Response To My First Draft

Well, I am covering a longer stretch over my memoir (and it’s nowhere near completed.) The most common response was that I had a lot of information. Opinions are split. On one hand, the fact that I included a lot of formulas (in word form) was looked at as unnecessary. On the other hand, it also allowed for a detailed look inside my head and just how much information was getting thrown at me during that those three weeks.  My response to the formula is that I was going to convert it from word form to a traditional formula. This ought to cut down on the length on the current amount. My opening sentence was appreciated. I also heard that it wasn’t strictly necessary to include all of these people with names. (Personally, I think it helps to show how much diverse competition I had.) 

I am, however, going to continue to look at my Journals and my Facebook statuses, and my Facebook conversations, and my pictures while continuing my memoir. I had a lot of information, but I think that once I’m able to get the entire memoir written I’ll be able to use better words. What I basically heard was “This would be a great book. Except that this is an essay, not a book.”  Except the essay is supposed to accurately portray what was happening, and I had a lot of information going through my head during this time frame. My reviewers were also surprised that I actually had Journals from this point in my life, and I still had them.

I plan on doing a little bit into Junior year, and maybe a bit of Senior year because a lot of concepts covered during my days at the summer program show up again. This is actually not the first time I’ve written about this time period because I based my college essay on this (and isn’t a college essay nothing more than an exceptional short memoir to a college?)


Memoir Post

My Memoir begins with the end of my sophomore year, continues through the summer, and goes throughout my Junior Year. (A key part is actually the basis for my college essay.) I actually documented the time period very well. I recorded my thoughts, my reactions to my struggles, and my experiences. My original intent was not for the base of a memoir assignment, or a college essay. It was because memory changes over time, and the sooner I wrote about it, the more accurate I would be able to reconstruct the events of that entire summer. It was a turning point, and probably the most important summer of my life. I also had a gut feeling that since my life is one big continuity reference almost to continuity lockout, I would have to refer back to it.

To summarize that summer, I spent a month away from my family and five weeks away from home. I actually spent more time away from home than I did at home. I was also very lucky that the time away from home was built into my summer like that because I really needed to assess every part  of my life. I was going into an all-new cast of people, (well, almost all new, there was a Senior girl from my school there as well).

What My Makes Me Happy

After much deliberating, I have just decided to mention Robotics and settle on a “Sonic the Hedgehog” speal. Why? Because it’s counts as a theme for Seniors for Homecoming. (They have Nintendo, Sonic is on Nintendo). I have bought Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic CD, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1. All four games are on my iPad mini. I love going hitting “No Save”, tapping S-E-G-A, choosing to add an extra Chaos Emerald, and the Sonic 2 &C Sonic 3 Item boxes. I love the fact that I can play as Sonic, Tails, Sonic & Tails, & Knuckles. I love accidentally getting the combo of Knuckles & Tails. (I still can’t figure how I got it that one time.) I like playing Marble Zone as Knuckles and climbing the walls, or using Tails to carry Sonic to extra life boxes in Spring Yard Zone. I like posting pictures of my games on Facebook. (I even have an album titled “Sonic the Hedgehog” pictures.) I watched Clementj642’s playthroughs on Youtube (He RIPS SONIC 06 APART [Though he starts cursing at how bad the game gets]) on the Internet after I got home at 10:30 PM from my summer job. In Sonic CD, I like bouncing through the time periods, and shooting for the Time Stones. In Sonic 2, I like trying to improve myself to get past Chemical Plant Act 2. (Seriously, that zone is too hard for its placement in the game, because Chemical Plant was originally much later in the game.) In Sonic 4 Episode 1, I like racking up the extra life boxes, and all the nostalgia filter. I like playing the pinball machine in Casino Night, Act 2. It is so fun to hit “Jackpot” twice in a row, and get a total of 300 rings for 3 extra lives.
Heck, I’m even using Sonic the Hedgehog (the characters of Shadow and Silver) in my Related Rates problem project for AP Calculus AB. There’s even Sonic 4 Episode 2 App, that allows to play as Sonic & Tails a la “Sonic 2” on iTunes. I will be buying it when I get enough money to get an Itunes card. (I’ve posted several requests on iTunes asking for a “Knuckles in Sonic 2”, “Sonic 3 & Knuckles” and “Sonic 4: Episode Metal” Apps.) Even better, when my ability to enjoy food disappears, when I can’t get enough sleep, because of my medicine, I still enjoy the games on my medicine. The games are truly amazing. (Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic 06 aside), and while hopes for the true 3-D games (Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, especially) are not likely to be fulfilling. At least, I can by the soundtracks to most of the games. I own the Japanese Soundtrack to Sonic CD. (I just found a copy of the American Soundtrack available) and a few songs from the 3-D games. (The theme songs from Sonic ’06, the intro music from “Sonic Adventure”, “Venegance is Mine” — For Radical Highway and “Live and Learn” from Sonic Adventure 2, and “Team Chaotix”.) They sell the “Sonic Generations'” soundtrack on iTunes.

Injustice Letter

To my ADD and chronic anxiety,

I hate both of you with a passion. You have messed up my life on more occasions than I can count.  I hate the fact that my ADD forces me to wait until the last possible moment to do my work, and forces me to turn in substandard work. I hate the fact that my thought process gets jammed until I mess up, which is terrible for one-off scenarios (final exams).  I hate how it’s preconditioned people to believe I’m obnoxious by choice. Nobody can accurately gauge how serious it is. People either dismiss as nothing, or believe that it is so seriousness, I’m an incompetent moron who is unable to do anything.

I dislike the fact that it’s not  ADD, but a host of other problems that crop up as a result like my anxiety. My anxiety has screwed me over more times than I can count. It’s cost me a great deal of success, and forced me to spend more time in failure than other people. I have to work harder for less.  It causes me to spend lots of time wondering if I’m predestined for failure.

The “solution” is even worse. I’ve missed more than my fair share of my Friday night opportunities  that offered me the perfect chance to socialize by going to doctor’s appointments …. to talk about why I’m not socializing.  At the beginning of Freshman year, when everyone was forming their high school friendships, I missed out due to the double-whammy of not being allowed to be an athlete and having the doctor’s appointments increased.  Missing the “easy” classes for those doctor’s appointments means they become harder than they should be. The medicine is even worse. A perpetually guilty feeling. The inability to enjoy food or sleep properly. It’s created “snapbacks” where I essentially lose all short-term memories and go “Where am I? What am I doing? Why am I here?”. The closest way I can describe it as akin to the Doctor regenerating. Same Memories, Same Experience, Different Personalities.



That Doesn’t Sound Like Los Angeles At All!

It was early in our day in the Boston Museum of Science. My peers and I from my Brown Summer Program were given free rein to explore the museum as we wished.  Somehow I ended up in a group that included a red-haired girl, and a guy who kept apologizing for literally everything. If I had known about Doctor Who at that point, I probably would have compared the two to Amy Pond and Rory Williams.  

*Cue new internet windows to figure out who those two are.

“Stop apologizing, Russell.”, the girl said.


“He just apologizes for everything. It’s kinda grating.” she said to me.

We turned left and the group just decided to travel up the escalators to the top floor, and begin exploring. We passed a computer screen that said “Super Small Nanoparticles” and detailed about carbon nanotubes. Isn’t putting the phrase “Super Small” before a word with the prefix nano- redundantly redunant?

Walking up to the second escalator and passing the Mathematica exhibit, we decided to pause on the second floor. We looked around at a bunch of mirrors, and other stuff, and then decided to head up to the third floor. And on the way through the optical illusions exhibit is when I learned two things about the girl, she was from Los Angeles, and she loved to mess with people.

“Isn’t Los Angeles dangerous?” Russell asked.

“No. It’s actually quite safe. The people are really nice. As a matter of fact, it’s kinda like those places with bunny rabbits, flowers, etc.” the girl was saying, and in retrospect, from the look on her face, this was routine. She had said to every guy who had talked to her before, and she was going to continue to do so.

I, being completely adept socially, just as she almost convinced Russell to the point of not return butted in with:

“Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound like Los Angeles at all!”

I’m not quite sure what Russell’s reaction was. All I got was a face-full of glaring from the girl, similar to the reaction someone gets when their combo gets interrupted in a video game. It was similar (not quite the same) to the same look I received when I interrupted guys hitting on girls at my school. It was the same look  I got when a girl in my grade was hacked off at me for not eating out of her hand like every other single guy in the vicinity.

“Darn. I almost had him convinced.”

I shrugged, unaware that I had just become acquainted with the defining person of my days at the Brown Summer Program.  We continued throughout the museum for the rest of the day, passing models of highways, the evolution of humanity shown with model skulls, models of sailing ships and the obligatory dinosaur exhibit.

pg 56-75 Twelve Years A Slave Assignment

Northup is saying that not all slave-owners are bad. Most are a product of their culture and society. They succumb to peer pressure, they do what they are supposed to do because that is how everyone else expects them to behave.  William Ford treats his slaves because of peer pressure.

Peer pressure is often a determining factor in why some people react the way they do. People hate being ostracized, because it’s human nature to be social.  In high school, if everyone is an athlete, everyone wants to be an athlete, because that is how you interact with your peers and classmates. They have all the cool stuff, but at the same time, get shut out enough, and someone stops trying to interact with others, and that is when people develop in a divergent path.

Twelve Years A Slave Blog Post 1

Solomon Northup is basically pointing out that without first-hand experience, it is downright impossible to comprehend exactly what he endured over his dozen years as a slave. There is the potential that people would believe Northup exaggerated what he went through. (“White men playing con artists to a black man? Imposssible!”) Northup is just glad it’s all over, and he got through this experience alive. 

In modern times, this is the equivalent of, “Unless you have actual personal experience in the matter, don’t say anything.” As for memoir techniques, this is that world-weary approach that came by purely by chance. While they are some things that people intend to happen to themselves (me leaving the Deep South for College is one of them), there are other events that are not. It makes you apply the “For Want Of A Nail”, you change a small, seemingly inconsequential event, all of sudden, the repercussions could be massive. (Hence that’s why all time travel stories by default have to use “But you can’t rewrite history! Not one line!” Approach.)