Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Last First Day

I knew I would be writing and entry like this for a while, I just couldn't figure out how to write it, or of what significance it would be. Many people make a big deal out of the first day of senior year since it is the last year of traditional schooling, so for some reason I hyped myself up too. As summer went on, I realized that I had little to look forward too. All of the typical senior activities such as prom, grad night, skip days, and what not aren't that enticing to me and I have little to look forward to education-wise. Eventually the hype wore off and I found myself completely unconcerned with the beginning of my last K-12 school year. The break that TS Fay provided also suppressed some of my excitement.

Last night as I laced up my new sneakers, packed my backpack with fresh supplied, laid out my clothes for the next day, and began packing my lunch, I didn't get that same feeling that I had each year for 12 years previous. It was just part of the routine...

Regardless of how much I was not anticipating this day, my alarm clock went off at 5am, and it was time to crawl out of bed and start this school thing again. Everything felt so weird and different at school. Barely any familiar faces, I felt alone. The freshmen wandering around with schedules glued to their hands and marveling over their new found "freedom" were amusing.

Enough about the experience, school is about taking classes and learning stuff, right? Let's get to that...

Robotics/Research 1: The new robotics lab is cool, even though its not completely finished yet. Though the class is full of freshmen, I think I'll still learn stuff and have fun. There are 2 other seniors that I know in the class too, so I won't feel that out of place.

Computer Applications 1: SUCKS. I know I'll be switching out of the class, being that I took it during my freshman year and there isn't really much to learn, but the 90 minutes that I spent there were excruciatingly boring and horrible. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but even a wise freshman asked me before the bell rang "what's the point of this class and how can I get out?" I don't know what I'll be switching to or when I can do it, but Visual Computer Modeling (VCM) is offered 2nd block, so I might take it if there's nothing else that I'm interested in.

AP English Lit: Basically our entire AP Lang class + a few from the fall class last year. Picking up right where we left off...

Anatomy & Physiology Honors: I DID NOT know that this would be a GP class. I assumed that half of the students would at least know what the course was about and cared to learn. Wrong. I also expected it to be taught by a different teacher :/ Our teacher, whom I have never heard of before, is actually on vacation or whatever until Monday, so we had a sub and did lame icebreaker worksheets.

I hope this semester flies by and I can't wait until next semester, I really like those classes. Until then, I'm just floating along...

Oh wait, I forgot about all that stress with SAT IIs, retaking the ACT, College Apps, and all that good stuff. Doesn't it sound fun?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Still Waiting

...for Broward to follow Miami-Dade and close school on Tuesday too. (For those of you not in FL, the first day of school was canceled due to the anticipation of Tropical Storm Fay). Hopefully there will be an update on the 12pm news in a few minutes


...for this tropical storm/hurricane to decide where it wants to go and get there. start school -- I don't mind relaxing a few more days though. Tuesday off would be perfect since I don't have to work either. But if there's no electricity, eh... fully wake up. I've been physically awake for about 45 minutes, but my brain still isn't functioning properly. Getting out of bed might help. Laptops are so darn convenient.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


So, according to Virtual Counselor I have 3/4 of a schedule. I assume the rest is still being assigned or there is some weird error? I'm pretty satisfied (for the first time ever!) so hopefully nothing will change...

Semester 1:
1. Research I (yeah I skipped this as a freshman)
2. AP English Lit
3. Anatomy & Physiology Honors
4. ???

Semester 2:
1. AP Gov't
2. Cinematography
3. German III
4. ???

With that being said, school starts on Monday and I'm not even close to being ready to go back. Where did my summer go? I'm not doing any school supply shopping this year since I have a mini Staples at home, and I bought new shoes and clothes a few weeks ago. It's an odd feeling. I'm sure this working thing has something to do with it. I'm kinda glad I'm not out there shopping with all the crazies, but there is still something ritualistic about it. Oddly enough, I still have a slight feeling of excitement for the first day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

That List

I've finally finalized my list of colleges that I will be applying to this fall. In order of preference:

1. MIT
2. Olin College of Engineering
3. Princeton University
4. University of Florida
4. Cornell University
5. Georgia Tech
6. RPI

I'm predicting that I'll get accepted into three of those schools, the other four are pretty far reaches. Later on I'll detail why I chose each school. I've started a few apps, now I can really begin to focus since I have my finalized list. I won't be surprised if I change my mind in the next few months though.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

That 'Working' Stuff

It still hasn't set in that I have a job, I'm working, and they're paying me to do it. I don't feel like writing long paragraphs that have to flow together, so I'm gonna do that quick thought thing again since that seems to work well at getting everything out...

-The art of selling things is really interesting. I think I currently suck at it, but I'm getting better. People are intimidating.

-Despite what those silly e-learnings said, I can categorize customers into several basic groups: the people that need to have their hands held along 110% of the way, the people that know what they want, the people that think they know what they want but are really clueless, and the browsers. After three days on the selling floor, I'm starting to like the first two a lot. I also like international customers too, they tend to spend quite a bit.

-Shockingly, almost 50% of the people that walk into the store speak Spanish, and about half of those only speak Spanish.

-I still get extremely nervous when people shove money or a credit card in my face after a transaction. "Duh Noelle, you work here!"

-Customers that use the salespeople efficiently are awesome. I don't mind being your personal shopping assistant for an hour if you're gonna spend $2K. Even if you don't spend that much, its still better than standing around doing nothing tidying up. I actually like answering questions. Ask away!

-Speaking of the oh-yeah-I-work-here phenomenon, it's still weird having people coming up to me asking questions...but oh wait, I know the answers, I have a key, I can help!

-No, we do not have any more Wiis!

-I prefer to sell cameras rather than computers. Odd thing is, I know more about the computers, cameras are just easier and more fun to sell.

-An interesting guy came in and schooled me on a few of the higher end cameras. Turns out he used to be a professional photographer. We had an interesting conversation about the tech industry and robotics and all that cool stuff. Turns out he works for Citrix too. He urged me to get out of retail as soon as possible lol. That's definitely on my agenda. This will hopefully be my first and last retail job.

-Public transportation sucks! I've never had a problem with it until I had to rely (NOT reliable, btw) on it daily. I hate waiting and I hate the heat. Screw that, I'm getting a bike.

-The power went out for an hour and a half today when a wannabe hurricane came through. We gathered to the front of the store and did nothing. All the customers left after a half hour. Apparently this happens often, but never for this long. "Free" $12 for me lol.

-I hate downtime. I'd rather be overwhelmingly busy with customers than have to pretend to be productive by re-straightening the same rows over and over again.

-I keep hearing things from employees that the new management sucks, which is why a ton of people are leaving and there are a ton of new hires (like me). Things like "this place is a hell hole" and "why would you ever choose to work here" aren't really comforting. I don't know if I should be worried just yet. Then again, the store's ranking is blah, so it's probably a necessary change.

-A 1-hour lunch break is a really long time when you can't just drive off anywhere. There are always cartoons on in the break room, Spongebob Squarepants has never been so hilarious.

-I can't wait to get paid! I want my Nintendo DS and new iPod already!

Friday, August 8, 2008


I don't think this is much of a shocking confession, but it definitely is serious. I have an addiction; a terrible, terrible addiction to YouTube. I'm sure this is fairly common in our digital age -- I hate phrases like that, but it seems appropriate at the moment. I've come to realize that my fascination with Internet videos is becoming detrimental to my lifestyle. I'll watch pretty much anything, music videos, personal vlogs, comedians, random viral videos, educational lessons, school projects, babies laughing, vacation memories, preschool graduations, robot stuff, cooking shows, the list goes on infinitely. I know it hasn't always been like this though. When YouTube first launched, I found it interesting, but would only go on the site if there was a link to a specific video and that was it. Time went on, more content was created, and now I feel a void if I haven't watched at least a few videos a day.

Scenario 1 - Checking Subscriptions: I'm always logged on to my account, so when I go to YouTube, the first thing I see are the latest videos from the 45 channels that I'm subscribed to. That typically takes an hour or so to go through. From there, I usually get sucked into the YT black hole of no return with that 'Related Videos' column, or if the original video that I clicked on was a response to something else, or if there were any responses to the original video.

Scenario 2 - Links: Friends typically share links if they make something or find something cool or funny. Other websites also link to YouTube for a variety of things. Again with the evil 'Related Videos' column...

Scenario 3 - Search: Every so often something interesting will pop into my mind and I'll think "hmm, I wonder if there is anything on YouTube about this..." Begin vicious cycle.

Scenario 4 - Completely Random: There is no explanation to how I got to a video or why I'm still watching it. I just am, and I can't stop.

As much as I enjoy watching videos on YouTube, I lack self-control in this area. I can usually control myself when it comes to stuff like this -- I stopped watching as much TV as I did when I was younger, I don't eat as much as I used to, but I can't kick this YouTube thing! It caused sleepless nights, homework going undone, corny jokes to be made, and a sad dependence on user-created content!

My lack of work in my Calculus class has inspired this entry. I have all the intention of coming online and getting 3-4 assignments done in one sitting, but I get sucked in to YT. I'll look at the little clock in my system tray and set time limits, but I always end up ignoring them. "Ok, I'll start working at 1am" Looks at clock, It's 1:59am. Sigh. I hate that I disappoint myself more than I disappoint others.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


There is really nothing in particular that I want to discuss, but I have this burning urge to blog. So, let's do another one of those random point/story/memory thingamajigs...

-I've been training at Circuit City for the past two days doing e-learning in this tiny room. It's hella boring. I experienced a bit of panic earlier this morning when I thought I would be late to work...only on my second day. By the time the bus reached the Sawgrass area, I was 45 minutes early, so I decided to take the bus around the Sawgrass mall loop and get off at the stop closest to the store on the way back around instead of crossing the big scary Sunrise Blvd. @ Flamingo, plus it would use up some time since I didn't want to arrive too early. I carefully planned everything out with the schedules , but that was to no use! When we got to Sawgrass, the driver said the bus was going back to the garage and not looping around again. WHAT?! The schedule did not say that. Anytime a bus goes out of service, there is a 'G' after the time of the particular stop. There weren't supposed to be any G's until waaaay later in the day. So, it's 8:55am and the next bus is supposed to come at 9:02, leaving at 9:15. That would be cutting it pretty close, being that the buses are rarely reliable nowadays. I am presented with a dilemma; I can wait for the bus, not knowing if it'll show up on time, or I can walk. I ended up waiting until 9:07am and then walking when the bus didn't show. It was a long walk. 1.5 mile walk, in less than 20 minutes, while its 90 degrees outside. I was not a happy camper when I arrived. More like a sweaty and tired camper. I actually made it on time though....but the doors were locked since the store wasn't open yet. Panic ensues yet again. Me being a noob and all, I had no idea how to get in, but luckily someone saw me. 6 hours flew by really quickly, hopefully I'll be able to finish up the training tomorrow.

-MIT's application hasn't been released yet. What's up with that!? I bet they're just teasing us. This was funny. I believed it for about a second until logic kicked in. Princeton's online app hasn't been posted either. Is there some significant national delay?! I know, we're reading too far into this. Someone's reply was also awesome. Whhhhhyy is college admissions so nerve wrecking and unsettling? I wish I could just know sooner so I could try to start liking UF more, but there is still that slight slight chance that I'll be accepted at MIT or Olin, slight. I'll be patient.

-I'm staring at this Guitar Hero controller next to me and realized that I haven't played it in a really long time. I need to find time to play. I miss being hypnotized from the colorful, rhythmic dots flowing at me.

-The reality is setting in that school is starting really soon. Back to school sales are going on like crazy, I have two new pairs of shoes, and Broward Schools' website has changed once again. This is definitely the best thus far. Easier on the eyes, better navigation, and no ugly backgrounds or graphics. Virtual Counselor is also back up and it says that I'm a 12th grader now. I honestly don't care about that class pride 2009 hooha, I just want to know my schedule lol. Maybe once in my high school career the scheduling stars will align and there will be no conflicts and I'll get what I asked for. Maybe? Nah, sounds too good to be true. I want to see what fun course gets stuck on there this year when something I selected is unavailable. Weight Training II? Intensive Reading?

-So this was the first year that my half-birthday passed without me really noticing it (yesterday). Probably because there was another event taking place. I'm not one to celebrate or anything, I just usually take note since I always have to have an accurate mental representation of time and date or else I don't function properly "ah, I need to update my age to 17.5." Last six months of being a minor! Not that its's really important or anything, I can just legally enter a contract (get a credit card!), vote (which I probably won't be doing), buy cigarettes and lotto tickets (no), buy alcohol just about anywhere outside of the US (too bad I don't travel often), and work longer hours (eh, no). I guess 18 isn't really that exciting. I need the media to stop making a big deal about these events, yes I'm looking at you My Super Sweet 16/18/21!

-I need to go to sleep again. Waking up at 7am during the summer, during the weekend is no fun... I guess there won't be as much of a shock when school rolls back around and I have to wake up at an even more ungodly hour.