College Decisions

Hey! Brown University accepted me! With $50250 worth of financial aid! So that's good!

At least it balances out the fact that MIT emailed me and said they wouldn't pay for international flights, only domestic flights. Wish they'd told me that before I got excited about it. Oh well.

Harvard's still being stupid, because they screwed up my email address, meaning I have to wait for my decision to come via regular mail, which should take a few days. Not like I care about them anyway. ;)

Thank you to Kris, Vicky, and Ezra for commenting. Yes. It is MagicLand fire.

Time to go buy some X-Files. I'm thinking of only getting up to the seventh season, because after that, Mulder leaves and the show goes downhill. Your guys's thoughts?


Limited Four Day Engagement

46. That's how many events planned for Thursday mention food. About ten of those are ice cream, and another ten are Barbecue, those being two of the three things I miss most of American food (the third being Slurpees). Oh, it's good to be going back to the USA.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, or the Awesome Place of Awesomeness) is hosting a Campus Preview Weekend (CPW) for prospective students (affectionately called 'prefrosh') to come and experience MIT. CPW lasts from Thursday, April 16th, to Sunday, April 19th. Now, I've know about this for a while, since MIT likes to send me emails about it, but I had never actually planned on going. A round-trip ticket from here to Boston costs upwards of $850. However, MIT sent me an email recently saying that they wanted to pay for the flight so that I could attend CPW. I was pretty excited. So excited that flames burst out of my stomach.

After I took some heartburn medicine, I settled down to the nuts and bolts of planning this thing out. First, I realized that while I wanted to surprise my friends from MITES who are going to CPW, it would probably be a good idea to tell at least one, so that we don't miss each other through a freak accident. Therefore, I informed Kristina, who, besides being the most likely to keep a secret of the three going to CPW, is also the only one who reads my blog. It's been fun telling the others how disappointed I am that I won't be able to attend CPW, just to watch them cry. Well, emoticon cry, by going T.T .

That settled, I talked to my brother, who gave me some sound advice. It went something like, "Yeah, MIT's going to have a lot of quote-unquote mandatory events for you to go to, but they're stupid, so just ignore them and hang out East Campus." He also asked one of his friends, one Keja Rowe, who I met at Jesse's graduation, to host me. This is good for two reasons. It means I'll be at East Campus, which is good not only because East Campus is Awesome Central of the Awesome Place of Awesomeness, but also for resolving scheduling problems, which I'll explain momentarily.

*moment passes*

So yeah. The time it takes to get from Quito to Boston is one day. Like, leave in the morning, arrive in the evening. But that doesn't work for me, because I don't want to arrive Thursday evening to be late for the festivities, nor Wednesday evening and be way too early to actually go to MIT. Arriving at Boston in the morning would require staying overnight in one of the airports, which is doable, but isn't preferred. Now that I have a host, someone I know through Jesse, it's possible that I could stay with him Wednesday evening, in addition to the regular CPW nights, and avoid an overnight airport stay at all! That is, if the T runs at 9PM. I dunno. The upshot of all this is that I have to confirm things with Jesse before making my final plans, which has to be before this Thursday.

Flight plans thus ignored for the time being, I put myself to (oh noes Spanish grammar invading my speech!) planning out what I would actually do while at MIT. Now, there are a couple of things that I have to do, like buying shoes, a Slurpee, and beef jerky, that can't be done at MIT. Unsure of what was being offered, I looked at the MIT schedule plan. Now, that's just Thursday, but there are over 75 individual activities planned. Most of them, as I noted before, mention some form of food, be it refreshments, free snacks, or the Muffins of the Patriots. My plan, therefore, revolved around the following idea: Pick a few things that are so awesome I have to do them (like the Jurassic Park movie marathon), and then as many of the food things as I can. Why yes, I will attend the Campus Crusade for Christ meeting, if it means free Pizza and Klondike Bars. Do you know when the last time I had a Klondike Bar was? AUGUST. AUGUST. I can hear Frank cheering from all the way over here ("$850 plane ride and free food? Ô_Ô"). My ill-laid plans are, of course, subject to what my friends want to do, since I want to maximize my time with them, and how long I can deprive myself of sleep. Interestingly enough, the longest time I've gone without sleep was at MIT, as was the only time I've ever experienced fatigue so intense I couldn't move (separate incidents).

So, there are three really good things about this.
  • I get to go back to America and buy new shoes.
  • I see some of my MITES friends again after several months (You Florida people are garbage for hanging out without me. Okay, I forgive you.).
  • I get to eat American food, like Barbecue and ice cream, that they either don't have here or they have in a lame, watered-down form.
Thank you, Ben, for commenting. It was Chavez who said it. Thanks, Mom, for commenting as well. And thank you Piper. Yes, people are strange. That's why I find it best to just hit them with a Carebearstare.



Art and Some Things that Annoy Me

So, I made another painting. This was a quick one, done mainly over this past weekend.

I call this one "Nighttime" and the other one I made "Daytime". This one's the better of the two. By far. I'm getting better.

But I'm not the only one who noticed that I've improved. So, I had this up on the easel, all set to work on it, and I go to get my paint. On the way back, palette in hand, I hear my painting teacher say, "This is really good!" I notice that he and a bunch of my other classmates are standing in front of my painting. He goes on to say, "Look at the transparency of the water! Brilliant! And the greens are wonderful!" I wanted to say "Who are you, and what have you done with my painting teacher?" but I don't think he would have understood the English. It's the first second compliment he's ever given me. He also broke his vow of ignoring everything I do and said, "You should make this part a little darker, BUT DON'T SCREW IT UP BECAUSE IT'S SO GOOD RIGHT NOW." He uses a lot of hand signals when he talks to me, probably because he doesn't think I understand Spanish. I know what "lejos" means, jerk. Finally, as I'm walking out, he says something much more in character: "I didn't think you could make something that good." Whatevs. I'm happy with it.

I like the stars best. They give, in my opinion, a contrast to the darker, more subtle tone of the rest of the piece, adding some cohesion that prevents things, like the left edge of the mountain, from fading entirely into the sky. I also like the reflection. Instead of making the reflection shorter than the actual objects, like I did last time, I made it the same height. I also blurred the ridges inside the mountain, which I didn't do last time. I'm getting better at this. I think one more and I should be good. BUT, we're moving on to hands and faces, now, so no such luck. However, bringing what I've learned about ignoring everything my teacher says into the future, I should be good. I really like the tone of Nighttime. I like it a lot.

So, some things that are starting to annoy me. Way back a long time ago, I remarked on the fact that sharing is incredibly important here. Well, maybe it's just my American lens, but this is starting to grate on me. Not the sharing chips, or things like that, because I'm just as often the receiver as the giver on that end. But I'll give you an example, the one that really bothered me.

The other day, we had a test in Technical Drawing. Now, in Technical Drawing, we have to make very exact measurements and things. This particular day, I had left my ruler at home, and making do with my 30º and 45º triangles, which happen to have mini-rulers on them, so I wasn't in the best of moods anyway. But then Edwin turns around (he sits in front of me) and says, "Lend me your 45º triangle." Normally, I'd give him the triangle, but I didn't have my ruler, and you need two rulers/triangles at the same time to do anything in Technical Drawing. And I'm quite clearly using both of my triangles when he asks me. I say, "No, I'm using it right now." And Edwin says, "Apurra." 'Apurra' is the command for of the verb 'apurrar', which means "to move quickly". So, Edwin was saying "Hurry up." Now, this bothered me, for the obvious reason, but it was mainly his tone. He said "Apurra" in a way that said, "I don't have time for you to be wasting by not giving me your triangle." The way he said it made it seem like he felt entitled to having my triangle, and my not giving it to him was irksome and tiring. It really bothered me.

But it's not just that. Every day in my painting class, I lend out at least three of my paintbrushes to different people, who often try to return them to me without washing them. I ask "Where are your paintbrushes?" and the answers are usually along the lines of "I left them at home" or "I've been meaning to buy some, but I just don't have the time". Now, I understand if you don't have a paintbrush one day, but on a regular basis, it bothers me. And I really don't think it's that they can't afford paintbrushes. I mean, maybe there's something I don't know, probably is, but it doesn't seem to me like this is a problem for some of these kids.

Now, I just want to say that this is a very small problem, and it's affected by all sorts of cultural things that I've only scratched the layer of, but this blog is mainly to talk about how emo I am I feel, and this is the way I feel.

Another thing that bothered me. Rafael Correa was on the radio today, responding to something that Obama said, I think about the drugs in Columbia. I quote (as well as I can remember it): "What a poor ignorant person. He should try learning something, open a book sometime." Correa is incredibly anti-American, which is probably a shrewd political move. Anita mentions a lot that Correa's a real ingrate because an American university (I dunno which) gave him a scholarship to study there, and now he rails against the US every chance he gets. It really takes living outside of the country to make one a real patriot. Everytime someone takes a potshot at America, I take it personally. Probably not the best thing to do, and I don't respond usually when this happens, but I do. Oh well. I know they (usually) don't mean to offend me.



Why Haven't I Been Posting?

Because FLVS eats my soul. That's why. Also, I have to finish a 70cm x 50cm canvas painting by Monday. Most of the people in my class haven't started yet.

However, for your viewing pleasure, I've started a self-portrait diary, wherein I draw a picture of myself every day, using different techniques. I've got eight now, not counting today's, but only six are up. I'll update this site sporadically. Also, it's really picture-heavy, so it may take some time to load. Sorry.

Also, my parents just got my MIT financial aid package. $48,000/$52,000!! Is what is being awarded! To me. If that wasn't clear. So yay me! I'm the best, AROUND, nothing's gonna ever bring me down!

Thanks to Emily, Mom, and Ben for commenting. Glad you like the site!



I Made Art

So, I finally finished my painting! The one with the mountain and the fuegote I showed you earlier! Brewskies all round! Okay, not really on that brewskie thing.


I really like it. I really do. I mean, wow. And just two months ago, I loathed art. It's not that it's spectacularly painted, it's more that I had a vision in my mind about how I wanted this to look, and it came out like I wanted it to. Yeah, the mountain's bigger than I wanted it to be (thank you, Mr. Painting Teacher Whose Name I haven't Learned Yet), but it came out all right. I think that, for me, the best part came out with the reflection of the water. I was really looking for a sunset, so I probably made the sun a little too bright, but the reflection in the water came out well.

I was working outside, so people who were walking by all stopped and looked at it. My sculpture teacher complimented me, my drawing teacher offered suggestions (which I ignored because I didn't want to risk messing it up when I had just got it the way I liked it), and my painting teacher completely ignored me. I told him I was done, and he said to the class, "Hey, the gringo's done! Hurry up!" and went back to what he was doing. Didn't even look at it. Oh well. Screw him.

Some guys from the art College that's part of the school were walking by, and one guy said that my painting was the only one he liked out of all the ones in my class. And it's not (I think) because it's the best painted (it's definitely not), but rather because it's different. I made my painting by purposely doing the opposite of what my teacher said, Landscapes don't use warm colors (red, orange, or yellow), they don't use colors not mixed with white (like most of mine), they definitely have houses and/or trees, and they DEFINITELY are made from photographs, or paintings that other people have made, and not even the SLIGHTEST tiny bit from the imagination. Everyone else followed all the rules, and even had the teacher paint parts of the painting for them. The teacher says that he's "fixing" the paintings. That's the word he uses, "fixing." When I mention this to the other kids in my class, they all say he's teaching them, but I don't see it. I mean, the kids get up and go talk to other students, or get something from the snack shop, and he keeps right on painting for them. It's like when you're helping a little kid, and you get the urge to just say "Let me do that for you," only he doesn't suppress that urge. But you know, maybe I'm just looking at it through my American lens.

Hey, speaking of that picture, I got the most amazing thing ever. Photoshop CS3 in a portable version, one I can carry on my flash drive and takes up all of 87.4MB of space. Of course, it is all in Spanish, but oh well. It's a whole lot better than Paint, which is what I was using to make my pictures before. You can tell by the effect I put on the American flag on top of making it slightly transparent.

That's all for now. Thanks for commenting, Ben and Mom.



Picture Teims!

This is my brother and I when he came here for vacation. I'm the more handsome looking one.

This is Marco. He's like that all the time.

This is Salomé. She's pretty much like Marco, though she tries to hide it.