30 August 2009

School starts in 3 days!

I'm actually looking forward to going to school, but I need to finish my summer reading and french homework first. D:

16 August 2009

We're in da newz! Again!

Read le article: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Schools_cash_in_on_costly_trips.html

Think it's suprising? You're not alone.

Read the comments: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Schools_cash_in_on_costly_trips.html?c=y&viewAllComments=true

Yep. Apparently many folks went with the ride until the corruption was noted by some authority. Now they're all bitching about it. Why? They're just wasting their time! Why should anyone (especially the people in question: aloia, our superintendent) listen to or even read these comments?

Because I have too much free time on my hands, I decided to peruse them. They were pretty lawlz to read. And some of them were pretty fail, too. So I felt like doing what this guy did and responded to some comments.
I'd like to see how the trips break down by school. The Bergen Academy spends huge amounts of money only to draw kids in from other counties and pull kids from local schools. They have a 600,000 microscope (two I think). That would be salaries for 10 teachers anywhere else. "Back in the Day" those facilities were used to train kids who were not college bound for good careers - plumbers, electricians, mechanics. Now those programs are watered down so we can finance private school for indian and asian kids who move into our towns from other counties. Just venting. Know I sound a little nuts.
Note the third to last statement. "...asian kids who move into our towns from other counties." LOL. It's too bad that we just want a better education than what is offered at our town high schools. Yes, that poster accused me of going to the academies, but what else could I have done to have gotten a better education and a better learning environment?

Well let's evaluate my options.
  1. Go to Morris County Academies: you call this place an actual school? the class size is less than twenty people by the end of one's senior year. why the hell should i want to go here i want a decent social life in addition to better education? i'm not ditching my friends just to meet 15 other good kids!
  2. Go to Philips Exeter: how could i have gone here if i never heard of it?!
  3. Go to China: uhh, hell no :P
  4. Homeschool: i can has social life?

09 August 2009


I GOTS AN INTERNSHIP FUR SENIOR EXPERIENCE!!!!! that's one less thing to worry about :D

07 August 2009

Bridge, Part 2 (the end)

The month before school ended, Dr. Abramson brought a $500 subsidy for playing bridge at Washington DC to our attention. Patricia and I decided to be partners (since we both said we could attend); Pavel would be at HCSSiM, Sam at Stanford math camp, and Ian at PROMYS. However, Patricia ditched a month later. I asked Matt if he wanted to be my partner, but he was going with Kevin. I had exhausted my options at BCA.

I wasn't ready to give up; in fact, I was adamant about going because I had received the subsidy. Knowing that TJHSST (or just TJ) kids would probably be good at bridge and be able to come, I asked jennypwns if she had any suggestions. She first advised that I play with Stephen Drodge, an experienced senior. However, he was going to the regular NABC events that conflicted with the youth events, so he was out. Meanwhile, jennypwns devised a plan and wanted me and TJ wiz kid to meet, so she suggested that I play with him. I sent him an email and he agreed! I finally secured a bridge partner and could worry about one less thing -sigh-

I walk from my hotel to the Marriot hotel, the location of the competition, in five minutes. I go up to the youth NABC and look around to find my partner or Matt or Kevin. I saw this wasian-looking kid wearing a mathcamp shirt. Then I was greeted by my bridge section president. Apparently the wasian kid overheard the conversation, and came over to greet me. Shortly after, Matt, Kevin, and Dr. Abramson come. Matt was in awe at the sight of Brian Hamrick (unfortunately, I didn't quite catch his expression). We went in the playing room, signed up for the events, and played about fifty hands before we went to dinner. We did surprisingly well; Brian and I placed in the morning pairs event (1st in C north-south direction, 4th in C overall, 6th in B, and 8th in A)and the four of us placed (got third!) in the afternoon teams event. Then the four of us, along with Dr. Abramson and my parents, went to a Japanese restaurant near my hotel for dinner. Following dinner, Dr. Abramson took us to this delicious Gelato place. (Surprisingly, my iPhone happened to have detected an open network, so I was able to read an email sent by jennypwns).

We met again at the hotel at about 10 and registered for the Baron Barclay youth pairs event. I hadn't gotten a good night's sleep, so I was yawning before the event started (generally not a good sign). The morning was the qualifying event: in order to be eligible for the afternoon event, you had to do better than half of the pairs. We played for about three and a half hours, which aggravated my drowsiness. During lunch, the roster of qualifying pairs came out. I was relieved to find out that we were ranked in the middle of the qualifying pairs. However, our luck ended here. We screwed up massively in the afternoon, finishing below Matt and Kevin. Fortunately, I had something to look forward to: I was going to Jenny's house after the tournament. We went to IHOP for dinner and swung on the swings of her community's playground. Then my parents took me home around 9:45pm so I could get a better night's sleep and [hopefully] do better the next day.

Today was the last day of our bridge adventures. We had the official team contest today (Thursday was just a warm-up). We were playing with Matt and Kevin again; however they didn't get to the hotel in time due to a lack of metroes on weekends. In the meantime, the pro TJ bridge players (Stephen Drodge and co) show up. Anyway, we played bridge for another three hours, had lunch, and resumed for another four hours. Brian and I did markedly better than yesterday. -phew- However, we still made some small mistakes, which was acceptable in my opinion. Our efforts paid off; we finished 3rd in C, 6th in B, and 8th in A. I was impressed by our achievements because (a) we're n00bs when compared to the other competitors and (b) we didn't practice much prior to the event.

All in all, I think this trip was one of the most memorable trips not only because I got to play lots of bridge, but also because I got to meet someone new :) Even though I didn't bring back any trophies, I brought back valuable experience and lessons that I'll use in future bridge tournaments.

06 August 2009

Math camp: it's over!

Today was the last day, and as usual, we had our weekly contest. We covered combinatorics/probability this week, so I had to write an individual round just on combinatorics (I can't believe I actually did that). Apparently, I lost my ability to write tests that are not so easy but not so hard. It wasn't the greatest test; the questions which I thought were easy turned out to be hard, and the questions which I thought were challenging turned out to be impossible. sucks D: The team round also turned out to be hard. I decided to make the last question a variable-score problem again, just to screw around with them:

How many digits does 101! have? Scoring: If your answer is x and the correct answer is C , then you will receive ceil(25*x/C) points. If x > C, then you will receive 0 points.

So one team decided to cheat the system by writing C as their answer, even though they knew that I expected a numerical answer. I punished them by giving them 0 points. :P They got GGed.

After the contests, the kids had donuts and played mafia while I picked out T-shirts for the team and individual winners. I retrieved five 2008 BCA Math Competition T-shirts for the team winners and the sole limited edition 2003 AAST ARML shirt for the individual winner. Since the individual winner left before lunch, I was able to keep the T-shirt. However, I forgot that a person was added to the winning team for the relay round, so I had to give her the limited edition shirt. Oh well. I already have enough AAST shirts anyway XD

All the camp materials are here.

Bridge, Part 1

I've been writing this thing for quite a while (I started on Sunday, August 2) and it's taking so long to complete! Instead of keeping you in the dark, I'll post a synopsis for now:

For the past three days, I spent about eight (yeah, that's right, EIGHT!) hours a day playing bridge at Washington DC. I played pairs (on thu and fri) and teams (on thu and sat). I suppose you can say that we did unexpectedly well when I was alert, lol. (I didn't get a good night's sleep for Friday's games, so I indeedly screwed up massively). Anyway, besides playing bridge for most of the time, I got to see my good friend from AwesomeMath (blogger user jennypwns) :D Despite our fails, this was probably one of the best three days of our summers.

BTW I am officially jobless :)