Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

I’ve been back home in sunny Southern California for about a week now. I figure now would be a good time to start writing up some things that I’ve been doing, before the end of summer comes and I find that I can’t remember anything that I’ve done!

On Tuesday, I volunteered and helped out at Rincon’s CST Celebration (and I suppose partly because it’s the last year of the school as Rincon before it becomes Telesis School or Academy).  It was fun, though I may have gotten sunburnt a little. It was nice to see old teachers who I recognized, and see how the school has changed since I’ve been there – new teachers, a different student body, different (meaning less restrictions in) dress code, and new kids – have they always been that small?

I’ve also been doing some driving – just around and what not. But it was a little strange at first, having not driven for quite a few months!

Been doing some things to get ready for my trip to London as a Fulbright Summer Institute Participant.  Been talking to a lot of the other participants about that via Facebook. Did some stuff with press releases and whatnot. Possibly another blog entry about that later, before the trip.

Went with Tim and Yongjin to see Thor. It was alright I suppose. Personally, I started getting tired of watching CGI worlds – but that’s for another blog post. I found the highlight being the reference to Iron Man! Missed the post credits ending though. Even though I’m not the hugest comics fan, I really love how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is tied together – really being a cinematic universe; I’m not sure there’s a better way to say that. We also had Korean food for lunch (and churros earlier), all of which was pretty good. Then sitting down in the grass looking over the valley and talking. Would’ve made for nice movie scenery.

Also went bowling – and thanks to Benson, learning a technique more proper than my amateur style. And it took me a game or two to get into the groove with it. After a lot of gutter balls, I got 3 strikes in a row then a 9! Which is probably the highlight of my bowling career.

I also saw Trevor for his birthday, along with a lot of other friends, and it was wonderful seeing all of them again. I really liked playing Pictionary with them as we were waiting for apples to apples (I think I made the best words…but that’s just my opinion!) – it was fun to just throw words into a cup and pull them out. And had some great things. Like Asian Aslan and screws.

On a more personal note, I got Portal 2! And am already about 7/8 through – though watching Hank Green play probably contributed to that. I’m also working on the backend for a school website, which is coming along slowly but surely. Which reminds me, I need to start working on a personal website – where eventually the content of this website will move over. Eventually. Also got some time in with my Legos – the hangar bay set mostly. I was going to look at the bridge/control room set, but I’m not really sure what I want to do with it. Something soon though. Until the next entry then.

My second night of sleep on the train wasn’t all that bad. Not the best, but not the worst either. I think I’m getting used to the train! Though it would have been more comfortable if I had been able to get two seats to myself! (Or know the person next to me well enough).

I ate breakfast in the snack car; all the bagels were gone – eaten by the older folks who had all woken up earlier, according to the snack car lady! I settled for a breakfast sandwich – not all that dissimilar to frozen microwaveable breakfast sandwiches at school at Nasties, but I digress.  I spent a lot of time in the observation car that day.  I tried using my laptop for a while, but the train shaking was too much for my hard disk protection message which kept popping up. Across the table from where I was sitting, I met a woman from Minnesota who was on a 30 day rail pass, travelling across the country! 30 states and DC, going on practically every Amrak route! It sounded very exciting, and I’d love to be able to do something like that myself someday! Also at our table was a girl from Kansas who was travelling to LA. I later found out that the woman traveling the whole country was sitting in the seat behind me!

When we got to La Junta, Colorado, National Park Service volunteers came on board to the observation car, to give a commentary about the scenery we were seeing outside. They talked about the Santa Fe Trail, as well as some of the histories of the towns (and ghosttowns) that we passed by!

I felt very sad as we passed by boarded up stations and areas with overgrown tracks – lasting symbols of what used to be a greater age of rail.  It’s a shame that rail travel is not as popular in the US as it is in other countries, and it’s sad seeing the old infrastructure getting lost to time. At the same time, the train trip has given me a greater appreciation of how vast this great country is – and how far I am away from home too.  Air travel is nice, but it belies how far away I am from home – I can be home in just 14 hours.  This trip gave me a greater appreciation of what past Americans had to do to cross the country, by train, and by wagon and horseback before that.

There was a lot of nature to see also – besides cow, there were wild horses too! I think I spied a roadrunner in Arizona as well.  It was also great seeing how the landscape changed – from Kansas farmland, into southern Colorado plains then mountains, and ponderosa forests. We got to go through a tunnel too! But one of the most beautiful views was from the back of the train, watching the tracks run behind us.

Tracks, somewhere in Colorado or New Mexico
As for me, after some time in the observation car, I tried to call into Ithaca for a conference call, but unfortunately cell coverage in the middle of New Mexico isn’t all that great. After that, I went about reading my copy of Wednesday’s New York Times – probably the last chance I had to read a paper version of the Times until I’m back at school in fall. It was nice to be able to read (almost!) the entire paper – a luxury that I usually don’t have time for.

We stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico later for about an hour (we got in early), and got to walk about. The station was nice, and new – there was an older boarded up building with warning signs for asbestos. There were some stands with locals selling trinkets and souvenirs out on the side of the platform, as well as a place inside to eat. I bought a sandwich to eat later as well. There were also people who found a nearby Burger King, though I didn’t really venture that far outside of the station myself.

Outside of Albuquerque Station
Inside of (what I believe is a new) Albuquerque Station
One thing I noticed about the train was just how great it was for my eyes! School has been straining, especially during finals week – trapped in 20x20 rooms, or even smaller 5x5 rooms, staring at nothing except my computer screen and my books – it was quite stressful on my eyes! It was very relaxing to just look out to the horizon as far as I could see, and look beyond what was right in front of me.
There was a crying, teething baby in the coach, so I decided to walk around the train for a little while. I went into the snackcar and saw the same girl from Kansas who I had met earlier in the day. We sat and talked for a while, which was really nice! As we moved through New Mexico, dark stormclouds came and we passed through some rain, but we got a decent sunset!

As night fell, we entered Arizona, we stopped in Flagstaff, which was slow. There were a lot of people boarding and getting off of the train, but we had to load and unload car by car, so we inched up one at a time. It was a long process for us, but we blocked the road, and I’m sure it felt a lot longer for the cars stuck at the crossing! 

My seatmate got off, but I got a new seatmate too! We talked a lot, he was a cool dude. He’s Malaysian and goes to school in Flagstaff – we talked about schools, some politics, futures, etc. He was off to visit friends in California. We also passed by Williams Junction – probably the saddest station on the line! Though to be honest, it’s a few miles outside of Williams, and as I learned on Wikipedia, there is no public access; the only way to get there is via a shuttle bus, which takes you to a “real” station in Williams, where there is another railroad. When we got there in the middle of the night, there was a concrete pad, a van sitting idle, an Amtrak sign saying Williams Junction, and 2 lights. I was watching from the observation car, and could see the light from the 2 lamps illuminating the sign and concrete, before quickly fading into the blackness.  And, as we pulled away from the stop, the lights turned off, and all that was left were the taillights of the van! Seems like a scary place to me. But I’m sure it looks great in the daytime!

Blocking traffic in Flagstaff
Williams Junction station...light fading into darkness
In the morning, I woke up in San Bernardino, as we made our way toward Los Angeles. As we were pulling into Los Angeles Union Station, I met the man sitting across the aisle from me – who I had noticed during the trip had insightfully brought a blindfold for sleeping. It turns out that he teaches at Colgate! Nearby in New York – a friendly acquaintance! It was nice meeting him, though I wish I had met him earlier! He might have even been on the first train too! 

We finally pulled into Union Station – I forgot that Los Angeles has outdoor platforms! Most other large big city stations are underground. I found my parents, claimed my luggage (after a long wait!) and climbed into the car to go home!

LA Union Station
It was a great trip, and I had a wonderful time on Amtrak. If anyone has the time, it’s a pretty affordable option, and provides an incredible experience!
The next part of my train trip!

So that first night on the train was pretty rough – the people in front of us talked a lot throughout the night, and I was waking up every couple of hours or so.  We got to Toledo around 6am, and since it was a smoke/stretch break stop, I walked outside a little bit.  The Toledo station was nice, but it had sure seen better days. There were 8 tracks and 4 platforms (at least), and it seemed that only the one, or two, closest to the station, tracks were in use. A real look back into the heyday of rail.

Toledo's Train Station has seen better days....
I went to eat breakfast in the dining car, and was seated with an older couple from a small Ohio town who had gotten on in Toledo, and on their way to Minnesota, who had taken the train several times. They were very nice, and talked about the grandchildren who were in college, as well as about themselves. I like how they seat you with other people in the dining car – great time to meet new people. I had a coffee, which was very strong, and a pretty good plate of scrambled eggs and potatoes, with orange juice. Pricewise, it was pretty reasonable! It was pretty interesting to try to eat and drink on a speeding train. For the most part it was fun trying to eat and drink bouncing around in our seats!

Unfortunately for me, it seemed that the gray skies had followed from Ithaca, as the morning was foggy and gray. I thought I was leaving all of that behind! As we went through the Midwest, I was reminded just how darn flat it was! I had forgotten, but you could see the flatness of Ohio farmland.  As we neared Chicago, the train attendant made an announcement over the PA system – “Gooooooood Morning! We are about 35 minutes outside of Chicago….we ask that you please do not stand up until the train has come to a full and final stop…when you get into the station, make a left, then go up a ramp and you will arrive at baggage claim….we apologize for the delay, but there has been a lot of construction, as it’s summertime and summer is construction time on the railway! ….We thank you for choosing Amtrak as your mode of transportation.” Similar to the airplane message, but a bit longer. Then we heard it again. “Goooood Morning! We are about 30 minutes outside of Chicago……” Then a third time. We figured that the attendant thought she was going coach by coach rather than all the cars at once, or that she thought there was a problem in the PA when there wasn’t. By the fourth time (we were down to 25 minutes by then), the whole car could practically recite it! And someone in the car shouted out a “Gooooood Morning” which got a few laughs.

We pulled into the station around 11 something, about an hour and half late, but I had until 3 anyways, so I didn’t mind. I bid my goodbyes to Robert, and headed into the station. There was definitely a lot more security inside than in Syracuse, but as a central transportation hub, that didn’t surprise me too much. I walked around, tried to explore the station after finding the waiting area for my later train. I’m still not sure what the layout is (it took me walking around Grand Central Terminal in New York quite a few times to start getting the layout in my head). So I don’t know the Chicago Union Station layout, but I did visit the Great Hall – which was a pretty Great Hall. Classic railway station architecture, some wood benches too.  (Except the big corporate ad banner felt out of place!) There were some people milling about there, but I thought I’d go outside. I walked out on the Canal Street side of the station, then thought I’d walk over to the Chicago River side. There were a lot of smokers there, but the view was great! I had a great view of Sears (Willis) Tower, as well as the river. I watched several tour boats go by – including the architecture tour, which I probably went on about a decade ago (scary - I can say "decade ago")!

Great Hall
Sears/Willis Tower
Chicago River
I also saw the Chicago Sun Times building – I remember the Sun Times from the old tv show Early Edition – loved that show when we lived in Chicago! I walked around a little bit, in and out of Walgreens, then headed back into the station for lunch in the food court. I ended up getting a BBQ Chicken quarter which was very good!  I had a Jamba Juice later on too, before heading down into the Amtrak waiting area (as opposed to the Metra side of the station, for the local commuter trains).  I had a couple of hours, and it was interesting watching the different people line up for the couple trains that were scheduled to leave before us. When we were lining up, there was a nice Chinese woman who came and talked to me, who was going to Las Vegas, getting off in Kingman, AZ, I believe. We boarded the train, I was sent to the second car, seat 15 by the attendant. A guy from Michigan was seated with me, he was on his way to Arizona to do some conservation work for a couple of weeks, which sounded pretty cool. It was kind of funny during seating, since the attendant in charge of our car seemed to add “okay?” at the end of each sentence - I found it entertaining. The attendant was a really nice guy though – young, I think he was from California. I was a little disappointed not having plugs by each seat like on the single level trains, but there were outlets in the observation car, which would have to do. 

We got on our way, through Chicago suburbs, and passed a couple Metra trains. We passed Princeton (Illinois), out in farmland, but they had fresh fudge at the station. I saw a sign. Wish I could have tried some, but it was not a stretch break stop, so I had to stay on the train.

I made my way to the observation car and sat down for a while, watching the Illinois farmland go by. I met a guy from Kansas who was also sitting there, and on his way moving back home from Michigan.  I passed up dinner reservations in the dining car, and decided to eat in the snack car – I went early, while they still had food! I remembered from an earlier trip many years ago when they  ran out of food in the snack car. I got a hot turkey sub for dinner from the snack car lady, who was really sweet and friendly! Very kind and hospitable – I wish people behind any counter were as nice as her! We passed through Galesburg, home to the 1858 Lincoln Douglas Debate (as per the big mural on the wall opposite the station).  I also listened to the James Horner CBS News theme ( ) watching the fields go by – it really fits going by fields, it has that midwestern sound to it!

We crossed the Mississippi River, you could see it was definitely higher than usual – a lot of trees were halfway up in water. And it seemed to spread further inland than normal, due to the flooding. But night soon fell. I got off at the Kansas City stop to stretch out a bit, and then I went to sleep.

Illinois Farmland
My trip home from Ithaca to Los Angeles for the most part went as planned, and was a fun and exciting experience! I’ll post blog entries over a couple of posts based on my pictures and notes I’ve taken.
I finished packing on Wednesday, and had most of my stuff put into storage.  Had a quick dinner in RPCC, then I went back to Jameson for the last time so I could check out with Melissa.

My last dinner, consisting of green beans, carrots...and a chicken and potato dish that I do not remember the name of
After checking out, I sat for a little while by myself in my dorm – surrounded by suitcases and an empty desk except for my computer, which I packed up last. Soon, I made my way to the RPCC circle to wait for my ride to Syracuse – since a passenger train hasn’t come through Ithaca since the late 60’s, the nearest Amtrak station is in Syracuse.  While I was getting my bags into the van, Zack and Brian came back from their game of golf, and I was able to get in one last round of goodbyes. 

The van ride (via Ithaca Airline Limo) to Syracuse was pretty good. There was the driver and his wife, as well as a sophomore Cornell student from Indiana, also going home by train.  We all talked for a little while on the way north, but somewhere along the way I began to fall asleep to the sound of rain on the van’s roof. Though I’ve been to Cortland and Syracuse enough times now that I’m starting to recognize landmarks on the route – whether it be a graveyard, the Applebee’s, or that small town where you have to make a left turn.  It was raining by the time we got to Syracuse, but luckily there was an overhang at the drop off area!  I got in line at the ticket booth to get my tickets from the station attendant and to check my bags – he was quite friendly as well!  The Syracuse station was also the Syracuse bus station. I went to the waiting area, where there were several interesting groups waiting to get on – a group of older ladies who seemed to travel with each other quite a few times, as well as a large group of high school students.

The Lake Shore Limited approaches the Syracuse Station
It had been quite a while since I had taken a long train trip. The closest to that was a Philadelphia to New York stretch of my college trip last spring. However, when I was younger, I travelled with my parents by train a few times, to LA and to Boston if I recall correctly.  Travelling by train either to or from school was something I had wanted to do for a while, but I felt that I had the time to do it now before summer.  My route would take me from Syracuse on the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, then to Los Angeles on the Southwest Chief. 

So the train was supposed to arrive at 9:41 pm, but it came a little after 10pm – not too long a wait. I had gone up to the platform a little earlier, but as the train approached, a stream of people made their way up. I’m pretty sure there were more people getting on that night than usual, and I was ushered to the second or third car down, going to Chicago. I later found out that conductors or attendants try to seat passengers by destination – so that people getting off in the middle of the night are in a different car than those getting off in the day.

Standing in line on the crowded platform, someone asked if I went to Cornell, as I was wearing my Cornell tee, and I learned that he was a fellow Cornellian.  As the conductor was letting groups board first, we decided to team up and sit together (and get out of the rain on the platform sooner!) – we sat down, and to my surprise, I found that he was not only from Cornell, but from the same Chicago area suburb that I used to live in many a year ago! What a small world! Interesting how lives cross paths – it’s quite possible that I had walked right past him a decade ago (wow, I can say a decade ago! Well that makes me feel old), and not known it – and there we were sitting together on the train! He had taken the train back and forth quite a few times, and knew the timetable and scenery pretty well by heart! We talked a bit – about things like Danny Cunniff Park, and how terribly hard it could be to get out of Ithaca, or for that matter, anywhere in central New York, whether by plane, train, bus, or car! (Sometimes I almost think Cornell and Ithaca are a trap – drawing you in and never wanting to let you get out!) 

It was nice to have space on the train – no fighting for overhead bag space, and there was even enough space for me to put my backpack up there so that I could use the footrests on the seats – it was wonderful to have legroom for a change! I tried to sleep as we made our way toward the Great Lakes, but it was somewhat hard. The people in front of us talked for most of the night and made it hard to sleep. And I believe they got off at every stop they could for a smoke break – the up and down didn’t help much to let me sleep. However, that at least afforded me to wake up in Cleveland (shoutout to all my Cleveland floormates!) around 4 something in the morning (about an hour behind by now), getting to see the Browns stadium.  I probably woke up every couple of hours or so that night.

I’ll continue later about the rest of the Syracuse-Chicago leg of the trip – you can see my pictures on Facebook in the meanwhile!

Another day gone. Today was the Chinese review session at 10. Went to that, it was funny when the professor showed the pinyin instead of dictation. Had a nice lunch with Han Hee at Okenshields. After that was a long afternoon in Olin, studying math. Had a chance to watch President Obama’s 60 Minutes interview from last night. Went to TA office hours for help with my essay from Emma, then a mocha from the new food place in the physical sciences building (Goldie’s?) – first time there, I have to go back and try a sandwich one of these days! Spent some time in a Rockefeller classroom studying, then to a music room where I composed this in about half an hour:

After that was Diana’s office hours for math, then coming back to the dorm. Gotta work on my essay, so I’ll leave you with #worldslongestmarathon thoughts.

High School time again!

•  #worldslongestmarathon - yay, 50th day of school!!!!!!! fun band practice with a guest director! =)
Woot! The big 5-0! Not sure who the director was. Might have been someone who’s worked with Mr. Alvo before? I remember his style was different, and it made for an interesting change to have someone else direct rehearsal for a week.

•  @kurtthewurt well now it's the 51st day =) #worldslongestmarathon
Well apparently not much happened this day. Hello, Kurt!

•  #worldslongestmarathon 52 - not much to remember. band sectionals -> clarinet running block fail =(
Wednesday band sectionals. I believe I wanted to do a running/clapping block around a couple buildings with the clarinet section. And the block dissolved. In theory it would have been good! Running block, then a run of the show, to simulate being out of breath…though in practice, didn’t work out so well.

•  #worldslongestmarathon 55 - long band meeting, didn't get to approve spending!! went to senate meeting and missed physics lesson =(
Band meeting at lunch – not sure if this was just the band board, or a whole leadership meeting with section leaders, captains, drum majors. Probably the latter. Had some good discussions. Some tense ones too over the year. They were good to have though. And senate meetings, wonderful senate meetings. They were actually pretty fun to have. I spoke up more this year! I suppose trying to find a seat next to Peter made things more fun. But for the most part, senate meetings were pretty enjoyable. Though it did mean missing out on some fun stuff in classes too…

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 54 - math test! football game! talked with @faineance, saw @annaaamaayorrr too! and i lost my music =(
Away football game at Nogales. I believe that that year they did the birds. Really cool show. And, it seemed their homecrowd paid more attention to their regiment than our homecrowd did at our home games. Then again, Nogales placed higher than us. Anyways, enjoyed watching their show. Saw Anna (don’t think I got the chance to talk to her – gave a wave though, if I remember correctly). Talked to Virginia through the fence – I remember Sharon coming up and saying hi, and talking with Jimmy too. Fun times. Except I lost all my music in the stands. Not too bad, because it was the last pep game (until basketball, but I could use other people’s). But I had a lot of nostalgic pieces in there. Like I Can See For Miles. And Rock Lobster. And Darth Vader’s Theme. And the 1-40 peptunes. And Jungle Boogie. And Let’s Groove. And a lot more…oh well.

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 53 - a hard but not super duper hard physics test - math test tomorrow...
We had a hard physics test! Not sure what unit we were in by now…Tsokos? Or we might have been in packets by now…wish I wrote what the topic was.

•  #worldslongestmarathon 55 - "apologize to richmond for throwing an eraser!"
Sounds like Mr. Dawdy to me. Yasitha, was this you??? Somehow, I think it was!

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 56 - feels like a friday! except i need to be at school at 7 am tomorrow..
Thursday, Thursday, the day before Friday…er. This might have been a Wednesday though.

 •  #worldslongestmarathon 57 - not too bad, feels like a monday! loooots of homework tonight - yay history IA!!!
Lots of mismatched days this week. History IA – might have been the outline, or our research. It wasn’t too bad. I did mine on German codes in WWII – a topic we covered a bit in Cryptography at CTY LMU 2006 (Session 1), but something I wanted to learn a little more about, and place into a better historical context (rather than the cryptological context in the other class).

•  #worldslongestmarathon 58 - interesting day - at least it's friday!! alot of school stuff to do this weekend though...
•  #worldslongestmarathon = day of school 58. spanish oral testing = FAIL. but band WE GOT CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!! YAY!!!! =))))))
Spanish Oral testing – started off badly in the year, but got better. I remember having to use the cassette recorders in Mrs. Robles’ class. I liked the tape recorders! Felt like a little kid again. I used to have so much fun with cassettes – my first CDs! Raffi tapes when I was very little. Along with a cassette tape recorder at home, I’d record music from movies (Jurassic Park), and later, with the boombox, record music from CD’s onto cassette. Which was helpful, since our cars at that time either had no CD player, or the CD player was wayyy in the back and hard to get to. Thus cassette tapes were my thing! Anyways, in Spanish, the oral presentation we had to do on the cassette – there’s a funny moment when you look around the classroom and see everyone hunched over their desks talking into the tape recorder. If you walked in and had no idea what the tape recorders were, you would think that we’re a pretty strange class…but at least they got easier to do as we learned more vocab throughout the year.
And Christmas music! (In November!) Always gets me in heightened spirits. Kathyrna said something about my enthusiastic reaction (NOT over enthusiastic. Just the right amount of enthusiasm. It’s not my fault if everyone else wasn’t as happy!). I don’t even remember what we played. But I enjoyed it! Maybe it’s the familiar tunes. Or the “Christmas sound.” Anyways, the sight of Christmas music sure woke me up and made for an enjoyable Friday.

I may have recently said (or I didn’t, I sure thought it), that I as I haven’t blogged for a while, I have a lot on my mind – and each time I think about blogging, that makes it harder to sit down and write – out of the fear of attacking a huge monster. So I guess I have resolved to try the approach that calls for more my blogging more often. As I should, with its therapeutic qualities (made that up, but I’m sure there’s a study somewhere), it should be worth the 15…30....60….90…or more minutes I work on it each day. (That's what I get for writing these really long entries...but I like letting my mind wander sometimes.)

But since classes are over, I probably won’t be doing any more #collegemarathon on Twitter until next fall arrives, so doing some longer entries shouldn’t hurt. I prefer a longer form prose anyway, it’s usually more of a matter of finding time for these things.

Springtime has come to Cornell! Along with thunderstorms, rain, and a few specks of sunshine. I’m back to carrying my umbrella with me every day – you never know when there will be a flash storm – like the other day, when I went to study the day after Slope Day.  And I got completely soaked, taking refuge in a music practice room, removing my shoes and socks to dry on what I discovered was a not-on radiator. And if I had waited a mere hour more, it would have been a bright and sunny day. Which shows you – studying early is bad!

But yes, spring is here – meaning the end of classes, and those picturesque days that you see on college brochures – trees in full bloom, students playing Frisbee on the Arts Quad or studying under a tree. I have a good vantage point from the 7th floor stacks in Olin, which has been my new go to study place this semester, in place of Uris’ White Room or the Kinkdale (I think that’s what it’s called – I always say Kinkade, the guy who does all those winter and landscape paintings) Room.  They’re both nice, but usually fill up fast. Though on the otherhand, Olin can be short on plugs too – I spent a good half hour searching for a desk with a plug one Sunday afternoon. But I like the ceiling to floor windows, and while I’ve gone to Uris a few times this semester, I’ve definitely been in Olin a lot more. And liberally used the café for any caffeine needs. 

I felt like the end of the semester came faster than I thought. It felt like I still had so much to do, then suddenly, last STS section. Last calculus section. Last Chinese section. I’ve enjoyed all of them, but it’s strange.  I feel like by the time the class and section are really starting to get to know each other, it’s all over. But it’s been fun. We had our last STS section in the Temple of Zeus (it’s a café) – treats thanks to Emma, and peer reviewed there. It was an interesting experience, but quite fun.  Penultimate Chinese section was the skits, which were fun to do, but pretty stressful to memorize! But I enjoyed watching the other group’s skit quite a lot.

Slope Day! Last day of classes. Concert on the slope. Slopefest on Ho Plaza. Nelly performed. Not exactly my style, but I went. Spent my time with Han. Slopefest was cool. Had a nice place on the slope while we ate – was down close to the mosh pit for a bit during the concert with Han’s friends, then worked our way back up. Most of it was pretty fine except the Stromboli. Wasn’t the best food offered. But we thought it was the only food – since it was the only food on Ho Plaza. Unbeknownst to us, a second food location with good food (turkey legs! And more!) was down in the Willard Straight Parking Lot. Oh well, next year perhaps.

Getting ready for finals – some trepidation, some relaxation. Though after relaxing the past few days, I need to get back into studying mode! Glad I did have the chance to take some time and read Joe Mallozzi’s short story “Downfall” in the anthology Masked, edited by Lou Anders.

Enjoying some time off reading during the study period in the hall alcove.
I saw, as I was uploading that picture, rehearsal videos from our April CU Winds Concert. If you want to watch our April concert, you can stream it here:

Ok, the high school stuff:

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 40. still tired from saturday.
 I’m pretty sure that is referring to Rowland Field Show Tournament. Had a lot of fun in that – you can read more about that from an earlier post. 

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 41 - band pictures better than last year. watched #ncis today. fun stuff
Band pictures! Thank goodness it was cooler this year. Er last year. But my junior year, it was super hot, and it took a really long time, and everyone just ended up getting angry. This time, not as much. I remember the picture taker – she had some pretty cool catch phrases (everybody bend? Something like that. Gosh, I can’t remember!) And the picture turned out pretty nice too. I remember during individual pictures the photographer pushed my hair some way my mom didn’t really like…oh well.

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 42. band practice. crazy english essay. besides that not much. and i learned about glowsticks.
No idea what the essay ways. But it was crazy! Might have been poems? The dog poem? Not sure. But we were past Sound of Waves at this point. Wish I had specified in the tweet! It may be worth going back some day and looking at senior year essays. Glow sticks…I just remember we had to do something with drawings in TOK, and Helen had drawn a picture of a glow stick, which got posted for parents’ night. It was pretty amusing for us though.

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 43: short day = alot of hw
Pretty self explanatory….

•  @fabrolauren but club pictures were fun! there were 3 ppl in physics class! and english was fun too, haha. #worldslongestmarathon day 44
Club pictures! What a hectic day! Everyone had to go to the gym. And things got behind, and the need for tardy slips from teachers, because we were excused for like period 3, but things dragged into period 4 or something like that. Had to run after a pink slip a couple days later to get it corrected. That said, pictures were fun. Math club, NHS, CSF, amongst others. Most of the day was spent doing that, and most of my classes were empty (yay for school involvement!). Apparently we did something fun in English that day…gee, I really wish I had talked more in detail or had done this memory thing earlier…

•  so 14 hours of band today! out in the desert! lots of fun, really tired. i think it qualifies for #worldslongestmarathon - day...44.5 ish :]
Sounds like we had a tourney! Out in the desert! Lots of fun apparently, and very tiring. Not sure what our score was though…

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 45 - another long day at school. and a tutoring experience. probly more unsettling....
So senior year, I did some tutoring in the library after school on certain days. I’m pretty sure this was the day, the two girls I was tutoring in math were trying to hit on me. Trying to be cute in not understanding the problems...(I mean they really didn’t understand some…and others was more of the flirting thing. At least I think). I don’t think that really works for me. But needless to say, Helen was having a great time observing this happen, and sure wouldn’t let me forget it for a long time.

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 46 - felt sleepy today after last night. lucky no tests today
I was sleepy, probably after a late night band practice, so this was probably a Tuesday.

•  #worldslongestmarathon day 47 - spanish test, lots of hw tonight. math is taking a loooooooooooong time...................
Another rather self explanatory tweet that I cannot really elaborate on.

•  #worldslongestmarathon 48. -3/13x+2/3x=5/26 etc. by hand A-"whoever invented fractions is stupid" B-"would you rather use decimals instead?"
Well I’m pretty sure that this was in Mr. Dawdy’s class. Doing some of those review problems – and yes, it’s just basic algebra…but at a point in your math career, you’ve done that so much that you really don’t want to convert everything to a common denominator of 78. Not sure who said the quotes. Shouldn’t have used A and B! Me? Yongjin? Kevin? Eric? Yasitha? Daniel? Daniel? Patrick? Who knows…maybe one of them will tell me in the comments…

•  #worldslongestmarathon 49 - someone pulled the fire alarm >=[ principal dressed up as the bball coach and vice versa. confusion ensues!!
Happy Halloween? Or was it like twin day or something? 10 weeks or so in, I’m guessing it was Halloween. Had my newly bought Star Trek captain’s shirt on. I think I brought my battery charger as a tricorder/communicator – I guess really a communicator, if I had a Kirk era-ish shirt. (which, by the way, I’m wearing right now). But I elected to leave the battery charger in my backpack. As well as my speak like Shatner for the day idea. But Mr. Brunyer the principal dressed up like Coach Hamlow (I believe he’s the basketball coach – excuse me if I’m wrong!), and vice versa. And during math, we had a sub, and Daniel K was eating. And the principal walks in. OR SO WE THINK! But it was funny watching him hide his bag of snacks (math club fundraiser!) – or was this the time with Yongjin’s sandwich? Maybe not, but there was one day where Yongjin was eating a sandwich and an administrator walks in. I heard a loud BAM and the sandwich was hidden away. Maybe not that loud, but it sure went away fast. I was pretty amazed at the skills!

And now that I’ve spent over an hour on this, I think it’s a pretty good place to stop. Until next time!