March 28, 2008

Admissions Advice

I remember 3 years ago I went to an MIT info session and somebody asked the question:

"Is it better to have a lot of AP classes with B's or a bunch of easier classes than A's?"

The answer?

"It's better to have a lot of AP classes with A's."


March 27, 2008

March 22, 2008


As you, by now, hopefully know, I was VERY involved in the band program in high school (Charles A. Sprague High School). I had a great time and miss it quite a bit. Today I found something online that made something I already cherished even more valuable. At the beginning of this year my director submitted all of our recordings from my senior year to the National Grammy Foundation. Guess what.

Sprague won a Grammy.

14 schools in the nation won Grammys in three different categories:

1) Enterprise Award -- under served music programs earn grants based on need
2) Gibson Grant -- for schools with outstanding piano and guitar programs
3) Signature Schools -- for public high schools with outstanding music programs.

Only 8 schools are awarded the signature award. The top three are awarded the gold level, with the best gold level school winning the grand prize.

We won a Grammy!

Now, not only did we win a Grammy, but look at this chart (please click to enlarge):

WHAT!? TWO SCHOOLS FROM SALEM OREGON!? Not just from Salem, but from the same school district. South Salem is our rival school and we take the fight to the big leagues, we fight over Grammys! People ask me "If your high school had such a good band, why didn't you ever win state?"

Because the other schools in my state are also freaking good at music, note that 3 of the 14 schools are from Oregon.

This puts me in a VERY good mood, knowing that music I was playing was recorded, submitted, and worthy of a Grammy. What did we submit? Here are the recordings, enjoy!

La Fiesta Pacifico

Homage to Machaut



And now, a picture. If it doesn't elevate your heart rate then it isn't doing its job.

March 18, 2008


I think I'll go on a campus tour. They're fun, informative, and a nice break from studying for 18.03. Plus, nobody in a tour group is corrupted by MIT yet (ie hosed, disenchanted, nervous wreck, Aaaaaaehajrhalwkejfhwkejh!)

Maybe I'll take some pictures and post them, give you a little taste of what an MIT tour is like.


Can anybody guess when MIT Early Action decisions may have come out?

How about Regular Action decisions (remember, we're only halfway through March)?

March 16, 2008

March 14, 2008

Found on the Internet

Ever Google yourself and get really surprised by what you find? That happened to me today. I googled "Snively" and found out that I had been featured on the Ig Nobel website back in January. Go figure!

March 08, 2008

Watch My GPA Plummet!

Brawl Comes Out Tomorrow.

If you thought a 2.75 GPA couldn't sink any lower, you'd be wrong!

Let's Play A Game

So, you think you'd make a good freshman guy at MIT? While MIT always argues about "The Match" and how you need to be right for MIT, I've come up with a simple test.

I will attempt to initiate a conversation with you in the same manner that I would attempt to initiate a conversation with a freshman guy here at MIT. If you respond correctly then you know that you'll fit in.

Please respond in the comments, I'll post the results shortly.

Ready? Here we go.

[I approach you as I walk down the street. I come up to you and speak the following:]


What do you respond with?

March 07, 2008

AIM Convo of the day

I heard about this guy who broke into a lion's den at the zoo
and got mauled
and people were talking about how there should have been better defenses put up to prevent people getting into the cage
a friend of mine suggested setting up some kind of deterrent
for example, putting some sort of fierce animal in the cage, which would attack anybody who climbed in


Working Hard in Toy Design

I am a coloring BEAST!

ATTN: MIT Prefrosh/Prospectives

Just to reiterate and fire the rumors back up again, I'm still rooting for a March 22nd release date. We have a bunch of optimistic people that are gunning for the 15th but I really do think that it'll be the 22nd.

Again, I have no insider knowledge, just experience and a hunch. March 22nd, don't be too upset if there aren't decisions on the 15th.

March 04, 2008

Deep Philosophical Musings

I have deep philosophical musings for you! Aren't you excited??? Even a little bit? No? Well, read it anyway, it'll make you question things.

Ever heard the expression "Actions Speak Louder than Words"? Usually said when in situations like when you're caught saying "I'll save that person dangling from a rapidly fraying rope over that pit of lava" and then do nothing about it. People will jump all over you for not living up to your word, claiming that you can talk the talk but you can't walk the walk. "Actions Speak Louder than Words! Now Jimmy is Magma Food!"

Alright, that makes sense, you hurt somebody by not taking action. But, what happens if you flip it? Ah, this becomes quite philosophical now, because it seems as though people only like to use "Actions Speak Louder than Words" to criticize an individual, not to defend them. Consider the following scenario:

"God, I hate Mitch, he's constantly putting me down, being really sarcastic, and generally condescending."
"But he helps you with your homework, fronts you money for food, and helps you keep your life organized!"
"It doesn't matter, he's too rude, I can't take it! I hate him!"

This happens quite often. To me. lol. I'm a very dry, sarcastic, sometimes overbearing individual. Am I a bad person? Absolutely not, I was raised right and have very good morals. On the surface I seem pretty crusty but when it really matters I'm always there to help and defend people. My actions speak for who I truly am, not my words. In theory, "Actions Speak Louder than Words" should compensate for my "on the surface appearance" but it doesn't. Why? Why can't it go both ways? Instead of saying "It doesn't matter, he's too rude, I can't take it! I hate him!" why can't people say "You're right. He does everything he can to help me. Words really don't matter so much, his actions help me more than words could ever hurt me."

Think about it, you know I'm right. So, next time somebody is being really dry, sarcastic, or even seems rude, wait to see if it's just their words or if it's everything about them. Remember, Actions Speak Louder than Words.

March 02, 2008

Nastolgia and Homesickness? Bandsickness?

Usually I'm so busy here that I don't really have time to think about the things that I used to devote my life to but no longer do. In high school, at any given time, you could expect that I was in at least 4 different bands, sometimes I was in up to 9. Every day of my life in High School involved music somehow and when I hit MIT it just stopped. All of it.

Most of the time I don't notice, but every once in a while I slip into withdrawals and get very melancholy. I'm not very fun to be around in this mood. I mope around, not saying much, just staring into space, trying to figure out why I feel incomplete. What could be missing? You'll hear me sigh really heavily, see me look around in hopes of seeing something interesting, and then eventually put on the headphones and drown myself in music that brings back memories.

There's a difference between this and being Emo. My music, recordings of bands I've been in and music that I've performed, brings back memories of friends and experiences that I hope never to forget. 3 AM bus rides, laughing at various conductors during symphony, covertly doing the wave with the clarinet section during state championships, marching with friends, and always having a lively group of friends to share an interest with that involved creativity instead of logic.

Truman, Dylan, Trevor, Jake, Christy, and many of the other seniors I graduated with made band one of the most enjoyable parts of my life. Although not every single moment was enjoyable, it was a long, drawn out series of events that added that spark of delight to my four years at Sprague High School. I have a ton of friends here in college now, but it's different. Hopefully I grow as close to them as I grew to my friends from band, because it's gotten to the point where I realize that I still want to hang out with them, almost a year since seeing them, which is something that I'm not convinced would be true if they hadn't meant so much.

I'm glad that I blog because it gives me something to look back on and remember the memories from friends in high school band.


Easy there blog stalkers! I was messing with the idea of putting out a post every day for a month before decisions so I created a new blog for it. I never ended up implementing this and so an empty blog DOES exist on the internet, but here are a couple of notes about it:

1) THE COUNTDOWN TIMER IS AN ESTIMATE!!! The admissions office hasn't officially released the date for decisions. Trust me, a blogger won't be breaking that news, that'll definitely be Ben or Matt. Again, I CAN ONLY GUESS THE DATE FOR DECISIONS.

2) Um, that's about all. There probably won't ever be any posts on it, it seems like the admissions site is keeping up to date quite nicely these days.

3) I'm not sure why I'm not taking it down, I probably should, but I just don't feel like it right now.