Monday, July 26, 2010

Commend Me!

Well, I gave the English teacher/vice principal the papers about the high school profile, senior year schedule and all that. This last one is a bit tricky. It´s not exactly thought out here. Once the teachers have covered everything the Ministry makes them, they´re on their own. The Physics teachers deals by covering everything sloooowly, but thoroughly. The Chemistry teacher covered all of high school by the end of tenth, and then just started prepping us for the Chemistry Olympiads. Right now we´re going into organic chemistry in some detail, far more than required. The Math teacher is having a lot of fun with us. She´s just about finished taking us through calculus. A classmate tried to study by doing a University level test on the same subject... and it was too easy. The point is, no one really knows (or cares) what the teachers are doing with us as long as we pass the Ministry tests at the end of the year.

I talked my Chemistry teacher into giving me a letter of reccomendation. She is really smart. She was born in Ecuador, and studied a while in the US, but I´m not sure where, rumor has it in MIT (apparently she also found the fountain of youth, can turn lead into gold, and has a secret underground laboratory under the college library. She´s a legend). I´m kind of honored that she was actually willing to do this.

I´m trying to talk myself into asking the computer/robotics/programming/physics teacher for one, but i don´t quite seem to be able to do it, which is ridiculous, since this guy is happiest when he´s helping people. Case in point: I had to give a quick presentation on transformers (the kind on power lines, not the car/robot things) with a couple of friends, and we were doing the standard Powerpoint thing, when he sees us and asks what were doing. We tell him, and he goes:

"You morons! Why didn´t you tell me? What´s wrong with you??" The guy looks like he´s about to explode, we just cringe.

(Muttering) "Damn students, can´t ask for something simple, can they? They´ll come to you when they need a hovercraft, but a transformer? NOOOooooo!"

He´s ripping apart something vaguely electronic looking, tears some cables, and starts smashing it with a pair of pliers. We´re a bit worried now. He holds up the mess proudly,

"This is a transformer."

We ask if we can have it (what it came from is looking pretty useless by now). He instead threatens to throw it at our heads and offers to bring us a whole bunch of different types and gives us a couple of broken speakers to pull apart as well. He hands it to my friend and tells him to connect it to a socket so we can measure voltage, frecuency, and potential.

"What, like this?"

"Yeah, just any old way" Looks up, "Oh God no! Not like that!"

Rips it out of his hands and asks him not to touch the two stripped wires he was gripping. He also suggests we not put them in out mouths while it´s connected, which apparently has happened.

It´s a good thing I get along with all my teachers. Having to ask for their help reminds me of something that happened in physics. The teacher gave us a quiz. When we finished, he collected the papers, shuffled them, and handed them back out to the class, everyone got one that belonged to someone else. We had to score them (he put the answer and procedure on the board). The guy who got mine is the only one in my class I really don´t get along with, and just the night before I´d been fighting with him (which is our normal way of communicating). I made one mistake, put a minus where there should have been a plus. The whole procedure was right, though, with a pretty clearly labeled diagram. Other classmates had done worse and passed (thanks to the fact that everyone was trying to ward of bad karma with good scores). I flunked, of course. You never know when someone will get a chance to get even. Don´t make them.

On a more somber note, my knee still hurts. It´s been a week. Sometimes it´s alright, and then a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan or something and it feels horrible for a moment. Walking down steps is getting to be a challenge at times. It feels alot better today, but I´m still a little wary.

I sceduled the audiometer, and the physical (almost), which is the last of the medicals. The ophthalmologist´s report, which should have been here Monday, has failed to arrive. Again, it´s been a week, and I´m getting a bit annoyed.

I stopped doing my pushups for a day or two, and wow, what a difference. I´m back down to ten, dammit. Pull ups are getting easier, but are the first two inches the hardest, or what?

I also bought my first cellphone. Which I´m ridiculously happy about, even though I know I´ll pretty much never use it. And I forgot to bring my laptop´s charger, which is pretty important when its battery life is, this very second, (Sunday night, with a full week to go) is down to about 3 minutes. Guess why this was uploaded Monday?

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