22 December, 2012

Gunshots


For the past few months, I have been working on my thesis. I spent a lot of time in the lab from September to October preparing solutions, mixing them, and watching yellow turn purple. I was also making my head hurt from fixing methods, analyzing spectra and rationalizing my results. After a while I took a break from doing my experiments in order for me to focus on a project by my student organization which I was the head of. We created a newsletter which we circulated around our institute and it turned out pretty well. It was an awesome thing to do, really, and if you know me you would've correctly guessed that I enjoyed every moment of the hard work that is creating, managing, and designing a newsletter. It was a lot of work, but I absolutely loved it. When we finally were able to print out the copies, I was standing there at the printing house. My eyes just sparked with such exclaim of joy the moment that first page came out of the printer. It was like having a baby and seeing him for the first time. It's probably that kind of feeling that I had. I was just filled with so much joy, fulfillment, satisfaction and excitement. We released our newsletter the first week of December. After that, I got to focus on my college courses again. I studied a little for a course called Chem125, and this week I spent three days in the lab to resume my experiments. I still need to make sure this last method of my thesis is going to be okay, and I think I did that this week. Little by little, things are getting done and I am more motivated than ever to finish the work that is left to do.


That's the reason I was not blogging much for a while. In fact, I did not blog at all. This is actually the first time I saw my blog again since the last time I posted! And I'm surprised that I gained a few new followers during the time I was not around. I think that's pretty cool. Thanks, everyone.


What brought me back here? A lot of days have gone by and blogging was not part of my life anymore. Today, with the start of my Christmas vacation, realizing all the stuff that's happening and has been happening with my life, after all that, I just remembered my blog. I sat down with the computer and decided that I would read my blog posts -- all of it, from the very beginning. By doing that, I learned a lot about who I was years ago. A lot of things happened so quickly I already forgot how I was when I was 16 years old. I just turned 19 last November, and I'm *this* close to finishing college, and my perspective of life has changed. That is reflected by my more recent posts where I wrote about those times I always complained about a different feeling, a different self, that I could observe within me. Those were things about myself I forgot and only remembered now because I decided to read my blog from the very beginning.


With that, I learned that I should never stop blogging. Sometimes I couldn't think of what to blog and I reason that I just couldn't think of an interesting topic to write about. Now I don't feel like I should be thinking of an interesting topic to write about at all. I will be writing because I want to write, and sometimes what I write is interesting to other people, and so people will be reading what they want to read. This blog is a lot about myself. Moments of my life at my age right now will be very different to the kind of life when I get older, and these are moments that I will surely miss in the future. When I turn 30 or 40, I can go back to my blog and learn about these things about myself that I could've already forgotten at that point. By writing these images of my present now, I could bring back faded photographs of my life in the future. That's why I should always find time to write, and I reckon all of us should. I don't want to stop blogging and rid myself of an awesome experience just because I'm too occupied or I worry that the things I write wouldn't be interesting enough to other people.


And so, with this blog, I go back to this adventure that is Oliver's life. You can join me.










kudos to writers, writing their lives.
oliver.

Let's end this entry with this song I love. =]

27 August, 2012

I'm Not Your Friend


Friends are weird. I'm referring to the whole sense of having "friends" being weird, not that my friends are weird, and not that I'm saying they cannot be both true. I'm not trying to give this impression that I'm this totally introverted loner guy either, because I'm not that at all. I hope you don't see me that way after reading this. I like finding myself in social situations and I believe being surrounded by different kinds of people and interacting with them in a personal level allow me to develop my character and personality. However, as you might have noticed in my previous post, I recently realized that I'm the type of person who cannot keep friends. Sure, I go out with these people and they know me really well and I know them just as much. We share stories which we are all forced to believe are interesting, we tell jokes we are all forced to laugh at, and overall I think we're forced to believe that we all get each other, and that's fine. They're my companions whenever I need them. And then they can all go. I can go too. But I don't think I have ever been part of a steady circle of friends. I'm always just a floater.


Before our graduation in high school (I remember this very vividly), the class which I was part of arranged this party at some place where there was swimming pool and food and everything, and in the middle of all the happenings my then best friends and I, the three of us went away like six blocks from the place, and we just sat on the empty road quiet for a long time realizing that we're all about to go our separate ways and have separate lives once we enter college. I played the songs on my phone to break the silence and we started to sing along and it's all happy. We know those songs really well because there are certain situations and people we associated with it, so it's all fun. And then this particular song played. My friend sitting to my right just started crying. And then my friend sitting to my left started crying as well. You bet a million I also started crying right then and there. We were all just crying quietly on our own for a while and nobody talked. Until of course we talked about the future and our plans in college, and we promised that nothing would change about the three of us, and also with our other friends who weren't with us then. Our friendship would always forever remain.


Of course it didn't. When we graduated, in the beginning we would always find time to meet although we're far away from each other. We would go around the campus and do things together, until of course we all got busy, and we all made new friends, and the meetings happened less frequently, and until it didn't matter to us anymore. It was just a matter of time.


Personally, I still care about them. I want to be friends with them again. I know we're still friends, but things have changed. Of course, I know, things change and I accept it -- especially when the things I care a lot about that disappear are not the things that keep me breathing. The personal connections I thought were essential to me would disappear, and I am just left surprised by how my life could still go on. But it happens, and I can just let it. The rare encounters with old friends have become special, but the awkwardness of the how-are-you's overcome my feelings. All of a sudden it's difficult for me to ask about their personal lives already. It's almost like they are people I don't know at all.


And now I see it happening again to me in college. Every term, who my friends are changes. And my friends the previous term aren't so much my friends the next term. I don't know if it's something about me that's making this happen or it's just the natural way of things, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with me. I think I care about people and friendships, and I'm aware that some people can see me as a friend, but I still lack this quality to keep friends. It's very much like when I meet new people in different places. I have a good time with them and for some moments I know I've made a new friend, but the bond disappears very quickly. It must have something to do with how I define friendship and how I base it. When do I consider someone a friend? How do I see someone as a friend? I don't know. I don't keep friends; I just keep acquainted. It's almost like I don't care so much about friends after all. 


It's funny how much I've used the word friend in this post and in the end I came to the conclusion that I might have never had any friends at all.









oliver.

26 August, 2012

Aiming for Victory


We have this sports fest in the college of science in my university. It's just people representing different institutes like math, biology, physics, chemistry competing in games for some reason. I'm not really sure what the winners get, but I'm guessing it's gotta be something cool. Somehow, the chemistry team managed to become the champions last year, and this year we're aiming for that again. It's possible. People from chemistry are a bunch of fantastic kids. Really.


As much as I love supporting our institute, I still haven't made up my mind yet about which game to compete in. As you might have known already, I'm not a very athletic person. I consider myself more of the artistic type and the scientific type, and there's only so much my talented being could handle so I decided to pass on having such heroic, olympic kind of abilities to keep myself from being too ridiculously awesome already. But I can like, run. And I think I can run quite fast, considering I have such long legs I can cover quite great distances. Really, my running is the only thing I can ever depend on in case of a zombie apocalypse, or if I ever got on Survivor. I'm really crazy. I'm aware that I have poor athletic abilities but I still dream of getting on Survivor where I would certainly just be torturing myself.


So anyway, this sports fest is pretty huge, and everyone's looking for players. It's nice to have this kind of event in our college also because most freshmen get really enthusiastic to join. And I feel very excited for them. Like, what's a better way to kick off your college life than to join a team that represents your institute and compete with the others? It must be really fun for them, especially if they win. I feel happy for them. But not if they lose, then I will feel sad.


I think I'm going to play dodgeball, but only if they're still needing players in that category. I used to play dodgeball a lot when I was a kid, and I remember having a really fun time at it. And I have this memory of one game I played where I dodged really, really well. Although it's been a long time since I last played and I might be a little rusty already, it's still going to be fun to try it out. I would play football if I know someone in the team. I don't play football, but it's going to be fun to just try it out. That's why I need someone who I know in our team, so that it's not going to be so embarrassing.


Oh, and because I'm part of this student organization in my institute, I was one of those people who worked on creating the amazing mascot of our team. Our team is called Pyramidines, by the way, a play with the words "pyramid" and "pyrimidine." Pyrimidine is obviously a name of some sort of chemistry thing. And we used pyramid because our theme is Egyptian, and I'm not sure why. Anyway, the mascot we made was super cool, and it was shown last Friday. It was like chaos, assembling the body parts of the mascot and putting it on the guy. Everyone was in a rush, and that poor guy was sweating a lot because of the heat. Oh well, that's part of his job. And it was hard for us too, the production team. Kudos to the people who worked really hard to materialize that mascot from the sketch to the actual costume. I know most of them delayed doing their homework and they all passed on some sleep. I did not. I prioritized sleep over everything like I always do, so really, huge thanks to the people who were a hundred percent committed to the project and for finishing a great job. I'm glad I helped out even though I did only fairly little, but still it's great because the mascot turned out really, really cool.


And lastly because I'm trying to attract some winning juju if ever I do decide to play, I watched some episodes of Survivor again (Heroes vs Villains specifically, my favorite season) and I just can't help but adore Parvati over and over again. Seriously, she's amazing. She's a great character on the show, and she's great at the game -- both physically and strategically. She's my favorite Survivor of all time, and I'm just very happy to re-watch past Survivor episodes and see her play again. Also, the story and gameplay of Heroes vs Villains are particularly superb so it's always great to rewatch this season.









kudos to hardworking chemistry students.
oliver.

15 August, 2012

Well Well Well


First I want to say thank you to everyone who reads my blog. That means I'm thanking you, because I believe there's a 99% probability that you're actually reading my blog right now. There's a formula for determining the probability of occurrence of things and I learned that in high school, and it involves some strange mathematical operator in the form of an exclamation mark called factorials, and I made sure I knew of that before I typed that previous sentence because I really want to make sure that it is true that there's a 99% chance you're reading this. So I'm thanking you for reading my blog whether or not you like what I write. If you like it, then thank you for being nice and cool. If you don't like it, then I still want to thank you because you're giving my blog some hits regardless. I don't really gain anything by getting my blog some hits so I couldn't care less about it, but I want to find something to thank you for because I'm feeling really nice and thankful right now, so there's that. Thank you.


I also want to say that from now on my blog posts will be a bit different. I think it's going to become more personal now, because I'm basically just going to share thoughts and things about my life from now on. But that's the way my blog has always been, so right now I'm confused about what change is really going to happen. I can't really explain it, but my blog posts will just be different in some way, and it started in the previous post where I just wrote anything that was in my head at the moment and I didn't care a lot about the editing. It's going to be much like that from now on, so there's a 99% chance my blog is going to be more random, my grammar more terrible, my language more of crap and stuff. My spelling is going to remain nice though. I used to be a champion speller when I was a kid, so there's a 99% chance my spelling will always forever be nice.


That 99% thing is starting to get annoying.


I think doing my blog this way is necessary since before I always thought too hard about what to write about and how I'm going to write it. Because of that later on my blogging experience became less fun like it's too much of a task. And then my blog posts started to become very depressing. Like, I read a couple of my more recent previous posts and I'm just shocked by how sad and depressing they all were. It's almost like it wasn't me talking. It's like all boohoo life is terrible, boohoo I'm starting to get serious about things and my future wawaawaa. Like, that's no fun at all. And I'm not really sure whether I actually felt that way during the times I wrote it, I'm quite sure I did, but my motto in life has always been "just enjoy life" and I'm always this laid-back-everything-goes-easy kind of guy so I feel bad that I wrote a couple of posts which were too depressing for everyone's sake.


So what am I going to talk about? I'm pretty sure there will be a lot of school stuff. But I promise you they will be interesting. Science is always interesting. I think it's going to be fun talking about life in school too. I think I'm going to talk about some of my classmates! Shit, that would be great. I'm quite sure a few of them know about my blog although I'm not sure whether they read it. I think it's going to be exciting when they read something here and they realize who I'm talking about. Like, talking crap about. There are some people in school I don't like and that's mainly because I don't like a lot of things, and also it's hard to find something to like about them. Won't it be fun if they realize that this despicable person doing this phony thing in school I'm writing about was actually them? Baby Jesus, I'm getting excited. It's getting quite boring in school with all my classmates being total bores, so at least maybe this is going to give them something fun to talk about.


Well I know this isn't a good way to keep friends. But I don't keep friends anyway; I keep acquainted.


I bet I sounded so immature in this post. Ha. Trust me, I am way more mature than most people. Anyway, cheers to more blog posts in the future! 









kudos to the awesome people who read this.
oliver.

08 August, 2012

World World World


I know I should be doing my lab reports. Like, right now. Especially because there's practically a hurricane, tornado, huge rain-carrying gusts of wind outside that might cut out the electricity again at any time God allows these things to. I just mentioned it there so yes, I do believe in God, contrary to what most people think. I actually use God's name in many typical sentences. Like, a friend comes up to me and says hey long time, and I say, oh hey yes God that's long time yeah. Same thing goes when I bite into waffles. Oh God, long time. I might be a scientist-ish kind of person and I hate the religions and all, and there's this Higgs boson particle floating around the underground world of total scientific nerdiness in Switzerland and everything, but I still believe that God created the universe somehow, really, and not just these particles colliding and creating everything in one fell swoop. Maybe it's not that instantaneous, and that makes sense and the books would agree, but I don't like the idea that there are these tiny mindless things that can just create this huge immense energy and create tiny mindless things that are like amoebas and proteins evolving into fish and then birds and apes (in any order). And to begin with, the atom is supposed to be just the neutron, proton and the electron, so what the heck are they studying the quarks and neutrinos for? So I might not like to go to church and I think some practices are just made for us intelligent humans look like total morons, but I still hate physics most of all. So screw physics over anything.


What the heck did I just type that whole paragraph for?


I'm just going to rant on and on because I am very tired of my usual days in school I'm like turning into shit day by day. Last week I had the most terrible week I've ever had in my life as a student because I was not able to meet my deadline partially, for a lab report, because I stayed up all night trying to rush doing it since I basically only began doing it that night before the deadline because I thought that particular lab report was going to be easy. Only hey, God hates me for being a lazy prick who can't even stand up every Sunday morning to go to church, so my calculations all turned out wrong and I couldn't figure out a way to sort things through and like, correct my equations to get a more decent-looking graph, because I couldn't figure it out because I'm so stupid and shit. So I wasn't able to really write the lab report. It takes forever to write the lab report, so I submitted only my calculations (whatever I could come up with) and hopefully my instructor could still find something there to grade, because I cannot afford not to have a grade for that requirement. My other lab report submitted later that week (see I had two lab reports due in a single week that is deplorable) was complete, I believe, and I made it nice to make up for the crap I did earlier that week and I hope that turns out okay.


Right now I'm also working on my thesis, except that I really haven't started doing the experiment because it took me several weeks to fix my method and make sure it's all alright to my adviser's critical mind. It's kind of hard to work with somebody so smart because I feel like total dumbass shit whenever I talk to him. And whenever I consult for my experiment he gives these pop quizzes that I always couldn't fuckin answer. And whenever I have the answer I say it in a very stupid way. Like one time, he asked for the electron configuration of zinc 2+, and I know it, but I recited like a grade-schooler the whole thing like from 1s2 and 2s2 and on and on up to the 3d10 and 4s2 when I should've just simply said d10 because that's the only part that actually matters when people ask for electron configurations. And also he asked for zinc 2+ not zinc 0 so I'm not supposed to include the 4s2 because two electrons were removed, like duh, Oliver, you're so dumb.


So this week I'm supposed to start with the experiment, because my adviser wants me to. And also he's leaving to Oxford some time in October, so I better hurry up and start my experiment so that he's still around in case anything goes wrong, and I'm certain as hell something is going to go wrong because Murphy's law is the shit and have you heard of what happened to the Batman movie in Denver or something? Man, that's like the ultimate Murphy's law bitchslap. I really have to start soon so that my adviser is still going to be around in his freezing office if my data turns out to be kind of crappy and someone can help me troubleshoot with the equations or molecular orbitals or anything. I'm always confused with those things.


I'm done. And I'm going to start blogging again soon when I feel like blogging again because I'm so bummed out. I'm sorry for my terrible grammar in this post. And I know this blog post sounds really lazy and pointless and terrible. I'm not like the really smart technical writer Oliver right now, I'm sorry, because I'm so bummed out. And nobody cares about grammar anymore these days anyway. Everyone just seems to care about the environment and climate change, like the little things they do to help are actually going to matter. They don't.


I need a hug.


I hope you still enjoy my blog after reading this.









kudos to climate scientists.
oliver.

27 May, 2012

Getting There


I went to school, I went to work. I hated school, I hated work. Now it's all over. No more school, no more work. I have a couple of days left before the next term starts and I know I have just enough time to enjoy myself.


Except that I don't.


This is an empty vacation I'm having. I wake up and I realize I'm alone. I open the fridge, I drink milk. I make peanut butter sandwiches, I boil eggs. I open my phone and I start to play music. I check out the messages I received while I was sleeping. There are barely any, I reply to some. I eat.


I get the speakers and I full blast the songs. I do ten push ups to pretend I'm physically fit. I go to the computer, and pretty much waste my time on the internet. I go to forums and watch people get into an argument. I try to join. I read articles, check out blogs. I get tired. I take a shower and I hurt my eyes. I turn off the speakers. I watch cat videos on YouTube. I read news pretending I care. I hurt my eyes.


I get my phone and I put on my earphones. I go outside to buy food. I see how beautiful the day is, and I wonder why the heck I choose to just stay home. I feel shame, so I look down. I see the shadows cast by the trees on the road. I look up at the great canopy of leaves and the sunlight filtering through. I feel glad. I notice the beautiful song playing. It makes me even more glad. I try not to smile. I don't want to look crazy.


I eat. I wash the dishes. I lay down and read again some of the stories in Skeleton Crew. I get scared a bit, I get drowsy and I hurt my eyes. I fall asleep.


I go online, find interesting things on the internet. I try to blog but I fail. I feel bad. I get my disk and I watch again some episodes of Arrested Development. I laugh and I think I'm happy.


The day goes on, the night passes, the weeks fly through.


The 12th of May, 2010-- that was when I got too bored hating on my chemistry courses and wishing I was still in high school that I decided to create another blog. Two years later, this blog is still up, and now I'm writing this post like nothing's changed. But the blog posts are disappearing, some memories are fading, and my realizations of my life and future are getting clearer. I feel different.


Something's changed.









kudos, you read all that.
oliver.

23 April, 2012

Just Cooking Coal



You know how I am. I always want to blog but I'm always either too tired, too lazy, or both, to write a blog post. Something interesting happened to my life last week so I feel like this is an obligatory blog post that is long overdue. I've become even more busy because of this thing I got myself into.


I got in an internship at a very cool laboratory testing and analysis company. I believe I got in just because I got lucky, but hey I think it's really cool. Luck is awesome sometimes. I feel like I'm definitely getting the work experience I will need in the future if I ever get interested in getting a real job out of my chemistry degree. The company's laboratory is also very nice. It's wide and huge with a lot of actual working instruments. The whole place looks like a labyrinth with different paths leading to different rooms with different functions. It's just very much different from the underwhelming undergraduate chemistry laboratories I'm accustomed to in my university. I am very glad to be in that kind of workplace.


One of my classmates and I got assigned in the minerals lab. Here the analysts are in charge of mineral samples, including nickel ores, iron ores, some other kinds of ores (which we rarely have), coal (which we always have), coke (I dunno), and some other kinds of black things that are capable of burning up. I'm kind of in charge of determining the moisture content of the samples and also the amount of inorganic material they have which I do by basically turning them into ash. The procedures are quite simple to follow. It's just the repetitive weighing of the samples that are quite tiresome. During waiting periods I get uneasy because I don't like to just sit and wait for one hour or even thirty minutes without accomplishing anything, so I go to my buddy who's assigned in determining the calorific value of the samples and I try to help him out by doing the titration part of the procedure while he prepares the next run of the instrument. That way we're saving time and being efficient. I really love efficiency sometimes.


My trainers are both nice. The female one, in her late 20s, is kind of serious and has an air of being a bit strict, but she is very helpful and she always asks me if I'm fine. I always tell her I'm fine and I often don't know what I'm saying. Last Thursday she gave me this task late in the afternoon which she said was a 'rush' job which I had to accept because I don't think interns can refuse jobs in their first week. I stayed and worked in the lab until seven thirty in the evening. I don't hate her for that. I learned a few things about  minerals, fertilizers and ores and also some stuff about the company from her, so even though I worked overtime and I was very tired I just tell myself, yeah whatever, I learned something, so yes it's cool. I also enjoyed talking to her.


Although dammit, I really hate working from eight am to seven thirty.


The male one, who's probably mid-20s, is also very nice. He was the one who made sure that I know what I'm doing. He showed me around the lab and taught me the things that I have to do. On my first day he actually just toured me around, made me sit down comfortably and read the procedures. Talking to him is still a bit strange although I talk to him more often than the female one about matters. I think it's because he always smiles which I find weird because people aren't supposed to smile all the time, and also he likes to put humor in whatever the heck he's saying which I don't really find funny so it gets awkward when he chuckles. Or maybe it's just because he's terribly nice, and I'm not very comfortable around people that are too kind. I'm just not used to it.


The other people in the lab are neutral to me. I don't care much about them, because I don't get to talk to them a lot. The lab is very busy with everyone minding their own tasks. One analyst in the environmental lab department is very nice, though. She is very friendly to all of us interns and she chats with us. She always comments on my height and also she always says she likes the sound of my voice. I find it funny, somehow, because people always comment on the tone of my voice and the way I speak. It's not really deep nor high-pitched; I don't know what's so special about it so I just get very conscious and I try to control it to make it sound more normal to people.


I think I gotta end my story now. I am tired. I really feel like blogging more about this in the future. When I'm not too tired this week I promise I'm going to write something. My blog is becoming quite empty I need to fill it up. I hope people who read my blog are okay with some of my work stories. But yeah, whatever, I'll always have something else to talk about, I believe.









kudos to nice lab analysts.
oliver.

08 April, 2012

How to Survive Semesters


Well hello, my semester is almost over. I had thumped and tumbled through a series of exams in my major subjects, and my bruised face and mangled brain are very thankful that they were the last ones I needed to take. Now I am technically free yet two courses away from saying my term is officially over. Yes, I still have two courses to worry about until I can leap and scream with joy that I had triumphantly survived my seventh term in college. Environmental science isn't really much of a worry, but my chemistry lab course has consistently displayed its potential to be kind of a bitch, so yeah I'm technically not quite done yet.


However evil forces like my lab course couldn't stop me from creating a "How to Survive a Semester in College for Lazy Brains" kind of post, because heck this is the internet and I have a blog and I have survived six terms in college already. Can you believe that? This lazy boy right here who doesn't care much about school and always rants about how much he hates being a chemistry major has survived 3/4 of college. As a matter of fact, next year, theoretically, I'm graduating! And oh my God, the idea of finishing college is so insanely delightful I want to cry while eating cookie dough ice cream and stabbing a pigeon. Here I shall give tips to all college students on how to survive a semester in college while still keeping your laid-back teenager attitude. It is possible, it is stressful, but it's simpler than you think. Of course you may not follow these tips if you don't want to, but hey I guarantee these tips won't fail you. 


Have fun all you want and do all the things you want, but make sure you don't waste all of your time:



1. Learn something.
Okay, the first tip always has to be this: you obviously should be learning something. That's the point of going to school in the first place, right? You can skip classes all you want only if the professor doesn't check the attendance. They rarely do, because most of them don't really care about their students, but some of them like to check the attendance like it's the only way they can show off their terrorizing status. Keep in mind however, that if you skipped classes you would be out of the loop for a while. That means you would have to buy a book or go to the library to study on your own. And that's not really fun, is it? Sitting in class and listening to the lecture every five minutes (with twenty minutes of not caring in between) is more tolerable. Stay awake because sleeping in class makes you look like a tired asshole. Sleeping in your chair with your mouth open makes you look retarded. If you feel *this* close to sleeping in class, step outside, go upstairs and then go back down. That's what I do. Go to class unless you're terribly beat and sleep-deprived because we all know sleep is the best thing in the world and it should always be the number one priority. We all deserve long hours of rest. Just remember that you should always have an idea, however little, of what is going on and what you should know from the lessons everyday so that your brain wouldn't feel like drowning once you finally feel enough pressure to study hard all night with your midterm exam tomorrow.



2. You can always do better.
This has been my motto all along, and I know this wouldn't be taken lightly by my mom once she finds out that I don't really care about the first exam in most of my subjects. Yes, how poorly you do in the first exam doesn't matter, that is only if there's a second, a third, and a final exam yet to come. Some courses like it that way, some courses have only the midterm and the final exams. Some courses even have four exams before the final exam, so take advantage of that generosity in chances. Just lay back and have fun and don't stress yourself too much (in fact, not at all) about the first exam. When you get your exam paper back and you get a bad or a failing mark, just keep in mind that you can always do better next time, so make sure you do. Work your ass off for the next exams, 'cause well you've had your time to chill already. Let's face it: chilling is a luxury to college students. 




3. Make sure you know them. Make sure they know you.
Sometimes the key to getting a good grade is pretending that you genuinely care about the subject. This is applicable to the smaller classes and the electives. You know there are lots of random courses you can take every semester that could lift your weighted average at the end of the term. These courses don't need a lot of effort if you just make sure that your instructor knows you in a good way. So choose an instructor that is relatively nice and you can do this in one simple step: have a perfect attendance. Just attend the class, pretend that you're listening, nod every once in a while, chat with your seatmate while pointing at the blackboard to pretend that you're discussing what's written there. Participate in the class. Speak up and share your ideas. It doesn't matter if your ideas are not totally related to the subject, just make sure they're not stupid. Always do your homework and make sure it's clean and neat. When there's a group homework, make sure you're not the leader (because you know most teenagers think the leader is a jerk) but make sure you contribute something and meet the deadline. When the instructor calls you in class by your name-- that's when you know you're fine.




4. Do something.
Of course you have to do something. You won't survive the semester if you don't submit the requirements! Make sure you have an output the professor can grade. Is the paper due next Friday? Well then, you have one week but you can always just cram it next Thursday. That way you've had fun for a while and just a few hours of suffering in just one night. Never mind if your paper turns out quite crappy, 'cause getting a 75% is better than getting a 0%. The problem set is due next Wednesday? Do it next Tuesday because you are efficient when your body is in a panicky state. You have to stay up all night to study for the exam or finish the report, that is true. Just adjust your sleeping schedules a bit so you can still hang out with friends during the afternoon or waste time on the internet. You have to remember that you have a lot of time. There are 24 hours in a day, and that's more than enough to get something important done.


I can say that I've enjoyed college and most of my subjects so far. The electives I took were fun. My chemistry courses were. . . meh. I hated Physics and Math, while I especially hated Differential Calculus but I also loved it in a weird kind of way because I had to work so hard in order to pass that course. I hope you learned something from the tips I've given above. These can work to give you good and decent grades. If you want to graduate with Latin honors, then don't follow my examples. You need to work harder than I do.


I'm going back to my It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia marathon now. Wildcard, bitches.









kudos to all the nice students with good grades.
oliver.

03 March, 2012

Godforsaken



I ask myself questions. I wonder about little things about me and other people. It's just the kind of questions you would hate to read or hear other people asking themselves. What am I doing with my life? What am I to other people? What are my plans for the future? I hate these questions too. It's too Rick Warren-ish, but you know, I just worry too much. And I have talked about this before, that I just worry too much. I worry too much that I want to go to the kitchen where I left my coffee. But I'm too worried to go, and I don't want to interrupt my worrying of the future.


Holden Caulfield thinks I'm a phony.


I'm worried of not doing anything. This weekend is particularly peculiar because I seem to have nothing to do except to lay in my bed, listen to music, read books and make my Pokemon evolve -- you know, just these things that I don't get to do a lot anymore. It feels strange that I'm taking a break from chemistry for a while. Exams, lab reports, oral presentations, problem sets and paper submissions just came at me one after another. . . I thought it was not gonna stop. I'm very glad it did. My weekdays are terribly busy, and I usually take a break during weekends but even then I still worry about the stuff that I need to do. This weekend I have nothing to do or worry about for school so it's good but also very strange.

It feels strange because during these times of feeling no pressure to do anything, I realize the worries that I just don't worry about enough -- and those are the things that matter.


I feel very sad that I don't get to read books anymore. I have only been reading textbooks and online articles only because I have to for school. Every time I don't have anything to read for school, I realize I don't have time to start reading a novel, so I just read blogs and again random articles online. I don't even remember which book I last read. It's probably a very long time ago. I feel bummed. I feel sad that I don't even remember what happened to Simon, or where Jack got his knife. I'm worried of forgetting things about my favorite books.


This isn't really worrying when I think of it. This is just a very strange feeling. I have used the word 'strange' too many times already because I just can't find a word to describe how I feel. It's almost like I'm losing myself like I don't know myself anymore. Everything I do is just so organized and systematic, yet I'm not sure of its direction. I just realize I might not be too happy about it. Even when I take a break from the system, the things I do for leisure are just as repetitive that it never gets as fun as I hope. I go back and relive the past for refreshment but it never quite quenches the thirst.


Lately I realized that perhaps I'm in love with someone other than the person I thought all along I would love to live with in the future. Love is such a strange word. You can use it for so many purposes that its true sense becomes trifling.


I'm yet to see the results of my physical chemistry and biochemistry exams. I really need to make my scores go up in physical chemistry because of that incident in the first exam which I already talked about in a previous post. I don't know about quantum chemistry. I got decent scores in the exams and I'm not even sure how because I'm mostly just confused during class. I'm not really liking quantum mechanics. It's like learning a new difficult language.


This may be the worst feeling in the world. I don't know what I should be doing. I'm just not sure of where I am anymore. Maybe I should stand up and lift my feet. Maybe I have to climb a mountain or go on an exile in a deserted island and start planting tomatoes. Or maybe I had just forgotten I had to breathe. How do I breathe?


I am sorry for the total randomness of this blog post.


I should stand up and go. I would realize that my coffee's gone cold. I would still drink it anyway.










kudos to people with plans.
oliver.

18 February, 2012

Chivalry, Dead


Ladies love to be treated like they're the most special people in the world. They expect us guys to treat them well and make their lives easy, peaceful and romantic because it's our godforsaken job to take care of those things for them. I have no problem with that. I can give them the flowers, Hallmark cards, cheesecakes, milk teas and other inedible things they crave for because apparently sometimes they just can't buy it for themselves, and they have this often false preconceived notion that guys have something we don't run out of in our wallets aside from condoms and random cards. I will help an old woman cross the street. I will help a pregnant woman carry her groceries to her car, while wondering where the heck her husband has been slacking. I will help a girl pick up all the neatly highlighted and color-coded notes she drops in the corridor. That is, if I'm not late for my 7 am lab class.  


I wake up at seven thirty.


You see, men are busy. They do work to earn money for themselves and their families. I don't even consider myself a real man yet, because I still play Pokemon, but I'm busy. In this day and age, people don't have time to care about chivalry anymore, and even women don't. They don't complain about how much leisure and rest the men are getting after coming home from work while they're working their butts off taking care of the kids and house chores while having a day job. They love it. They enjoy getting to show how much work they are capable of doing. They dance with it in front of the men. The world has evolved into a jungle where it's every person for themselves. We work hard and it's either for money or pride, or both.


And women sometimes just expect too much from men. They want to be loved like they're Megan Fox, adored like Zooey Deschanel, and respected like Mother Theresa all at the same time. I mean come on, that just can't happen.


Let me not worry about the semantics here. By chivalry I mean being an honorable man to women. That usually means being the ideal man from fictional stories women have so wistfully dreamed of every night they gaze out their window and stare at the stars. Some people say it means serving women. To me it just means being respectable. It's crazy because people have developed several meanings for it, but whatever it is, the consensus is that chivalry is dead.


RIP Whitney Houston.


In the season premiere of Survivor: One World, a conflict immediately developed between the two tribes separated by gender. It all started when the men stole some of the women's stuff in a challenge where they were given 60 seconds to gather supplies off a truck. The women were furious, calling the guys cheap and dirty. And then at camp where the men and women agreed to work together to catch wild chickens and then split the catch later, the women broke the deal when it turned out that it was one of the girls who was able to catch both chickens. The girls kept the chickens to themselves. And then so at the immunity challenge, where the guys were in the lead of the race when one of the girls got seriously hurt, the men were given an option to take the win, or to continue, finish the race and risk losing. Of course the men chose to win right then and there. The women got catty yet again, saying how those guys could not be real men and finish the fight. The men did not care, and one of them pointed out that if it were one of them that got hurt and the women were in the lead, the women would've surely done the same thing and taken the sure win. By that, the girls were insulted, and one of the girls declared that chivalry is dead.


I love Survivor.


If there is one thing men do that women hate the most, that I learned from growing up with older sisters and my mom, it is to complain by making a totally valid argument. Girls don't want to hear that they are at fault. They expect guys to just give them what they want, and if we don't we should shut up because apparently girls are the only ones allowed to talk. Having a voice and getting heard is probably the only right they enjoy practicing the most, so us guys better not show them we have the same exact thing. It's easy to give them that, so why not?


Ah, women -- so complex. And you all still wonder why so many dudes now prefer dudes?


Chivalry is not dead. Men still care for women, but unfortunately this world has gotten tough for everyone. Like in my example, those men and women are competing on Survivor. They are fighting to survive on an island for 39 days to win a million dollars, so they cannot expect the guys to give up their win, especially momentum, so easily. The same thing goes for the concrete jungle of modern life. We work hard in order to survive, and to some, every second is worth some money. It's every man for himself, and women have embraced the idea that they are more than capable of doing things themselves and that they don't need men as much as they need them. In the end we still all see each other as humans who deserve to be cared for, and that we, through tough times, still know how to respect one another regardless of gender. 









kudos to honorable men and women.
oliver.

04 February, 2012

A Bunch of Rules



The past few weeks have been hectic. The amount of stuff I had to do for school was just overwhelming. Written lab reports, oral presentation of experiments, exams (I had three this week), problem sets, papers, playing Temple Run, making peanut butter sandwiches, getting ten hours of sleep-- gosh, I just don't run out of important stuff to do.


You see, I stated in my previous post that I don't give a crap about anything anymore, but that is not entirely true. I have to care about my school requirements. I am four semesters away from getting my degree, and if I want to graduate on time, which I sure as hell do, screwing up this semester would be the worst thing I could ever do in my life. I am taking subjects that are prerequisites of the higher chemistry courses, so to remain quite awesome, I need to keep on kidding myself and try my best to pretend I like chemistry. This has become difficult recently because of a haunting incident which involved my first exam in physical chemistry class.


Physical chemistry is a bummer. You know from its name that it's terrible, like it's the weird-looking offspring of two different animal species which are cool on their own but aren't so when combined, e.g. liger, zebroid, catdog, elepheagle, camellama, etc. Chemistry is quite fun. Physics is punishment. When you combine the two, the chemistry which used to be fun becomes less enjoyable.


A subject is only as fun as its least enjoyable lesson.


I failed in the first exam. I was actually quite confident going into the exam, I remember. When I looked at the test paper, I knew how to answer most of the questions. I read the instructions carefully and followed them. I numbered the pages of my exam booklet, did my scratch work on the even-numbered pages and wrote my final answers only on the odd-numbered pages. I kept all of the pages neat and clean. I also skipped a line after every answer, as instructed. I was really sure I was doing things right, but when the exams were returned and the results were given, I was shocked to see a huge X mark written across the cover of my exam booklet. Right then I recognized my professor's atrocious handwriting which said, "Not following instructions!!!" I was worried, but I thought that my professor would just subtract like, 15 points from my score as penalty so I still had hope to pass. I glanced at the number inside the circle. It was bad. I was scared.


And then my professor told the class, in his ugly guttural speech, "To those who would like to plead or complain about the low scores they got for not following instructions, do not even attempt to do so because I would mark that zero if you come to me. I told you to follow the instructions carefully, but as it turned out some of you couldn't comprehend." I was angry. I followed the instructions, but he's telling me I couldn't even talk to him about this 'cause if I did I would get a zero? Apparently there was something I did not pick up on, but I'm still confused. I remember reading all of the directions carefully. I skipped a line after every answer, and dadgummit, who asks students to do these things in an exam anyway?


"It was written clearly in the instructions that you can only write ten answers on each page."


Damn.


So that's what hit me. He did not subtract 15 points from my score like I hoped he would as a wise adult man. I didn't know he was this crazy lonely old man who is single his whole life and has no one to give all the cupcakes he bakes to, so he takes delight in setting traps in the exam instructions so that his students would fall for it, and fail, and panic and get scared of him. He didn't frikin check the answers which were on the wrong page of the paper. That instruction was actually crazy stupid. It's a frikin waste of paper! I could write 15 answers on every page while skipping a line after every answer, you know? He didn't bother to check those which were on the wrong side, instead he just encircled them like they're spelling errors, drawing circles in my exam booklet like red balloons. I had more correct answers in those he had skipped. I could have passed that exam, really, but I had to suffer because he's insane and he doesn't know me so he didn't really give a damn about me failing because of his trick.


How can I still like this subject with crap like this happening? The lessons itself are not enjoyable at all, and you combine that with a professor who is boring as hell in class, whose voice you could barely hear, with his distracting unstylish hairstyle, and with those batshit insane rules in the exams. Like, what the heck, these are horrible combinations! If these were food, I would die of diarrhea.


I don't really hate my professor. 


Well I know I should just forget about this, learn from my mistake, get a good attitude and just challenge myself to do better and strive harder blah blah blah. But man, seriously? I don't live with the Care Bears. I mean, I am livid. This is not something I could just easily take as a life lesson. Of course there has to be some resentment. It should last for a while, 'cause as time passes by I think am slowly getting over it. It's just frustrating when you work hard to study for something and then it just gets all swooped away by some evil tricks.


Would have been more fun if it were actually sorcery.


Oh well, I passed in the second exam. I could have gotten 1.5 more points if I had not been such a dummy to forget to write the unit in one of my answers. Units are very important in science for some reason. Maybe for style. Well, I have lots of stories I still want to talk about but I will save them for the next posts 'cause this is already quite long. During the time I wasn't blogging lots of things happened but I couldn't write about them then because of my busy schedule. I had my lab exam earlier too and it was difficult. Crap. Lots of crap happen in my life. I need to focus on doing something fun to stay sane.









oliver.

14 January, 2012

No Worries



Tasks are pretty much all that I have right now. You have tasks too, of course. We all have tasks, alright because if we didn't have tasks our lives would be pointless. But why does it seem to me that my life has become too much about these tasks already? I am a real person and I obviously have my own daily regular life. We have day jobs and school, and homework, meetings, special projects, awkward old-acquaintances gatherings, quasi-parties, Sunday sermons and ice cream stands to attend to. It is a normal life that is now occupied by too much homework that is taking over to the point that the idea of blogging comes to me as something that would be totally irresponsible of me. Blogging takes a lot of time, dedication and creativity. It's actually harder than most people think. Deciding what to write about alone takes thirty minutes to one hour. Well, I'm not really sure if that goes for everyone else. I didn't bother to do any form of research on this. I tried to convince myself that I would do a survey, but I didn't because I couldn't convince myself. I argued really hard, but I was stubborn. So there are no statistics; this is just me saying I'm a terribly slow doer and so I assume everyone else is, too, because you know I want to convince myself I'm a normal person.


That is one debate with myself I'm hoping not to lose.


I was doing my problem sets one night and I couldn't concentrate because I had these flash thoughts of my blog and how I used to totally ignore it. I was telling myself that I really wanted to blog that time, but then again I wasn't able to convince myself to, because I still couldn't answer number one on my homework for Pete's sake! Why would I have this thought of going online to blog, and let it fill my mind, when I still had those papers in front of me, especially that one blank page of two items I still had not answered? And I knew there's a bunch of other things lined up.


It could be the thought of taking a break. I was able to answer the rest of my problem set at that point. I was having trouble with only two more items, i.e. items 1c and 1d, so I was thinking like now that I had finished 80% of my homework and since I couldn't seem to fathom a way to get around the two remaining questions, why not just get a time off and get my attention away from the thing that's giving me migraine and have fun, say, blogging? But then I asked myself, why would I blog first? Why take a break already when there's this important thing I had started that I still had not yet finished?


And blogging, as it turned out to me that time, is also quite a task. A tiring task that is something I worry about. I have no idea how this happened. When I started blogging I was happy and proud that I have my own space on the internet where I get to write and interact with a lot of new people. I wrote a lot of cool stuff spontaneously, regularly. I worked on designing my blog excitedly. I was being creative and happy about it all. I was being one energetic bunny. 


But then what happened?


Thinking about this, my worries, my homework, my tasks, I picked up the fact that I was sixteen when I started my blog, and now I'm eighteen. I am no longer that guy who is just always having a fun time whatever he's doing, whether it's school-related or blogging. Why do I now find it harder to be pleased by these two activities? I don't know. Am I getting old? Am I getting boring? Am I making myself look like a fool by asking these stupid questions? Is this what being an adult feels like? Do you just worry about lots of insane random crap?


I am a guy who seems to worry about his life constantly, worrying about his homework, about other people's expectations, his future, and even about his blog. And I don't feel good about that. Why? Why should I worry? What good does it do? I know I have responsibilities and everything, but thinking about it all the time doesn't really accomplish anything. I know it's making me self-aware but it's also making me feel miserable. I am young and I should have fun.


I am ready not to give a flying crap about anything anymore.









oliver.

07 January, 2012

Spirits



I am blogging right now because I haven’t blogged in a long time it’s driving me insane. Everyone knows I am a very busy boy, and also at the same time a lazy one, so every time I ever get some time off from work and deadlines I just make use of the time to lay in bed, stare at the cosmos, and imagine the face of Jennifer Aniston so that I would dream about her in my sleep. That has been my routine I think ever since I was like, nine years old. You know, I kinda grew up having a crush on Jennifer Aniston. I know it’s a little weird, but hey I really liked her as Rachel and I could see myself in Ross, so yeah I have had an imaginary love affair with Aniston for almost ten years now. She hasn’t aged at all, I don’t think. She still looks great!


Okay, let’s move on from that. That was a lot of teenage rambling for Overville. When I created this blog (it was during the elections), I told myself that I would make it some sort of my own online magazine. I would not make it too personal and too much about my life. I would try to publish stories people could relate to. I don’t know if people who have been reading my blog ever since it was born would agree with me, but I believe I haven’t been doing a good job with my objectives. My blog has become more personal than anything, but hey I really don’t have a problem with that. I already talked about how I feel about personal blogs in a blog post in 2010 right here. I think personal blogs are great as long as it doesn’t turn into a live online stream of your life. You do that on Twitter.


Speaking of blogs, I am trying my best to recover my blogging spirit and I’m finding it hard. Especially because this semester in college is making me busier than ever, I couldn’t seem to sit down in front of the computer and tell myself, “Alright, you’re going to blog right now.” I took a vacation from the whole blogging universe, but now I can say I’m ready to be back. Only now I have some weight on my back so I will be walking around this universe more slowly, and more carefully, so that I don’t fall and drop the weight I’ve worked so hard for to carry. 


I hope you love that metaphor as much as I do. I can’t think of a better one, so don’t screw me.


And speaking of being screwed, the courses I’m taking this year are insane. I have the second levels of Physical Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a really terrible Chemistry lab course. I also have Quantum Chemistry. And I am also taking a basic Environmental Science course, and a course in Professional English. 


My head hurts.


I am sick. I am not really feeling well. That’s why I’m blogging. You know, blogging is supposed to be therapeutic. And water too. I have been drinking lots of water. I probably drank twenty glasses today and it’s made me more nauseous and my brain is like full of water right now.


On a lighter side, my previous semester went quite well because my grades in my chemistry subjects were good. They were not exceptional, but I’m happy I didn’t fail anything. Well, I almost failed my math. Come on, it was Differential Calculus, so don’t be too hard on me. I got the highest grade possible though in German. Ich liebe Deutsch.


I still have this Christmas spirit in me, so I am extremely happy even though I suck. You have no idea how much I missed blogging and how happy I am that I’m blogging again. I have this little pocket notebook and last year every time I thought of something to blog about I wrote it in there, but I was never really able to do any of the things I wrote there because I suck. So alas, I am finally able to blog something. I hope you're all still  happy about my blog. I am no longer insane. I no longer suck. I pat myself on the back.


Ha. I pretty much just talked about myself in this post. Is my blog becoming a live stream of my life? I hope not. What's too bad about that anyway? Wait, there are too many words in this post already, so I’m out of here. I’m sick, I’m tired and I want to sleep. I need to think of Jennifer Aniston’s face, or something else.











oliver.
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