All Work and No Play…

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makes Jack a something something…

Wait, that was the wrong quote. Getting my Simpsons mixed up with my Shining…

Have a huge chemistry lab due tonight, a quarter of my total lab grade excluding all the practicum exams. Still working on it now… this one is especially hard. Just after it is due at 7 I have a hellacious lab exam. Tomorrow, physics exam. Friday night, math exam. At least after this week I only have four weeks of real classes left, and I get a break from exams for two weeks.

Then the summer. I can’t think about that yet.

My mood as always recently: AAAAAAA!


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Today was not all bad, finally. A day of respite. I had a very positive scholarship interview at the San Diego Foundation today. There were a few ringers they threw at me.

The first one is something I have been wrangling with for weeks now, not this specific question but it was serendipitous nonetheless. Sedra posed it to me: “If there was one thing you could change about your life what would it be?”. I knew what I wanted to say, which was the whole resolution to the whole mental quandry I have been in for the past week. Ever since being reintroduced to the almost complete discography for Nomeansno thanks to Adrian (more serendipity). No, I could not mention that. Too personal. I might start crying, and noone likes to see a grown man in a suit crying. What I did say was that I wished I had stayed with my father in Leesburg for my senior year of high school, just after my parents were divorced. I mentioned that I would have probably gotten my high school diploma, and would have probably led a completely different life. I kind of left it at that. Cuz the room got silent. I think even that was a little too heavy for them to ingest all at once.

The next ringer they threw at me was much harder to improvise. Ned, who I think is a neuroscientist, posed this one: “If you could travel to any time or place, what one person would you meet, where would you take him/her out to dinner, and what would you order?”. Wow. I had to stare at random-point-in-space for a few seconds to get my bearings first. I finally answered Ludwig Boltzmann, because of how he was able to bring statistics together with chemistry and physics… his work was really interesting. I honestly think that though, I am not making this up. I also mentioned how there were some other close seconds, like Nikola Tesla. Then Barbara, a chemistry professor at UCSD, broke into my answer and said “You know, he comitted suicide” … Ha. My response? I think it was “Well, he was probably an interesting person to be around then”. Something like that. The food I chose? Spanish tapas, with sangria. I am getting hungry thinking about it. Barbara also related how there is a statistical chemistry textbook whose first chapter begins something like “The key concepts in this book were developed by Boltzmann, who then killed himself.”

Gotta love professor humor.

The rest of the interview was easy comparatively. My overall impression was positive. Who knows, I find out for sure if I am the person that gets the scholarship in the next few weeks. Crossing my fingers.

Class afterwards was the worst. Left me spinning. We got our exams back from last week. Class average was 64%. Ouch. My F sensors perked up. I could smell the F coming a mile away. What was the score I got? Well, on the front it said “38/61″ which is 38 points out of 61 possible. He gave us two points because some tool in the class made a 59/61. So that gave me a 65%: big fat D. I was shocked. Literally. I knew my knowledge of how these chapters worked was shaky at best. But low enough to deserve a D? I scanned my test quick to see what I did that was so bad… ok, I made a bunch of dumb mistakes on the short problems and aced the longer ones. Typical. He always gives us an assload of questions like that.

So I went to lab feeling dead. I was dead. This meant a certain B at best in the class. No hope for an A. I was crushed. Then I started to really analyze the test to see where I went wrong. I counted the numbers up. Wait, that does not sound right, five points off this page and eight on the last two… that does not add up to 23 points. Then I realized the grade I REALLY got was a 48/61, which is curved to a 50/61. Solidly in B territory. I was still in shock though. It was a rollercoaster I have personally had enough of over the past few days.

See my “Stop” post from yesterday.

After lab was done, something caught my eye. It was in a pile of reference books, you know the kind that are full of constants of all kind, standard fare in a chemistry lab. But it was the cover. It was The Reader by Fragonard. There are maybe five paintings in the entire world that evoke any emotion from me. Guernica is one of them. Wheat field with crows is another one up there. But this picture, at this specific moment, was especially meaningful, beyond the significance it had with me already. I had to laugh.


Spring Break ‘06: North California Coast

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We’ve been back for a week from our spring break, and we are finally done unpacking everything. Now for your reading pleasure, I present our spring break adventure for the fine year of 2006.

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Ok, stop it God. Stop Making my life excrutiating. I have a dying cat. Exams. Labs. Homework until midnight. Potty training. Scholarships. UCSD bastards not letting me know whether I am accepted. Student loans. Daycare. A video card with deficient SVIDEO output. ALSA. It is all excrutiating.

That is all. I am just asking.

Is this the real life?

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Back from vacation now. It was a nice nine days. Five days of real vacation and four days of driving. The one sentence version of the vacation: Camping in the redwoods and meeting friends in Arcata. Of course there was more, but I will post more when I get pictures together and posted. Right now I need to get ready for an exam in my chemistry class this evening. And get some physics homework started… annng.