Magic and Time Passing
Monday, August 06 2007


Time seems to pass at a staggering rate. I’m just about to begin week 10 of 12 of my internship at Sun Microsystems– and when I last wrote, I was in week 8.

What happened in the last week and a bit? Well, I did four days of training at ActivIdentity, learning to use their Card Management Software, which, if not precisely enthralling entertainment for most people, was certainly an interesting experience for me– especially given my previous internship at VeriSign, doing much the same work. I also went to San Francisco to see some friends from my high school.

I also made a portrait of myself using a creation tool, in the style of a famous TV show– much to the chagrin of my parents, who think I should have more formal pictures of myself on my website.

Self-Portrait in South Park Style

Also, a variety of other small things, some of which will no doubt be blogged about eventually– but right now, I wanted to put something in here about Magic.

Magic: The Gathering is a card game that has been going on for more than fifteen years at this point, more popular now than ever before. I used to play it, but gave it up more than a decade ago– for reasons that were no doubt good and wholesome at the time. So why does it come up now?

Well, as some of you may know already, a lot of my friends at Hopkins play it. And clearly, my group of friends are the cool people. ‘Cause I’m not friends with uncool people. :-) So I thought, I want to be cool like my friends: I want to get back into Magic. So I had my parents dig my old collection out of my closet, and send me a time capsule from my eighth-grade self.

Now, eight months later, I’ve learned a lot more about Magic, played in a lot of tournaments, gotten at least one friend newly addicted, and met a lot of new friends– which has happened through getting to attend a number of fun tournaments. Since the beginning of the summer, I’ve attended:

And had, generally, a huge amount of fun doing it. I’ve also gotten beaten savagely by twelve-year-olds, fifty-year-olds, a Level Five Judge, two Level Four Judges, a large number of Level Three and Level Two judges, and, just on Friday, the Chief Interrogator of Abu Gharib. (This last, unfortunately, is not a joke. While I’d hoped to be able to win a match, as at least some sort of symbolic statement for freedom and democracy, it turns out that being on the correct side ideologically cannot make up for a lack of skills during a Draft at a Friday Night Magic. Oh well.)

I also got to meet the new National Champion of Magic at the tournament today, where he was a competitor; nice guy.

So what is all this leading up to? Well, on Wednesday, I took and passed my Tournament Organizer test– which will allow me to run “real” Magic tournaments at Hopkins, should someone want to play in them. With luck, I’ll be able to expand the rating to T-2, which will let me run certain additional types of tournaments, as well as make them occur more quickly.

And hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to actually win at Magic, not simply be effective at assisting its play (as a TO would).

With luck, there will also be more interesting things happening with Magic in the next few weeks; I’ll keep the blog updated, as much as I can.

(And I will get to posting the pictures from Three Rings soon!)

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