Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

 
 
I’m gonna go out of order, and talk about this weekend, before I talk about Parent’s Weekend, and I have a couple weeks worth of #worldslongestmarathon to catch up on as well.

INT: Ithaca-Tompkins County Regional Airport
Friday morning, I was sitting in the airport, excitedly anticipating Trevor’s arrival.  I was seated at a table, drinking a cup of unsugared, not that great Maxwell House vending machine coffee, distractedly trying to do some reading about PC history.  The plane was delayed forty minutes, and I was checking my watch, hoping I’d make it to my web design class.  But finally, the plane came, and Trevor walked down the ramp into the terminal. 

EXT: Ithaca-Tompkins County Regional Airport
After greetings, we went outside in the cold and the rain to wait for a bus.  It finally came after about 10 or 15 minutes, and we headed toward Cornell. 

INT/EXT: Cornell
By the time we got there, it was in between classes, and it took forever to go through the crosswalks, but after my web design and government discussion sections, I was finally able to take Trevor up to the dorm.  After a quick building tour, we proceeded to the campus -  Lincoln Hall, Uris, Olin, and Kroch, where we went to see the Asia collections.  Unfortunately the museum part was closed, but we got to go into the Asian stacks! It literally felt like a huge warehouse or mainframe clean room.  But it was really cool to see.  After that, we went up toward Duffield – though there was a Trustee Weekend Gala, so we didn’t get to go on the floor of the atrium, but we were able to go up on the bridge.  I suppose this was as much an architectural tour than anything else.  Then a passed by a locked Bailey hall, and over the footbridge and back up to north. We had dinner with Dhaval and Steven at RPCC, before heading up to the games where we played with etch a sketches and operation. Then back to the room – passing the pumpkin carving in the common room. That said, Halloween at college can be quite interesting.  I spent the night running back and forth between the laundry room and my dorm room, but it was fun.
The next day, we got up in the cold and went to the clock tower for the 11 oclock concert – and climbed the 161 steps to watch the chimeplayers on the clavier, which was amazing to watch them dance across the pedals.  After the concert, we went up to the belfry and saw all the bells and took in the great view – Cayuga lake looked a lot bigger from up there!  And it was certainly cold. After that was a trip into the bookstore – looking at math books, a mad scientist book, and more.  Then a walk through collegetown, and a stop in Cascadeli to grab some lunch.  After that was a trip through the Johnson – another first for me, after the Kroch library and clocktower (or belltower as Trevor tells me).  The Johnson was really cool – a nice exhibit on trees with an amazing tree stump bench and tree house art piece, and art pieces on evolutionary trees of things like pleasure.  But one of the strangest pieces of art was actually a video of a grassy field – I forgot the name of it already, but it was quite surreal.  We continued upward, until we got to the 6th floor observation deck, with a beautiful view northward to Cayuga lake, and it looked REALLY big, We went over the suspension bridge, and then I wanted to go bowling, but there was a Cornell Community Only sign. Shucks. So we did pool instead. And I got owned. Oh well.  Then was dinner at RPCC, and after that was videos in the dorm room, but at night we went to the Halloween midnight chimes concert, which was a lot of fun to listen to. And crowded! So much better than sitting in a dorm room all night. It was more crowded than I thought – but it looks fun to play! The marching band did some cool crazy strange things with tubas too. But the tower was lit orange with jack o lantern clock faces, which was cool. Afterwards, we threw stones on top of Olin, and then back to watching videos. Brian came back and showed us some cool collegehumor vids before sleeping.
This morning, we had a breakfast brunch, and then got on a bus to the airport.

INT: Ithaca-Tompkins Country Regional Airport
And I sit here now typing this, as Trevor is on the other side of the glass wall, deplaned from his flight.  But time to catch the bus back to Cornell now – hopefully they get the plane off the ground soon! I’m really glad he came though, I had a great weekend!

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Parents’ weekend recap and more coming soon! And it’s snowing! Happy Halloween/Happy November!

 
 
Ok, some tweets to start off (I think the 34 is supposed to be 35; and I'm missing 38 and 39.)
Band practice on monday, then scheduling kids' jobs for the 2009 Rowland Field Show Tournament! One of the larger responsibilities as band club president. I had a lot of fun doing that (a lot of stress too) - I remember working on my huge 6 page excel grid during Mr. Dawdy's class. I think that is my hallmark achievement of Microsoft Excel - fully color coded and everything! Lots of fun with scooters, and thanks to Kevin and Peter for their help. Check out my video about field show for more perspective.  Day 37 was one of our first tournaments - a wonderful weekday tournament, but it was great, we got first place! I remember during the season, having to help call the group to attention, and getting information on where we're sitting and what not. Good times. Hopefully everything is going well this year!

And onto my life in the present. I feel like maybe I should blog every day - by the time I get around to blogging, I forget what I did in the early part of the week! Last week was a shorter week, though I felt plenty busy for those 3 days. I had dinner with Stephen on Saturday - it felt like Fall Break was weeks ago.  I've been really busy, with my FWS essay on the first computer, and trying to get ahead for this week I've got CUPB with Frank Warren and Louis CK along with Parent's weekend this weekend!

Sunday I went to SIG's launch of Cornell Exchange which I wasn't much involved in the development, but I was there for debugging, and helped add some things to prepare for the launch. And time to start taking a larger role in the site. After that, I went to the Cornell University Chamber and Symphony Orchestra concert. They played wonderfully, and there was the world premiere of a piece by Fresno resident Kenneth D. Froelich.  I enjoyed the concert, though I found myself drifting a bit into memories - playing catch with my dad against the brick wall of our Chicago house, figure skating and gymnastics, and my parents' influence on my learning instrumental music. Which I feel like is something I want to pass on. But that's in the future.

Today I met with Professor Mertha in the government department, to discuss future government classes. I'm going to try to see Professor Boyd tomorrow.  But tonight I went to a pre-major advising dinner panel with AS students. I found it very helpful - how we all face challenges but they can help (or not) us. Like bad grades. And how a major doesn't necessarily translate into  a job in the same field. And just calming some of my fears about academics. So in that aspect it was very helpful. 

I've been looking at spring classes and there is so much I want to do! STS! Government! Music! Info science! Physics! Calculus! Astronomy! English! I have to make some decisions soon - I would reflect more on it if I didn't have more work to do and need to sleep!

So maybe I should try to blog more, tweet less? We'll see.

 
 
So tonight, I went to a lecture with the Cornell Astronomical Society, about the expanding universe. It was small - maybe only a dozen people, but it was pretty interesting - a basic background on cosmology and evidence of an expanding universe. It was in the classroom in the Fuentes Observatory - I've never been there, but it was pretty cool. It seemed somewhat old, but it had that great old furnace and wood furniture smell. I liked it.

However, the storm raging outside, not so much. It's been raining all day today, but it really picked up tonight. All I had was my blue windbreaker/rain jacket. Walking there and back in the dark (there was an older man who went to the lecture who insisted on sharing his umbrella with me on the way there, which was incredibly nice) was in mid 40 degrees, though I suspect wind chill brought that to somewhere in the 30s. And boy, was it windy. Like a hurricane it seemed. Probably 20mph with gusts 10-15mph more. And the rain was light enough that the wind blew it in every which way, it was almost like watching heavy snow come down under the lamps. And the water droplets hit the skin like icy knives piercing through me. Intense stuff.
 
 
So what did I do over Fall Break? Well I went to a wondrous and magical place called Ithaca. No not in Greece, but in New York.  So I suppose a day by day breakdown is in order.

So Friday night I went to a guest lecture about quantum physics, experiments, and what we could possibly know by 2020. Granted there was a lot I didn’t understand, but there was a lot of interesting information about CERN and dark matter. Back in the dorm it was quiet – very quiet. I was the only one in my suite who stayed over the break – in fact the only one on my hallway on the floor.  It was strange to be so silent. At first it was kinda nice – but then it got eerie. It was like a post apocalyptic movie. Groups of one or two kids roaming the building listlessly searching for other survivors. As it turned out, there were 7 survivors on my floor.  That night was my last dining hall meal before they shut down and I was out on my own – if anything doesn’t say post apocalyptic than a closed dining hall, I don’t know what does. (Okay, nasties was open, but a grill where you have to pay doesn’t count. Plus I’m not sure if the nutrition value is much more than lard on a piece of cardboard – tastes much better though).

But the weekend in general was full of cold nights – close to 32! A lot of procrastination, late nights, and late morning wake up times.  And full of the West Wing, Good Eats – haven’t watched that in forever! – and the Apollo Space Program. And refalling in love with my love of space. Which brings back more questions about my studies – and the need for something more technical in addition to government and STS (and maybe a music minor). Infosci doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.  Though I doubt in real life rocket launches were accompanied by a moving soundtrack. 
 So Saturday I got my voter information in the mail! First election! I need to do that soon! I also made my first trip up to the Ithaca mall. It was kind of nice to get out of the little Cornell bubble – the trip up felt a lot longer than the trip back though. Even when I went today. So I went to the mall – which by SoCal standards is not a mall, but it’s what we’ve got here.  They do have a Borders here though, so maybe that makes up for it! Stopped by there for a bit, then over to Best Buy to look at cameras.  After that was a walk to the other side (while stopping for a pretzel!) to Target – looking at boots and coats, and stocking up on food – including frozen dinners, canned soup, frozen veggies, and a microwave bowl.  And a quick stop at AC Moore for some fall gourd decorations.  Then nighttime was an hour long apples to apples with Alex, David and Lelani. I spent more David and Alex over break since they both stayed as well. 

Sunday I intended to work, and started off with a beautiful work around Beebe Lake. As isolated as Cornell is, it can seem like a bustling city sometimes. But then walking the trail was beautiful – it was like walking in the middle of nature – which I suppose is the point.  I still didn’t get much work done though.
Picture
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 Monday I actually got down to work. I went to the commons in the afternoon, first time since I visited Ithaca in spring. Actually, the bus stop was right across the street from the hotel. I was going to go to the Dairy Bar again and get a smoothie, but it started sprinkling. Figuring it was too cold and I had a starbucks card in my wallet, I went to the hotel Starbucks instead to get a caffe mocha. And I took the 10 bus back, so we got to go around on the west side of the loop and go over the Thurston bridge, which was nice, even in the rain. I went to practice clarinet a bit in Lincoln, as the building was open Monday.

Then today, people started coming back, and life sprung back into campus – though yeah it was a bit loud again. I made another Target/Best Buy trip so that I could get some ink. And another pretzel! And Han was there, so we rode back together, which was fun. Then I practiced a bit more clarinet. Came back, went to dinner with Zach, Mike, Ariel, and Tim. Good to have ice cream again!  And now Glee while I’m writing this. Web Design mid term tomorrow – hopefully I do well!

 
 
No blog entry last week, so I’ll cover 2 week’s worth here. Now let me refer to my Twitter so I can remember what happened. It seems that days here go by very slowly one at a time, but once they’re over, they feel like it’s been so quick. Like this weekend is the halfway point through the semester – I feel like I just arrived! Though this weekend is fall break – and there’s like 5 kids on my floor who are staying. It cleared out a lot more than I thought. It’s very strange not to have shouting and yelling periodically on a Friday night. It feels like the California club (hey that’s not such a bad idea) is stuck here for the break! (Sorry I’m not able to come back home and watch a field show!) But I saw a couple guys wandering through the building trying to see who’s left – it feels like some post apocalyptic world, searching for survivors….ok maybe I’m going a bit too far. But hey, we have to live without dining halls for a weekend, so it is pretty post apocalyptic.

I’ll cover these past 2 weeks in more general terms than usual. Couple weeks ago, I hosted 2 prospective freshmen, which was pretty fun. Played pool with them and Brian, explored the skylounge.  Also, Jim/James from CUPB is like one of the head people in charge of the program, which is pretty cool.  These past few weeks I’ve also been spending a lot more time in the library. I like the White room in Uris, but there’s also a room off the White room (I want to say Kinkdale, but I know that’s not the name), which I like as well – though they both seem to be popular and somewhat crowded. But I’ve figured out my timing a bit better to get myself a seat in one of them. I like the natural lighting of the other room, and the coziness and Harry Potter esque-ness of White. Though I was there Thursday night as well, and the White room was practically empty. I’m glad I got my favorite table, but it felt strange having only a handful of people in there.  I also went to the library at 7am the day before my government prelim (to finish up my reading response/dialogue for my writing seminar on military and computer development), and unbeknownst to me, you need an ID to get in between 2am and 8am. But that’s fine, at least the library is open 24 hours a day! I had to go down to the cocktail lounge, because the upper portion of the library was closed.

Besides the library, I’ve spent a bit of time not in the dorm – I spent that one 7am library day out of my dorm the entire day, until about 11pm.  That said, I’ve learned to enjoy the benefits of having Oakenshields on central campus.  I’ve also spent some time in Lincoln – I’ve learned “Somebody Come and Play” from Sesame Streets – which brings back good memories. I wish I had already bought my Finale composing program, because I’ve been composing stuff without writing it down! I hope I don’t forget! For that sake, I’ll list out some stuff – There’s a jazz/late night talk show type theme that I’ve come up with, another western theme more along the lines of the Good, Bad, and the Ugly, playing around with some Christmas sounding stuff, and some exploration/theme for a hero like stuff. Anyways, I was on an upright today, and the tuning guy came in to tune the piano, and he let me into a room with a grand piano! Which was awesome. The sound is definitely different. 

Speaking of music, CU Winds had its first concert this year in Bailey! We played Bugs!, Rhosymedre, Walls of Zion, Puszta. It was really fun to play in a real hall instead of a gym. And using a dressing room (though not that comfortable with 20 guys in a space barely larger than my dorm) and all the backstage stuff – it was really fun. And listening to the incredible talent of Wind Ensemble afterwards was great too. Now we have new music for our November concert – some of it I don’t like as much, but it might grow on me.

Show wise, I’ve been following Stargate Universe, Glee, 30 Rock, and The Event. Saw Mythbusters too. The Colony ended its run – hated the finale. Watched the first episodes of the Office, Community, and Outsourced, but I’m not going to have time (or bandwidth) to watch that many shows!

Foodwise, I’m loving the free popcorn at Cornell! I’ve had Mongolian grill another time now at RPCC. Though I still think Oakenshields probably has the best Chinese food (and that’s not saying much!). And still loving the ice cream. AND there was the Fall Harvest special dinner! Pumpkin Cheesecake, fresh sweet corn, applewood smoked prime rib, bbq short rib pizza, celery root and potato puree, penne pasta, honey nut ice cream – local produce and whatnot, it was one of the highlights of Cornell dining so far this year.

Clubwise, participated as Pakistan in the Mock MUN conference – thanks to my mentor Alexa for making it a fun experience! CUPB, gearing up for Frank Warren, and Louie CK, good stuff happening there. Played pool and ate dinner with CSA – Yuanji (spelling?) is a decent pool player. I…had some lucky shots, I should get in there and practice, if I think it’s worth the time.

Weatherwise it’s been cooler (except 70 degrees today), and lots of rain! A lot more than SoCal. The umbrella comes in very handy. Except for sideways rain. Or big mist like clouds. Though a highlight of the rain was the crazy water coming over Beebe dam – I thought it had burst at first! And the huge mist cloud created by the rushing water falls – and now there’s a tree trunk (or 2) stuck on the dam wall – I would have loved to see that come over.

Classwise, it’s been alright. Hard chinese quizzes, but the sections are still fun. Web design is moving toward its first prelim (the day back from fall break!). Gov prelim happened this week, I feel like I did well, but I put my studying efforts there instead of Chinese. I hope it paid off. Writing seminar essays are still coming along, as well as the readings, but I’m finding them pretty interesting – though I get lost in some of the technical aspects sometimes. Which means I’m reconsidering my crazy idea about a STS and Gov double major and Infosci and Music minor. I might want something more technical/mathy. Badminton is going well as well – thought I lost my ipod the other day, but it fell under my desk. Enjoying the clock chimese as well – Firebird Suite, Here Comes the Sun, great stuff. I could use more sleep. Some lectures, I’m still going through 2 packs a day, and I’d like to cut back. (of smarties! Gosh, what were you thinking I was talking about?). And today went to a guest lecture on quantum physics experiments and what we might know by 2020. Very interesting stuff, even though I only understood a tiny bit of it.

WORLDS LONGEST MARATHON – BACK TO THE FUTURE…er past.

Wow, there’s a lot of stuff:
•  #worldslongestmarathon day 34. not bad overall. annual rhs pep rally - football team as cheerleaders...wish i had my camera...
•  #worldslongestmarathon day 32. whole band running through school during practice! tiring, but looked like http://tinyurl.com/ycxsluk !!!
•  #worldslongestmarathon leg 31. not too bad. though i'm not exactly looking forward to our english surprise tomorrow....
•  #worldslongestmarathon day 30 - well....another 6:30-9:30 school day. 15 hours, not 3. and hw time now!
•  wow...that was the most productive hour i've had all year. good leg of the #worldslongestmarathon! =) didn't finish, but did a good chunk!!
 •  secret to sucess in the #worldslongestmarathon - be pumped up, ALWAYS have energy. like the energizer bunny. keeps going and going and ...
•  #worldslongestmarathon never seems to end. actually seems worse on weekend. when do i get time for myself??? or college apps?? or SLEEP??
 •  OH! i forgot #worldslongestmarathon day 29 - 10/2 - not bad, mostly an easy day. nhs book drive - it'd be nice if ppl actually gave us books
•  #worldslongestmarathon day 28 - traumatizing tests! hopefully tomorrow isn't as crazy. ib ice cream social was fun though!
•  #worldslongestmarathon day 27 - not a whole lot. but tomorrow - tok presentation, history quiz, english surprise, spanish oral test. yay.
 •  ...DONATE AP/SAT BOOKS TO NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY!! realized i dont need so many books today =( thanks @helentran11 #worldslongestmarathonb
•  #worldslongestmarathon day 26 - fun stuff. traumatizing history video =) hahaha. sleepy from band last night. another NHS book drive day...
 •  #worldslongestmarathon - plus got 2 tests back - yay! did well =) aaand new eps of #NCIS and premiere of #SGU this week! so exciting!
•  #worldslongestmarathon day 25 - band practice - and CHAIR AEROBICS! http://bit.ly/xPGJf and now it's homework time...

Ok, starting at the bottom, chair aerobics! My contribution to band? Alright, maybe maybe not, but Paul Eugene is awesome. I thought it’d make a cool punishment for people (the humiliation factor I guess?) I guess I didn’t expect people to actually like it (I thought that’s just me, and I’m weird!). But that’s good stuff. Then we had NHS annual book drive – I think I was in charge of this. I wish I had planned it out better, better advertising and what not. But overall, I think it went well. Thanks to Helen, I realized about not always brining my Tsokos or TOK books – which helped the weight load a lot (though I still did carry quite a bit as usual!)  I have a feeling that English surprise was our first essay? Or something else? Anyways, I did well on it – much better on the essay than I thought I would have done – which set me on a better than average year for English! And the IB ice cream social – I remember we had ice cream, and tables set up. And despite the best of intentions to get to know everyone in the club better, a bunch of freshmen bailed out when we were going to start icebreakers. I remember Bryan scaring them, and them literally running to the back door of the hideout to get out. Crazy stuff. But worth a good laugh! Then back to college app season – so glad I won’t have to worry about that for a while. They do seem hard and stupid at times, but they’re worth it! Day 30 – I started staying at school for band instead of going home, to do tutoring in the library, as well as it just being easier because I didn’t lose the half hour of transit time.  Another English surprise? I don’t know this time. Day 32, running through the whole school in a couple of big loops THEN jumping jacks until everyone returned. I remember at the beginning it looked like the intro to the Drew Carey Show. And smart me, I sprinted, leaving me more tired and doing more jumping jacks. I guess that’s that point though. And you know what? PAUL EUGENE KEPT ME GOING! I counted and shouted like him during jumping jacks, and it got me through. And I think it might have given Brett and Lauren a good laugh too… Day 34 was the annual RHS football pep rally, with the football team dressed as cheerleaders and doing a routine. Always great fun to watch, and we were there on the side playing our couple of pep songs. Lots of fun at football games all the time!