Background: In eighth grade, I went to school in a different county and was the star mathlete there. I easily pwned the other people in the Mathcounts club. I was friends with most of the Asian girls, especially the anime lovers. However, none of them shared my love of math (one did, but she wasn't as devoted) and I didn't share their love of Asian music or dramas. They were still sad that I was leaving, though. So I came to the Academies knowing no one.
My first encounter of my future classmates was BCA Math Camp. [A/N: I had met Ian Osborn at Mathcounts States in 7th grade.] There was one kid who was competent (Mark Velednitsky), but the others just went because their parents thought it was an ``extra help'' program. I did also meet Patricia (one of my bridge buddies) there, but she was interested in the humanities.
Then school started. I still hadn't became close friends with anyone. I didn't know the math skills of my homeroom buddies and they didn't seem very inviting. So I ate lunch in the Digital Electronics lab with Dr. Karuv because I wanted to work with him on a project. However, that soon got boring, so I ate in the cafeteria. One day, I overheard a small group of guys talking about Windows Vista! Curious, I tried to join the conversation, but one of the guys was like ``Get lost random person!'' I didn't give up, and soon enough, he relented. Having finally found people with the same interests and [approximately] similar math skill level as me, I was delighted, since these were my first close friends at BCA ^_^ Then we ate lunch together for the rest of freshmen year. Coincidentally, they were also going to be my math team buddies. =]
I met more math/computery people as time passed. However, not all people that I befriended were knowledgeable in this aspect. Sometime during the first few weeks of math team, I met Hannah! (I think my parents talked to their parents about the Academies and college and how her twin brothers both got perfect SATs. we just talked about random stuff. haha) Then in phys. ed. class I met Julia! At first I was surprised that she was in Culinary, but that turned out to be fortuitious. (hello free food!) I was pretty happy with my collection of friends.
At this time, I wasn't a big part of the math team (even though I did well on exams) because I didn't attend the weekly practices. My dad thought they were a waste of time so I stayed home every Saturday afternoon doing math problems at my own pace. I probably attended one out of every four meets. I didn't really care; all that mattered to me was getting better and shining in Holbrook's eyes. Anyway...
In February I went on my first math team trip - Harvard-MIT 2007! It was really exciting. I spent the night before torrenting and watching an episode with Hannah in my hotel room. The next morning, I somehow misplaced my phone. =[ The teachers and my parents spent a while trying to locate it, but to no avail. We headed over to MIT, registered our eight teams, and did math for four hours. The problems were fun, even though most were beyond my level. I contributed quite a bit to the team round ^_^ We ended up winning 4th place in B division, which really surprised Holbrook, since he thought only Mu A would win something.
So that was that. Holbrook's expectations grew as time went on as we excelled; I tied with Sam on our first AMC12, Sam and Mark made Red Mop, and Mu B got an award from ARML (it was a site award thingy). Things were looking good for AAST Math Team's future.
In the school side of things, Kamran discovered a neat Windows scripting language called AutoIt. We were instantly hooked on it; we spent our free time in the computer labs writing mischevious programs to annoy other users. Our favorite function was blocking out user's mouse and keyboard input, so they could hopelessly stare at their computer opening notepad and autonomously typing "OH HAI. ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US." and saving the file on their personal drive. We basically were competing against each other to see who could write the most annoying program. Ahh good times... XD
Classes themselves weren't bad. They were pretty easy, or so I thought. I was able to finish all of my homework and still had time for math/programming at night and still slept at 2300. Then again, I didn't indulge in unnecessarily time-consuming activities. I finished with lots of A's and a few A-'s, so my academic record was looking great. What a nice end to freshman year =]