Hehe, I never got to reflect on my beating up a big red guy.

The big red guy!

We got to do 3 simulations: the first was a warm up, where the aggressor would grab one’s arm, and we’d have to get him to let go, then run through an “exit” marked by 2 bright yellow half-spheres.

One of the more important parts of our class was that, as you punch/kick/headbutt, you yell, “NO!” in order to maintain steady breathing when fending off a baddie. I kept forgetting to yell, and I actually didn’t yell at all during the third simulation.

In the second, we pretended to be at an atm and the aggressor was the typical “PECUNIAM SUAM MIHI DA (GIMME YO’ DOUGH)!!!” I think we were all bearhugged from behind..

In the third, to simulate a surprise attack, we kept our eyes closed and body still while the big red guy “talked trash” at us, then requested that we go to his abode. Naturally, we’d refuse, forcing the aggressor to kidnap us. I got knocked down to the ground.

Spectacularly, Dwee got lifted up completely; to return to Earth, Dwee delivered an excellent reverse headbutt to the dude.

Basically, during the trash-talking, he read our shirts and made obnoxious questions at the subject matter–others in the class reported this as “scary,” but, after the class, I realized that I’m..really used to the obnoxious questions from people like..”One who believes in a dominant monotheistic religion, Son of Peter.” [Translate into familiar name.] Ahh, good times.

Salirá para China en tres dias; las maletas estan hechas por mi mamá; solo nuestras ropas estan por haciendo. Unfortunately, my bladder is as miniscule as the leg room in economy class seating, and restrooms in China are about as rare as not becoming dehydrated on a 13 hr flight.

I went out to get the mail today, and, lo and behold, another campaign advertisement from one of the 2 Democratic primary candidates. Now, as a brutally pretentious marketing commentator, I’m always like, “Yeah? 83% of women thought they looked better after trying your lip-plumping serum? That’s cuz they paid $30 USD for a vial of it, and they’d like to think that they spent it well,” or preaching about how statistics can lie.

But on this Ned Lamont thing..:”Joe Lieberman has voted for every one of GB’s harmful and unfair trade agreements that has sent good-paying jobs overseas.”

I’m confused. Shouldn’t it be “well-paying?” “Well” would modify “paying,” meaning that it pays decent wages. You wouldn’t say, “My job at MCD pays real good.” [Well, you wouldn’t say that a MCD job pays well, either.]

EDIT: I called their headquarters asking about their use of an adjective to modify a participle and got the answer of, “Do you see that little number? That means that it came from a news article. An actual news article.” Heh. But the little number at the bottom refers to a U.S. Senate vote, not an article. *chuckle*

In 8 days, I leave (cattle class, of course) for China.
In ~5 months, I take the SAT’s. I’ve always taken them in January before; also, it’s good to be able to concentrate on AP’s around the end of the year.
In ~15 months, I will be freaking out over college applications because all the other ambitious kids clamber onto their laptops and copy down each college’s essay topics in August.

Rather scary prospects.

On some happier sides, I get to beat up a guy in a big red suit in about 7 hours, and I have 2 days to learn to evenly distribute 3 octaves worth of (out of tune) scales into one bow. [That’s actually doable; I just have to think of it as 24 notes, which is 4 clusters of 1-2-3-1-2-3, instead of OMGihavetogoALLTHEWAYupIN1BOW?????!!!???!1one!!?]

A few nights ago, I wached a NOVA thing on Thirteen about string theory. Weird. Can’t even pretend to understand it at even the most superficial level-all that talk of “tiny vibrating little cello strings” and “dimensions like horn valves”… One of the few familiar things was a mention of “Yang-Mills,” which I knew to be a millenium problem.

Last night, I solved a NYTimes crossword puzzle. Though it was rated “easy,” I could only solve it with the aid of a (useless) children’s atlas, a world map, a history book, and several glances at the answer key, to make sure that I wasn’t going too far off track. My pride blooms because there were many “Eureka moments;” one clue said, “Lent ender.” I kept thinking lend, like a loan, so I kept trying to stick “payment” in. When I understood that Lent represented the 40 days and nights in the desert, the answer of “EASTER” dawned on me. *shrug*

Princeton Review’s Raw Score–>Scaled Score–>200-800 score is pitifully similar to doing taxes. Unfortunately, my skill at “critical reading” is nearly as pitiful.

After half a year of tutoring a level 3 (?) geometry student, witnessing her struggles, and helping her formulate strategies to attack problems, I almost think the “new” SAT’s math section is near impossible for people like her. The poor girl has trouble enough doing arithmetic on her calculator–how’s she supposed to spot 3-4-5/6-8-10/5-12-13/9-40-41 triangles at a glance, or battle with the new “logic problems?” An online guide says, regarding “logic problems,” (and I paraphrase) “Stick to the given, don’t generalize, and for the love of cheese, don’t use common sense.” No one teaches logic to “average” children (or below-average ones, like Dubya) anymore, and I don’t think sanity-loving educators would want to start now.

Feliz tardío Dia de la Bastilla!


Meehee. Bastille day sounds like such a Spongebob holiday to us Amurrikens–like the same class of holiday as Leif Erikson day.

I started reading a book in Spanish last night: ¿Hay Alguien Ahi? by Jostein Gaarder. [He’s the Norwegian author-teacher who wrote Sophie’s World, a book that I enjoyed very much.]

It’s beautiful children’s book–soft, high quality paper, purple woodcut illustrations, smooth golden cover. Besides how I’m still on page 17 and the first page is page 13, and how I have to look up a vocab word/idiom every 3 lines, the reading is going well.

I have a tendency to skip over the grammatical aspects and just grasp the information, though, making the experience less educational. All I’ve noticed so far is that there’s a whole lot of imperfect subjunctive and use of soler–when that’s in the imperfect, solía, it looks like it’d mean something like “alone” or solo.

List of things to buy when I travel into zones of favorable currency exchange

1. Nail clipppers!!! Sharp ones. Little ones. I’ll need one for my viola case, one for my backpack, and maybe one for the “purse.”
2. Trumpet/band instrument?
3. My own copy of: English suites, doable-looking Debussy,
4. Shoes? I’m too cheap to buy pretty ones here.
5. Questionably-legal entertainment. 8D
6. Haircut, from hair-stylists. Not people who would otherwise be waitresses if they weren’t hair cutters.
7. Souvenirs/requests from YOU! [in the timeless words of remnants-of-me, bigger than a chopstick, smaller than a panda (pandas don’t go well through customs, and things smaller than chopsticks are too delicate.]

Last night, I heard Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D minor. As it was one of the concerto competition winners @ Marrowstone, I had heard it before, but the two interpretations are rather different, I think. The one I heard last night seemed more like a contemplation of death; the Marrowstone interpretation seemed to be embracing spring more. The former also took it at a slower tempo–perhaps that brought out the melancholy.

Is anyone up for some blueberry picking @ Bishop’s Orchards? Perhaps the weather will moderate later next week.

Also: I got a Moot question right! Ms. Narden told us about it in class, though.

Tee! My report card came. The school was withholding it because I owed them money, but when I called the secretary and she couldn’t ascertain to whom I owe money, she sent it. I think I forgot to pay for the 250 mL beaker and test tube that I “lost” and broke, respectively. It’s pretty ugly in someparts and pretty in others, you could say.

Vacation’s been letting me listen to many things. I’ve been listening to the radio on my mp3 player, and one night, I caught a bit of Shostakovich. Because I used to get him mixed up with Schoenberg, I thought that he was some crazy Russian guy who wrote dissonant long bangy senseless stuff with peoples’ initials carved into ostinato bass. Last summer, though I didn’t become a lifelong fan of Schoenberg, I developed an appreciation for his music, and also some creations of his contemporaries. Appreciation for Schoenberg developed, but image of crazy bangy Shostakovich remained. But that bit of Shostakovich I caught was hardly bangy. [duh, it was a symphony, not something for piano.] Instead, it was joyful, energetic–like an overexcited hedgehog. I had listened to his 2nd piano concerto before and found it gleeful and also played an overture and found it happily tonal, but I thought that those were just trifles he wrote for fun, not serious representations of his style.

Another form of ‘listening’ I’ve been doing is DDR. My ear picks out insignificant bits of theory in the songs: there’s one with 7ths all over the place. My feet imagine the horror of what a polyrhythmic, romantic DDR course would be like–you could set it to some Brahms, throw in some jumpy things where one foot has to cover three arrows, insert trickly runs at ends of sections…

Or you could have contrapuntal DDR, on 2 siamese pads or something. Maybe even a fugue that requires you to magically grow 2 more feet. Oy.

I made a refrigerator cake! I shuddered in horror at being able to buy 3 springform pans @ Walmart for less than the price of a Vente..mocha-superwhip-key-lime-green-tea-thing, and then stood amazed at discovering that marshmallows are essentially sugar and gelatin. The cake was good, if not a bit dry (we forgot the cream). Te suplico que vengas a mi casa y lo comas! Mi familia no come todo lo yo cocino para que no nos engordemos. (come to my house, eat my food; we can’t eat it all.)

Good book: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I thought it would be some cliche WWII story, but it’s actually the moral and motoring adventures of an aging butler.

My parents have recently redoubled their efforts in getting me to prepare for the SAT. [Actually, it’s my dad–my mom is less crazed.] He found this stupid ol’ (expensive ol’) internet SAT math prep course. I signed up for their free trial and looked through a few pages–there were actually some things I didn’t know, that Kaplan would definitely skim over. Since the course was developed by some Chinese guys, my dad trusts it (but he’ll trust anything with a sales pitch). It also alleviates some of the “omg we’re 1st generation immigrants and can’t help our fledgling 2nd generation daughter” angst, I guess. The faults of that site are that it leaves out articles (a, the) and has a completely unusable, cumbersome interface for grid-in problems; the problem with the entire college-testing situation is that my dad overvalues it, causing me considerable annoyance. [He also happens to be uninformed about what the test is like, but I’m pretty sure American parents don’t know much about the SAT either, besides that it’s “important” and “long.”]

But at least they care. Though they overvalue a test, they cherish education, though their definition of education can be somewhat different from mine. At least they’re not obese descendants of illiterate hog farmers in Mississippi who go, “Honey, whahhh ha’int you dropped out of hahhhhhhh schoooool ‘n stahhhted workin’ at Waaalmart? They got some real good opportunities tharrrr,” or “Aiii Payee? Whassis ayyyye payyeeee and S ayyyye tayeee? [I’ll stop with the exaggerated dialect now.] Why should I pay money so you can take a test? Why should I pay for you to go to college when you could be bringin’ home the bacon workin’ in construction?” and stuff.

Fer praedium suum in teatrum! (Get your “booty” into the theater!)

Try it: it’s pretty cool.

<–what an informative statement.

I escaped from the Dungeon of Harmy Tangent!

I killed Bonjourfriend17 the leprechaun and Musicalshort1 the kobold.

I looted the Sword of Baroque Music, the Armour of Linguistics, the Sword of Tetris, a Figurine of Remmythicket, the Sceptre of Math Contests and 22 gold pieces.

Score: 97

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