Dec 28

I’m a little disappointed with my TCE results 2008. It’s entirely my fault, because I just managed to do really, really badly on my external exams, the mythical places where careers are made and extinguished…

In my case, the flames were pretty much put out permanently. Okay – so maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but it was ridiculously worse than I was expecting.

After having a bit of a mull-over for a couple of days/weeks/months (years, even) I’ve come to the realisation that your TER/ENTER/UAI (Tertiary Entrance Rank [SA, TAS, NT], Equivalent National Tertiary Entrance Rank [Vic] Universities Admission Index [NSW]), while important to what courses you want to do at Uni, isn’t a definite sign of who you are, or what you want to be.

As a side note, Queensland also use something else, but it’s called the OP (Overall Position) and it’s really weird compared to the TER/ENTER/UAI. Instead of being a percentage-based score, the OP is a number from 1 to 25, where 1 is “You’re awesome at academics”, and 25 is “You’re not-so-awesome at academics”. Multiple inter- and intra- school scalings are taken into consideration, but in this blogger’s opinion, it Just Doesn’t WorkTM.

The TER isn’t a measure of how intelligent you are (that’s your IQ, folks), or how “street smart” you are. Far from it, it’s more a measure of how well you did compared to your peers. If you take that literally, it’s a measure of how you stack up against your fellow students – which is something that can be influenced by heaps and heaps of different factors like subject choices, aptitudes, and a whole lots of other stuff I won’t bother to name here.

I think my main cause of concern was that I wasn’t in the top 10% of the state. Yeah, that was probably it – NOT! I care not whether I was in the top 10% of the state or not. I’m heaps glad for those select few who are in the top 100, so congrats to Ellen and Elise, but really – that doesn’t matter.

I guess I’m just disappointed about my whole performance overall. I know I completely screwed up my exams, and that just really sucks!

If I tell you the truth (I do always try to), then I guess that arrogance played a part in this. Either I had the arrogance to think that I was going to do spectacularly in the exam (and I had reason to think so, with one B internally and the rest As), or I was just arrogant enough to think that I would do well without adequete study. Neither are particularly pleasant options, but hey, I guess that’s life…

Comments below.

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

Dec 25

So it’s Christmas once again… that time of year when we will never have a white Christmas, tans are in, and short shorts and mini’s are the flavour of the month…

Here at freshbytes, we thank you for an excellent 2008 and wish you nothing but the utmost joy as you celebrate this time of year with your friends and family.

Have a good one, and we’ll see you back in 2009 with even more awesome stuff planned!!

In the meantime, watch this Youtube of “Wizards in Winter” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra – it features some mind-blowing Christmas lights, probably the best you’ll ever see this year.

It’s available in iTunes as a video if you want it, but otherwise it’s here for you to enjoy. Cheers!

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

Dec 22

How exactly do you connect with Facebook Connect? Read on to find out!

So, you might have seen the huge “Login using Facebook” button on the sidebar. It’s right below the freshbytes logo, and when you click it, it logs you into this site with your Facebook profile. Don’t worry, I don’t automatically download all of your profile pics or anything freaky like that, nor can I change any of your settings, view anything you don’t want me to view, or invade your privacy in any way, it’s just an easier way for you to comment without having a login for freshbytes.

Facebook Connect Button

Simply put, if you have facebook, you can now post comments on this site without logging into this site.

In the interests of full disclosure, any comments you post to Facebook freshbytes will now be posted to your Facebook wall if you choose to login via the Facebook Connect button, as seen below:

Martin Wall

In my original testing of this new WordPress Plugin, I found it irritating that the profile page borked the layout of the site. However, this has now been fixed, and the profile page now shows in the correct location.

Yet the only annoying thing that remains is the fact that if you choose to logout of freshbytes (when you’re logged in via facebook connect) is that you also get logged out of facebook. It’s something I want to try and fix, as it’s completely not cool, but as of this moment, I really can’t be bothered diving into the code to get that done. If I have to deal with it, so do you. :D

At the end of the day, it’s completely up to you whether you use this plugin or not. Use it, don’t use it, hey, I don’t care.

It would be awesome if I could get some more people in the “Last Visitors” column, though.

Right, so I suppose you lot want some links, then…

Sociable! – The Social Media Blog ยป Facebook Connect Wordpress Plugin

Facebook Developers | Resources

Facebook Developers | Facebook Developers News

So that’s about it, then. Comments below.

UPDATE: Thanks for the proofread, Martin! Much appreciated.

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

Dec 21

Bitter Disappointment should have been the title of this post, but since I used it up last week, I”m going for the more-neutral “TCE Results 2008″.

When the results arrived in the mail, I wasn’t planning on open them. I was far too scared to.

Anyway, I did, and the results were horrible! I was really, really not happy with my results.

With a TER of 88.9, I was 1.1 off what I needed. One point one!

After looking over the report, I realised that I had completely stuffed up my exams. Computer Science, in particular, was fairly horrible – I went from an EA (one B internally) to a maximum CA.

Thankfully, Maths Applied was just as expected. No nasty surprises here, and Physics was also better than expected (max CA).

Chemistry was just horrible as well – I managed to score a max SA. Yay! </sarcasm>

So, where to from here?

Well, my options are:

  • Repeat Year 12 (by doing Year 13). Obviously, this would suck the most. I love Calvin and all, (don’t get me wrong, Calvin is awesome) but really – I don’t want to be there for another year, especially if no-one else I know is there. The fact that none of my friends are there would help keep away distractions, however – but it would still suck immensely.
  • Do something else. This option also sucks. I hate engineering with a passion, and even though UTAS offered me a place, I’ll be dammed if I’m going to take it. No way.
  • Wait and see. Now this option I like. I won’t recieve offers from the mainland uni’s until early 2009 anyway, (round two offers for Adelaide and Victoria are the 5th of Feb 09), so I’ll just have to enjoy what time I have left.
  • Do something funky to get into the course I want. I haven’t fully explored this option yet, but apparently I can do a normal degree (science or something) at my Uni of choice for a year, and then transfer into the course I want in 2010. This would mean that I can essentially “waste” a year, and it would provide me with an oppurtunity to have a pseudo gap year, but really – dentistry is a five year course anyway! I don’t want to be like Dean, who managed to turn a three year course into a nine (?) year one!!

So yeah, at the moment I’m playing the waiting game – stuck in a sort of Facebook Limbo.

That’s enough about me, though. I’d love to hear how you went in TCE results 2008, so if you want the rest of the world to know as well, shout out in comments!

Points don’t matter. TER does, and that’s really all I care about!

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

Dec 14

So I, along with 43 of my classmates, graduated last thursday.

Truth be told – it was a real anti-climax. Wow, I’ve graduated.

However – five things have come of this.

Firstly, I managed to pick up three awards. Stewardship in Physics, Excellence in Computer Science, and Excellence in Maths Applied. Now really – 5 minutes prior to the awards, I was having massive panic attacks if I didn’t win any awards – I would have been bitterly disappointed if I didn’t get any. However, as the time drew nearer, I figured that it didn’t matter if I didn’t get any awards, because, well, they’re just not as important as friendships and so on.
As it turns out, I managed to snag three awards. Afterwards – Chris J (the co-founder of this site), congratulated me on the Computer Science award, saying that I “fully deserve it”. Now, had our roles been reversed, I don’t know that I would have done the same thing. Sound familiar? Again, my moral compass points in a different direction to those around me. I’m not a hugely BAD person – just one who is a little selfish.

Secondly – friends like Chris J are awesome. I’m hugely glad to have friends like him – they’ll criticise you for pretty much anything, bag the crap out of you for no apparent reason, but at the end of the day – they’re good guys, and that’s all that matters.

Thirdly – it’s almost surreal to think that I won’t see any of those people again. Sure, we’ll facebook each other (facebook rulez, btw – sure, it maykes ppl talk lyke dis), but apart from that – very little face time, as I like to call it.

Fourthly – it’s awesome to think that we’re such a tightly knit group. Together, we’ve experience such delights as Adam vd B, Steven W, Rob M, and a whole heap of other people as well. Calvin 2008 was the only year group to have Miss v R as a teacher in 3rd grade, and really – that was awesome. At the graduation ceremony, we could all peg who was going to get what award, especially for the Art awards, all rounder awards, Long Tan awards, and so on. It’s this kind of close-knit group that will keep most of our friendships intact, even as we drift away from each other physically.

If I see you in the street, I’ll try and say hello, or at least tip my head in your direction, give you a smile, or whatever I do. If I don’t, leave nasty comments on my Facebook Wall, and I’ll endeavour to do better next time.

I think that’s about it. If you’ve got anything decent to say, stick it in the comments, please.

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

Dec 07

So, this morning I went to a particular church in Launceston. It was different, to say the least.

Before I go into it, I’d like to explain what church actually is…

To me, church is a place of worship. You go there, once a week or more, to worship God. It doesn’t matter how you do it – praise, prayer, reading – it’s just important that you do.

Now I have nothing against church, don’t get me wrong. Church is an excellent way to get back in step with God.

However – the church that I went to in Launceston was a little different to what I am used to. Martin did actually warn me that it was a little more traditional than your average church, and yeah – it was quite traditional indeed.

Usually, the churches I go to have songs that the congregation are expected to sing (loudly, and badly), as do most churches. However – most churches I go to don’t sing those songs acapella. The church that I went to in Launnie, however, did.

It was a really different experience for me – sure, in our congregation we have sung select verses acapella, but really – three whole songs? And the praise itself weren’t even songs – they were psalms. Maybe that’s how we as a people were supposed to do it, but anyway… Maybe it’s because they have an American pastor. All that funky choir stuff and all that.

Right – the message (sermon, talk, word, whatever you prefer) was also good. However – again, there were major differences. It’s definitely possible that I wasn’t listening properly (considering the lack of sleep), but it seemed like there was no real points made in the message, and it was more of a meander through the reading than anything else.

When points were made, little anecdotes were rarely made. I will say that there was at least one decent anecdote that I could actually apply to the real world (“Paul didn’t tell the people that they needed the latest CDs, the latest computers, but that they needed prayer” – or something along those lines), but apart from that – nothing. Emphasis on certain key points would have proved beneficial, in this writer’s opinion anyway. At the end of the service, I didn’t feel like I could really take anything away from it and apply it to my daily life. I’m not saying I want more “lukewarm Christian” speeches – but the sermon could have been better, to say the least.

I feel bad about writing such negative thoughts about that church – which included thinking “The 19th century called, they want their church service back”. Sooo harsh.

After the service, the people came up to us and talked about stuff – which was nice. They certainly seemed to be nice people, but they were mostly retirees. Again – I have no issue with retirees, it’s just that most of the congregations I go to are new families or young couples. I was the 4th or 5th youngest person there, for sure.

Anyway – it looks like my definition of church needs a little work. I know what I like in a church, though, and it was definitely not what I experienced this morning in Launceston. Still, thanks for the experience, Martin.

Now I’ll just go back to my Hillsong/Planetshakers-inspired generation of church. I’m fine with the odd classic hymn, but psalms? They freak me out, especially when sung acapella. Maybe it’s just ‘cos I don’t have such a great singing voice.

Anyway, I might put more up here later in the week about our trip to Devonport – but for now, it’s comments below for you.

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