Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring Break!

Yes, Spring Break is here. But it won't be all parties for me, thanks to, you guessed it, Euro AP! As I mentioned in my previous entry, we are picking up the pace in Euro, but I never expected it to reach this level: over Spring Break we have to (1) write a 20-30 page report on the Cold War, (2) read "All Quiet on the Western Front" and write a 5 page review, and (3) reread 700 pages of our Euro textbook. All in one week! Ugh.

As if that weren't enough, it turns out that I qualified for the USAMO, something I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it's quite an accomplishment to make it there, but on the other hand, now I have to start practicing, so that I won't embarrass myself with a zero (which seems to be the median score on the USAMO >.<). So that's something like 5 hours Euro, 1 hour math already partitioned out each day. I'm losing almost half of my waking, non-eating hours!

The good news is that I still have half of spring break to call my own. ^_^ Some stuff that I'm working on:

- My site. I'm hoping to finish my new website by the end of Spring Break. I'm almost done already, so it shouldn't be too tough.

- European Chess. Ah, there's a lot of stuff going on here. First, Round 2 of the Design Competition just ended, so I have to add 3 countries, and edit a few more (people started complaining about Iraq and Mafia being too strong, and Prussia and Gaul too weak, so I'll have to balance them). Also, John wants to start a European Chess tournament next week, and although he promised to organize it himself, it'll still be a lot of work to keep up-to-date results on the website (a job that, of course, falls to me).

Now that European Chess is out and about on the Internet (a forum spam campaign on my part did a fairly good job of spreading the word), our biggest concern now is obtaining a patent. Apparently, we have less than a year to apply for a patent, or else European Chess falls into the public domain. Unfortunately, patent costs are monstrous (literally in the 5-digits), and being high school students we have nowhere near that kind of money. Our best bet is to somehow get Fienberg's uncle to provide us legal aid for free and then apply for a provisional patent, using our extra year to obtain the ~$3,000 we'll need outside of legal fees. Either that or give up, which I admit is an appealing option.

- One last item of the day: During Spring Break, and pretty much until mid-May, I have very little free time, so naturally I don't really have time to play most games, but there is one online game that takes very little time (~10 min. a day) and is incredibly addictive. I'm talking, of course, of Diplomacy, the board-game sensation that, thanks to, is now invading the Internet. After playing a game online with a few of my friends, I took the next step and formed what may be the first online Diplomacy league: "Donkeys United". Blatant ad: Have you got what it takes to join? Make an account on my forum and PM me for an invitation! Heh, just had to put that in.

Well, that concludes my first (and perhaps last) post during Spring Break. Ciao!

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