Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Almost every other blogger in the world must have written an entry by this title. So, here's my contribution to this festive season of year. But the show of holiday spirit ends here - and for good reason. I've got a lot of work ahead of me. The first thing is to write a to-do list. Try not to think of this as a list of New Year's resolutions no matter how much it sounds like one - I'm not old enough to be making resolutions yet! :D

Oh, where should I begin? What I did during the last weeks of fall quarter is probably irrelevant right now so let's begin this tale at the start of winter break. Some of the highlights were (in no particular order) a four-day power outage due to windstorms, recovery of sleep lost last quarter, loss of recovered sleep, learning how to work DOS from a book written and published some year in ancient history before I was born, getting a head start on Winter qtr classes by reading through the textbooks, screwing up a brand new computer such that it reboots automatically every 2 minutes, gaining a foothold in the UNIX world, and... breaking the bad news to my parents that I failed some classes in my first quarter at UW.

Yes, for all my abilities as a superhero, I couldn't manage my time well and control my sudden urges to do stupid, non-school-related things. But enough on that. On to the list of New Y-- darn it, I keep telling myself it's not a New Y- NO! Not again. It's hopeless.

Anyhow, where was I? Oh yes, failing classes. Of course, it's left me devastated. It's hard enough for me to go to sleep on a normal day and now with this, it's nearly impossible. For someone who finished more than two years of college (with a great GPA) while still in high school, failing a class is like the end of life. The worst part is that I saw this coming when I actually had a chance to prevent it. My career as a professional student is all but over...

Or is it? In a majestic upheaval of spirit, I've decided to clear up my act and do my best next quarter. And believe me, my best is really, really good. All I have to do is follow these simple rules:

1. Go to class. Just do it.
2. Do the homework. No really, that's how you learn.
3. Sleep well. Don't run on "Empty" all the time.
4. Plan, Prepare, Execute, Assess. Especially, "Execute."

I'm just trying to keep the guidelines and expectations as simple as possible for next quarter. Last quarter, I expected too much out of myself and out of UW in general. The trouble is that I got everything I wanted and that's NOT GOOD. I totally lost focus and ended up with terrible grades. I aim to change all that next quarter.

At this point, a look back on last quarter would be interesting, no? Here are a few things off the top of my head. This is unfiltered - I've put down everything, good or bad. All in all, fall quarter was a good part of my life. I:

+ perfected my microwave cooking skills
+ discovered new music
+ watched nearly 50 movies that I had wanted to watch ever since I was a kid
- used up all my anytime minutes during the first week of the month
+ cofounded the Official UW Abs Club ;link this
+ helped with research for a department completely unrelated to my major
+ slept for 18 hours straight
- stayed awake 106 hours continuously (don't ask)
+ Alladin's Falafel. I'm serious, that place never gets old. Once, Sharvil and I went there sometime around midnight when we were actually supposed to be studying.
- watching Russell Peters videos in Odegaard 232 at around 3 AM
+ started this blog
+ defined recursive solutions to brain-bending questions involving stacks, linked lists and other evil things
- tasted the bitter sadness of failing a class for the first time in my life.
+ met unforgettable people like Longfei and Sharvil
+ spent more time away from my room than I lived in it
- missed more lecture than I ever will in the future
+ donated blood
+ started using Mac OSX
- played too much Super Mario Brothers (yes, the classic 8-bit orgasm of a game for NES)
+ tried Bubble Tea
+ started pledging for a fraternity
+ learned the quickest way to Anderson from Haggett (and it's not along the Ave)
+ found someone I might actually fall in love with

+ GREW UP

That's not nearly all of it because telling the whole tale would take me just as much time as it took me to live it. And "live it" I did. I'm looking forward to going back to UW next week. It will be like revisiting a dream - one that will come to a much better ending next quarter and give me many more positive things to write about. To me, UW is: freedom, a doorway to adulthood, an opportunity to find new friends and most importantly, a good education. And I won't let down the institution that means all that to me. Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

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