Archive for October, 2008


I’m scheduled to be writing the SAT in a little under 10 hours.

In some ways, the writing of the test is an Important Event in my life, and in other ways it’s just a complete waste of time.

The whole point of me writing the SAT is to see if I can get into Harvard and Yale. That’s the first problem. I’m smart and all, but I’m competing against the very best from around the world here. The odds of me getting in to even one of those two schools are slim. Even if I do luck out and get in, what are the odds that I’ll even go? Tuition will be around $30,000 per year, and both schools are in another country. I’m having enough difficulty accepting the possibility of going to another city for school, so another country is a really radical idea. So writing the SAT is a pretty big waste of time.

But then there’s the whole challenge aspect to it. I’m curious. Could I go to Harvard or Yale if I really wanted to? That question is burning through my mind. If I want to answer it, then I have to write the SAT. And if I want a positive answer to that question, then I have to write the SAT well. So writing the SAT is a pretty big deal.

But I haven’t really studied for it. Since Harvard/Yale isn’t the end of the world, the only real hardcore practicing I’ve done for the SAT was tonight. For some people, Harvard/Yale is a life or death thing, and those people have been preparing for months, just so that they can 1-UP people like me. So I’m at a disadvantage there. If I’m rejected, then I can (fairly justly) ascribe my failure to the fact that I haven’t been gearing up for this test for the last 10 months. And that burning question won’t really get answered, because I can always tell myself "I would have gotten in if I had tried." So I don’t even know why I’m writing this thing.

But honestly, one of my secret goals in life is to turn down acceptance of Yale. Not so much Harvard, but Yale. One of my favourite Boy Meets World episodes was the one where Topanga rejects Yale, much to the humourous dismay of everyone else. "Why couldn’t you just have gone to Yale?!", they all exclaim. For some reason, I really want people to shout that line at me. And if I do get in and do turn down Yale, everyone reading this has to promise to shout it at me. It doesn’t have to be in person, but I need some sort of audio. "Mike, why couldn’t you just have done to Yale?!" Exasperated tone.

So tomorrow is an important day, but also a waste of time.

And the wonderful thing is that even if I bomb this nearly 4-hour test and completely destroy all hope of Harvard/Yale, I’m scheduled to write the SAT II in early December. That means another three hour test, this one occurring right smack in the middle of my exam schedule.

But I’m not complaining.


You’ve Gotta Be Sh*tting Me.

Source: Msntv

The Suite Life on Deck: Episode Guide

Episode 06: "International Dateline"

Airdate: October 24th, 2008

Summary: The ship is struck by lightning when it crosses the International Dateline which places Cody in the same day over and over. He tries to use each day as a chance to let Bailey know how he feels
about her, but something gets in the way every time. It’s then up to
to divert the ship from the lightning to set them back on the
right course.

Here’s a quick piece of trivia about me: I follow what I call the "Two Recommendation Rule".
Simply put, when two people recommend that I read a certain book, watch a certain movie, or try a certain activity, I do so immediately, with no questions asked.
When one person recommends something to me, I take a mental note, but I usually don’t act on it. When a second recommendation is made, that’s when I take immediate and decisive action.
There are, of course, a few by-rules associated with this:
1. The two people who recommend the book must not know each other.
2. The second person cannot know that a first recommendation was made.
3. Oprah cannot be a recommender. Ditto to anyone else involved with mass media.
4. General recommendations do not count. (Eg, if someone recommends a book to a group of people which includes me, it doesn’t count)
What are the odds that two people who have no knowledge of each others’ existence would recommend the same book/movie/activity to me? Slim, apparently. In fact, its happened only four times:
Tuesdays with Morrie was recommended to me once in October 2001 by my grade 5 teacher and again in November 2003 by my grade 7 teacher (at a different school).
The Giver was recommended to me by a friend in late 2003 and again by that same grade 7 teacher in early 2004.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail was recommended to me by my grade 8 teacher in 2005 and again by a high school friend in 2006.
And finally, The Little Prince was recommended to me by a grade 11 teacher last September, and again last week by one Ms. Jennifer Nikol Stripe. (In my head, just Ms. Jennifer Nikol sounds better. Three names is a bit too much. But I digress.)
And so, in accordance with the Two Recommendation Rule, I immediately went to the library and picked it up.
…Or I would have. But I forgot. For two weeks.
But then yesterday I remembered my obligation while I was supposed to be studying for a massive English test and immediately dropped everything and went to the school library. I was late for my next class, but I did just fine on the test. I think. You can never be too sure with English. She is a fickle maiden…
More importantly, I picked up the book. I wimped out and picked up an English translation of it because I didn’t feel like attempting to trudge through the original French. Besides, the school library didn’t have a French copy of it. So sue me.
Anyhow… the book.
Oh my.
I just finished it about twenty minutes ago, and I’m at a loss for words. I don’t know if I can articulate exactly what this book has caused me to feel.
We all like to think that we’re special, and that we can relate to books or songs in a way that no one else in the world can. Maybe not to every song, or every book, but there’s always that one that makes us think: "This was written for me."
This is mine.
First let me say this. I don’t know if I can honestly recommend this book to anyone else. If you’re an adult, you probably won’t understand it. If you’re one of those people who don’t like thinking, you won’t enjoy it. If you’re more of an enlightened one, this book will cause you a good deal of pain.
But it won’t make you feel what it’s making me feel.
In Cuba this past summer, I met a little boy.
His name was Dan.
I’m not going to get into too much detail here, because I’m (slowly) working on a massive blog on this subject, but Dan was something special. He was only nine, but he… understood. I don’t know any other way of putting it. He just genuinely understood how the world works. In all my life I have never encountered such an uncorrupted mind as his. He was beautiful, he was pure, he was Innocent, he was absolutely everything that is good about the world, without any of the negative aspects.
He was perfect.
I only knew Dan for two days. I had to return to Canada, and he had to return to Czech. We will never meet again.
Not a day has gone by since then that I haven’t thought about him. And I have wept, thinking about the fact that he’s gone forever.
Dan is the Little Prince. I realized this as I read. In the way he talks and asks questions, in the way he acts… even his hair colour matches. So of course I became very attached to the Prince character.
After the story concludes, there are two final pages. One contains a picture of a desert landscape with a single star in the sky. The other contains two short paragraphs, this being the last:
"Look at this landscape carefully to be sure of recognizing it, if you should travel to Africa someday, in the desert. And if you happen to pass by here, I beg you not to hurry past. Wait a little, just under the star! Then if a child comes to you, if he laughs, if he has golden hair, if he doesn’t answer your questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, be kind! Don’t let me go on being so sad: Send word immediately that he’s come back…"
This paragraph has completely killed me. Snapped me into two. Broken my spirits. Shattered my will. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to survive school tomorrow. If I start thinking about this, I’m finished.
It is a fantastic book. Perhaps the greatest I have ever read. But please, if you have ever lost someone like Dan, do not read it. It hurts too much.