Tuesday, March 31, 2009

7.5/10

So, here's my full college breakup.
Rejected:
Harvard (well, I figured, since I got deferred from MIT at first)
Yale (same)

Waitlisted:
Brown (lol, I was actually surprised about this one)

Accepted:
MIT
Williams
Duke
Cornell
Northwestern
Carnegie Mellon
URochester (my 10th choice out of 10, and gave me the worst financial aid to boot...)

7.5/10! C! ...or not. So in any case, that means I'm essentially set on MIT. Yay!
In a way, I'm sort of relieved that I didn't get into Harvard and Yale. Although I had said that Harvard was my top choice, I'd been having doubts about this for a while...and now I don't even have to decide.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All-States

3/26-3/28, I'm gone for All-States. We're playing Respighi's Pines of Rome, which apparently Noah really likes? All I know is that it includes the recording of a chirping bird. This is bound to be a treat...especially after having been spoiled at All-Easterns...well, at least the hotel changed. Maybe the new people aren't as nasty towards us. Seaport Hotel...we might even get an ocean view! Haha, but I think it's still 4 people to 2 beds, so I'm packing my sleeping bag.
Things I'm missing:
4 college decisions (parents checking....=/)
New Naruto and Bleach (omg, will Ulquiorra finally die or will this fight just drag on?)
'Valuable' class time (riiiiiight)
NEC (sigh...teachers shall kill me)
Hm. Duke, Williams, CMU, and Northwestern are supposed to come out this week. We'll see how that works out....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hit counter mystery solved!

First: the hit counter measured unique users daily, which makes sense, and would explain why I have 170+ views right now.
Second: putting the link in my Gmail status makes a difference - for example, this afternoon, I conducted an experiment. I put Lan's blog in my status and saw what happened to her view counter (which had been at 40 for quite a while). Now, her view count's at 71! Interesting.
I just finished a mini-project for English, where we had to take three cells from a graphic novel and turn them into a different story. My images were taken from Barefoot Gen, a story about Hiroshima (excellent graphic novel, btw). I turned it into a zombie story! ^^
It was a bit of a pain to color the zombies, through.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Engineering

Finally, the end of the engineering project saga. All 10 of the marbles went through the box, but one bounced out at the end and didn't go into the high-scoring area. Bah. The time was pretty good (either 2.16 or 2.19 seconds), though it doesn't matter, since we didn't get 10 for 10. Mr. Gould said it was...pretty? Or something along those lines. We ended up using my old poster board from my science project last year.
In other news, I got an acceptance letter from URochester today. Interestingly enough, they 'personalized' the acceptance letter - it included comments on my essay and said something about music. It's probably just some template that they use, but still, it's interesting.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

MIT and All-Easterns and such

Wednesday, March 11.
I realize that Shostakovich 5th symphony 4th movement is really hard. DAMNDAMNDAMN....I start cram-practicing. Bad me.

Thursday, March 12.
Cram-practicing during orchestra! Yay! ...I actually got the passages down, somehow. The Lexington kids and a couple of others left for All-Easterns on a school bus (that came 30 minutes late). The orchestra was in the Providence Marriott. We were immediately rushed to the warm-up room, where I essentially unpacked and then got dragged out to the audition room....where I died (I need mah warm-up time).
Rehearsal (7:00 - 10:00)
I got 6th stand inside (1st violin). Eh. Relearning all the passages (for the inside part) was great fun. And my roommate was John C.! And, best of all, we got our own beds. All-States is really sketchy because we have to share beds...yeah.
The orchestra is...amazing. From the first downbeat, the string section played together, played all the dynamics...just awesome. YPO might have better players, but as an orchestra, in my opinion, All-Easterns ran miles around them.
When the time came to sleep, I faced a dilemma. Two pillows were really hard and bouncy! One was like a tube-like thing that I don't think you're supposed to sleep on! And two were really squishy! ...yeah.

Friday, March 13.
Grr, wake up calls. The shower shoots multiple sets of jets in different directions! Very cool. But the shampoo was orange ginger scented.
Rehearsal 8:30 - 12:00, 1:00-4:30
Yes, it was really long. However, it was still really fun. Shostakovich 5 is a sick symphony. The conductor spent a lot of time ripping on the title of our other piece (Frenergy). And I met three friends from Greenwood!
Cantus concert 6:30-10:30
Yuck. I swear, the management just tries to waste our time because they're lazy. Anyway, the concert was by some touring group from Minnesota. I mean, they were good, but....frankly, I hate chorus concerts. Blech.
We watched Mission Impossible III until 1 am. Probably not a good decision.

Saturday, March 14.
Rehearsal 9:15 (!) - 12:00, 1:00-2:00
Okay, the 1-2 rehearsal was nerve-wracking. I couldn't concentrate at all, my heart was pounding...ugh. The trumpet player from YPO walked up to the podium and conducted Shostakovich spontaneously! And it was really good, actually. I called home at 1:58 PM, and waited as my parents checked...and then the news came. I got in!!! We then went to some lame music exhibit, followed by a trip to the mall, Providence Place. Haha, the jazz, orchestra, and band kids got to go to the mall, but they forced the chorus kids to stay at the convention center. Dinner was funny. All four ensembles ate together in this huge, ritzy room in the Westin (far fancier than the Marriott, the band kids stayed there). Our waiter was a pedophile and kept on touching us and giving us sass. His best line: When somebody asked for more iced tea, he bellowed, "IT'S OVAH!" or something along those lines. We then saw the jazz band (they were pretty good, the drummer was crazy, in more ways than one) and the Boston Brass. The Boston Brass people are beasts. The tuba player played the double bass part in this jazz piece....it was amazing to see him breathing in between beats and play a continuous, seamless line of quarter notes. The French horn player...oh my god. He was ridiculous as well.
When we finally got back, John and I watched the end of Saving Private Ryan. It was confusing. We just saw lots of fighting and some Up-something guy shoot another dude and start speaking German. ...whut?

Sunday, March 15.
After much time wastage, et cetera, it finally came to be time for the concert. The concert was awesome, except for when my shoulder rest fell right when we started the third movement of Shosty and I didn't come in. Then me and my parents left and had Sichuan food at Sichuan Gourmet. Yum.

And here I am, working on this all-too-long blog post, procrastinating and not studying for my physics test. All-Easterns is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - they don't let people go to it twice by making it for juniors and seniors only. To see this pure passion for music over four days was a refreshingly different experience, much different from school orchestra (nobody cares) and YPO (people text, slack off). I feel as if I'm at a crossroads right now. MIT? Music? Or should I do what I always seem to do and try and do both?
Bleh. And I have English homework, apparently.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Engineering Project: Slight Success!

Yeah, after getting our brains fried by the NACLO Round 2 (Green Hmong and Cretan hieroglyphs are my enemy), Dan and I worked on our engineering project! And...it's not a complete failure anymore! See, Dan finally came up with the really simple thing that probably everyone else in the whole freaking world thought of before we did....sigh...
The engineering project is to move 10 marbles in a cup over an 8 cm barrier (which has to be at least 17 cm from the...apparatus) 83 cm down a table into a 5 cm box. Our project is basically a modded catapult...and I don't think I should say anymore. I might post some pictures after next Thursday, when the first half of the engineering fair takes place. March 19, 4:20 PM.
Haha, MIT decisions come out March 14 at 1:59 PM (just the tacky thing that you would expect MIT to do, you know?). Unfortunately, I'll be in Providence for All-Easterns, and my parents will know before me...and no, Lan, you can't access my account for me. All-Easterns...the level of orchestra above All-States, incorporating the states from Maine to DC (Okay, I know that DC's not a state, but whatever). I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon and coming back Sunday evening. Tomorrow's the seating audition day, and I started practicing the music...yesterday. Not good.
Anyway, now's econ packet time! The econ packet is about...money, but it's strange and subjective and...just weird. I missed class today, and class was canceled yesterday, and I guess I have a quiz tomorrow....? I wonder how that'll turn out.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hit counter

I edited my previous post, but I don't think everyone saw. I changed it to unique users. But still, 80 visitors? Wha? Bug? Spambots? Virus? I don't really know, but I have a feeling that 80 people don' t read my blog. Probably people had accessed it from different computers or did something else. Hm.
And I finished my linear algebra homework! Yay! But now's annotation time.

YPO Recordings!

Yay! I actually got to go to NEC yesterday, so I picked up the YPO recordings I ordered! I have the ones from last May and this January. The May recording has the Bartok Dance Suite, Schumann Cello Concerto, Brahms 4, and Nimrod, and the January one has Glazunov Violin Concerto and Mahler 5. I'm listening to the Mahler 5 right now, and I already listened to the Glazunov. Haha, I could hear the massive second violin choke in the third movement that I was proudly a part of. Overall, it sounded okay, but...the horn section....oh well. The Adagietto's awesome. Maybe I should listen to Nimrod and "compare and contrast" with the Honors Orchestra's own interpretation last year.
In other news, I actually started my Harvard Extension homework before the day before! Oh. My. God.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Competition...month?

So yeah. I did well on the NACLO, which means that I'll have to study for Round 2, which is next Wednesday. I might have a shot at the international linguistics olympiad, apparently... o_O wtf
Then there's this violin chamber music competition coming up this Monday....
And that Harvard Extension test on Thursday....
And All-Easterns next week (and MIT decisions >.<)
All-States two weeks after that....
Just took the MAML level 2 competition, and AIME coming up...
Engineering fair...
IDJFKJPOQIJT#**%(OIJFOAIJQPOIJFPO!I#JR!!!!!! too much work to do....sigh
Well, it's 11 pm and I'm already knocked out. Logging off now.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The site counter

As you can see, I've installed a site counter onto the site. Right now, it measures hits, not unique users (so I can inflate view counts, muahahahaha) but I'm thinking of changing it. In other news,
SNOW DAY!!!! Yay! But we didn't get as much snow as was forecast, methinks. Also, NACLO (linguistics olympiad) results come out at 3 PM. I'm really excited!

UPDATE: Yay! Now it measures unique users.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

DOE!!

Yay! Our DOE team won the regional competition! DOE, for people who don't know, stands for Department of Energy, who sponsors the National Science Bowl. The format is 2 rounds of 8 minutes apiece of buzzer rounds. The questions test many different fields: biology, astronomy, earth science, chemistry, physics, and math, and can be either short answer or multiple choice. First, a toss-up question is read, and if a team gets it right, they get 4 points and a bonus question is read to them, worth 10 points. We've been preparing for this essentially all year, with teams having been chosen in November. From September to November, the practices were on Tuesdays from 3 to 5, then afterwards, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5. The other teams (B, C, D) were all there, too, made me pretty damn angry when our B team was barred from competing. There were 24 slots for teams, but only 23 of them came (Grr. Our B team could have competed.). After 6 round robin matches, the 16 top teams move on to single-elimination rounds. The round robins were against: Cambridge Rindge and Latin, Braintree, Bedford, Phillips Andover, Andover, and North Andover. And over, and over, and over.... *jk
The...octofinals? The first single-elimination was against North Andover, then quarterfinals against Belmont, then semifinals against Chelmsford. Or was it octofinals against Belmont and quarterfinals against North Andover? I'm not exactly sure. The final round, against Lincoln-Sudbury, was interesting. They had taken an early lead, but by the end of the first half, we were up 50-26. They seemed to start to panic after that, and we ended up winning 88-58 or something like that. So thus it ended...it seemed almost disconnected for me. I didn't exactly realize the implications of what had happened until later. Maybe I was just spacey from being sick and sitting out for the first round. I'm not really sure. Now, we're going to prepare until early May, when we go to Washington, DC for the national competition. Yay!