Wednesday, June 21, 2017

So like... how ya doin'?

I'm doing fine, thanks. I just got a job at King Soopers, if everything goes well. Earlier today I spend almost 40 minutes just petting my cats and humming Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. That was good fun, even though it's really hot. Yesterday, I watched all of Sword Art Online Abridged, and listened to all of Be More Chill. And i've now realized that there's a recording of the entire audio of the play, including the bits between the songs, with a full script. So there's that. Anyways, both of those things were rad. I've also been... let's see... playing Prey a lot. Lucía sometimes looks over my shoulder. It's fun, and I usually die a bunch. And I've read the first two books of The Expanse, and reviewed neither of them, because I am lazy. They're good books, though. And that's... pretty much everything, I guess. Oh! Also, I've got a 30 day streak in Flow. Makin' my way back.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Big Plans

It's summer, and it has been for almost a month now, and I haven't got much done. Fortunately, that is going to change. I'm soon going to get emails from recommenders, and then I'll apply to jobs. I'm starting to plan the Spectacular Phi Spectacular (name pending) in earnest. I caught up on both The Adventure Zone and Hunting the Bismarck yesterday, and both came out with new episodes today, which was nice. I finished and reviewed The Irrationals, and I figured out for certain what that stupid graph meant. I just now watched Timelike, which is pretty cool, but seems like it could be done better. I've got how-to-draw books sitting on my bed waiting for me. It's going to be a fun time.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy birthday!

Yesterday was my 18th birthday. I had a swingin' party. I also cleaned a bit and listened to The Adventure Zone, but mostly the party thing. Eight hours of party is a lot of hours of party. So what happened?

First, Kyle arrived, and we chatted as I set up Hive, because I thought we were going to have time. Before we even started the game, new folks arrived. Alici, Leah, and Maisie, if I'm not mistaken. I'm almost certainly mistaken. Anyways, the five of us played most of a round of P&H before more folks showed up, independently but at the same time. Grant, Olivia (B), Kat, Ben, Hayden, and Olivia (MW) showed up, although not in that order.

Now that we had 11 people, we decided to start playing proper party games. The first game we played was Two Rooms and a Boom, which was new to most of us (Ben had played once, Hayden a bunch). In 2R1B, the blue team tries to help the President avoid the Bomber, while the red team tries to help the Bomber get to the President. The rooms we used were the living room and the back porch. We had some fun times, although the first round was kinda wonky because there were only three rounds and everyone mostly just shared with everyone else. In the first game, was the Red Enforcer, and I lost.

In one particularly memorable game I, as the Blue Spy and the leader of the living room, identified in the first round both who the Bomber was and who the President was, both through unconventional means. I found the identity of the Bomber, Kyle, as part of a card share which we agreed upon before we even got our cards. I found the identity of the President, Kat, because her Wife, Olivia MW, asked me to keep them together. The rest of the game I was kind of a mastermind, successfully manipulating everyone until the blue team won, and the Wife was united with her President. In doing so, I kinda shafted Olivia B, the Mistress, but hey. It was good fun.

In the last game, we added the Nuclear Tyrant, a role who must share their identity with anyone who asks. If, at any point during the game, they share with the President or the Bomber, then they lose. If they never share with either, then they win, and everyone else loses. The card was dealt to Olivia MW, who managed to get to the last round without losing. Fortunately, Grant was in the room, and he was one of the critical cards. Unfortunately, Grant can be a bit... well. As the other four people screamed for him to share with Olivia (except Leah, who was the Mime), Olivia managed to fast-talk her way through the one-minute time limit. She then exploded all of us, and we all lost.

After our humiliating nuclear defeat, and because Maisie had left, we decided to switch to a different game. We then had several radical One Night Ultimate Werewolf games, some rife with mistakes. In one game, Olivia B and Ben were Masons, but they somehow missed each other during the night, so they both claimed solo Mason. On the last game, Grant was a Werewolf, and he forgot both to wake up with the other werewolves and to let the Minion know who he was. I, the Robber, first accidentally opened my eyes during the Witch phase, and saw there was no Witch. Then I robbed Grant of his role, and became a Werewolf. When I woke up, I had been given the Brand of the Villager, so I was fortunately turned back into a friendlyman. Unfortunately, as Grant had neglected all of his duties, NOBODY BELIEVED ME, even though I told the truth the ENTIRE TIME. When roles were revealed, we'd had enough, and decided to switch to a different game. Also Kyle had left.

The next game we played was Codenames, which is a word game about connecting things. There were nine people left, which means... Me, Hayden, Olivia (x2), Leah, Alici, Maisie, Ben, and Grant. No, wait. Ben left after we finished Werewolf, because he had to go to a grad party. And Ellie arrived at some point before he had left, as we played Werewolf. This is surprisingly hard to keep track of. Anyways, Hayden and I were the leaders for the first game, and although Hayden's team won, we were only one card away, after the amazing comeback that was Speed 3, which related Lap, Superhero, and Slug in one go. Codenames was great fun, and so was seeing our intelligence drop as the night went on. Ellie and Olivia B left, and seeing that the party was thinning out I decided to open presents.

Kat got me The Oregon Trail Card Game, a pen with Harry Potter on it, and a flashlight that makes the Batman symbol. Unfortunately she wasn't there for me to thank her, although I loved all of those gifts. Olivia B got me a copy of The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear. Maisie got me a mini-frisbee and some sneaky sandwich bags and some Instant Winter, which were nice. Leah got me motion cards, and emergency bowtie, and a can of Spaghettios to hide my valuables in. Also somebody got me lollipops. And Grant brought Oreos. And a few people (Alici, Olivia MW, Hayden, & some) got me money.

After Maisie and Leah left after gifts, leaving Grant, Alici, Olivia MW, Ellie, and Hayden. The six of us played Flux until 10:00, at which point everyone left. Alici won after stealing my Love card, and after I was forced to play All You Need Is Love. I went to bed, but not before realizing that the reason Zach hadn't come was because he didn't have my address. I felt kinda terrible about that for a while, but fortunately I was also very tired. And that was my birthday. The end.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I'm going to Yale

I decided on April 27th, but I didn't blog about it, and then I forgot that I hadn't blogged about it. But now, I have blogged about it. I'm happy. I think I'll do good. Also, here's what I told Reed about the decision:

"This has literally been the hardest decision I have ever made. I loved my visit to Reed for RAD. Everyone was friendly and helpful. I loved the atmosphere and eating s'mores with the CSO and getting to know my host Sasha. The programs, such as the Odyssey and the nuclear reactor and the opportunity to teach science in nearby schools, were all incredibly attractive to me. In a decision this close (between Reed and Yale) I don't know how I could possibly decide which option is "best" for me; all I can do is choose one. I chose Yale, but I want you to know that I really do love you guys. I hope we can still be friends."

So yeah. Woo!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A list of college pros

Because college cons are for the weak.

CU
  • Right at home. Best city.
  • Family and friends.
  • The mountains.
  • The teaching program with guaranteed job placement.
  • Physics is pretty swole.
  • Actually the math program might be the best of the three. But maybe not.
  • Miramontes.
  • Dat moneys.
  • The best food.
Reed
  • The canyon is really cool.
  • The reactor.
  • The people are free and sometimes naked.
  • Thesis projects sound fun.
  • Archery.
  • Fire spinning.
  • The Odyssey freshman trip things.
  • Voodoo Donuts.
  • The CSOs are nice.
  • Physics and math are pretty swole.
Yale
  • The big old name.
  • Residential colleges.
  • All the musical groups.
  • The Yale Glee Club (choir).
  • The people have so many interests.
  • Skip the easy maths?
  • Everyone is helpful.
  • The one class I saw was really good.
That's all for now.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The decision

College.

Where do I go? I've narrowed it down to CU, Yale, and Reed. Why do I like these colleges? Haha, good question.

CU, the University of Colorado, is the home team. It would let me work close to home, and maybe live in my own house. I'm already pretty familiar with the campus, because my mom works there, so I've been visiting since I was a kid. It has the best food of the three, no question, what with the buffet and all the restaurants and everything. Even the dorm door is really good, if you're in a dorm with food. CU is pretty strong in physics, with I think two Nobel Prize winners. They've got particle traps and quantums and such. The math department is also pretty good, although it is strikingly male-dominated, more so than CU at large. The mountains are beautiful, as is Boulder in general. Speaking of Boulder, it's a great city, and although it is mainly leftist, you can always find a rightman nearby. The campus itself is also left-leaning, although less so than the city. Denver is less than an hour away, as is the DIA (Denver International Airport). A lot of my friends are going to CU, including Alici and Ellie. They have a small but strong teaching program in the College of Arts and Sciences, in which you do a lot of actual work with kids, and get a teaching license for Colorado at the end of four years. Upon graduation with the teaching program, you have guaranteed job placement. CU is the biggest college of the three, and there are a lot of extracurriculars.

Reed is the crazy one. It's the farthest left of all three colleges, and its student body is accepting and kind. There are lots of strange quirks such as the Naked Tree, which is a tree in which people get naked. Folks do drugs pretty openly, although there is no pressure to participate. The CSOs (Community Safety Officers, pronounced "sizzos") keep the campus safe, and seem to get along well with most of the students, except for one specific CSO. I forget his name. Portland is a nice city, with Voodoo Donuts and Powell's Books. Not as cool as Boulder, though. Reed physics is strong, and they have the only nuclear reactor run by undergraduates in the world. That reactor is really cool. Math is similarly nice, although a bit male-dominated. The campus is small, the smallest of the three by far, and I had it basically memorized within two hours. The dorms are nice, but difficult to get into after freshman year. I'd say Reed has the worst housing of the three. It's got a sizable art community, but no school choir, from what I can tell. It seems like a nice place to be. The "canyon" is pretty, and full of wildlife. It's also really easy to get into a grad school from Reed.

Yale is the Yale option. A big selling point is the name. Yale is famous, and a part of me feels so grateful for being admitted that I feel like I have to go. It has the best dorms out of the three, with 14 residential colleges, each with their own traditions, which form teams within Yale. These colleges have FroCos, or Freshman Councilors, who help freshies get acquainted. Students can stay at their residential college all four years, if they so choose, and most do. Students live in suites of anywhere from two to five people. Really, the residences are a lot of what attracts me to Yale. The classes are probably pretty great, given the big names that Yale hires. Physics is actually a pretty small program, with only about 20 students. Mathematics is even smaller, as nobody I asked even knew of a math major. This of course means I'm likely to get all sorts of attention. The Peabody Museum is amazing, and is a place I would love to work. There are lots of music groups, mostly a cappella, and the Glee Club (which is the Yale choir) also seems very fun. Yale is where Jackson went, although that's not really helpful information. New Haven is okay, I guess. It didn't seem too interesting, but I didn't really go many places. Still, I really love Yale.

Then there's the issue of money. It's kind of separate, and it's hard to say how much weight to put on cost. Still, there it is. CU costs about $25,000. Reed costs about $55,000. Yale costs about $70,000. If I go to Yale, we're thinking I'll owe my parents $10,000 a year, which I think is reasonable. So that's also information. Which factors into the decision.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Andres goes to Yale

Man, I really love Yale. Man. Okay. We got to Yale a bit after 8:30. I got a bagel for breakfast. I again forgot to hashtag my breakfast. Then, I took a tour of campus with a man named Phil. It was pretty cool, but it wasn't anything to right home about. The Yale campus is still the boringest of all four. When the tour was over, dad and I went to the Science and Engineering Forum, where some students talked about science and engineering. It's pretty sweet. I later found out that it's pretty small, too, though. There are about 20 students majoring in physics.

Dad and I had brunch in the Branford dining hall. It was pretty good. I think I put Yale second for food on my list, after CU (which is amazing) and followed by Reed and JHU. After brunch, things really heated up. The Peabody museum was great. I would love to work there. And maybe to put gnomes in the exhibits. Only time will tell. Anyways, that museum was the first big selling point for Yale.

Then, we went to a Residential College Life Panel at Hopper. This was when I realized that Yale was a place where I would really fit. I think it would do great things for me. Just seeing people talk about it, and the way they got along, made me want to go there.

Anyways, then I took something called a Master Class, which was basically a lecture delivered by a professor which condenses a semester into an hour. The Master Class I took was Sex, Evolution, and Human Nature, taught by Laurie Santos. It was a really well-put-together lecture and, of all the sample lectures I've attended across four colleges, it was the only one to hold my attention for the entire time. And this was after a whole week of colleges, which makes it even more impressive. So, that also made me want to come to Yale.

Then all the admitted students went into a theatre to see the Dean's address, and then to watch several musical and dance groups perform. All was cool. I especially liked the spoken word poetry and the final a cappella group. The whole thing made me want to stay even more. Then I had dinner. Alone. I didn't know where anyone was. I just ate my burger. It was a nice burger.

The burger eaten, I joined my dad and we went to get some loot from the Yale bookstore. We got a hat. Then, I went to have pizza with the Yale Glee Club. They didn't actually have pizza, but it was still fun. We sang some songs, and I almost succeeded at some parts. They have a really cool program, where they go on tours and everything. Next year's big tour is in Mexico, which is great. So good. Also, I was interviewed by one of the Glee Club members, who also works for the Yale newspaper.

That was all I really wanted to do for the program, so I joined my dad and we went to see a concert. Pitches and Tones is an a cappella band at Yale, and they were really good. Like, I'm aware that I'm using way too many praises in this post, but still. They were great. My favorite song was Lights, which was originally a pop song by Ellie Goulding, but somehow Pitches and Tones managed to make it sound haunting. What a group.

Then, we headed to the hotel. I really don't know what to do. I don't know who to choose. As it stands now, here's what the Cosmic Collective has to say: Order votes for Yale, Chaos votes for Reed, Conformity votes Yale, Subversion votes Reed, Logic really requires more information, but recognizing that this vote is simply to see what the playing field is like and not to make an actual decision, she votes Reed, and Instinct votes Reed. So, at this point in time, Reed wins, it seems. I'll write a bigger post about it eventually. For now, it's 12:24, so I need to sleep.