Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 24: Attempting to Teach Piano

Quite surprisingly, my brother shares my motivation to pick up piano again. Since I played piano three years longer than he did, I still remember how to play (although I did have a bit trouble reading bass clef in the beginning). However, my brother remembers nothing. He doesn't know the location of notes on the keys, how to do scales, or how to read bass clef at all. He can't read notes and play, and his weak fingers have trouble playing a C-major chord. It makes me want to face-palm.

So today I tried to teach a bit to my brother. Thank goodness he plays violin, or else he would be hopeless. I taught him the location of notes, but he still can't figure them out without counting from the middle C. I dug deep into my old piano books and found a junior Hanon book, which is a book of finger exercises for the piano. I flipped to the first one, and tried to get him to play it without his fingers tensing up or losing that ball shape that piano teachers remind you about many times. This kid has a long way to go.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 23: Filming for TSA

As TSA is due the Monday we get back, my group and I went to Red Bank for the final day of shooting. Our event is called "Digital Video Production," and our video, with the required theme "follow the rules," is about a guy who finds an hourglass that can stop time. My group is made up of four juniors, one sophomore, and one freshman (me!). So since most of the other members have had lots of experience on shooting and editing film, I'm mostly observing, but I also act as one of the characters in the video.

We finished our final scenes today outside and inside an antique shop, one of the major settings for our story. Now as the juniors edit the scenes together, I'm contributing to the documentation of the making of our film. This project was really fun, and I'm really excited to see what our final product will look like!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 22: Learning F2L (Rubik's Cube technique)

So yesterday night I finally decided to learn F2L (First Two Layers), a more advanced method of cubing that basically allows the cuber to solve two of the three layers at once, saving lots of time. My brother immediately jumped to the opportunity of showing me a Youtube channel with a bunch of F2L tutorials, but after watching the first video, I gave up. Then I remembered that Matt Ramina recently tweeted to me a video on F2L. So I found the video and started learning.

The video was great. The guy made lots of analogies that made the techniques unforgettable. Although there were some parts that he did not clarify well, it was a great start on my quest to learn F2L. Right now I have the basic gist of it, but I'm not fluent enough to speedcube with it. I plan to learn advanced F2L after I get good at beginner's.

Because of my sudden addiction to timing my speedcubing, I was timing myself until 1:00 last night. Bad decision, but I seriously didn't pay attention to the time. When my dad finally went over to me to tell me to sleep, I was thinking, "Woah, it's 1:00 already? Last time I looked at the clock it was 11:30!"

And what kinda stunk was that I had to wake up at 9:00 to go TA at Chinese school. It doesn't sound too bad, but with the fact that I slept really late and my mentality of sleeping in because of spring break, I had a hard time getting up this morning. My dad had to literally pull me out of my bed.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 21: Hanging out in Humanities

As I said for yesterday's slice, today half the freshman class is on the field trip to MJSS. Because of that, the other half is at humanities class. When we got in, we took the World History test, which I found pretty easy. After that, Mr. Olsen introduced us to a short humanities project, which was basically creating a 6-word memoir of a philosophe during the Enlightenment, using HTML and CSS coding. I enjoyed the challenge of incorporating the coding knowledge I learned from Software Applications class into a World History/English project. You can see mine here.

So now that I finished the project, I have 45 minutes to do nothing. Huzzah! I think I'm going to be try-hardy and do some homework due after spring break.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 20: Field Trip (And Doughnuts xD)!

Yeah, I know there are going to be many other slices on the field trip, but I thought I wanted to share my thoughts on it.

So today half the freshman class went to the Monmouth Junior Science Symposium, an event held annually at the Monmouth University. Lasting for two days, a total of ten students showcase their research projects through a PowerPoint presentation. Today five students presented; tomorrow the other half of the freshman class will view the last five.

Out of five, two of the students who presented are High Tech students. I was really impressed with all of the projects overall, but I found the High Tech ones especially intriguing. I'm not being biased towards the schools that the presenters go to. It's just that the other three people's projects had relatively the same concept, which was finding ways to prevent/treat diseases (two of them were on lung cancer and one was on Alzheimer's). But the two students from my school had projects on butterfly wing colors and internet censorship! How cool is that?

A great highlight of the trip was the doughnuts. Our software apps teacher, Mr. B, gave us specific instructions on our schedule:

"So when you go in, make sure you sit to the far right of the auditorium. That way, when break time starts, we are the first in line for the doughnuts. We need to make sure we have maximum doughnut selection."

A kid on the bus shouted out, "It's all about quality, not quantity!"

"Exactly." Mr. B nodded.

And Mrs. Gross, our English teacher, remarked, "And that's why we have Mr. B chaperone our trips; so we can get the best doughnuts."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 19: No Homework Today :D <3

Sorry, title's glitching again.

I was feeling really stressed in the beginning of the week, but today magically there is literally NO homework at all! Well, that's only because of 1) the field trip tomorrow for DGHR groups one and two and 2) the last minute test cramming of the teachers. I don't really consider tests/quizzes/assessments as homework. Just something that robs of my free time for studying.

I love how every time I think to myself "Wow maybe I can actually do something I want to do today and get sleep", I end up wasting time and sleeping really late.

Be right back. Taekwondo :3

Back! Anyways, the fact that I was able to go to a class today just shows the amount of time I have today.  I usually don't go to classes on Wednesday.

With all honesty, I hope I don't waste a lot of time like I end up doing most of the times I have lots of extra time. I guess I could start on the homework due after break.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Day 18: Playing Outside with my Brother

Today after dinner my brother randomly asked my mom, "Can I play outside?" My mom answered "Yes", so I was dragged outside to play with him. At first I was reluctant (BIO OBJECTIVES!!), but I eventually put on my sneakers and stepped to my garage. It was one of the best thirty minutes I've had for a while.

"So... what do you want to do?" I asked Michael, who is in 6th grade, as I opened the garage door.

"I don't know." He went to the shelves of the garage that had our sports equipment and took out a slightly-deflated basketball.

"It's flat," I pointed out.

He shrugged. "It's good enough. Let's play horse." I followed him outside, and our game ensued. After about twenty minutes, I beat him, HOR to HORSE (If you don't know the scoring, every time you lose a round, you get a letter in your score, and whoever gets HORSE first loses). Being the kinda-sore-loser he was, Michael insisted that the scoring would go up to HORSE_, with a space, just to add an extra letter and give him a better chance to win. I allowed him to do it, because I'm nice like that. Of course, he won from this, but we both knew that I was still considered the victorious one.

Afterwards Michael got out of the other even more deflated basketball and offered to play capture the flag, which basically meant that we both hid our own ball and raced to see who would find the others' first. If we both got stuck, we would give each other riddle-like clues. Usually my brother gets annoyed with my terrible clues. I'm just not as good at improvising things like this on the spot as Michael is. Oh well.

Anyways, believe it or not, this thirty minutes was awesome. Not only did I get fresh air and exercise, but it was a great stress reliever from all the homework and tests and stuff. I also no longer feel tired and have more energy to finish my work quicker and maybe even get more sleep!