Instead of enjoying my day off yesterday, I along with 30ish other people were at the regional ISEF tournament. I had no expectations for the day and pretty much went into the whole event chill and relaxed. As the judging went on, I realized how much reverse alphabetical ordering sucks. Notice that my last name starts with "Ab" and so I was the last person to be talked to after 2 and a half hours of waiting. Let's just say I am not a patient guy, but I managed.

After going to lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant that has an all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch, I headed back to the fair site. Little did i know, my chemistry teacher had came to look at people's research. He also brought some good news for me. While conversing with some friends, he pulled me to the side and told me that I had qualified for the USNCO. Yay! He made me happy for a total of two seconds because then he said unfortunately the national date might conflict with the regional chemistry scholarship competition, a chemistry test that doles out wads of cash to the winners. So the question of the day I guess: Is money > national competition?

I ended up escaping to my house for a few hours to relax until the awards thing in the evening. They announced all the cash special awards first and (no surprise) I was not included. My friends got many awards though. Then they began announcing the people who placed. Third, someone from another school. Second, a good friend of mine who is a junior. First, it was unanimous (oh way that would be me) Omar. Woo! I did not really expect anything especially with my showing last year, but then somehow I managed to come away with first and a spot at ISEF 2008.

There is me all happy because my thoughts are " trip to trip to Atlanta." Five minutes later, we are pulled aside and the fair director who represents my school, which hosts the fair, tells us that our school cannot afford the 5000 dollar cost of the trip and that we are on our own to pay if we choose to go. Great! While everyone else is paid for during their stay at the Hyatt Regency (the main hotel for ISEF) and for their flights, we have to find awesome deals, a hotel that will probably not be close to the main hotel site, and have to incur some sort of expense. That happiness was short lived.

I head home and then spend a couple hours looking online for good rates for hotels and airports and plan ahead for what I might miss during the trip (May 11th - 16). Guess what! On the 12th, I have AP Bio, AP Physics C Mechanics, and AP Physics C E/M. Guess even more! On the alternate AP exam dates, Bio and Physics C Mechanics are at the same time. Hmm...well after some pondering, I rush my browser over to MIT's class of 2012 page and read that MIT does not even accept the AP Bio credit. So I figure, I won't take the AP Bio exam and everything (I hope) will be ok. Small problem solved.

While trying to figure out all the logistics of this, my Johns Hopkins decision found its way into my email inbox. Wooo I'm in (don't worry, I've decided on MIT)! After some more internet browsing and talking on the phone, the 2nd place junior and I semi-agreed on a game plan that will be the best for both of us. Looks like we will be going to ISEF 2008 after all! It'd be awesome if we could even get a company to sponsor us and pay...but who knows.

With most of this partly settled, I then lay down to watch some TV when the doorbell rang. My MIT shirt came! The one with the equations that spell out MIT. Yesss. Just in time for the "Night at the Movies," which I will do tonight with friends. I hope 21 blows my mind away.

So overall, the net balance of yesterday = awesomeness :-)

If anyone was wondering what a perfect storm has to do with all this, the perfect storm of Ivies decisions occurs this Monday and I thought it made the title sound cool. Enjoy the weekend!