Wednesday, March 28, 2007

School is pain. AP exams = very yes.

The title says it all.

Euro is going nuts, with some 2 hours of mandatory studying every night now, in addition to many lunch periods and 7th periods sacrificed for "optional" videos and DBQ practice. To be fair, it is partly my fault - in February, at the start of second semeste, Mr. K asked if there was anything we would like to change in the class. Seizing the opportunity, I proclaimed that there shalt be no mandatory outlines, and it was so. Somebody else - whose name shall not be uttered - did cry out against the projects, saying "it shalt be not so," and it was declared that there shall be no mandatory outlines or projects. And then it all collapsed. We became lazy, we failed our quizzes and tests even more than what's regular for Euro (although oddly enough, I didn't change, but that's just me), and with the AP coming up, we were grossly underprepared. Finally, Mr. K made us an ultimatum last week: if we wanted to pass the AP exam, we must play by his rules, which meant even longer hours than first semester, and a return of the dreaded projects. Furtunately, I was able to set up a forum for our Euro class on Mr. K's behalf, which proved to be a good idea, as we are now able to coordinate our study and work together on class projects. Nevertheless, Euro is really becoming painful now.

But speaking of painful in the literal sense, while studying for the AP Bio test (ridiculous really, the chapters were longer than ever, and we needed to memorize the functions of 30 different hormones), I stayed up so late that when I woke up my leg was sprained so much I had to spend the morning of the test practicing walking again. (I don't know how staying up late has a connection to leg pain, but my parents assure me that it does.) It was getting better, but then we had to run two miles in the rain, a run that in retrospect I should probably have just asked to make up. My leg did not like that run at all.

Even Statistics, the easiest AP in the school, is picking up the pace now. For the first time, I actually have to work hard on the homework, and the tests are becoming challenging as we are getting ready to "battle the APE".

And to add to all that, the USAMO math olympiad is coming up in late April, and I have no idea how to study for it, or indeed, if I even qualified (though I'm fairly sure I did). The unanimous advice on how to prepare is practice, practice, practice, but there's really nothing like the sensation of sitting down, reading a test, working on it, and eventually coming to the conclusion that you can't solve a single problem. >.<

There's plenty of other topics I wanted to write about, but I really want me leg to get better, so perhaps I should stop while it's still 10:28 (by some miracle, there was little homework today; it's the first time in a week that I'm going to bed before 11 o'clock).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Took the AIME today. It was harder than I anticipated, but I still managed to answer 7 problems correctly (6-7 will probably by the cutoff, so I probably qualified for the USAMO ^_^).

I'm not allowed to discuss problems yet, so that'll have to wait for a later post.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Some Weight Off My Back (Literally and Figuratively)

Today was a pretty good day, because I finally took my CM piano playing test today (I passed with honors! Yay!), which I've been stressing out about for about a week. After the AIME math exam that I take this Tuesday, I will be free of all worries other than schoolwork ... until late April/early May, when I will suddenly be attacked by the ferocious onslaught of 3 APs, an SAT and maybe an SAT II, and the USAMO (if I pass the AIME). Ouch.

After the piano test, I helped some family friends move. Moving is hard work. Especially on a day as hot as today. Ouch.