School, New York, and The Force – Oh My!

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It’s been a while, and for that, I’m sorry.  I’ve been busy with several activities and events and I kept putting off a blog post.

My last post on here was from the airplane on the way to Hawaii.  That was a great trip.  We stayed at a large hotel with a series of five or six pools connected by water slides.  We went to the pool and the nearby beach every day, eating lunch at the poolside bar with food delivered to our pool chairs by some of the nicest waiters I’ve met.  For dinner, we drove to various restaurants around the towns of Wailea and Kahului.  One night we ate at a pizza restaurant where there were barely any other customers.  Because of – or perhaps, despite – this, our waitress was always coming over to our table, telling stories and cracking jokes.  It made the night uniquely interesting and enjoyable, and it gave us the feeling that we were really in Hawaii.

On September 3, I started my junior year in high school.  I’m taking, among other classes, Calculus and Physics.  I mention these because they’re arguably the two hardest subjects for me this year.  I never did particularly well in either math or science during my first two years of high school.  This year, I am a section editor for my school’s newspaper; my section covers international, political, technology, and business issues.  It is a good stepping stone to what I hope will be the position of co-Editor-in-Chief.  Either way, I’m excited to be building up a resume for college.  In addition to the newspaper, I’m also helping out in my school’s tech department, in a role I like to call “Senior Student Techie”.  There are other students helping out as well, but to my knowledge I’m the one who’s been doing it the longest.  This too will look good on my resume.  I also plan on contributing to this year’s film festival at my school, using the newly acquired production and post-production resources I’ve acquired.

The biggest school-related event so far this year has been our grade trip to New York City.  As part of an ongoing series of bonding trips that my school has put on for grades 6-11, the junior class on September 11 took a 5-hour bus trip to stay in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  We stayed at the local YMCA, which was not as bad as I thought it would be.  Since there was an odd number of boys in our grade, I ended up getting a room to myself.  The room itself was tiny, but at least I got a TV on which to follow the news.  On Thursday (9/11, mind you), groups split off to go on student-led excursions.  My group went to take a tour of the NYU School of Drama.  We even saw a celebrity outside the building: James Franco, of Spiderman III fame.  Thursday night, we ate at a great diner where the feature attraction was the singing waiters and waitresses.  After dinner, we went to see a Broadway show called In the Heights. I must say it was one of the best musicals I’ve seen.  On Friday, after a quick breakfast at the Y’s “restaurant”, I went to check out the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I took lots of photos (albeit with a cell phone, having stupidly left my digital camera behind) and saw some cool statues, sculptures, suits of armor, and much more.  It was a good trip overall.

In other news, we finally made a Skype call with my extended family in Switzerland.  The call quality was great and we had lots to talk about and catch up on.  I also updated my website to include a page describing the various electronics we have at home.  Whenever I want a reminder of how grossly over-wired my family is, I revisit that page.  In family news, Maddie celebrated her third birthday on September 12.  She received a few presents and some great birthday food: a doggie cookie and some interestingly-colored ice cream.  More recently, I received my pre-order copy of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, LucasArts’s revolutionary new video game that was released cross-platform (except the PC) on September 16.  I’m on the third or fourth level now, and the game is truly superb.  Beyond the ability to play as nearly any conceivable major Star Wars character in Versus Mode, The Force Unleashed has a jewel of a storyline.  But the game itself is not the only component of the The Force Unleashed multimedia experience.  I also bought the hardcover novel and Making Of book, both of which are on par with the game so far.

The past month has been extremely exciting for me.  I look forward to updating this blog as much more happens in the coming weeks and months.

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