An Interlude of Silence (Note: Heavy Apple Content)

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I apologize yet again for a long, deplorable delay in writing. What can I say? I have people to see, things to do, places to be. Do I gain cool points for saying that? Anywho, I was just studying for a lab practical when experiencing the sudden urge to drop my packet, turn 45 degrees to the right, extend my arms toward the computer, and begin blogging. I like to think it's nature, my genes telling me to take a break as I've become bored of reading about tissue and what not. Ah, isn't natural selection beautiful, regardless of how much I stretch the term to make it fit this situation.

So since I'm a senior and will inevitably need a machine with processing capabilities (much better than saying computer..doh I said computer...DOH I said it again), I've had my eye on Apple, the magical fountain of machines with processing capabilities. Now, I obviously wouldn't mention this amazing fountain without having a reason and oh boy do I have a not so good reason. Apple has updated their iMacs today with better specs and I felt I should acknowledge that here even though they freakin' update their machines with processing capabilities like every week, every day, every second! That link takes you to their homepage that is obnoxiously bragging about the update so if you click on that in a few days and it's talking about some other update or amazing new piece of technology don't blame me.

In addition, Apple came up with a new iPod video that has some catchy tunes. I'm always a fan of their artistic, fun commercials so I've embedded here for convenience:

I warned you all, this post has some heavy Apple content. Sorry if you absolutely loathe Apple. I know many people do.

I would like to once again thank the weather for disproving meteorologists everywhere by NOT snowing today. We here in the midwest are thankful.

And on that note, I must sadly go study.

Nerds Unite!

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I think it is now fair to say that the best thing since sliced bread are these Cat 5 wedding rings! What better way than to say "I love you" than to give an ethernet ring to your loved one? You know you want one. Just go over to etsy and check it out. Even if you aren't thinking about getting married yet, get one! Save it for when the good times do roll :-)

The Final Countdown

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Today is a good day. I just had three tests, which I have been studying for all weekend, and now I feel relieved. Even better though is that one of these tests was my differentials final. You know what that means? I just finished the first class of my last semester in high school! Done, finished, over...What this also means is that I have finished high school math forever :-) and that next time I take math I will be sitting in a classroom at MIT with an awesome professor and other minds that almost rival mine (just kidding :-p...I'm going to get hosed...bring it on).

While I'm three tests down, I still have a full blown practice Computer Science AP Exam (a whopping three hours, but it counts as my final!) tomorrow. Then on Wednesday I have a Bio exam. But wait, when I've finished this stuff, I have more stuff to do, and when that stuff is done I have even more stuff to do :-(. Don't believe me? Let me spell it out. So when these tests are finally done, I have to prepare my ISEF board, study for my Latin final, study for AP Exams, and practice programming for upcoming competitions. Once that stuff is done, I have a computer science competition, AP exams, ISEF, All-Star (programming competition in Maryland). In between all that stuff, I have to prepare the digital video presentation for graduation and when all the graduation festivities are over, I have to get ready for my senior recital. Yeah, when people say senioritis is a perfectly alright disease that's not terminal or life threatening, they don't tell you everything you slack on will come back to bite you in the last month! For those of you who think I'm complaining, it's called letting out my feelings and it's cathartic :-p. So there :-). Those are my psycho mumbo jumbo words of wisdom for the day. I think I'll be ready for MIT next year (I hope so).

By the way, it is a beautiful 75 degrees out and sunny right now. Don't cha wish your weather could be like that?

The Final Countdown has begun...

Beatbox Bird...He's better than me

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CPW 2008 - Another Highly Satisified Customer!

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[Guest Entry on MIT blogs]

While I’m not cool enough to enroll at MIT on an iTouch or to dedicate myself to MIT for four years weeks before CPW, I am cool enough to now say, “I am enrolled at MIT!” In fact, I just enrolled moments before finishing this very blog entry and am proud of it. Now with that out of the way…Hi, I’m Omar!

I come from a small Midwestern town located on the lower left side of the palm that is Michigan (I wonder how many people actually get what I mean by palm :-p). After a two hour flight, in which I met a matriculating Harvard Medical School student who tried to convince me to go to a public university, I was definitely ready for some MIT action. I left the plane and descended upon the luggage claim where I met my first MIT friend Shubhi. Although I never saw her again during CPW, there's no one like your first MIT prefrosh friend (words of wisdom).

To those who have heard rumors of a clandestine, transcendental chat group full of amazing people, let me assure you. There is an MIT 2012 chat room (commercial: if you would like to be part of this, for a one time only fee of five dollars (just kidding) you can join this interesting bunch by going to your favorite AIM client and joining the chatroom “MIT12”).

And here are our trusty sidekicks:

For the past few months, while waiting for my MIT decision and even after it, the chatroom provided me with my daily MIT fix. We laughed, we cried, we made fun of Harvard and Caltech, and we anxiously awaited CPW. All of us chat people became closeknit and couldn’t wait to meet at CPW. When I stepped off the Peter Pan bus onto MIT’s campus, I looked around hoping to spot someone I "know." As I edged closer to the student center, I saw some people doing an odd version of the cha cha slide and by the time I turned on my trusty, dandy, handheld video camera with laser deathbeam and all, I had realized that they were all MIT12 chatters!

(They are all going to punch me at orientation for posting that picture.)

My first duty on campus after registration, of course, was to find the admissions office. I quickly scanned the doors in the infinite corridor until I found:

After the chat group finished taking pictures we knocked on the door and an MIT student asked, “Are you prefrosh?” and we just giggled and nodded yes and she told us that all of the admissions officers were in the student center. We didn't care though, we got what we came for: a picture of the names.

Now, one of my personal goals during CPW was to collect as many free shirts as possible. While I ended up only getting 4, I still came away feeling like I had somewhat accomplished my goal. Two of the shirts were actually unexpected, while the other two I snagged from the enourmous activities fair. While I do not have a picture of the activities fair, I do have a picture of the CPW festival, which was held in the same place and looks exactly the same as the activities fair minus a naked guy in a box.

At the activities fair, I saw Paul again and he was at my favorite booth. He works for the MIT Undergraduate Research Journal staff and if I recall correctly is going to be co-Editor-in-Chief next year. This journal rocks and so I did what any prefrosh would do...I put my email address on "the list."

I ended up obtaining another shirt from the Arab Students' Organization (ASO). I adore this shirt because it spells “Massachusetts Institute of Technology” in Arabic. Yeah, you wish you had one of these. While on the subject of the ASO, let me go off on a tangent and say that I am very impressed with how MIT regards religion on campus. I went to a Muslim Students Association event held in the Religious Activities Center and it was amazing. There was a well-furnished prayer hall filled with everything a Muslim student would need. Out of all the universities I visited, MIT treats religion the best. End tangent here.

Aside from rocking out in Rock Band throughout CPW...

...some of the highlights of my trip at MIT included:

1) CPW Welcome

My favorite part about the welcome was definitely the MIT Logarhythms, MIT’s all-male a cappella group. For your enjoyment, here are two of the songs they performed:

Here in Your Arms:

Thanks to Sam '12 for uploading this second video for me :-).

2) Battle of the Bands

In this event, I received my fourth free shirt as one of the bands threw a shirt and I luckily pushed and shoved people out of the way and caught it. At first I was like “Meh another shirt,” but then someone pointed out to me that the band members on the shirt actually spell out “MIT” and then I was like “OMG this shirt rocks!” and I walked around feeling victorious.

3) Walking on the Harvard Bridge…like a bajillion times!

I quickly found the Skullhouse fraternity on the other side of the river to be a nice safe haven for breakfast, snacks, monster drinks, and, of course, rock band. As a result, I trekked a few times back and forth across the Harvard bridge, killing my feet in the process. That’s ok though because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to stomp on something that relates to Harvard and I wouldn’t have taken this picture below, which adequately describes how I feel now as the orientation approaches and the next four years edge closer.

4) Bouncy Ball Drop

This event rocked. It absolutely rocked. There is nothing like being the target for 10,000 bouncy balls that are being subjected to the cold-hearted force that is gravity. One moment it was quiet and calm, the next moment it was raining bouncy balls. I must admit that the strobe light was a nice addition, especially since it helped illuminate the floor in our scramble to collect as many balls as possible. Right as we all began collecting balls though, the fine folks of Senior House began pelting us with water balloons. After being struck by the third water balloon, I decided it was time to high tail it over to the Meet the Bloggers event before I was late.

5) Meet the Bloggers

With wet, soggy pants, I power walked through East Campus and the infinite corridor and reached the student center with time to spare. Inside, Ben Jones himself was preparing all the necessary supplies to make a scrumptious root bear float. The event eventually kicked off and all the bloggers filed in! After each person gave a brief introduction, everyone would clap with Ben and Snively earning the loudest clapping/cheering (no surprise there :D). When the introductions were complete, we were scoffed down root beer floats and conversed with the wondrous MIT blogging team. I got to chat with Ben, Matt, Paul, Snively, Melis, Mollie (college confidential ftw!), and Chris. Chris by the way does look a lot taller in person. I think that is the general consensus. To top off the night, we did the obligatory group picture!

6) Underground Capture the Flag

On the last night, a huge game of capture the flag took place in the vicinity of the infinite corridor. The underground tunnels, the main floor, and second floor were all fair game and made for an interesting battle. While my feet were killing me at this point due to the continuous walking for three days, I toughed it out and played offense with Sam ’12. We snuck around for most of the game, until we were deep in red territory (we were Blue) and were spotted. I made a run for it and somehow ended up out of bounds. Nevertheless, I hid around a corner for five minutes, but just as I felt I was safe again, a red person came out of nowhere and took me to jail where I found Sam ’12 sitting. Then just moments later, we found out the game had ended and everyone walked back to lobby 10 to discover that the Red team had dominated. Well, at least it’s “better dead, than red.”

7) Math until you die

I died after 30 minutes. Here are the poor souls who I left behind:

While I only stayed 30 minutes, the math involving group theory and topology was still fairly interesting.

8) Simmons Hall

After seeing the tour, I absolutely fell in love with Simmons and will be putting it as my first choice (disclaimer: all feelings I express now are subject to change). Let’s start with the basics:

a) Meditation Room

b) Cool architecture

c) Random walls that jut out

d) A very new feel (maybe because it is new)

e) Amazing, hard-to-reach views (can you guess where in Simmons this was?)

If I decide I don’t want Simmons anymore, I would definitely choose Baker. I think Baker made the cut when I saw this board filled with physics. It reminded me of The Big Bang Theory, one of my favorite shows.

If neither Simmons nor Baker work out, I could always live in the best room on campus: the study area within the great dome!

I must say that MIT has really shown itself to be a safe campus. It’s great to know that campus police have thought about every possible situation and have come up with ways to protect the student body. This really puts my parents at ease too.

After walking past this excellent hack, I was innocently rickrolled (yes, I'm streching the meaning of the term) as someone was cruelly playing Rick Astley's music video for "Never Gonna Give You Up" in the hallway. Of all places!

The welcome ceremony was also entertaining, giving us another performance by the MIT Logs and an amusing act by a guy with Chinese Yo-yos. Click here to see their performance of "Save Room" by John Legend.

At the end, I saw none other than Ben Jones himself and got a picture along with Pam ‘12:

Overall, CPW was a great way to experience MIT in a fun way (I hear it's not like this at all next year, go figure). It was so much fun that it persuaded me to enroll. I cannot wait to be a full fledged MIT freshman next Fall. I visited a few classes, such as Physics II (not too bad), Linear Algebra (I understood it all yay :-) ), and Applied Electromagnetics: From Motors to Lasers (cool stuff). The premed panel was also very helpful. I was afraid I'd come to MIT, leave with a bad gpa, and end up practicing medicine in my parent's basement, but it's not true! Just about 90% of premed undergrads get into med school :-).

I am very happy to say: Only four months left!


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Meet the Bloggers!

It was really nice up here. 

Read the headlines here left to right, meshing the left and right titles together. The top one should read "Sloan Group Received A Record Number of Students." Someone pointed this out to me. 

Safety first

I'm Back!

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I'm at school right now so unfortunately there won't be any colorful, mind-blowing pictures, but since I have some downtime I figured I'd come out and say I had ONE HECK OF A WEEKEND! It absolutely was fun 24/7. I think I only had a total of like 12 hours of sleep over the four days.

I'm currently writing a guest blog post for MIT admissions so that's one reason I haven't been writing much here. It's also been a hectic week and will only get worse as I have some chemistry competitions this friday and saturday (two different ones). Since I want to make my guest blog post as sweet as possible, with videos, pictures, humor and all, this blog might be left abandoned for a few more days. Of course, it will all be made up for by an awesome MIT blog post coming to an MIT admissions site near you.

Other than that, highlights of CPW were the ball drop, special "tours", ridiculous amounts of food, Meet the Bloggers (they are all cool people, seriously), just being on campus, and the people. I am ashamed to say that I did die during "Math until you die" and went to find something more interesting. The server room in the student center was just amazing and had a ridiculous amount of AC machinery. In fact, it required two large AC units on both sides of the room just to keep the temperature in there comfortably warm. Anyway, I will definitely talk more about my experience later and I hope to have a CPW blog up within a month or so.

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On my way to the east coast this very moment. I'm blogging on my phone in detroit airport, waiting for my next flight, which leaves in 2 hrs. This is such a sweet terminal because there is a subway that runs at the top that takes you everywhere and this huge fountain in the center. I'll begin taking pictures shortly. My camera has just about 2000 pictures left and I plan to make good use of them in Raleigh and at MIT. Anyway I've basically got nothing to do so I just figured I'd come out and say that I was still alive. I've been busy so that's why there was a short hiatus on posts. There won't be many this week though since I'm out of town, but expect many next week. In fact, I already have a CPW blog up ready for many juicy posts. I also plan to guest blog for MIT so keep an eye for that. Ciao!

Spring Break - Wild and Uncensored

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If you did not guess from the title, it is SPRING BREAK! It finally is time for the weather to get better (oh wait it's Michigan, it's snowing outside as if it were December, go figure), time for a break, time to get work done (we'll see about that), and time to go absolutely wild. I plan to actually stay up past midnight to maybe 12:30 am. I might drink a non-diet caffeinated Coke past 10 o'clock. Hecks, if I'm going to go all out crazy I might as well sleep in until 8 am. Yeah, as you can tell, I've got big plans this Spring Break to finally break out of my shell.

As opposed to previous spring breaks, this break I'm actually going out of town. This Saturday will find me two hours away at a programming competition with the hopes of coming back with 500 bucks, a nice start towards paying MIT's tuition. I then get two days of rest and then leave Tuesday morning for Duke, which is footing a big chunk of the travel costs. On Thursday, I leave Duke for CPW! I already have a blog set up for that. I was hoping I could partially blog while I was there, but that probably won't be feasible. One, because bringing a laptop would be tough considering I would not be able to look after it 24/7, especially during activities like Capture the Flag at 1 am. Two, because I'm not even sure if there would be enough down time. If I don't have access to a computer there, then I will just have to quickly write an amazing CPW blog when I get back dead tired on Sunday in lieu of preparing for a full, glorious, effervescent (note the sarcasm) week of school ahead of me.

In other news, BBC once again pwns the world by discovering flying penguins! It's an amazing discovery and about time penguins began to do something useful other than look pretty for those crazy enough to trek the wild terrains of Antarctica. The inability of penguins to fly has always grinded my gears. It's just a shame to have wings, but not the ability to fly. It's like having arms, but not being able to use them to do anything. Thank you BBC for showing the world what's what. Check out the video!

APRIL FOOLS! This was a complete joke. Apparently, it's tradition for BBC to do a fake video each year for April Fools' Day. This video looked fairly convincing except for the rain forest, which in my opinion gives away the entire joke. Check out the making of this video below!


(If you were wondering about my wild Spring Break plans, I'll leave it up to you to figure out how serious I am :-p )

About This Blog

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Hello World! (ahh I love the reference to programming). My name is Omar. I'm a senior in high school and will be a freshman at MIT starting next Fall. My interests are science and math and I hope to eventually become a doctor. This is a blog about my journey. Please enjoy it along with me.

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