A week after HMMT, AAST was scheduled to fly to Palo Alto Friday afternoon to compete at the Stanford Math Tournament. [Un]fortunately, we were hit with a small blizzard again, which resulted in the cancellation of our departure flight, so we had to catch the next flight available, which was on Saturday. We were all sad that we no longer had a day of touring, but were grateful that we still could go. So on Friday night (or on Saturday morning ten minutes before leaving the house if you're Sam :P), we all packed our luggage and anxiously waited for the start of our 3000 mile trek.
Everyone congregated in front of the school gym at Saturday noon, just as Dr. Mayers had ordered. People who didn't go to HMMT picked up t-shirts and hoodies. After Dr. Galitskiy took attendance, we loaded one of the buses with luggage, boarded the other two buses, and were on our way to the airport (EWR). In particular, I brought my DSLR, iPhone, and iPod video (must save iPhone battery life xD) and left my laptop at home.
Upon arriving at the airport, we checked in baggage (fortunately I didn't have to ^_^), got boarding passes, and went through security. Dr. Mayers ordered us to stick with our team leaders (Mu A's was Dr. Nevard). We ended up waiting for Alex most of the time xD He got reinspected by the TSA guards and failed at tying his shoes after he cleared security xD We headed to the gate and grabbed some food (in my case, a box of incredibly expensive sushi <_<). When most of us got back from nomming (to use Jenny's word), Sam and I watched some of Alex Kim's epic card tricks while Mark handed out Alex Zhu's mock AIME for the pro-er people to do during the flight. We then boarded the plane after about an hour and a half.
Upon finding my seat and sitting down at a window seat in a row with a middle aged American man and a single British woman (who kept insisting that we drive on the wrong side of the road), I listened to music on my iPod and worked on the mock AIME. I solved a couple of problems before dinner came. We had a chicken enchilada wrap, a side salad, a brownie, and a bag of fresh baby carrots. Unable to just eat, I played some Plants vs. Zombies and Peggle as I nommed.
After dinner, I resumed working on the AIME, only to discover my lurking airsickness x_x. I tried to sleep, bit I didn't have anything soft on which to lean :( Then I played bricks on my iPod video for the lulz and got a new high score :D (477) Apparently near the end, the AI launches more balls at once and sneakily shortens the paddle ._.
For the remainder of the flight I prefolded some origami cranes. I was quite surprised that by the time I had finished my sixth crane, the flight was in its last half hour!
Unfortunately claiming baggage didn't go that well. Nearly the entire Mu F lost their luggage xDD We waited on the bus for quite a bit until they came, and then left for the hotel. When we arrived, Dr. Mayers ordered lots of pizza boxes. Yes, pizza at 0100 EST. After eating pizza and watching a game of Catan, Matt showed up from Caltech and wanted to play some games of bridge. We were able to fit in five hands. On the second one I got a zero point hand, and on another I got to use the 2C opener, which scared everyone xD Then we went to sleep.
Sunday was the day of the competition, but unfortunately I didn't sleep well :( During the team and power rounds, I was trying to wake up while everyone else scolded themselves for forgetting about Ramsey numbers, but we did pretty well anyway. Then came the individual rounds. We all made a bunch of silly mistakes, but weren't as fail as David Yang, who forgot to hand in his Calculus answer sheet XFD Alex and Sam qualified for Algebra tiebreakers (three people got perfects), but got second and third respectively because they were slow/made dumb mistakes :( Anyway, we got first overall, somehow XD Maybe our hive mind is just that pwnage :D
After the competition, Dr. Nevard showed us the gates of hell, a famous work by some renowned person. Then we walked back to the hotel to get dinner. Purchase Cellophane and some other people went with Dr. Nevard to get some delicious burgers at Kirk's Steakburgers (*gasp* I chose burgers over sushi :O). As usual, I had a Swiss burger, which was super nommy :D When we got back to the hotel, I watched a bit of Starcraft, Catan, and finally went to sleep at 2230 PST.
Monday was the day of departure. We arrived to the airport pretty early, so people settled in their Starcraft, bridge, and Catan formations. We boarded fifteen minutes later due to a small failure with the aircraft. Then we got on the plane, got served a small chicken wrap for lunch, and made it home without many problems. Yayyy