The one who claims he is in love with me is back. We last encountered him a couple of months ago.Well, he is back. And he is creepier than ever.
Montage 24 January 2009
Oh my god. I am so not looking forward to the next two weeks. So much work. I know sometimes my blog turns into a complaint session on how much work I have, but it is really true. The teachers decided to go easy on us this week, because of MLK Day and Obama’s inauguration (:D) and the performance of To Kill a Mockingbird today disrupting our schedules immensely. Next week, however, is going to be crazy hard. So many tests, assignments, regional science fair, Mu Alpha Theta try-outs and competition, not to mention the goddamn [America]* IA (Internal Assessment). I am just so sick of it all. (more…)
(Anticipating) Birthday Gifts 19 January 2009
Since Christmas just left us, and my birthday is in a couple months, I have been thinking a bit about gifts. I have not technically gotten a Christmas gift yet (my parents do not think it is as important anymore. All I wanted was access to their American Express for Amazon.com purchases and a jigsaw puzzle. Since I already have access to their credit cards for such purposes, all they had to do was go to Wal-Mart and get me a jigsaw puzzle. But no).
My sixteenth birthday is coming up soon, and as I reflected upon attending my friend’s sixteenth last week, the only reason I would ever have a sweet-sixteen party is because of the gifts. However, I was only joking then. Honestly, I do not need gifts, really. My parents do not really limit what I am allowed to buy, and buy clothes, food, books, and all other necessities (or not) for me.
Even though there is still a month and a half to go, I have decided what I want my parents, at least, to do. I want them to donate money to charity. I have been thinking about it, and I do not see the point in getting them to spend an extra thirty or forty dollars on something a) I would be getting anyway, or b) is not really necessary.
The only decision left for me to make is to decide to which charity my money will go. I am not sure, so any input is welcome. Also, I am wondering what Adrika got for her birthday (We got you the iTunes giftcard, but I kind of forgot what your parents gave. Did anyone else give you anything?).
On my TED adventures (which, by the way, stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design), I encountered the cuuuuutest (yes, it requires that many “u”s) thing ever. Watch it. It is so sweet. :)
Julie suggested some others for me to try. The first is Ichthyosaur. I did this one by following David’s original reasoning. Click on the first person whose name you see, and if no mention of their religion is made on their article page, then click on their nationality. From there, you are sure to find Christianity, usually under “Demographics”.
Ichthyosaur (A type of dinosaur named by…)
Richard Owen (A scientist who was a member of the…)
English people (A group whose main religions include…)
Christianity (A religion that worships…)
Julie suggested “cortex (botany)”. I think she just clicked “random article”.
Cortex (botany) (A part of a plant, which are studied in the field of…)
Botany (A notable botanist was…)
Gregor Mendel (Who was a monk for the…)
Roman Catholic Church (Who worship…)
Another (I think she used “random article” again):
Hervé Arsène (A soccer player from…)
France (A country in which Christianity appeared in the early centuries BCE. It linked to…)
History of Christianity (A religion that worships…)
Julie suggested some other guy, Johan Letzelter, but he was born in France, meaning his became to similar to Hervé Arsène’s above. So I skipped him.
Pickelhaube (A type of spiked helmet found in the Prussian army, especially during the reign of…)
Frederick William IV of Prussia (Who was an adherent of…)
Lutheranism (A faith that worships…)
(Any more suggestions? It was fun!)
Highlights: Dorman Tournament 18 January 2009
The trip was so fun. I ended up in the car with Robo driving, Josh, Noah, Matt (though he and Spencer switched later), David, and Kay. It was really fun. As usual, many memes were spawned in the journey.
I could say a lot, but I will keep it short and sweet: JV lost in the semi-finals, meaning we got a trophy. Varsity didn’t do as well, but their questions were harder and their competition tougher. Even JJV (made up of three freshmen) managed to win two of their six games. We were very proud. This tournament was really exciting because the format was very different from the other tournaments we have been to. I got more and more excited about PHS hosting its own tournament sometime this year. It might actually happen, too, especially as Robo is offering CAS hours to the seniors (who are in desperate need) for writing questions.
The hotel we stayed in was really cool. It was a Radisson, built atrium-style, with balconies overlooking the lobby. The room Avalon and I shared was kind of a suite, I guess. It had an outer room with a table, a TV, and a pull-out couch. Then, a short passage with a vanity area leading to the bedroom, which contained a king-size Sleep Number bed (really hard to adjust) and another TV. Also, the bathroom was cool because the towels were folded into little fan things. It is the silliest thing to get excited about, but we loved it.
Also, on the way back from Dorman, it actually snowed. Very lightly, mind, but still. It was David’s first time seeing snow, which was pretty funny.
At the tournament, David brought up an interesting theory. He claimed that you can get from any Wikipedia article to the Jesus article within five steps, similar to the “six degrees of separation” idea. Everyone started bringing up articles that they did not think would work, and David suggested possible tracks, all leading to Jesus. Josh suggested “meerkat“, and I decided to try it. It was actually easier than expected. Here is how I solved it:
Meerkat (Timon, a meerkat, is a character from…)
The Lion King (Which is supposedly partially based on the Biblical story of…)
Moses (Within whose article I did a quick ctrl+f search to get a link to…)
It was pretty fun, actually. Anyone want to suggest other articles I should try? I would love to do it some more. :D
In other news, I am very happy because I have finally mastered the rolling chords I have been working on for more than two weeks. I have to play them in “My Favorite Things” for recital. I am also making good progress on the Beethoven piece, which is easier than expected.
“Democracy”, but also Some Other Stuff 16 January 2009
I should be packing right now, but I used the “I should go look up where exactly Dorman High School is . . . ” excuse and got on the computer again. This week has been pretty weird, what with science fair work and missing tomorrow to go to South Carolina for a tournament, and a bunch of other stuff. I am happy to be ending the week early for a four-day weekend. :D
Recently (today), I was watching TED (what does that stand for, by the way?) and came across this really nice video. It is so sweet. This guy, Jonathan Harris, “collects stories”, and has a very interesting way of going about it (I feel so happy I got to see this video because Jonathan Harris sounds so awesome. –You’ll understand this if you watch the video). The ending part, with the Bhutan stuff, was particularly touching; poignant, even. I felt an affinity for the Bhutanese people: they are like India’s neighbors! But the way the information was presented was so beautiful. I really loved it, and I think you guys will like it too. Also, watch more TED!
I was looking for a CD case for the two CD-Rs Kay asked me to bring tomorrow, and I found something interesting. Julie, Adrika, you will remember in middle school, during American Tapestry, when we recorded those CDs with Ms. Fischer? Well, I found my copy of the CD. I would have put it away without another thought, except that I just read this post on Greg Laden’s blog (on ScienceBlogs) that led me to an article on SciAm.com talking about why your voice is different when you hear it usually and when you hear a recording. This made me reflect on the CD just a little more than normal. I looked at the list of names and found the poem I had recited, “Democracy”, by Langston Hughes. I still have it memorized (mostly). Here it is:
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.
Is a strong seed
In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.
Something to think about, I suppose. I like this poem a lot, but I would like to hear what you guys think about it. There is not a lot of symbolism, I think, which is something that I often enjoy. Sometimes, analyzing poems can get too tiring for me, and I need something straightforward (I still love analyzing stuff, just sometimes I want my brain to shut up and accept the goddamn information without looking at it from fifty different angles). So, yeah. Thoughts?
My Weekend 12 January 2009
I was going to write a post about my weekend, but it was not really interesting enough. I feel as if I should be writing something deep, insightful, or meaningful. Instead, I will just entreat, exhort, encourage, everyone to go to http://www.TED.com/. I love that site. In case you have not heard of it before, it is a site at which they post interesting lectures made by famous or important people about a variety of topics. They are so addictive and fun. I may post some links to good or interesting lectures periodically. I have to credit Chao with starting the whole TED fad.
In other news, I have officially started practicing the songs I will by playing for my recital in May. I will be playing “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music” and the first movement of Beethoven’s “Sonata in G Major”. I am pretty much in love with “My Favorite Things”. I have been playing it since school started, so it has been five months. That song is so fun to play, and I have really enjoyed learning it. Props to Melody, who gave the sheet music to me in the first place. :D The Beethoven looks to be fun, but I am not entirely sure yet. It gets more complicated than the part I have practiced so far.
Competition season is about to begin. This weekend, Dorman tournament. Next week, district science fair. Next weekend, Mu Alpha Theta. Also upcoming: Montgomery tournament, UF Spring tourament (to which JV might be going; we do not know yet), MAO February and March, AMC, Cox tournament, etc. Things are going to get crazy.
Anyway, it is getting pretty late, and I want to get some reading done, so goodnight. Sorry this post has been a little scattered, but I wanted to get something posted. :D