Nov 30

There are just some things that go together to make a rough morning.

I had a rough morning the other day, and it wasn’t very nice. Rough mornings, by definition, aren’t usually very nice, but this was really not very nice.

So it went a little like this:

Finding clothes to wear is a chore for me. Usually, they’re in the wash, or have just been hung out to dry – at the precise moment that I decide I’m going to wear them. On that rough morning, it turned out that my OTHER set of work clothes were just hung out to dry – and this was after I had been wearing my other set for the past few days. ARGH!

Socks – these too are an issue. Is it too much to expect that you have at least one pair of matching black socks at any one time? I managed to have at least one pair when I was at school! What happened to those?!

Right. So as the clothing dilemma was being fixed, I found that there was nothing to pack for lunch. As you may know, I pack lunch to save money, and that just wasn’t possible this morning. My dad had to cook some bacon and eggs stuff for me to take, which I appreciated immensely. Thanks, Dad! In reality, though, I don’t think it’s too much to expect that the pantry is well stocked with food at all times.

Anyway, so after fixing my lunch, I then had to figure out how to catch a bus from Hobart into Kingston so that I would make it in time for youth, which starts at six. Work ends at 5:30, and it takes about an hour (allowing for detours, etc) for a bus from town to get into Kingston. See my issue? IF ONLY the bus timetables were readable by people who didn’t have PHD’s in at least 6 different fields. I mean, is it really too much to expect that a bus timetable is laid out in such a way as to even an idiot (like me, who’s having a rough morning) can understand? Or maybe the Metro website just needs a better design… I know that there are buses leaving from Franklin Square Stop P in town to get to Blackmans Bay/Kingston roughly every hour, but NO! Not according to the Metro website, anyway.

It’s also no consolation that the bus situation on weekends is even worse. Seriously.

So as I was getting ready for work, I had to brush my teeth, as you do every other morning. There was just one problem: toothpaste, or lack thereof. I mean, toothpaste, for crying out loud! How can you not have toothpaste! Is it too much to expect some toothpaste in your whole house for you to brush your teeth with?!

So even though my eggs were cooked sunny-side up, I didn’t feel too sunny that morning. It wasn’t a very nice feeling.

After finding some clothes, packing my lunch, and brushing my teeth as best I could without toothpaste, I managed to get to work. I’m proud to say that whatever happened at home didn’t affect my work at all – I was a genius as always. :D

I also managed to catch a bus from town into Kingston after work finished. The bus left town, and arrived in Kingston about 6-ish. Which was fine, because I had already changed and everything. So my mum picked me up, dropped me off at SCC, and it was there that I learnt to dance with a man, (cheers, Nathan), and dance the “strip the willow” dance. Bush dancing was exactly what I needed after a rough morning – however, I can think of one other thing that would have made it even better.

So I guess the moral of the story is to: a) do your own laundry, b) buy your own food, c) rely on luck for catching the right bus.

Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nov 23

So, I’m done.

No more school, ever.

We’re going to be continuing with the “I don’t want to leave school” theme, ‘cos after reading some comments on previous “I don’t want to leave” posts, I found I have some more things to say…(a rare occurence, indeed).

So if you’re too lazy to click the links, Jawapro said:

What’s really odd is coming back to your old school after a few years have passed. There’s a few faces you remember (who were much younger when you were at school) but it’s just not the same.

5 or 6 years later – and so much has changed that it’s hard to imagine. Teachers have moved on – classes have changed buildings (so has one of my old schools) – and only the very youngest people you knew are still around as students. It’s quite moving – and slightly depressing. That place you remember as being the best part of your life (if it was) no longer exists, and never will again.

I’m not sure if this is true, but really. I’d hate to see Calvin turn into some unrecognisable place, just another blot on the kingston landscape.

Now that school’s over (for college students, as well as year 10s), I have a lot of time to do a couple of things that need to be done.

I have made a facebook account. You can search for me, I’m Benny Ling, obviously. Add me as a friend, invite me to join a cool group, whatever.

I’ve heard that Social Networking is the best thing since sliced bread… I’ve also heard that it’s highly overrated.

I won’t make my decision until I’ve experienced more of facebook, though. It’s currently very cool, and a HUGE step in terms of interacting with friends. All sorts of friends.

I’m yet to figure out any sort of “facebook code of conduct”, which contain rules on who you can become friends with, what sorts of groups you can join, etc. Actually – I just saw this on Digg: Facebook Etiquette: Five Dos and Don’ts. Nice! Perfect timing. After looking over the list, I realise that it’s more or less common sense anyway – the only things I didn’t know where about business friends… Pfft.

Initial impressions of facebook include: hard to get used to. Complex interface makes simple tasks more complicated than they have to be. Far too many configurable options. A hell of a lot of Ajax and Javascript powers those pages. After a full day of facebooking, still unsure about certain features. Still unsure about the chat system. Ram usage high, or that could just be me. Facebook app on iPhone is awesome. Don’t understand how people would use both Twitter + facebook at the same time – seems like an overkill of social networking, if you ask me…

Oh well. The night is still young.

A quick shout out to Joe W – congrats on your 18th. Hope you didn’t get too smashed.

Radi8 news: apparently, my non-attendance has been marked. Apologies – I was working.

Our Year 12 Leavers Dinner is tomorrow night. Should be good. Afterparty? Meh. Pics to come (either on facebook or here, haven’t quite decided yet). Also need a camera.

I think that’s it. Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Nov 17

Heheh – two exams today, so this post is brought to you by the freshbytes lackeys who seem to have nothing else to do but study… Apologies for not putting it up sooner, I wanted to get some sleep.

You hear the horror stories about how calculators can die suddenly due to a loss of power during end-of-year exams, and you worry.

You hear how harsh the TQA are on spontaneous calculator battery death (as we’ll call it), and how they don’t tolerate any excuses for spontaneous calculator battery death.

You hear how someone was sitting on an EA before they went into the exam, but are now only going to get an SA because they suffered spontaneous calculator battery death.

Well, okay – so I made that last one up, but I’m sure it has happened to someone, somewhere at sometime in the past!

Right – so I wasn’t going to let that happen for me. No way. I needed as many points as I could get, and spontaneous calculator battery death would just lead to a whole world of pain – namely, year 13 at Calvin (that, in and of itself wouldn’t be so bad, but having to do year 13 in the first place would be)….

Anyway, as you shop for batteries, there are a lot of questions to be pondered, such as:

  • What brand of batteries should I get?
    This question is quite important as if you’re paying for the brand, then you’re doing it wrong, especially when it comes to mundane things like batteries. I managed to pick some nice red evereadys as they have worked well for me in the past – and if good performance is for this particular brand, that’ll bring me back to that brand, time and time again.
  • How many should I buy?
    This is also an important question – if you have other devices in your house that use a large number of specialised batteries, you should probably buy them in bulk so that you always have some of those batteries on hand when you need them. Running out of batteries sucks at the best of times, and well, you can never have too many batteries! Of course, there is a limit, so don’t rush out and buy cartons of batteries – after all, you need to be realistic.
    I ended up going for an 8-pack of AAA’s as they were on special.
  • Should I buy rechargeable batteries?
    If you’re asking yourself this question, you probably should – provided you’re prepared to lay out the extra initial cost of the rechargeables, as well as a charger if you don’t already have one… Supposedly rechageables are more cost effective, but in reality, you’re paying for the power that you use to charge them, too!
    I didn’t buy rechargeables as the batteries were for a caluclator – and I’ll probably use it once every couple of months after exams are over.

Anyways, that’s about the end of my battery-buying advice. If you’ve got any more tips that you feel I’ve missed, then shout out in comments!

As for school, well, I’m smack bang in the middle of exams. Chemistry was last Friday, and I’ve got Maths Applied and Computer Science tomorrow (Monday). Thursday sees the Physics exam, and after that – the Magazine needs to be done, I’ll work a heap, and work on a couple of projects I’ve got planned… Yeah, my holidays are fairly jam-packed as is.

On the Radi8 front, we should have a couple of good events to finish up the year with, which should be good.

The song for this week is Michael Buble’s Everything – from his album Call Me Irresponsible. If you’ve got iTunes, hit the links – they’ll take you to the correct iTunes Music Store page.

Other that that, I’ve got nothing.

Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nov 10

Right – as a sort of payback for the abysmal 50th post here on freshbytes, I’d like to try and write something a little better now that I’ve got some sleep, and also because I”ve got some study out of the way.

Righto – so I’d just like to open by saying that I’m not a fan of leaving Calvin. It’s been more than fantastic, and many people will tell you that your school life is the better part of your life. For me, I feel like there won’t be too many events which eclipse the pure awesomeness of your school, and especially your high school.

Having been a Calvin-ite for all my schooling years I feel like there’s this connection to the place which will always be there – as it should be!

I was asked by a colleague (who also went to Calvin, incidentally) if I shed any tears at the final assembly. I didn’t, but I’m sure that some of last year’s year 12’s did, and some of the girls this year were on the verge… Anyway, my colleague – he’s a man’s man. They kind that drink intense amounts of beer, go on massive outdoor treks, party hard, etc. I was actually surprised that he, of all people would have been one of the ones to get all emotional at something like your last assembly.

Perhaps the difference between us was the fact that he shed tears – and I didn’t, so maybe that’s why I’ll keep hanging on for a long period of time. I have no idea whether he wants to go back or not – but I am dammed sure I do.

So I read somewhere that people might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel – and I just thought that was incredibly profound.

Now, how have I made people feel? Once you ask yourself that question, you’ll know how you stand when you meet your friends in the street.

I know that I’ll have made some people feel awkward. Awkward silences can do that, as can incredibly-long, over-stretched relationships (or lack thereof) that have just peetered out (yes, that is a word) into the void… My fault, not theirs.

I also know that I’ll have made some people feel relaxed. Don’t feel obligated to to say anything when you’re around me – we can just sit, each to their own thoughts, and just “be”.

Maybe that’s the kind of person I am – if so, I can live with that :D

Regrets? Sure. I don’t think I know anybody who wouldn’t do it all again differently – at one point or another, we’ve all stuffed up in our life and for some, that can have real consequences – but for others, it’s mainly stuff that that they wouldn’t have done again.

Would I have started my own website had I had the chance? By all means, yes. A hundred times, yes.

Would I have spoken more had the time called for it? Probably.

Would I have bought black forest cake for a certain someone again? Definitely. A hundred thousand times yes.

In the end, it is about the choices that we’ve made, and it is those very same choices that will shape how we are as human beings – and I feel that Calvin has played a huge part in how those choices have affected my life.

Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Nov 10

These days it seems like I’m stuck in a rut:

Wake up, eat, study, eat, study, eat, study, sleep.

After rinsing and repeating for x number of times, you start to go a little crazy.

You start having weird dreams which have don’t reflect reality, but the truth is that your subconscious mind is processing information – stuff that you might have learned, thoughts you might have floating about, and anything else which it can lay it’s ever-reaching arms on.

Sometimes, your subconscious mind tells you things which you madly wish were true – ah, if only such things could happen in reality!

Anyways, if you haven’t noticed, I am, along with the rest of my known universe (because you guys matter to me that much) busy studying.

This has lead to what I call study syndrome – where you stay up really late every night, cramming examples, formulas, and just about everything bar the kitchen sink onto your information sheet, in the feeble hope that you’ll have enough information to take into the exam with you.

It’s exam week now, and everyone is in full study mode; in particular, I’d like to make a shout out to those lucky guys and gals who have Biology and Legal Studies exams today. I salute you for your valour.

I won’t, however, wish you luck – if you need luck at this point in time, you’re in the wrong reality.

Reality – you’re doing it wrong!

You can tell by the quality (or lack thereof) of this post that it’s very late (or is that early), and I need some sleep.

I’ll catch y’all sometime later.

There might even be something (better than this, to be sure) up tomorrow morning.

Heh, just noticed that this was Freshbytes’ 50th post. Wow, how utterly anti-climatic… :D

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , ,

Nov 02

So on the study camp, we got a little brochure about study techniques and everything.

What I took away most was the fact that the little study camp book had a cool little man on the front – saying “Exam is here!”.

For those of you that don’t know, mid year exams != fun, and the same applies here.

Year 12 end of year exams do not equal fun. Exams in general don’t equal fun, but year 12 end of year’s are far more scary.

Unfortunately, this is the time of year when you can make or break your whole career. Sure, if you stuff up your exams really badly, you can always repeat and do year 13, but who in their right mind wants to do that?!

I suppose if I was looking to get a good job I’d need to get a good score – say about 90 or so to get into the degree that I want to do at Uni.

90 isn’t totally unreachable – I know people who are aiming for 100 or above, and someone else who managed to get 113, but it’s still going to prove enough of a challenge as it is.

Let’s see:

Now, according to the Scaling Summary from 2007 (PDF link), (assuming that those values hold true for this year), I’ll need at least an average CA from Physics, which is completely achievable, and therefore inside the realms of possibility.

Indulge me – we’ll just assume for the moment that I’m insane and manage to get a CA in Chemistry – no mean feat, I assure you. In terms of points, that would garner me a respectable 11.9 – not enough.

However, if I were to get a HA in Physics, I would gain 17.4 points – which would be awesome.

Of course, I can’t predict the future, and I’ll just have to hope that everyone else that studies Applied is on the same level as the year 11’s in my Applied class – that being the case, maybe we’ll see something like last years scaling where Media Production was worth an incredible 28.5 points at EA level – just, WTF, especially considering that Maths Specialised, arguably the hardest subject in the whole TCE course list, was only worth 25.2 points at EA level.
The chance of this happening is low, however, as there are some others who are either repeating Applied, or people that have done methods previously and are now doing Applied for the points alone (like I am). If that’s the case, then Applied will be scaled down – and I’ll get less points as a result.

For now, it’s all a numbers game. If the right numbers come up, I’m in the green. If bad numbers come up – I’m in the red, and the likelihood of me repeating is high.

I’m praying for people to lose their minds just before the exams – I need those points.

It’s scary to think that my future depends on how well other people do in exams. I know roughly how my classmates will go, but I’m in the dark as to how other people will go. Of course, for myself to go well points wise I need other people to do badly, which is kind of weird. I don’t usually wish that people sucked at what they did, but really – if you do well at your exams, you’re hindering me!

In all honesty, I think that the scores will balance themselves out – and I’ll get into whatever course I want to at whichever Uni I want to. While my UMAT results weren’t crash hot, (in actual fact, they were below average, oops), I’m sure that people will see through the fact that there’s more to life than standardised testing, like the SAT’s or whatever those yanks have.

Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , ,