Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, 2008!

In an attempt to equally divide my attention between finishing the last of my college apps and financial aid forms and trying to watch Jumanji (I haven't seen this movie in years, it's amazing!), I've realized that it's already the last day of the year. What a year it has been... Last year I wrote a similar post saying goodbye to 2007 with a much more positive mindset. I'm far too swamped at the moment to be that enthusiastic, but I'll get over it. 2009 looks to hold some excitement, let's see what it has to top from '08:

January - FRC Kickoff, FLL @ Hallandale

February - 17th Birthday, NJ Regional (4th seed, GM Industrial Design Award)

March - FL Regional (1st seed, Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award), lame spring break

April - FRC Championships in ATL, MITES rejection, intense AP cramming

May - AP exams, '08 Graduation (majority of my friends left)

June - school ends, begin enjoying relaxing summer break

July - find and reconnect with siblings on the Internet, start applying for jobs

August - started working at Circuit City, began last year of high school, started college apps

September - Mission Mayhem (won Powertrain Award)

October - SAT Subject Tests, ACT

November - SAT Subject Tests, historical election that I mildly cared about, got an iPod Touch, PopPop died :(, Black Friday madness

December - got deferred at MIT, crazy holiday hours at work (=more $$ and fatigue), Christmas, finishing last of college apps

I'm looking forward to 2009 with new classes, filing taxes, the robotics season, graduation, summer, and moving on...

On a completely unrelated note, this is an excellent movie night. Jumanji and now Richie Rich, two awesome 90s movies that I haven't seen...since the 90s. They're really making it hard for me to get stuff done. Must persevere!

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Even though the big show, Christmas, is over, it's still the holiday season, so I can still get this post out. I've always loved the cartoon holiday specials that air around this time, even if I have watched them multiple times a year for 17 years...

The animated version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, along with A Charlie Brown Christmas  and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! all hold a special place in my heart. Even though I haven't been feeling very merry this Christmas (or the last two for that matter), the songs from these shows still bring on an irresistable smile.

Yesterday was the oh-so-not-anticipated Christmas. I actually got my mom a gift this year, the Canon Powershot SD1100, which we both loved. I've had an inkling for a while that this would be a less fruitful Christmas for me, as I'm used to just about everything under the tree being for me, and it's about time to grow up blah "Christmas is for the kids", but I was still greatly satisfied with what I recieved this year.  I got a pair of Bose headphones, a 400GB portable hard drive, Guitar Hero World Tour (game only), and the usual: clothes, money, and other knick knacks. I actually slept through most of Christmas, fully enjoying the break off from work and school.

I don't believe 2008 is practically over. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

-Langston Hughes

I don't think this could've been expressed any better than how the guy that shares the same birthday as me did. Just for the record, I'm not that disappointed at all. Relieved not to be rejected but dreading the thought of waiting 3 more months. And the journey continues...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Final Countdown (Maybe)

6 days until EA decisions for MIT are released.


Accepted, deferred, or rejected, look for something here on 12/15/08.

I don't think I'll get in. We'll see on Monday I guess.

That quote "expect the worse and hope for the best" is really becoming more and more applicable to my life.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Note to self:

You are lactose intolerant. Dairy hurts. Be wise with your food choices. Do not eat large quantities of ice cream and/or cheese without supplements ever again. Don't forget that. It will hurt.

-Your Digestive System

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Congratulations! You've been pre-approved

Typically you'd expect to see that line on some ridiculous ripoff high-rate credit card application.  Somehow they get ahold of your info, prequalify you, so all you have to do is fill out some basic info and you're set. Colleges have taken a hint.  In the past 4 months I have gotten about two dozen of these types of applications from colleges, known as "streamlined", "choice", "elite", and "personalized" apps. The schools offer advanced admission and financial aid notices, shorter, less, or no essays, no need for recommendation letters, fewer questions, priority housing, and sometimes a waived fee. Sometimes they throw in a cheesy spiel before getting to the point to make be feel special. Oh gosh and if they happen to know I'm black and a female interested in engineering... I cringe reading "students like you" in that context. I assume the information used to prequalify potential students are solely based on standardized test scores. Most of them are written in the same exact format:

Seems like a great idea, right? It definitely makes applying to safeties easier. Most of these applications I'm getting are unfortunately from generic middle-of-nowhere schools that I've never heard of. Just as I was shortening my college list yet again, I get a few of these from schools that I was actually interested in at some point and now I'm applying to two more schools. Kettering's app only took like 10 minutes and at one point I was seriously interested in WPI. An acceptance letter won't hurt and it'll only cost me postage for transcripts.

It actually almost seems as if schools getting desperate at this point. The first letter is "hey have you heard of XYZ University?", followed by "why don't you apply to XYZ, we like students like you. We even have a streamlined application, aren't we cool and different!", turning to the stalkerish "hey we haven't heard from you. don't you like us? we like you!" and "okay, okay, we'll waive your fee and pretty much almost guarantee admission, just apply dammit!" Perhaps it's not that extreme, but it surely felt that way.

I'm sure none of the major schools will be picking up on this approach to admissions since these types of apps really don't reveal much about the student. I feel that it also cheapens the process and removes the desire to find a suitable connection between the school and the student. I'd definitely prefer for a school to admit me based on a holistic process taking everything in to account, rather than just the numbers. Is it convenient for both me and the school? Absolutely. Best approach? Probably not. I bet with some of these apps one could be admitted by a robot as opposed to a real admissions committee.

Welcome to the 21st century, folks!