a list of the participating colleges and universities, and it turns out that only 1 school from my list will be there. Lame. At least I get to leave school, not that I really want to miss Calculus...

School should NOT be this stressful. Especially when it's so easy. People are difficult.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dorky Moments

I was just thinking about some of the ridiculously dorky things that I've done in the past few years. I think that I've finally embraced my inner-dork, well, I always have, but I mean...it's just gotten so severe in the past 2 years! Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:

Last Weekend: I was at Publix pushing a shopping cart down the aisle. Every now and then, the shopping cart would veer off the straight path and make jerky movements when trying to turn it. My first thought: "Man the software on this cart sucks! It needs a new gyro or some better software!"

Always: Most 2-4 digit numbers always equate to FIRST team numbers in my head. I don't know why, but once in Chemistry last year I balanced an equation to have 19O2 on one side, and yelled out "Exploding Bacon!" Also, anytime the word 'first' it used, I see it as FIRST.

Today: My mother said that there was a new processor on sale somewhere. I asked her why she needed new computer parts. She was actually talking about a food processor.

There is a thread on Chief Delphi titled "You know you're overdosed on FIRST when..." and is like 49 pages long, going on since May 2006! I've posted on it twice already. Here are some of my posts:

...when the only jokes that you talk about are inside jokes from robotics
...when there is a multiple choice question on a test and you are very inclined to bubble your team number or a familiar team's number even though it is the wrong answer
...when you annoy people by reciting team names when you see their numbers
...you realize that you wore all FIRST shirts the week after the Championship for no apparent reason
...your family alerts you when they see anything remotely related to robotics on the news
...you do the math!
...when explaining something you can always somehow relate it to robotics
...you are already planning on how to revolve your schedule next year around robotics
...when you have two years left and you are already sad about having to leave
...you spend half of your Pre-Calculus class talking about robotics with the teacher and the rest of the class hoping to recruit new members
...the next week, you again spend about 15 minutes of the same class comparing why students should come to robotics in the fall rather than hassling with marching band tryouts/workouts all summer
...you realize that you wrote all of your essays for a summer program about robotics and weirdness...and it worked!
...you can finally talk about robotics in your German/English class without annoying the teacher
...you insert "If you were in robotics, you would know what we were talking about..." regularly into conversation to spark interest

Okay, I've got an interesting one...

This past weekend I was booking travel accomodations for when I go to CMU this summer. After booking my plane ticket I was searching for ground transportation from the airport to campus on the Port Authority website. Under the bus section I see Rack N' Roll under their customer info section and immediately think "OMG they have a FIRST bus! I must get on it! I don't care where it takes me!!" I click on the link...turns out that it is just the name of their program where you can put your bike on the front of the bus.

Daily: I read A LOT of tech blogs/feeds, MIT Admissions Blogs, College Confidential, various college websites, Wired, Robot, and PopSci magazines with a passion. I find guys with glasses attractive, I like measuring things, origami, and I build robots...'nuf said.

This summer: I spent a few days youtubing topics like 'Math Rap', 'Science Song', 'AP Classes', 'Physics Experiments', 'MIT' and of course 'FIRST Robotics' everyday. As of last week, I can now understand everything in the amazing 'This is Calculus' video!

A few weeks ago I discovered nerdcore, as a genre. I knew of some dorky songs, but I didn't know that there was a WHOLE GENRE! Best thing is that that most of the music is free, and I actually understand it!

And the fact that I actually thought "Hmmm, I should make a post about how dorky I am!" a few days ago...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


can't go anywhere...stuck in Electronics. Escaped prisoner on the loose and all Broward schools are locked down. UGH!

Monday, November 5, 2007

::ding dong::

Get the door...it's Domino's.

I love ordering Domino's pizza online. I get great offers to my email, and as I expected, the two free Coke Zeros with the 'blitz' promotion could be changed to any type of soda instead of that diet stuff. It's on the way now.

I recieved an interesting piece of mail today from poetry.com. Apparently I'm a semi-finalist in one of their monthly competitions for a chance to win $1,000 or $10,000! Along with being a semi-finalist for competition, the poem is also being published (with a whole page to itself!). I didn't really plan to enter the contest, I was doing it out of boredom as a step as a part of a larger contest (which I eventually gave up on). I think I wrote this one in like less than a minute, and completely forgot afterwards. It was titled "Free Money" and was about how I longed for finally winning one of those contests and doing so by some way of getting beyond the advertising tricks. OH THE IRONY! In the back of my mind something tells me that this is some type of scam, but it seems legit. It's on their site, but I've reproduced it here:

Oh I wish I could have free money
Some of the offers on this site are rather funny
When my prizes arrive
It was worth the strive
Haha I tricked those stupid advertising dummies!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

From a Different Perspective

...with new glasses! Decided to forgo the contacts this time around. My optometrist was SO cool. I've finally gotten to the bottom of my woe with safety glasses. Apparently, the safety glasses push on your regular glasses, thus slightly altering your prescription and vision and causing headaches. It makes so much sense now. How could clear safety glasses ever do any harm? I guess I'm stuck with the big bulky ones for now. No fashionable neat shaped, blue-tinted safety glasses this year. My new glasses are cool though. They're semi-frameless and pretty lightweight. I like 'em.

We went to Sawgrass (for the first time in months!) after picking up the glasses, and I must say that I still hate everything that I used to hate about that mall. There are amazing sales and discounts that you can't find anywhere else, but I can't deal with the people. SO MANY PEOPLE. Not to mention the fact that half of the people weren't speaking English. It makes me really nervous sometimes. But of course, we still walked away with bags full of amazing deals.

So besides getting completely owned by the AP Psych quiz on Friday, everything else in school is great. I started off Calculus with a pretty good start (B+ on the first quiz) and things look to be going well, at least for now. Apparently AP Psych is going to take a nasty turn into one of those dreadful AP classes that you hear horror stories about. Mr. Lacroix says that he was being too nice before and that when he went to the AP teachers' conference, he decided that he needed to be meaner and more strict. Just great for us :/

On another note, robotics sucks to the nth degree. I don't like the team anymore. I don't see anything that I can do to make it better without the cooperation of both sides. Both sides meaning students vs. students, Dillard vs. Motorola, students vs. mentors, and all of these conflicting goals and expectations. A team shouldn't have these types of problems. I shouldn't have to concern myself over dumb shit like this. It would be naive of me to once again think that "things will surely get better with time". I have a feeling that we'll be approaching the 2008 season with a completely different attitude...for the worse. It's horrible of me to say this, but something really horrible needs to happen for things to get better.

Ending on a happier note, the application for MITES 2008 was released on the 31st, or Nov 1? (they really meant late when they said late October) I'm going to wait until my ACT scores and updated PSAT scores are released, but I think I can start on the essays and getting those recommendation letters together. Decisions won't be out until April, but it gives me something to look forward to, hopefully.

Friday, November 2, 2007

So my iPod thinks that it's Jesus...

It's been resurrected, except this time, it is being really buggy, with sudden shut-offs, random low-battery warnings, daily freezings, and syncing issues every 5 seconds. Oh well...it still plays music.

Oh Noel, why did you disappoint me? You were supposed to be the one that came and gave us at least one hurricane day this season. It doesn't look like there'll be any more hurricane days for 2007. If so, it better get itself here in the next 29 days. What a tease.

So apparently I have astigmatism, which makes switching over to contacts a little* more expensive. We went to get glasses on Wednesday, too late for an appointment, so I am rescheduled for Saturday. When she pulled up my records when we asked about contacts, the nurse/assistant/desk person said "oh, she has astigmatism, so it'll cost more!" Um, I don't remember ever being told that at the last eye exam. Whatever. I like glasses. The ones that I am getting are more square and silvery with pink on the inside. Yes, pink.

*a lot

Yay, it's Friday! I just need to get through that AP Psych test and my school day will be over. Not really, but no more hard thinking after 3rd block.