Wow. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think of my education and life so far. Here I am at Maine South, confidently walking the hallway alongside seniors that have beards like Abraham Lincoln, Juniors with blue or purple or orange hair, sophomores who are still kind of unsure of themselves but act real tough, and of course, my fellow freshies and I who I've known since since we were half our current height and with voices that were so high we could've been in the girls chorus. I've made some new friends too. My science partner is a real character, his favorite color is periwinkle, which looks something like this:
I also sit next to a kid at lunch who's 12 years old and a Canadian exchange student. He's very loud, and a bit obnoxious. He's always complaining about how nobody he knows ever says "ay." I've come a long way since elementary school, and it's all because of Lincoln. I'm here typing on my Chromebook, (and you all know that I know all the commands, loopholes and shortcuts) typing on WEEBLY. I actually forgot it was called weebly. Weebly's changed a bit. There's all the elements on a sidebar instead of a white complex toolbar at the top, which bothers me but is probably a whole lot simpler for everybody. I sit next to Jackie in study hall, and she's always talking about how much she misses our LA class. She always asks about Franklin and Nick and Ned, and I have to tell her that Ned is at a different school now, and Franklin isn't in any of my classes, and that Nick doesn't miss her one bit. That's one difference in High School, you actually have to make an effort to keep in touch with people. Jackie likes to complain about how hard her English 2 class is, and how it isn't nearly as fun as ours was. I'm in regular English now, and we're learning about the elements of fiction. I scored an B+ on the pretest our teacher gave us on all of the things we were going to learn this semester. I have no worries about that class, and I don't miss all of the homework and plies upon piles of long-term assignments I had to deal with at Lincoln. But I do miss just about everything else. The wonderful books we got to read that I adored even when my fellow classmates despised, and Fridays we would spend in the library or outside that slowly deteriorated throughout the year. I especially miss just the overall atmosphere of the class. I would walk in and I knew that in this class I could just be me. We were a big family of misfits, and talk of unplugging dryers would shift to one of the girls' most recent boyfriends in moments.There would be singing and yelling and paper airplanes and somehow we would learn something in the middle of it all. It was great. And now my brother gets to go through all of it in my wake. I hear you're giving him a hard time on those homework assignments. Keep up the good work. With any luck, he'll be better than I was. Ah yes, I remember my problems just as well as my triumphs at Lincoln. Whenever I look at my High School planner and see a blank page, I immediately think of Mr. Nasshan and can almost feel him slapping the back of my head. That was another great class. While some students *cough Jackie cough cough* "Hated him with a burning passion," I knew that it was only because when a student said something absolutely dumb like confusing The Dalai Lama with a female actress, he would, to put it lightly, point it out to the student immediately. I remember when in 6th grade Mr. Francis put me in study hall and I first met Mr. Nasshan, I absolutely despised him. The next week in social studies class we for some reason were to write an anonymous paper talking about a person without using their name, and you bet I wrote all about Mr. Nasshan and how terrible he was. Now I think I can say that he's probably my favorite teacher I've had so far. Whenever I talked to him, he would put me in my place and I'd remember all of the things I was behind in or needed to improve on, but strangely at the same time he would bestow upon me a sense of confidence that I had what it takes to do so, and that my potential was endless. Mrs. P was a bit similar in how I would feel quite strange after each time she would scold me for not doing my homework or not keeping organized. She'd yell at me, yeah there was plenty of that, but she would treat me as though I had just cut my own arm off. She would make me feel stupid, and she would pity me in such a way that really affected me. And then there was Mr. Miller. I'm having trouble describing him in complete sentences. Amazing. Wonderful. Genius. Funny. Kindhearted. He gave off a vibe that you were important to him, and you were brilliant. He treated everyone as an intellectual equal, and that is saying a lot. As Mr. Nasshan once said, that guy could work for NASA if he wanted to. My biology class no is pretty much just going over exactly what we learned in middle school. Right now we're learning about the unusual properties of water, and we literally have the EXACT SAME SHEET as the one Mrs. May gave us in 6th grade. Here's a picture:
The only difference was that the 6th grade version was pink! You can see my name at the top right, I had to start signing as just Chris so teachers would call me Christopher. Still feels weird though, I like writing out my full name better It was all of you who got me where I am today, and made me who I am today. And who am I today? Well, a 5'10'' geeky freshman who's acing High School, going to 3 LAN parties a month, taking computer programming and engineering, playing guitar, going to comic-cons and all sorts of conferences ever since SIT, (Franklin, Nick and I still wear the shirts), and who's looking forward to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who this year, driving a car next year, and a long and glorious career in science and technology in the years to come! Thank you all so much for everything you've done and the countless hours you've all put in for my classmates and I, whether it's been writing up a study guide when we shouldn't need one, typing all the notes instead of making us write them all out ourselves, helping us early in the morning or late after school, planning games and activities and field trips to keep school fun, and for just being the greatest teachers ever! I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to attend a school like this, and I'll never forget this humble little place at the corner of crescent and lincoln avenue.
Darn, I was hoping I could end with a map pointed at lincoln. Not sure how to use that function, it's probably new. Instead I'll just have to leave you with a great inspirational song that just happened to start playing on my internet radio station as I finished typing this. Feel free to scroll through all the other posts on this site while you listen.
It seems that this weekend, everybody is on vacation. That is, except Dave and me. After an extremely stressful week, I like to just chill on the computer for as long as possible, and normally, I am joined by four, five, sometimes six others. But this weekend, it's just been Dave and me. All weekend, I log on, and there's Dave! The rest of the chat room barren, but Dave keeps it alive. Sometimes (rarely) I'll log on and nobody's there, but in about 20 minutes or so, I hear the entry of another being into the chat and I think: "Excellent, I wonder who it is that will be keeping me sane while I play Half-life." And it's been Dave, every single time. Today is memorial day, and the two of us are beginning to expect nothing less. Now I'll hear someone join, and I'll immediately respond "Hi Dave."
So we've been playing a lot of strategy games which I won't go into, (Cough Starcraft Cough Cough) and he's been helping get back to the level I once was. this actually got me into trouble, because Colin logged on after Nick and him came back from camping and I said Hi Dave, and he was a bit angry. But it's alright, I've accomplished everything I wanted to this weekend. Even without Doctor Who...Sniffle...But it's okay because it really has been quite the Epic Chris And
Just thought I ought to do a blog dedicated to long words. Those with Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia may want to stop reading here. This blog is going to make oxymoron and paradox look like cow and pig. My favorite would have to be floccinaucinihilipilification. It is the longest word that is listed in over 20 major dictionaries. Other words like pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis or hepaticocholangiocholecystenterostomies only listed in one or two because they're only used in science or the medical world, or in the case of antidisestablishmentarianism, which was thought to be the longest word in the dictionary for a very long time, it was dropped from many dictionaries
due to it's usage being almost nonexistent, and it's meaning irrelevant to the present day. Floccinaucinihilipilification means to regard as worthless, and I would love to be able to use this word often, if I could only pronounce it. Another wonderful long word is honorificabilitudinitatibus, which means honorableness. And was used several times by (can you guess) Shakespeare! That would be fun to use during a business meeting. "It was a pleasure doing business with you, you show promise of becoming a partner of much honorificabilitudinitatibus" But overall, the longest word in the dictionary that has never been up for debate or dropped by other dictionaries or had it's origins questioned would be floccinaucinihilipilification, and it has just become my new favorite word. The words disproportionableness and incomprehensibilities have been recognized as the longest commonly used words though, and everybody knows that smile is the longest word, because there's a mile between the first and last letters.
Over the weekend, things have ended, and new things have begun. I started this post mainly to talk about all sorts of geeky things like Doctor Who and Google's most recent agenda, but I've come to realize that this title applies to the school year as well. We're so close to being done. I just finished my last review assignment! (more on review assignments on the post below) Just got my bowtie for promotion, (bowties are cool) and I can keep each day of the rest of the school year's agenda in my head without forgetting anything! (I hope) Soon it will be summer, and the wonderful weather we've been experiencing here is getting me ready for it.Will this blog still be up over the summer? That would be a cool way to stay in touch, but then again, I doubt I would do much blogging. My pal from Switzerland is flying over here to spend the summer! It'll be part two of what we've been calling the Swiss exchange program. That'll be cool. Hopefully I'll start playing tennis again, but I couldn't fit any sort of science camp into my schedule this year due to summer school. (Yay extra electives!) But after summer, we'll go from the top of the school food chain to the bottom. Yikes. How many kids would you say are in our grade? I'd estimate about 300ish. So that's 300 from Lincoln plus 300 from Emerson headed to Maine South. Now if you assume that the years before us had the same amount of kids, we'll be inhabiting the same school school as 2400 kids! Woah. But at least we won't have to worry about getting booked, we'll have online textbooks on our chromebooks. Ugh, don't get me started on chromebooks. Just go read Franklin's blog. Alright, now lets get down to the topics that I originally intended for this post. Holy cow. The doctor who season finale was amazing. It wasn't as suspenseful as some of the other season finales of the past, but it was really cool. (If you don't want any spoilers, or you just don't want to read a whovian's fanfare about an episode, skip the next section)
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I'm glad we got to see the whole gang again. Strax, the good Sontaran, (Sontar-ha!) Jenny, the karate lockpick, and of course, Madame Vastra, the Samurai Silurian. And it was wonderful to finally see River again! Looks like she's finally caught up with her timeline. The Whispermen are scary. Not weeping angels scary, more like Flesh scary. I was flipping out when they stuck their arms into the bodies of the Doctor's friends and tried to stop their hearts. Then when the Doctor yelled "Please!" and the doors opened, I thought he had said his name so I immediately think: "What did he say his name was? Doctor Please? Doctor Hayes?" But no, River cleared it all up for me immediately. I thought they wrapped it all up very neatly, but a bit too slowly. As soon as I heard that the entity in the center was his timeline and anyone who stepped through it would be scattered across it, I knew that both Clara and The Great Intelligence were going to step in. By the way, I wonder how the got the footage of Clara conversing with the first doctor. Did he already say those lines, and they just stuck Clara in? Or was it hyper realistic Computer animation? You never know these days. What I didn't guess though, is that the Doctor would step into his timeline. He rarely ever crosses it once, he's not supposed to, and now he's crossing them all simultaneously! Woah. And then John Hurt as the Doctor. Cool. The age of the actor is finally starting to express the age of the Doctor. Can't wait for Doctor who to come back again, but they're making me wait 6 months. Great. Time to mark November 23rd on the Calendar!
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Well, Google finally did it. For ages, they've had a wonderful chat service for computers, and an ok one for mobile. But there was no way to intercommunicate between the two. Half a year later, now there is. And it's awesome. So much Emoji! I love Emoji. Wonderful way to express emotion. Began in Japan, which isn't much of a surprise. I like the new layout, I find it very smooth and welcoming. If any of you are still using talk or messenger, I highly recommend the switch. There's loads more content, including some easter eggs. Two of my favorites would have to be the Konami Code and /pitchforks. Call me a Google slave, but I can't wait to see what they do next.
I've started to think of homework and these review assignments in an analogy, and for some reason it's helping me out, so I thought I'd share. I view these 22 review assignments as having to get hit with a yardstick 22 times. It hurts like a dingbat, but you just have to take it 22 times, and then it's over. The first few times, the stick was new pain that I hadn't experienced before, so I dodged the stick a few times. (Didn't do assignments 5 or 8) But all this meant is that I still had to take the rest of the beatings, but it would take longer. I had to receive all 22, and if I dodged one I was only prolonging my torture. To make matters worse, every day we have regular homeworks as well, which feels a lot like getting shoved into a deep hole and having to slowly climb your way out, searching for footholds and sometimes not finding them. (Good thing we have some passes that allow Mrs. Walters to pull us up out of the hole) By the way, I in no way intended for the nun in the photo to embody Mrs. Walters. I never felt as though she was dealing out the whipping just some invisible force. Mrs. Walters is a great teacher that we'll all be grateful we had when we're in high school, and she's pulled me out of that hole several times. So now I've been taking this beating for a while, and the hits aren't surprising. I'm climbing out of the hole again and again, because I know if I continue to do so, soon I won't be whipped or pushed back in again for another 2 and a half months. After I began thinking of it like that, I haven't missed an assignment because I know that if I do, I'm only prolonging the pain, and it'll all be over soon. Oh how I look forward to that.
This week's episode of Veritasium ( a science YouTube channel) has really got me thinking. It was titled something about how the Higgs Boson doesn't really give you mass, and I got a little bit angry. I had watched something like 20 minutes worth of videos on the Higgs and as far as I knew, it gave everything mass and was the reason every single thing doesn't forever fly around at the speed of light. But, I knew that the guy who makes Veritasium is quite intelligent, so I clicked the video and decided to hear him out. Turns out that the Higgs field only really has any effect on extremely small particles, like electrons. The rest of your weight and the weight of everything else is in the nucleus. Inside of Protons and Neutrons (Which make up the Nucleus) are Quarks, and they are really what gives you mass. Quarks are basically 3 (or so we thought) particles that are connected. What's weird is that the mass of each of the particles is only a small fraction of the total mass. What really gives you mass is the energy it takes to hold them together! So when you step on the scale, what you read is mostly caused by the weight of the energy used to hold together the particles that make up the nuclei of the atoms that make up the molecules that make up all of the different substances in your body. I'll attach the video below, but for those without a mild understanding of atomic and subatomic particles, I think it might get a little painful.
This weekend my friends Marco and Will signed up with me to do the YMCA Kettle Moraine Mini-triathlon. We didn't think we'd be able to each do the whole thing, so we decided to enter as a relay team. Marco would swim, Will would bike, and I would run. So, after we decided to do this in January, I set off training. That has got to be the hardest part. You run for a while, get really worn out, come home, and figure out that you ran barely 1/4 of what you'll have to do later. (5k) But I kept running, as much as my homework schedule allowed. By late April, I was able to run 3 miles without a problem. That just astounded me. The way the body can adapt to circumstances and gradually get stronger as the need arises. On May 5th, we all packed into Marco's car and set out for Wisconsin, God's country, as Marco's Grandpa would say. It was really nice up there, never had to listen to a plane fly over my head. The race was awesome. Really fun. We got to the YMCA where the event was in progress, and there were approximately 60 people there. There were relay teams, and people doing it on their own. First Marco had to swim 8 laps in this pool in the same heat as his dad, so that was intense, and then Will hopped onto a spin bike on lowest resistance and had to bike the equivalent of 5 miles. After that, I ran out of the building and ran a little over a mile and a half uphill through beautiful Wisconsin scenery, and then turned around and ran the same distance downhill. It was tough, but we came 2nd in our heat, and 4th out of the relay teams. MArco's dad got 2nd out of everyone and received a medal. It was a wonderful experience and next year the three of us are all planning on doing it individually.
Today I was browsing the internet, looking for blogging inspiration. I started on sciencedaily.com, which is this cool site that lists all of the most recent scientific discoveries, as in stuff that they figured out within the last 24 hours. I didn't find anything that I could really write a whole blog about, so I went to Vsauce, one of the greatest science youtube channels in my opinion. I watched his most recent video, didn't like in too much, then clicked a related video on the side, (which is the first step to disaster on youtube) which led me to one of his DONGs videos. (stuff to Do Online Now Guys) and this is what started my internet death spiral of doom. There are a lot of weird things on the internet, and I thought I should dedicate a blog post to their glory. YouTube is a great medium for that kind of thing, and it's how many people, including me, have discovered what the internet really is. There are other ways to access these kinds of things though. 4chan was a fantastic way to spread information quickly, and multitudes of memes flooded from it's domain. Unfortunately, do to the recent brony uprising, not many still populate the site. (A Brony is an adult or young adult male who watches My Little Pony. They're everywhere. I know at least 5 at our school. My own brother is one!) I'll try to name as many weird memes as I can think of, and I'll try to stay away from the excessively grotesque or graphic ones. First, I think I ought to give the definition of "Meme" for those who don't know it or those who think they know it but are wrong. (and you can't argue with this because I looked it up in two different Webster dictionaries, the Oxford Dictionary, and Dictionary.com)
Meme: An element of Culture or a system of behavior that is passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means.
A meme can include a news report, a picture, a video, an action, a behavior, or anything else that gets passed from person to person quickly. The Boston Bombing was a meme, Planking was a meme, Gangnam Style was a meme, Bronyism is a meme. There are many memes that come and go, and I hope to highlight some of the greatest and weirdest memes that the internet has spawned.
First of all, LOLcats. They're everywhere. If you haven't seen them before, you haven't let yourself roam free on the web. There are many sites where you can find multitudes of cats and other animals with captions of all kinds. There are animals with invisible anything, and plenty of photos of animals displaying any sort of human emotion. You can't portray the internet without plenty of cats. There's the inte
Our Mac OS X is getting old, and it's starting to effect my productiveness when I use it. Sunday Morning this week, I woke up, and while I was eating a delicious bagel with creamcheese, I realized: "Oh feces, I forgot to do my personal blog! So I asked if I could get a ride to school instead of catching the bus, then grabbed the laptop and got to work. I booted it up, (took 30 seconds) then logged in and waited for my desktop and dock the items on them to load, (took 20 seconds) then opened up safari and hit the bookmark for the blog page I can edit, then opened another window and hit the bookmark for the blog page I can use to comment, then opened up another page and let that one stay on my homepage (Google) for research. (This last part usually takes about 15 seconds) That's a total of one minute and five seconds to get to a position where I can start working. That's a really long time to wait for that kind of thing. (You try sitting still watching a loading screen for a minute and five seconds!) I've had to endure this so many times that I can and have listed an average for how long each step takes. The only benefit of having this much time on my hands before I blog is that I usually think of something to write about during that time if I haven't got an idea already. So this time around, I think: "Ok, I might as well blog about the reason the room next door to mine is completely barren and quarentined for the health and safety of the rest of the family, that's not something that happens often." And so I did. I had written a little less than a paragraph when it was 7:45, and I had to get ready to leave if I wanted to make it to school on time. So I ended the post temporarily by saying exactly what I thought when I looked at the time, then resolved to return to the post after school had ended. Wow I use the word "So" to start a sentence way too often, I'll try to limit my use of it from now on. After another day of school rolled by, I came home, Grabbed a bowl of cheez-its, and watched some mind-numbing television for half an hour. (Adventure Time) Once my post-school rest was over, I walked up to my room where I began working on my blog post, hoping I could make it better before it was graded. Everything was going great until a little after I had typed to the point where my post was about double the size it is now. My laptop had one of it's senior moments. Let me give you an anology as to what my computer is like. Keep in mind, it's the same as the white laptops we use at school, except mine is 4 years old. (I'm not actually sure how old the school ones are) My computer is a lot like a friend that my brother and I were given to share when I was ten, and he was nine. (Do the math if you want to know how old my brother is) At this point, many of my friends had nice, shiny desktop computers, and were already on their way to becoming the gamers they are today. I was also interested in following said track, but I didn't have the equiptment. Now, I knew this, even at ten years old, for I would hear about some kind of computer game and try to get it and end up with:
Your system is not compatible. Please check to see if your system meets the following requirements:
At which point I would go:
The memory of all those times make me shiver. It was a nightmare how many times I had to deal with stuff like: "Not compatible," "Windows Only," "We don't know how to write it for Mac." So after seeing all of these, I knew that I was at a disadvantage. But I ran every game I could, and pushed my tiny laptop to it's limits, downloading software and running tasks that no laptop should have to go through. At this point in my analogy, we were yelling at our friend that he wasn't good enough, forced him to do what we wanted, and running him down without ever giving him a rest. What this has caused is for him to grow old and weak, every move for him is slow and painful, and my brother and I are always apologizing for what we've done to him, and that if we had only known it would end like this we would have taken better care of him. We've lifted as many burdens as we possibly could for him, only using him now for writing papers (or blogs) and using the online textbooks. But our old friend won't last much longer, and now when we use him, he often goes into a frozen trance, (loses connection) and we have to slap him (reboot) in order to get him working again. After that happens, it takes him awhile to recover, and when he does, he doesn't remember much of what he was doing before. This means that while I was blogging, the connection froze up 7 times, I had to reboot each time, and when I returned to the blog, I was back where I had left off in the morning. I rewrote my blog 6 times, but when it happened the 7th time, I just felt like the guy in the picture at the top of this blog post, and quit. I shutdown and did my math, then went to bed. I'm not sure if I ever will finish my bedbug post, if I don't, I'll at least post the MinutePhysics video.