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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

End of Summer

Hi guys. Sorry for keeping you waiting, but I haven't had much time to post anything anyway. Anyhow, school's about to start, so with all of the scheduling, back to school shopping, and last minute summer getaways, I haven't had much time to do anything. My poor amigurumi have been neglected for a little too long, but hopefully, once September starts, the hooks and needles will start clicking again.

What's that thing they always said about middle school? I'm pretty sure we're the forgotten alley between elementary, where kids are basically treated with rainbows all yearlong, and high school, where teachers roll you along a conveyor belt and parents claw each other to get their kids into the top colleges. Yeah, I've been influenced by Alexandra Robbins a little too much...anyway, we're supposedly the top dogs now, especially since eighth graders are given priorities in all of the school clubs, bands, sports, etc. Not that I'll be doing much of them anyway. Science Olympiad and TSA take up way too much of my time. :P Plus, I was planning on spearheading another club - we haven't decided on a name yet, but it's basically a conglomerate hodgepodge, like yours truly. That's probably going to take up a good chunk of my time, anyhow.

Remember the book I published a while back? I've been thinking for a while about my next one, a bit guiltily spending the summer lounging instead of editing or drafting. There's too much sunlight! Anyway, since none of my cousins are coming down and we weren't planning anything too extravagant for the month, my conscience told me it was time to get back onto the lap tops. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo (sound familiar?) It's advertised as a virtual summer camp. I don't really get the point of the cabins, since hardly anyone seems to be logging on everyday and the message boards are a bit slow to respond anyway, but the graphics on the site are nice and not too buggy. I'll admit I really prefer the November program, but hopefully I'll be getting in a little more writing. The word count's the same as usual - 50K - so I've been writing about 2000 words a day. And today I'm up to...42,565. Not a bad number, but the sad part is I'm still in the first five chapters :3.  It's going to be a hectic few weeks to finish up the book. That's the thing with the program - they expect you only to write 50K, not finish the whole book. Of course, as daunting as 50K in 30 days sounds, the truth is that most of the books out on the market (think Stephen King) seem to be exceeding 100K. It's a wonder how those authors keep typing without getting finger calluses. Then again, I've heard the rumors of R.L. Stine, famed author of the children's series Goosebumps, typing with only one finger. How reliable can author gossip be, when all writers are basically really good fabricators?

I've been having ideas for starting a new blog, but that's going to be in a long while. Transferring all of the posts doesn't really appeal to me, and lots of people seem to have trouble transferring all of their viewers simultaneously. Nevertheless, I'll think about starting a new venture sometime. The basic idea is for a more "intellectually inclined" type of site for my essays to be posted. It's kind of like an ezine, only in blog form. If that's not confusing to you, congrats, because wrapping my head around my new ambitious ventures is only going to go downhill from here.

Since September brings about the new 2012-2013 school year, I've been thinking of adding things to my bucket list, or at least start a list of new school year resolutions. It's a bit pathetic that the schools down here in NJ are all fall wannabes. We get out all the way in late June, when most of the other kids are already enjoying the sunlight, and in late August, when the summer's actually dying off already, we still have a month to go. Sure, it saves time and money to plan vacations on the late, but doesn't it seem kind of, I don't know, paradoxical? Or at least illogical. I'm personally a supporter of the school year round plan (think homeschool, but in a standardized environment) which entitles more breaks, but less often. Kids might not be able to go on month-long vacations, but it sure helps with  memory retention. Why waste precious time reviewing material we've already covered? Plus, days ought to be shorter. We spend most of our time reviewing material over and over, waiting for the bell in most classes. And then we rush in between. Maybe a block schedule would work better. And actual opportunities to take more advanced classes. America's stuck with a school system that teaches Pre-Algebra in 8th grade. You know what Singapore's kids are doing in 8th grade? Algebra II.

Anyway, back to my resolutions. Despite all of the summer reading requirements, I've been failing in my reading this year, plus library books are due in a week T.T. That's my fault for not having checked their return dates and renewing them on time. I've also signed up for Code Year, a project within CodeAcademy. The website's actually pretty neat, as it teaches you about JavaScript, Python, HTML, CSS, and lets you create courses for others. It's set up like a game of Candyland - you complete activities and learn about the various tricks, functions, and syntax for each language. They don't have the more prominent languages set yet (though maybe I could use my C knowledge to set that right) but it seems like a cool site to check out:
I've also (re)discovered my love for math and all things geeky. 'Course, I won't have time to do any of the more fun aspect of loving calculus and such, but I'm learning vector art at the moment. Art and tech integration - just about how much more geeky can you get? I just hope my poor stuffed bunnies won't be too jealous of the fact that I'm spending more time in front of a lit screen than with their little stitches.
In leau of my recent CashCrate participation, I've been earning a few dollars in the form of Amazon $5 gift cards. Not much, but SwagBucks is kind of hard to work on. Yup, here's my referral link:

Ah, I'm tired and it's about time to sign off. Here's my full list of new (school) year resolutions, for all of you who were interested:

  • Keep agenda clean 
  • Learn to code JS
  • Find a possible career
  • Finish drafting my second novel
  • Keep locker mess-free (let's see how long this lasts)
  • Keep a journal
  • Convince parents to get a new pet (even a fish is okay...unless it's a phase...then too bad :3)
Haha, happy end of August guys! 



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