The Domain of Steven Pinnacle of Paperless Perfection

21Jul/067

BU Schedule – Semester 1, Freshman Year

I plan to major in Computer Science with a possible minor in Psychology. I have dropped Spanish and will be studying Japanese.

I elected to follow the Divisional Studies track rather than the Core Curriculum track. With DS, all of BU's introductory courses (Psych 101, Bio 101, etc) are put into one of four categories: Math and Compsci, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. I must take two classes in every field that is not where my major resides. Even if I decide to switch majors, thus requiring me to take two classes in Math and Compsci, I will have covered my Divisional Studies requirements for it anyway by the end of my first term.

I'll reserve my opinion on how good my schedule is until a few weeks after school starts, when the fatigue starts setting in. We aren't allowed to take more than four courses the first term (and never more than six) so I'll use this term to determine next term's courseload.

MA127 – This is the calculus class for those who have already taken calculus in high school. It condenses two terms of material into a single term. I already took calculus in Stuyvesant, so I shouldn't have to struggle too much with learning, just remembering. Getting a 720 on the Math SAT II exempted me from BU's math requirement, and as a compsci major I don't need to take any math courses to fill the DS requirements, but many of the mandatory compsci classes require calc, so I might as well take it while it's still fresh and get it over with.

CS112 (C++) – I'm skipping CS111 (which was easy to do, considering my AP score and my programming experience) and heading onto CS112, with a focus on C++ since I'm much weaker in it than Java. I've already set up my laptop with Ubuntu and installed emacs and gcc (and the JDE since I do prefer Java), so I should be able to program without constantly being confused by a GUI compiler like Eclipse. Old habits die hard; I instinctively type gcc -Wall after Ctrl-X-C. I'll have to pick up a good book to help me out; I was able to do so well in AP Compsci because the Java textbook was very good, and helped me understand concepts and syntax that I didn't pick up while sleeping. Any recommendations?

WR100 – I did not qualify for WR150 (so I don't get to skip a class!) but English classes have never been a problem for me aside from procrastinating on papers, so I'm not worried. There were many different types of writing classes, from scifi to children's books to Asian literature, but since I did want to experiment with the field of pscyhology, I took the class that was focused on readings in psychology and psychoanalysis. I plan to have the same class synergy when I fill another DS requirement by taking an Anthropology course focusing on the study and evolution of human behavior.

LJ101 – I've gotten past the notion of becoming fluent enough to read manga and understand anime. After all, I've spent god knows how many years studying Spanish, and I can just barely read the signs in the subway (much less understand soap operas!). Hopefully a little of my otaku enthusiasm will still be present, so that I have motivation for learning a complex language while coping with a new environment.

21Jul/062

Delving into a girly valley of valley girls

You know that Boston University students are a little weird when you find one describing to two small Asian boys how unprotected sex feels infinitely better than that with a condom.

Things actually went pretty well considering that I'm probably going to never see most of the people again. It's something that I found hard to accept in Stuyvesant until I realized that I knew plenty of people by face but not name or action, and I had never seen our valedictorian before. I had to go through realizations like this for every school change. They have all been marked by a noticeable increase in population: 7 kids a grade to 50 to 800 to 3000. And let's not forget the college population of all the neighboring campuses, boosting that 3000 quite a bit.

Perhaps other people realized this as well, because everyone was extremely social. Not just "say hi to your roommate" social, but "say hi to the person sitting next to you" social, and even "say hi to the person sitting two seats away from you after a minute of silence" social. Except for alone time here and there once a planned activity was over, we were kept in groups according to what school we were in (Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Fine Arts, Management, etc.) so there was at least some regularity in who we were seeing every day. In addition to those cool people, I actually saw and hung out with people that I knew. There was a multi-activity excursion for people who arrived a day early (like myself), and I found myself sitting only a few seats and a row away from Courtney! as well as more seats away from Shelly and Dimitri (sp?). Very hawt coincidences.

The actual orientation was from Thursday to Friday, but since I wasn't keen on waking up at 3 in order to get there on time Thursday, I opted to move in a day early. Out of 600-700 kids at orientation, around 200 usually arrive early. We were roomed up with the person next to us in line, and I got put on the second floor of Rich Hall, which wasn't all that great to be honest. No AC, a curtain and a pole for a closet, bugs in the shower, etc. In its defense, all the rooms already had MicroFridges for us to keep stuff in, and unlike every other room I heard about, ours was actually cool at night. It was even a little cold on Thursday morning because it rained.

The first day was rather nonchalant except for meeting those three familiar faces. The second day had plenty of things lined up, most of which weren't exactly interesting. There were a whole lot of talks from the faculty and the student advisors, which had a habit of putting me to sleep as the day went on. I eventually pulled through, and was rewarded at the end of the day with a "free" shirt (we had to pay for Orientation, after all), kareoke, a comedy show, music bingo, and Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. Unfortunately the wireless DDR pads were very unresponsive, and Shelly and I were craptacular at Guitar Hero, but it was still a nice way to end the day.

The primary goals of orientation are to have us take our writing assessment and to have us register for our fall classes. The writing assessment was 50 minutes long, and damn it was a boring 50 minutes. We either got a page from Toqueville's Democracy in America or Machiavelli's The Prince. I unfortunately got Toqueville. I didn't know shit about politics, much less the history of it, but I do know how to attack a person's writing style and integrity. I think I did a pretty damn good job, but I only got a 3 out of 4 or 5. Not quite enough for me to skip a writing class.

Every BU student at orientation clocked in a lot of supervised hours planning and registering for their classes. First we had two 3-hour sessions with our student advisor, where they went over the required courses, how we might want to go about them, and how the registration process worked. Once we had planned a schedule, we were taken to our temporary faculty advisor to have our course list evaluated and improved. Mine was a nice Asian compsci professor who was brimming with excitement about his subject (which is a good thing!). He probably thought more highly of me than I deserve, considering I just barely got through System Level/Graphics and slept through AP Compsci (but still got a 5 on the AB version!), but he did recommend a good teacher, which I took note of when we were shuffled onto the next stage of the process.

Even though we had planned our schedules with our student advisors, we now had another chance to do so, this time with our faculty advisor's suggestions in mind. There were no real changes in mind, just in the type of programming language (using C++ instead of Java), so it wasn't as stressful for me as it was for the people whose faculty advisor completely reworked their schedule.

Once we got these new schedules approved, we were then directed to the final stage, where they sat us down in front of a computer with an access code to unlock registration for us. It wasn't a random lottery like it was in Stuyvesant; we simply punched in what class and section, and then that was that, we were a part of the class. We were required to put down alternate classes in case one was full by the time we got to the computer, but thankfully I just managed to squeeze into the compsci class.

After that...we were pretty much done. The best speeches had already been made, and the only reason I didn't fall asleep (I hope) during the closing ceremonies was because there was an awesome piece of chocolate on every seat! I wasn't really in the mood, but I stole some for Shelly. After that, we went our separate ways and I linked up with my family. We set up a Bank of America banking/checking account, and I finally got a credit card! It's a joint account, so the bill gets sent to my parents. Which, you know, is good, so that I don't have to worry as much about spending (yea, like I can really spend that much when I can't help but research every alternative). But it also means I'll have to stick to free porn.

Filed under: General, Life, Outing, School 2 Comments
12Jul/067

I win at math

(02:27:47) dabiggestDREAMer: you > everyone else
(02:27:47) dabiggestDREAMer: you = cute
(02:27:54) dabiggestDREAMer: <3
(02:27:56) SarcasticSteven: so...transitive
(02:27:59) SarcasticSteven: cute > everyone else
(02:28:06) SarcasticSteven: and therefore everyone else != cute?
(02:28:11) dabiggestDREAMer: LOLL

Filed under: Amusing 7 Comments
5Jul/063

“My Spanish teacher told me that if I went to Mexico, I only needed to know two words: cerveza and baño.”

-Random subway rider detailing the importance of beer and bathrooms

Boston University Orientation from Wednesday to Friday. Forbidden to bring my laptop (and I should try to explore, anyway...) so I'm going to be listening to my recently rediscovered iPod Nano (its case made my parents unknowingly displace it, but also made it easier to find), occasionally asking my brother if I can play Brain Age on his Nintendo DS while we're on the 4-5 hour bus ride, plan my schedule, and maybe knock another chapter off of The Unix Programming Environment.

Fourth of July fireworks were pretty cool. I'll be back on Friday with more.

1Jul/069

Once again, spacing out on sensation

And like that, she's back. More importantly, we're back.

Young Allie: You arrogant son of a bitch.
Young Noah: Would you just stay with me?
Young Allie: Stay with you? What for? Look at us, we're already fightin'
Young Noah: Well that's what we do, we fight... You tell me when I am being an arrogant son of a bitch and I tell you when you are a pain in the ass. Which you are, 99% of the time. I'm not afraid to hurt your feelings. You have like a 2 second rebound rate, then you're back doing the next pain-in-the-ass thing.
Young Allie: So what?
Young Noah: So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day. Will you do something for me, please? Just picture your life for me? 30 years from now, 40 years from now? What's it look like? If it's with him, go. Go! I lost you once, I think I can do it again. If I thought that's what you really wanted. But don't you take the easy way out.

Filed under: Life 9 Comments