Life Back to Normal

So we had the Texas State Academic Decathlon competition this past weekend, and it was quite a success. We ended up 3rd in the large school division, and 4th overall, netting each one of us a nice little batch of scholarship money. Hans wiped the floor on the objective tests, but only ended up 3rd in varsity because of the awesome job done by our subjective graders. Frank, on the otherhand, pretty much dominated everyone the entire time, and got 1st place honors by a good 700 pts. Congratulate him if you see the chance.
Getting that done with was quite a relief. It’s an interesting feeling to just go through the climax of your entire school year, to go in and take a series of tests to tell you how hard you’ve been studying for more than 1/2 of a year. Some good, some bad, of course. I’ve developed immensely from having gone through with this, but I am a little disappointed from how things panned out officially, and a little frustrated with USAD right now on their means to ensure fairness on subjectives. Regardless, I can now move on and value what I’ve gained.

Talking about moving on, it’s quite liberating to have one constant worry off your mind. I knew it was coming, and always told myself, “You know you should take these 5 minutes to study, because those 5 minutes might get you one more fact to get one more question right to win you another $500 in scholarships.” AD is just one of those perpetual things, where you can never be too ready, and when you care, it can definitely ruin a person. I appear to be in one piece, however, and can now spend the time on other important stuff.
Like exercise. I went running for the first time today, and it felt good. That was my one resolution on the year, and it’s definitely something that needs to happen. Thanks to wiki howto, I have a rough layout of what I need to do, and plan on running at least 3 times a week. Hopefully I’ll manage to stick to that one.
And reading. I had bought “Society of Mind” by Marvin Minsky over the winter break, and never got around to reading it. It’s a brilliant series of mind experiments where Minsky explains how the mind works, how unthinking parts can form thoughts. It’s a much better night-time read than Climatology, and I highly recommend it to just about ‘neone, especially those with even an outside interest in psychology.
And tuba. Haven’t practiced since the day of S&E, and so I got around to jumping back on the horn yesterday. Unfortunately, I guess I wasn’t ready for it. Did my full range lip slurs, and must’ve busted my chops doing it, because I could feel some muscle in my upper-lip tighten, and just couldn’t play quite the same. Gotta build that back up again.
And UIL. No sooner do my AD coaches let me off on AD before they pick up UIL. Off-chance I might also do Calculator this year. It’s easily the most retarded thing I’ve ever done in my life (even more than reading 7 packets over and over again), but it’s one more chance to make a trip to state.
And my story blog. Gimme a week to develop characters and plot and such, and I’ll post again. Hopefully I’ll be able to stick to it, with AD out of the way. A blueprint will really speed it along.
And my friends. Holy crap, it’s crazy how much I’ve just ignored my friends to study. Had a crazy party Saturday night to blow steam and see a couple kids I really haven’t in awhile, and that was great. Go me, putting a competition ahead of people.

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