Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The big battle

ARIA The Animation Anime Wallpaper #4

It seems that the booklet from the USAPPS2011 universities application workshop has a grudge on me. When I’m finding it the fellow keep disappearing. Come on lah, it’s not like I’m going to recycle you or something.

And yeah, the big battle.

Don’t bother about the poster, all the workshops are done.

Somehow it felt funny, sitting in the same hall with all your competitors (mostly) that aim to go to the piece of land which signals Opportunity and fly a country flag similar to our own but with 50 stars and 13 striped lines compared to our one crescent moon and 14 angled star and 14 lines.

Funny in which for most of us, the former signifies Hope and Opportunity and Excellence and the latter Despair and Discrimination and Mediocrity.

The application process, especially for international students is so complex and such that I think some innovative university can already make a degree course in University Application to the United States. You have the Common App which is not very common after all, essays and essays and stuff that you must write well, SAT scores is in a topic of their own, etc. The more successful ones will be asked to go to an interview, and if you make a stellar impression you get to……pay to go to university. Financial aids and its features is another field to study.  And while you’re juggling all these, you must not lose sight of your A-levels, STPM and such!

One thing memorable in this workshop is this ‘word of wisdom’ some random facilitator spouted out –

“Do things because you’re passionate about it, not because you have to.”

It exactly was those type of thing that resounds ‘EXACTLY!’ in my mind. Recent scholars and so-and-so has this mentality to become ‘well-rounded’. I didn’t caught on that wave, so naturally my resume/CV will be like a desert. However, I do have a passion, and these words make me think that I should use it as a reason, a generator, a motor that will drive me through the process. There’s still few more months to go, and I believe that I can do something groundbreaking with my increasing interest in astronomy.

And I finally decided that I MUST apply to Caltech. No matter what crappy SAT result I get, the email will be sent, the 2 SAT II subjects I will take, any forms come what may, will be eradicated (filled up) and on April we’ll see if dreams do come true. This is in the spirit of Chen Chow’s another quote

“ If you don’t apply then you sure have no chance of getting in-lah!”

And actually, since I first heard about Caltech back when I was 14, there was this feeling of connection to them, especially to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in it. I’m not joking, I’m not pulling your leg or polishing Caltech’s shoes. I do feel that this school will be a good match to me =)

Astronomy will be my push factor, for me to study and understand the art of rocket science, astronautics and my ultimate goal is to be part of a program that will finally send humans into space as routinely as we go to summer holidays; move humans to the Moon as routine as we now send employees overseas assignments; and move humans to Mars (or taking a straw from Aria the Animation, a terraformed Venus) as frequent as immigrants ask for permanent resident cards.

Terraformed Venus. Fiction is still fiction. ==

Anyway, I’m going to go all out, stocking up midnight oil (you can see that I’m hardworking training up here :P ) and hopefully get the place. Because we only live once!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The bucket list

Everybody wanna change the world

Everybody wanna change the world

But no one, no one wants to die

Na Na Na, from Album Danger Days : The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by My Chemical Romance

Recently for unspecified reason I got addicted to MCR’s songs. I think it was one of the splendidly done Bersih videos featuring the “Welcome to the Black Parade” that ignited mah rock soul.

By the way, long time no blog heheh. Last weekend me and fellow astronomy buff Simpson went on our maiden backpacking trip to Penang for the USM Penang Astronomy Convention 2011. Will cover our trip one day when I’m in the ‘travel’ mood.

And actually I planned to do it today, but it so happened that tonight was an epically clear sky day – I added 7 new Deep Sky Objects to my territory! They were as follows :

  1. Crux and Centaurus : Kappa Crux Cluster (Jewelbox Cluster) and Omega Centauri Globular Cluster
  2. Sagittarius : M8 Lagoon Nebula, M20 Trifid Nebula, M21, M23
  3. Scorpio : M4

The details and roadmaps will also be another day ^^

So today is left with the recollections of my first run outside school – the McDonalds Olympic Day Run 2011. I ran for 7km, not my first but not very frequent either. There was 4000 participants that day, it was a sea of runners. MCKL peeps and Simpson’s gang were also there.

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As I jogged along I can see people from all walks of life (no pun). Some were fast, some were really fast, some screamed encouragement words, some just walked. The essence of a long distance race is that you feel like giving up but if you persevered, when you cross the finish line a mighty good feeling runs through your body. The sense of accomplishment overruns and you feel in a fighting mood to take over the world. And of course a medal helps a lot too.

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My sis (blue shirt) was the 20th to finish in her group the Women’s Junior! She got a medal for her effort. I’m so proud of her! Open-mouthed smile

And there goes another item in my bucket list – but there’s still many more to come!