So…we’re going to start with today and work our way backwards, because I still haven’t figured out just how much or what I want to say about this weekend.
Grades are difficult to comment on without saying anything incriminating (of myself and the teacher), so I’m going to avoid them for the most part. Just know that being a second-semester senior at MLK is awesome, especially when one has mostly easy classes.
The class particularly worthy of commentary is US History. After doing no work for the first half of the grading period and almost failing, I pulled the grade up to a pride-worthy 96. You may wonder how I accomplished such a feat. Well, I talked a lot in class, earning me the student teacher’s scorn (with the odd request to shut up) and lots and lots of class participation extra credit points. Also, we had three tests, each of which is worth the same as almost all the points from the first half of the six weeks, and I basically kicked their butts one at a time.
We also had another test in economics today. I thought it was pretty easy for the most part. Actually, it was all pretty easy. I mean, you know a test is to long when you get to the fifth question whose answer is some variation of “diminishing marginal returns.”
We’re reading The Importance of Being Earnest in English. I finished reading it today in class. It’s really quite humorous. However, I would encourage those that have read the whole play to draw out the family tree of the main characters once they’re finished—the relationship between Ernest and Gwendolyn proves to be an interesting one. And for the sake of those that haven’t read the play, I will say nothing else.
For a difference of only 30 calories, a Java Chip Frappuccino tastes a whole lot better than the White Chocolate Mocha one. Actually, I really find it hard to believe that the difference is that low. And that they have the same amount of sugar. Obviously, the point of getting a frappuccino from Starbucks isn’t to taste the coffee, because actual Starbucks coffee is pretty lousy, but to get an overdosage of sugar. That’s why the Java Chip Frappuccino is the best one, and why the White Chocolate Mocha really fails as a frappuccino.
Yes, I’m very opinionated when it comes to frappuccinos.
Now, I shall attempt to discuss this weekend.
I was invited, as an admitted student, to a preview weekend for WPI. We were going to leave on Saturday after the quizbowl tournament, but the tournament was cancelled due to snow, so Dad and I changed flights and left earlier.
We flew into Providence via Charlotte on two puddle jumpers. There wasn’t a jetway for either; the back of the door formed the stairs into the plane. This was a new experience for me, as we always fly Southwest, and they only use 737s.
The drive from Providence to Worcester should be about 40 minutes. Of course, we got lost almost any time we had to make a turn, so it took us closer to an hour. The main problem was that there was one point when we were supposed to get off of a highway, go through a few local roads, and then get back on a different highway. However, due to some (well, actually, quite a bit of) construction, the two highways had actually been joined together.
I spent most of the drive working on LJXP. Once we got there, we decided to go see Firewall, the new Harrison Ford movie and the only thing that looked worth seeing. It wasn’t worth seeing. It’s like Indiana Jones, only Indiana is about 20 or 30 years older, he has a computer instead of a whip, and the explosions seem even more unnecessary than usual. It just really wasn’t very good.
Once we got back to the hotel, I kept working on LJXP until I had version 1.4 hammered out. Of course, we ended up getting stuck at the Providence airport for 3 hours on the way back, so between the drive back to Providence and the time at the airport, I finished version 1.5. Actually, since I didn’t have any internet access, I had to convince the plugin that I was running a LJ server locally. It makes it very simple to do work on LJXP in the future when I don’t have internet access.
I slept rather poorly at the hotel, and then headed over to WPI for the typical welcoming. We then had a student panel to discuss WPI’s project system, and all of the panel members were far more excited than is natural. Next, we were split into smaller groups where we ate lunch (WPI actually has pretty decent food) and did some icebreaker sort of things. (They figured that since we were all admitted, we might as well start to get to know each other.)
After that was over, those that hadn’t been on a tour before were offered a chance to tour the campus. We were put into a rather large group, but the tour guide was quite good (“The idea is that you change one atom and you can re-patent the drug. In return for saving them millions of dollars, the drug companies will in turn give you millions of dollars”). He was also very frank about what he thought of WPI, which was good, although most of his complaints were rather superficial.
Finally, I was matched up with my host for the night. Because I know my parents read this, it’s probably not a good idea to say anything else.
The next morning, after breakfast, I went to a philosophy class with my host and his friend. I think it was Intro to Ethics. They were discussing Hegel, but all I remember is concluding that philosophy remains a big load of bull.
The second class I went to was with my host’s friend; a Scheme (programming language) class. There I learned that Scheme only barely gives you more tools than Assembly, and that apparently all Scheme variables are really pointers in disguise. I’d probably have actually done better if I had been to all of the classes instead of just lecture 22.
The major thing I observed about WPI was that students seemed to be taking the easy way out. It was something of a point of pride that it was possible to get decent grades, travel places, but all while doing very little work. In particular, I thought their handling of failing grades was rather odd: failures aren’t recorded on the transcript.
Basically, WPI remains a safety school. I could go there if I wasn’t given any other option, but I wouldn’t choose it over any of my other schools.