There’s No Place Like Home

After having four finals in four days, I had most of two days to do nothing pack and then I headed home for the first part of my summer, where, according to the forecast, it will rain during four of the next seven days.  On the bright side, the forecast looks even worse for Ithaca.  [Sorry to anyone reading this from Ithaca.]

As is fairly standard for me, I have unpacked only what is absolutely necessary: my phone and my laptop.  And some smaller things like clothing and toothpaste.  It’s nice to be home, even if there is only non-dairy milk in the fridge.

It doesn’t feel like I’m done with my second year of college, especially since some of my friends are still in Ithaca taking finals, but I’ve certainly learned a few things over the past year.  For one, no matter how early you start your problem sets, you’ll still be working on them at 2 am on Friday morning.  You can even start over the weekend; those “few questions” you have to get answered at office hours on Thursday night will still take three or four hours.  And then you’ll have to go to office hours for another class after that.

For another, the weather will be nice as long as you have something to do that will keep you indoors all day.  Case in point: finals week.  All week long as I’m frantically cramming equations into my brain reviewing for finals, it’s sunny with temperatures in the seventies and eighties.  On Friday after I’m done with finals, it pours and the temperature drops thirty degrees.  Naturally, I have to run around campus filling out paperwork.

In addition, I guess I probably also learned a lot about physical chemistry, biomolecular engineering, fluid mechanics, and introductory macroeconomics.  But for the next few weeks, I will be enjoying my time at home doing such fun activities as Going To The Dentist.  Then I will be heading back to Ithaca to work on a project.  I’ll also be going back in time and writing more about spring semester later.  Get excited to hear about more fun activities like Office Hours, Walking to Class in the Snow, and Studying Until Your Brain Falls Out Your Ears*.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and this may not really have happened

Vacation

After spending the first two weeks of winter break “recovering” from the semester and the week after that thinking I should probably be doing something productive, the end of vacation is approaching.  No, I still have not done anything really productive.

I’ve been trying to catch up on eating, sleeping, and reading, two of which will most likely be in short supply upon returning to Cornell.  I hauled The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy home with me so I was obliged to finish it so I wouldn’t have to tow it back to Cornell.  Similarly, I’m really hoping to finally finish The Silmarillion, which is a history of Tolkien’s elves.  It’s interesting, but very dense and full of names of varying degrees of unpronounceability that all sound the same.  As for The Hitchhiker’s Guide, things stop making sense somewhere around the third book, but that’s what makes it so great.

After going to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in theater, I reread The Hobbit so now I know how the third movie should end.  My other movie watching endeavors have included The Perks of Being a Wallflower (stayed surprisingly true to the book and captured the characters well), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (my second time seeing it; still really liked it, but this video has some good points), and Catch Me If You Can (interesting, but throughout the entire movie no one noticed that his checks had stickers on them?  Really?).

I also put together a thousand piece puzzle.  A few years ago, I realized that thousand-piece puzzles generally do not, in fact, have one thousand pieces.  [The math that follows refers to rectangular puzzles; the puzzle I just did was actually not rectangular – it was horse shaped.]  Mathematically speaking, this makes sense: the factor pairs of one thousand are as follows: 1 and 1000, 2 and 500, 4 and 250, 5 and 200, 8 and 125, 10 and 100, and 25 and 40.  All but the last pair would make an extremely narrow puzzle, and even with the last pair, most puzzles are more square.  To avoid more math, I’ll just end with the fact that the world’s largest puzzle has over 32,000 pieces.