Like a Cylinder

Dear readers,

At long last, I’ve done it! I’ve left a school in a normal amount of time!

(For reference, I spent only five years in elementary school, then I spent three years in one high school before transferring to an IB school, which is a mandatory two-year program; spending five years in high school is somewhat difficult to explain to the neighbors, regardless of its merit.)

But this time, I’ve actually finished Hopkins, in eight semesters! W00t! And I got to wear shiny white and maroon honor cords as well (UPE), which is always nice. (Some people were wearing 8+ cords, which seems like a lot to me; presumably they were highly honorable, or at least colorful.)

Of course, I’m not leaving Hopkins; that would be too easy. I finished my Bachelor of Science degree, but I’ve now ascended from Concurrent BS/MSE status to fulltime Graduate status; while I was a grad student before, this makes the whole situation much easier to explain. (Also I can take far fewer classes that I don’t like, which is a nice side benefit of grad school.) So I’m still planning to finish my MSE in one additional year; all that’s necessary is six classes, and a thesis. (It doesn’t sound so bad when reading it on the page, so for correct context, please read “six classes,” then turn on this music, then read “a thesis.” Got it now?)

So my parents and brother came out from Montana / down from Yale on the 15th, and only left yesterday, for a full two weeks of adventures. And packing. (A lot of packing; I’m leaving my apartment for another even closer to campus (technically, the same distance from campus– across the street– but closer to the School of Engineering, where my classes are), and Shannon’s leaving her apartment for one underneath my new apartment. So that was interesting, but much easier with all the help.)

And we went up to Yale to hear Quinlan play (in a pretty chapel) before he leaves to go on tour in Italy with the YSO, then to New York City to see Spamalot on Broadway, which was fantastic. Now they’ve taken my cat (Lysistrata) back to Montana with them for the summer, and I’m staying in Virginia for the last days until I fly to San Francisco, CA Saturday morning! Yay!

Other fun things:

  • I got a new iPhone today– after only 60-odd days. :-( Thank goodness for AppleCare– and also for the Apple approach to replacements, which was awesome. I described my problems (short version: “it don’t work,” with crashes, lockups, batteries dying, and other nastiness), they checked it over for about 45 seconds at the Genius Bar, then said “yep, seems bad,” and handed me a new phone! Compare this to my blood pressure ticking up to stroke levels to get Dell to acknowledge anything bad exists in the universe– I think my Apple switch will be permanent, as I’m in love. (Although I’ll make sure to renew AppleCare.)

  • We had a new Upsilon Pi Epsilon initiation, of these guys, and I got elected President– a completely powerless position (it’s an honor society, not a legion of doom), but it’s fun nonetheless. (In related news, should anyone wish to join a legion of doom with me at its helm, please contact me.)

  • I did a fun Information Retrieval final project, which consisted of graphing XFN relationships. I could only run the simulation out to one level of contacts (because then Kevin Rose’s friends overwhelmed any static graph), but it was fun, and my professor seemed to enjoy it.

  • I finally broke down and bought a Wii, which is incredibly fun to play with.

So then, off to California in just over 24 hours (as I leave in the middle of the night); I’m excited. Time to run for now!