Fall Quarter in Review (2011)

Link to the last one: http://ddrkirbyisq.xanga.com/750413812/spring-quarter-in-review-2011/

Just realized that I didn’t do one of these for this past Summer.  Well, I mean, this past Summer was basically me working at Google, which was both good and bad.  It was actually pretty rough, but I ended up doing a great job regardless and came out of it as a much more elegant coder, I’d like to think.  Having code reviews and a well-organized infrastructure can do that to you.  This Summer also saw me start going to Ceili, and also continue going to FNW–having that weekly dance at FNW really took my dancing to a new level, I’d like to think.

Anyways, onto the Fall.  So, Fall was…well, wow.  It was awesome and basically went by without a single hitch.  At all.  Which is pretty damn amazing.  I didn’t expect it to so easily match the awesomeness of last year, but it totally did.

The main difference between this school year and last is my living situation–I’m now proud resident of a premium studio in Munger and an “official” grad student/coterm, out of undergrad housing.  This has actually been one of the best things to happen to me in a long time.  I =love= my room in Munger; it’s spacious, really feels like home, and is serene and peaceful–really my own space where I can feel comfortable.  Moving out of undergrad housing has not actually made me more lonely, but less lonely (perhaps assisted by a new community of friends that I’ve formed).  Being away from the happenings of a Stanford dorm seems to actually be quite a bit more healthy for my introverted self, and I haven’t actually felt lonely much at all at Munger.

Somewhat humorously, I didn’t take any classes towards my grad degree this quarter (okay, actually technically cs476a is being counted towards my MS in CS, but that’s totally an MST-type class so it barely even counts).  I had two music classes for my Music, Science, and Technology minor, CS161:Algorithms, Japanese 2nd-year, crashed Social Dance 2 a few times, and took Intro to Prehistoric Archaeology, of all things, to knock out my two remaining GERs.

The two music classes up at CCRMA were pretty…amusing, let’s say.  I’ve already written quite a bit and poked fun at the CCRMA folks a lot so I’ll spare you all the details, but essentially these classes consisted of me ditching class all the time, “subverting” the homework assignments to bend them to my own interests, and becoming a well-known figure in the class.  Hey, what do you expect from a CS coterm and 7-year electronic music producer who likes to make awesome projects in his (abundant) spare time?

CS161 was pretty much how I expected it to be.  It wasn’t a walk in the park but wasn’t terrible either.  The psets did take a substantial amount of time, but this was my only pset-y class so that was fine.  The final was pretty damn hard but it was supposed to be pretty hard anyways, so that’s not too bad.  I don’t know if I pulled off an A, but at this point it doesn’t really matter too much (more about why GPA doesn’t matter later).

Japanese was really fun.  Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to as many office hours this quarter because of scheduling, but I still ended up chatting with Kubo-sensei and Yamamoto-sensei a lot, which was definitely a lot of fun.  Kubo-sensei is really fun to chat with, as I knew she would be even last year when I first met her. ^^  And Yamamoto-sensei likes cute things and pink things so obviously we get along well.  Class itself is a little less lively since there are less students, and I’m also no longer quite as “ace student” anymore because…well, it’s not 1st-year anymore.  But I still managed to keep on top of things pretty well.  I also started to really like writing compositions because we’re starting to get to the point where we know enough grammatical structures to actually form interesting writing.  I have to remember to write in funny answers for homeworks though–I don’t think I wrote a single joke answer anywhere this quarter, boo.

I only crashed social 2 towards the beginning of the quarter and then stopped going, which is pretty much what I had expected to happen.  It’s not quite as interesting anymore, plus having to play follow to a bunch of leads who don’t always have it all together gets old real fast.  Still, there were a couple of fun moments, since I had friends there.  Plus, the few classes where Richard teaches role reversal are always ridiculously fun for me. ;P

Which brings us to Archaeology, which I added last-minute after some scheduling shenanigans.  It was…actually, not a bad class at all for a GER class.  I ditched a bunch of classes in the middle of the quarter around when I got sick, unfortunately, and I only made it to section uhm….once I think, but I actually didn’t blow it off entirely and did some studying for the final and such.  Unfortunately there was still some stuff I was hazy on (only in a humanities class would you ever feel “hazy” on something), but I think I did well enough to pass, so that’s fine.

This quarter also saw me face a small crisis in the form of deciding whether to work for Google or PlayMesh and in the end I ended up picking PlayMesh, which I’m pretty sure me and my friends agree was the right decision to make.  I’m really excited, and also trying to remind myself that this means I should be worrying a little bit less about GPA for the rest of this year (we all know I’m still probably going to put in about the same amount of effort anyways though).  For those of you who are wondering why the heck I would ever turn Google down, A) if you’re thinking that way, it means you’re really not the same kind of person that I am, and B) to make a long story short, let’s say I don’t fit Google for the same reasons that I am not a “Stanford-type person”.  Which is not to say that I don’t like Stanford, because I love Stanford and have had a blast here, but I don’t think I am a Stanford-type person.  If you don’t get it, well, whatever–you probably don’t know me well enough or are not thinking deeply enough.

In Social Dance-land, things have been going really well and I’m now a very “mature” dancer with my own unique style, and I have different types of connections with several people that I dance with.  I’ve been striving more and more towards an ideal of “ultimate softness” in my dance and been getting closer to it each time, but I’ve also been able to throw out different styles as well.  I feel like I’m not coming up with new variations as often nowadays, but that’s alright as it’s still interesting anyways.

In terms of social circle, I’m now hanging out with the dance kids more and more, but still keeping ties with other people as well.  Kiki is off in Franceland, but we’ve been connecting every once in a while via email, dreams, letters, and such.  I’ve grown closer and started to get to know some really awesome people better, which has been really nice, and something that I hope will continue through Winter quarter.

Music-making continues to be awesome, as always.  I’m almost ready to unveil my music site, which is going to be awesome.  I’ve got a bunch of projects I’m sitting on that I’d like to finish this break, so hopefully I can get to those.  Hopefully I’ll continue to expand my horizons as far as that goes.

Coding projects have been a huge success too.  Between the couple of awesome projects I did as homework assignments for the music classes and Ludum Dare, I’ve made some really awesome stuff this quarter.

Emotionally, things were actually really smooth and I feel like this quarter has just been a very relaxing and constant high–just like how my life is supposed to be, really.  There were a couple of periods of slight hardship, but those were minor scratches that didn’t really detract from things in the whole.

What else?  Oh, I learned to cook.  That’s been pretty fun too.  I’ve been living off a combination of me cooking meat+carbs, burgers from russo cafe, dinners from the market at munger, warmed up food from the fridge, and random other meals.  Doing dishes is always a pain though…

So overall, things have just been really great.  No complaints, really!

…oh, also I just checked my grades.  A- in CS161 and Anthro3, A in Japanese and cs476a/music256a, and an A+ in music220a!  If anything I deserved an A+ in music256a not 220a, but whatever.  Sweet!

 

What are we looking at in the near future?  Next quarter I hope to continue this trend of awesomeness, hopefully invite more people to hang out at my place (provided they’re not busy being crazy busy college kids *shakes head*), spend more time getting to know the friends that I’ve made this quarter, have more amazing dance moments, unveil my music site and promote my main website, and…all sorts of other awesome stuff.  In terms of classes, I’ve got CS248, MUSIC220B, CS261, Japanese, Social Dance 3, and apparently I’m still signed up for History of Waltz, which I may drop (if that happens I may just enlist in Music192C, which is LITERALLY a 0-work 0-attendance class for me).  CS261 will probably be just like CS161, but slightly harder (not necessarily more time-consuming, but I’ll probably have to try and pay a little more attention…ah what the hell, we all know I won’t).  Japanese will be Japanese, and Music220B will probably be just like music256a.  It’s taught by Ge who taught 256a, so I’ll have no qualms ditching class and subverting all of the homework assignments because he already knows who I am and what kind of student I am and what kinds of awesome things I’m capable of ;).  Social Dance 3 will be fun for me to finally get more of a handle on latin dances and such, boring in the BNP section, and will probably in general move a little bit too slow for me but that’s okay because I’m sure I’ll amuse myself by doing stuff with style, or learning both roles, or just having a good time with friends (hope I know some people in the class!).  History of Waltz I’ll probably end up dropping to be honest, because I don’t think I’ll be that interested.  Maybe I’ll crash from time to time just because I know that my friends are gonna be there.  And then CS248, which I’ll try my best to really take seriously because it’s 3D graphics and I really should take that seriously.  Plus, there’s the computer game project which I’m sure I’ll be putting my all into.  Seeing what I’m capable of in the span of 48 hours for Ludum Dare, I’m sure it’ll be awesome.

 

And I think that’s about it!  So now it’s time for some shoutouts!  If you were tagged in the corresponding FB post, find your letters/initials/nickname and go for it (note: some of these aren’t obvious, but if you are tagged, then one of these -is- you, so please look carefully):

 

Kiki: Well, we’re on opposite ends of the earth and we’ve both made it through the Fall.  I hope you are doing well.  I know my ability to sense your state of being seems a bit surreal sometimes, but really it’s just that I know your persona very well, and I also listen very well to little things that other people don’t pick up on (plus I hear almost -everything- on the interwebs), so I can put together a (somewhat fuzzy) picture.  I do worry about you sometimes since I know you’re in a state of flux–more than usual.  I’ll continue to support you from here best I can, so just keep doing your best on your end.  I haven’t started to answer those questions you had for me yet, but you know as well as I do that it’ll happen in due time.

Cuddle buddy: Cuddle buddyyy!~  I am so glad to have gotten to know you better!  We will definitely hang out more next quarter–I’ll make sure of it :)

YW: I know I’m not seeing you like every day like I used to, but you’re still just as important as ever to me.  I’m glad I still get to see you and hang out with you and share fun times, snarky remarks, and every once in a while tasty cocktails. (yum!)  Been missing you lots this break–can’t wait to see you and your pretty hair again~

Nee-san: Family gatherings are (understandably) EVEN MORE CRAZY now, yet somehow you and D still manage to keep me sane.  Phew!  You guys are doing great

ISFJ: :)  I can’t get over how happy I am that we started talking, hahaha. ^^;  I am really looking forward to learning more about each other soon!~

DV: Yayy accelerating waltz partners!  I can’t believe we actually did hair tosses in front of Richard and Tracey, that was kind of ridiculous and amazing.

Sword girl: Always nice to have someone who can keep up with my switching during dances. ^^

CC: Yayy~  You became an unexpectedly amazing friend to me this quarter, so I’m really happy about that. :)  I will hop by and visit you next quarter!~

My other angel (BC): <3~  I am constantly astounded by how deeply you move me with your heartfelt care and affection.  I know I’ve said this before, but I am really glad to have you in my life–you are truly precious~ ^_^

CA: I will dance with you more in the coming quarter.  Look forward to it!~ :)  And the late night uh…”expedition” was actually quite fun, hahaha. ^^;

CL: Sooooooo excited can’t wait for the Summer, ahhhh we are going to have so much fun, ahhhhh!!! ^_^

DJ 4chan: We are awesome. ;)  Soooooo awesome.

IB: I hope I get to seeee youuu moreeeee next quarter!  That is all. ^^;

YH: Don’t kill yourself next quarter, crazy kid!

YZ: Glad we can both amuse each other and have fun messing around with silly stuff. xD  Look forward to dancing with you again~

LD: Your skirt is amazing, that is all.

KL: I hope you are doing well!  I know you are constantly going through rough times and just hope that you will catch a break at some point.  Thank you for still thinking about me; it makes me smile to know that you are like me in still thinking about people even when there is no external impetus to force it. :)

KF: I will see you soon!  Gimme a call ^^

久保先生:いつも一緒にゆっくり話して下さってありがとうございます!~ とっても楽しくて、いっぱい習いました~ 冬学期にもどうぞよろしくお願いします!~ ^.^

山本先生:^^ 秋学期、先生のオフィスアワーに来るのは楽しくて、面白い話ができてよかったです!~ 冬学期も楽しみしています!~

LH: Shoutout to you here because as always the “quarter in review” posts were originally inspired by yours.  Rock on!

And a special thanks to Danya, Kelley, Catherine, Gerentt, Kristina, and Patricia for the Xmas gifts/letters. :)

And of course everyone else, whether you be a dance kid, stanford kid, pretty-haired girl, guy friend, or what have you–thanks to everyone for making this quarter rock.

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