Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When IRC talk becomes a blog entry...

First of all, I would like to say that I just recently got my TOEFL score and it has beaten all my expectations. I was praying to get above 90 and ended up with a 110. OMG OMG A 110. That's the first test result that I'm actually proud of and don't think of retaking.

Now, to get to the main topic of this entry. MIT decisions. Someone who reads this blog might think that I have gone crazy about MIT and I'm in a hysteria, but I'm not so it's safe and sound to meet me in real life. So, I was talking in #mit channel on freenode and came to a discussion with a prospective applicant to MIT about it. Maybe I'm not the best mentor on admission decisions in the world because of not being admitted, but I had to give that guy a few ideas. And the discussion was so long that I ended up thinking to blog about this(so that's how that feels...).
So the guy regretted that he hasn't taken Calculus AP course earlier(he's in junior year now and is planning to take the course in his senior year) because that would show the universities what he's capable of. As an unqualified person I can say that it's a bad point of view. Of course, it's cool to know Calculus, but only if you have to do something with it. If you don't - then why is it for you? I know, the guy wanted to be a match for colleges, but the match isn't always the one who takes advanced courses earlier.
I then asked him what does he do instead of the Calculus AP. And he said he doesn't nothing specific - mostly surfing the web, managing personal website. So I offered him to take a textbook on Calculus(Calculus demystified, for example) and do it on his own. But then again he responded that this wouldn't be marked anywhere. Why does everyone want to have a mark, a line in CV or a project in project list that he could show to colleges? I understand it is all about impressions but I can tell you one thing - I hate impressions. Impression is a think that deceives people and it rarely turns into good. If you have an impressions to be a genius, then you must work your ass off to match it and not to ruin it. This is tiring and often not constructive. Just let people expect from you what you actually can, not what they think you can. This way you won't need to work your ass off and you won't ruin other's expectations on you.
Otherwise, if you have a bad impression, you won't be given a task to reveal your full potential and will also have to work your ass off to prove to others that you're not just a dummy.
So, maybe taking Calculus AP in 9th grade is making you look good, think if you really want to spend a lot of time to create an impression that might give you a lot more problems.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Two down, two more to go

The decisions for two of my four US schools are out. They both rejected me, but I'm almost in a good mood. So next year I'm not gonna be a Caltech freshman, nor MIT's. It was more like a lottery to me and I once again didn't win Jackpot. And as I just wrote in MIT blogs: "The application process was so addictive that I'll definitely have to try again next year.". That's right. If I don't get into other two US schools and Richmond, I'll probably take a gap year, do some hardcore programming(I have a plan about some project, just not enough time), do some traveling (with money earned from hardcore programming project), learn English a little bit better and take the SAT's with a little bit more preparation.
Oh, well. Despite being rejected I had a good night yesterday. About 5 minutes after my decisions came out the doorbell rang. There were my two classmates and so we went to hang out a little. Funny thing is that when I was walking down the stairs(I live in a flat), I noticed that there was something in my mailbox. I took it out - a Caltech decision letter. Ah well, I just put in into my coat pocket and went out. I already knew the answer(which had come by email at 1 AM my time a few days ago). But if I wouldn't have read it in my email, it would have been two decisions in five minutes. BAHHHH.
OK, enough about the decisions. But since that's the only thing that I'm capable to think of now, let it be the end for this post.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome another rejected by Caltech person

Haha, it's funny that my last post was about procrastination and it was 5 months ago. Could I say that I'm "back with a brand new rap"? I don't think so. Today, at about 1AM I got an email to have been rejected from Caltech which is kinda bad feeling. But I'm mostly sad because the FedEx courier will not visit me. UPS has visited me when she brought my Collegeboard books, DHL has visited me too when she brought my other books and no FedEx. Maybe anyone(huh, who am I kidding???) wants to send me something throught FedEx?
So, what has happened through all those 5 months? Well, quite a lot actually. Probably the most important thing is that I dropped Windows and am now using OpenBSD. One sad thing is that Skype doesn't want to run and the tutorials I have found do not work.
What else? Well, my HDD on PowerBook went off and I'm not notebookless which is sad by itself and sad because I had ran a webserver and was able to do webdev on it. Well, I'll probably try to netboot or USB boot it somehow. Anyone has any offers on how to it with PPC Powerbook?
I also had a Brown interview(on the phone with Mark Dembitz). I think I blew it. Everybody knows the main interview question - "Tell me about yourself". Duh. I don't like speaking about people, including myself so my interviewer had a tough time pulling it out from me. When my questions section came, I asked him only two questions about Brown. First was about Brown CS department and he assured me that it's cool, despite the fact that he hasn't had any courses in there. Another question was on how expensive is the cost of living in Providence. So I think that I looked like an unmotivated guy to him who's just spending his free time applying to universities. Anyways, I hope it'll go good.
What else... Oh yeah, I took a TOEFL on March 1. Whaaaa... it's already past MIT deadline, why would I want one you ask. And I answer: because I found another university. I got an email about American international university in London, Richmond. I'll be applying to it if I don't get into MIT, Stanford or Brown or if I don't get any decent scholarship to any of them(hoping that this won't happen). I'm applying for the spring semester so that I could finish something in Lithuania. I need to get a driver's license which is given only after 18th birthday, which is in July for me. But I need to prepare for the driving exam and I don't want to do it together with my national exams(I'm taking Lithuanian, Physics, Math and IT) becasue they're very intensive.
That's probably about it for this time.