This Friday, after school, I picked Alex up and went to Steve and Tammy's. Jonah arrived at the same time. While Tammy was cooking dinner, we played bridge with Steve. The only other people who came tonight were Dan Tse, Esther, and her brother. So since there were so few people, I stayed. We sang quite a bit, harmonising 3 parts from our hymnary. I said 3 parts because mostly it was just Jonah, Tammy, and myself singing together. It was quite fun, though. At night, I did some work, and then was about to go to sleep at midnight. But alas, I started hearing voices in my head, which means I really need to talk to someone (anyone). So I called someone late at night (and I woke her up, oops). We ended up talking for more than an hour, and I ended up sleeping after 1 AM. This is way late.
|[VB] 3v3||0 comments|
This Thursday, I resumed playing volleyball on weeknights. I picked up Alex and went to the park. Soon, Fang and Steph showed up. The four of us realised that the field is in use until 7:30. Since we have half more hour, and Steph was hungry, we decided to go eat a bit first. Perfect timing, Dan Shen came just as we were heading out, so we just hopped on to his car and went to Denny's. Upon returning around 8, we started playing. Alan came soonafter, so we played 3v3. Being a combinatorialist, I realised that it is unrealistic to play all possible triples against each other (which takes 10 games). So I suggested that we switch around so everyone plays with everyone (that is, all the pairs gets to be played). This is like finding an optimal (non-disjoint) edge covering using pairs of disjoint triangles. We can do it in 4 games, but that would require two people playing with each other the whole time. We did a more random approach. In any case, it was really fun. I was glad when people realised that after the first game, no matter how we switch, it is equivalent to trading one person only. It was quite mathematical today, and many games were really close. We played two games per match-up, and several match-ups we got 1 win 1 lost, so I think that was quite good in terms of evenness.
|Community College||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I went to the UCLA career centre to attend an information session on teaching community college. I saw Tim Dong there, amongst other people. The session actually did give me information that I did not know before, and may find helpful in the future. I think it was worth the time spent, listening to more options and such. Of course, right now, my goal is still to get a PhD and become a professor at a research university. But this may change, who knows. After the session, I had dinner with Tim. We ran into someone else from Ruddock. He was a senior when Tim was a freshman, so I never met him at Caltech. We ate together, and talked for a while. He just finished his PhD in physics and is now doing a postdoc at UCLA. The world is small.
This Tuesday, I taught in the morning as usual. My students are devastated about the midterm, since a lot of them got very few points. In the afternoon, I had office hours and then went to combinatorics seminar. Tonight at prayer meeting, I talked to Tammy a bit more about songbook stuff. I then came home and saw an email from Eunice about songbook. So with their suggestions, I set off and worked for about 3 hours on the songbook again. This time I am mostly working on the justification of the songbook, since the song credits line is often stretched and hyphenated to beyond what is commonly acceptable. Today I actually worked past midnight. Oops. Probably should cut back in this craziness.
This Monday, I ran some errands this morning to the Weyburn Terrace housing office. I actually went twice. At first I went to ask to change my parking slot. After going there many times in the past, today they finally let me change slot. I have a much better parking now. No longer 001, which was the farthest possible distance to drive, since it is the "last" spot, being first in the numbering.
For about half a year now, I have not been able to open half of the doors in Magnolia. After many attempts at reprogramming my card, today I finally got it so that it works. Indeed, now I can open all the doors that were not opening. But I cannot open the ones I was able to open before. Well, that's mostly fine, since I actually usually want to go through the ones that does not work before. Only one problem. Now I cannot get into my own room. Oops. So I went back again, and they finally fixed it. Now I can actually open all doors, including my own room door. Yay. I am quite happy.
Then I ate lunch at home (weekend leftovers), and then went to school. Annoyingly, the math department AC is broken. I had to leave class early because of the stuffiness. I went to visit Jonah and Tim Dong in the chemistry department for a while. And then I came back and went to class (this classroom has windows, and we opened all of them). I then ate dinner on campus, and eventually came home at night. I spent the night working on songbook stuff for several hours.
Originally I was going to go jog, but today for some reason I could not open the gym doors. Was it closed? It should not have been. Oh well.
|[VB] Back||0 comments|
This Sunday, we had our WCCC kick-off meeting to start dividing responsibilities. I volunteered for service desk, since last time I did a lot of it and I think I am comfortable co-leading it this time. It will be with the old people: Caleb and Steph, and perhaps Auntie Rosy. (Last time it was Caleb, Steph, and Esther; Esther is doing Children's ministry this time, I think.) After the meeting, we went to play volleyball. I started playing again this week! Yay! It is exciting to get back onto the field. I did not play too well today, but that was to be expected. I did not jump or move as much as I used to (partly because I don't want to, partly because it is not as fresh in my mind). But it was a lot of fun still. At night, we went to Sam Woo for dinner, where I shared food with Antonia, Lydia, and Gershom. Afterwards, Alex went to play bridge, so I went home by myself. Once I got home, I remembered I promised Joy that I would buy something for her, so I went out again. By the time I eventually got home, it was around 10 PM already. I spent the next 2 hours working on the songbook, for things that we discussed with various people today.
This Saturday, after Bible study, Jonah invited some of us to go to his place to play bridge. Steve and Tammy were tired so they did not come. Alex, Caleb, June, and myself went. So we had 7 people, and we played two tables. The dummies were passed around to the next table so we could play two tables at once. It was quite fun, except I played very poorly. After a while, I feel sorry for Alex, who was my partner this whole time. So I tried to get out of being his partner by suggesting that I want to play with June. I think she probably did not mind that I was playing poorly. Yay. It was fun.
Then I drove with Alex to Steve and Tammy's place, where Gershom is cooking dinner. On the car ride (and in the morning, too) Alex and I talked a lot about the songbook, mostly index matters. We continued discussing this in detail at Steve and Tammy's. After dinner, I came home early to implement the changes that we decided, or at least a sample of each kind of change. I manually made the index for a few "problematic" entries, so I can print it out and let people see tomorrow how it looks like. Today I probably spent about 5 hours on the songbook.
|Filled Friday||0 comments|
This Friday, I went to the last day of the workshop this week on combinatorial geometry. This week I have not heard many good talks so far. But this morning the first two talks were fantastic! I was really glad to have went.
In the afternoon, I went to a information session for UCLA undergrads thinking about teaching high school. It was mostly non-applicable to my situation, but I think I might have gleaned some things out of it.
At night, I picked up Alex to drive him to Steve and Tammy's. There, we sat and talked for a little bit, said bye to Tina, who is leaving tomorrow, and then they left for Friday Fest. I went to buy some groceries and then came back. I went jogging at the gym again. This time, I ran 6mph for 0.7 miles and then did 7mph for the remaining 0.3 miles. Next week I'll try to do 6mph for 2 miles.
Then I started preparing for teaching next week. The instructor usually gives us a list of exercises he wants us to do. But today he was busy so he did not do so. He told me the sections he will cover by Tuesday, and told me I could choose the exercises. So I looked through the sections, the homework, and then chose problems to do this week. And I emailed the rest of the TAs of the suggested exercises. Yay for doing more work!
By this time, it was already 22:06. But I wanted to keep the trend of working on the songbook, so the momentum would continue. So I spent one hour working on it, and now it is 23:06, I will go to sleep.
|More Songbook||0 comments|
This Thursday, I taught my other section. They are smarter on average, and a lot less enthusiastic about learning (because they already know it, perhaps?) and thus the general lethargy in the class gets to me. In the afternoon, I held an extra office hour so people can come get help—they have a midterm tomorrow. So many people crammed into my office it is not even funny. I hope they do well tomorrow.
In the evening, I continued my trend of working on the songbook for 3 hours. Today, I worked remotely with Chris to work out some chord issues and such.
This Wednesday, I spent about 3 hours working on the songbook. We are near the end stage, as proven by what I did today: We decided to delete 9 songs from the fixed-numbering section. To keep backward-compatibility, I choose new songs to add into the empty slots. Today, I spent my 3 hours in the evening trying different combinations of songs to pull from the back, so that the page-breaks would look nicer. I think this is a worthy goal, and the fact that I am doing it now should suggest heavily that we are almost done.
This Tuesday, I really enjoyed my teaching time. My Tuesday section is so energetic, and I can feed off of their energy and teaching becomes really fun. I think this is partly because one of my kids is very talkative, and he is also often right, but still sometimes confused. If he had been less often right, then I would have to correct him all the time, which would be bad. If he had been less often confused, then he would not ask all these questions, and people will think he knows his stuff and is in a different world, which would not induce so many other questions from others. In any case, because of him, many others feel quite comfortable asking questions and such, and thus the whole class becomes energetic. I really enjoy teaching this class. On top of all that, they are also quite lost at times, which makes it even better in the sense that I am helping and teaching them, and not just boring them.
This Monday, I started this day off with a series of unusual things. After a while, I find that I am ready for lunch, having missed the whole morning of combinatorics workshop. In the afternoon I also had to miss the workshop, as I have TA responsibilities and classes. When I got home, I was so tired, so I ate frozen food.
To balance the unhealthiness, I decided to go jog in the gym. I have been meaning to try it out for quite some time now. I think my ankle is sufficiently healed that I could start jogging on the treadmill (I still don't want to run on the hard road). It was a good experience, though this took away more than half of my evening. I also wrote 4000 words in email today, which is reminiscent of last Monday. I am still spending a lot of energy and time thinking about the high school group.
This Sunday, I spent the early afternoon fixing and testing the breaking of bread translation equipment at church. Then I went and got a haircut. I had a haircut 49 days ago, so this time is sooner, as opposed to the usual 63 days. Then in the late afternoon, I went to the park where people are playing volleyball. But I decided to sit out one more week because of my injury. I read math for most of the time. In the evening, Alex and I went to Jonah's place to play bridge with Steve and Tammy. Jennifer and Auntie Ginger also played. So we had 7 people. We made Steve play two games simultaneously. We ended up singing some hymns and such. It was a good time to relax a bit at the end of the day.
This Saturday, I picked up Alex and Tina for Bible study. We dropped Tina off at Starbucks, and then we went to church. Today we met in the main meeting hall, since there was food left in the chapel, and it smelled horrible. We kept the fan on the whole time in the chapel to cleanse the room.
After the meeting, I talked to Beryl quite a bit about the high school group. Then people head off to Hou-En and June's place for lunch. Since Steph needed to eat and leave, I decided to accompany her. Caleb did, too. So the three of us went to eat. We had very good conversation. I quite enjoy talking to Caleb now, too. This is quite interesting. I really miss going to the Hans for lunch, though... too bad sometimes we cannot have both.
Afterwards, I was unsure what to do, so I drove to Arcadia and bought groceries from 99 Ranch. During this time, my ex-roommate John Shen emailed me and said he wanted to come visit me and jam (good thing I can check email on my phone). So on the way home, I called him (good thing I have ear phone on my car). We decided that he would come over around 5 PM, and we can have dinner together. He came over and played guitar together for quite some time. He was mainly teaching me how to play, and also helping me with working on the songbook. It is an interesting and different day, but it was good.
This Friday, Anne came to visit. She is a high school senior from Portland, who is visiting colleges that she is applying to. Yesterday Christina picked her up and sent her to stay over at Tina's place. This morning I drove to Tina's place to pick her up. Before doing so, of course I went by Pavilions to get groceries and also to the dry cleaning place near Tammy's place. Then after parking back at my place (and unloading the merchandise), we took the shuttle to campus (note, I cannot park on campus). We met Alex and walked around for a bit. I gave them a tour of the math department, which is pretty much the only place I know. Well, I also showed them Boelter Hall including the library and SEAS Cafe. Then we went to lunch at Ackerman. Afterwards, I parted ways with them. Alex went to class and Anne supposedly walked around campus with the map I gave her. While I was in class, Tammy came to pick Anne up to go to USC, I think Alex went with them.
Anyway, at night, after I was done with classes, I ate at Ackerman quickly and then went home. I then immediately set out to pick up Jonah back on the campus, and gave him a ride to Steve and Tammy's. There we found Alex and Tina. The five of them carpooled to Friday Fest at the condo. I simply went home. I spent the night working on the songbook.
This Thursday, I taught in the morning as usual. I am quite enjoying teaching. Tuesday and Thursday teaching feels very different. Tuesday I get a lot of energy from the students, but they seem to be less on top of things. Thursday section is less energetic, but knows the material better (it feels). I enjoy teaching both.
In the afternoon, I attended the combinatorics Colloquium. Gil Kalai came to talk about boolean functions. It is a very good talk. I can follow it most of the way, and then started getting lost at the end. That is what talks are supposed to be like. If I can follow it fully, it is probably too elementary for all the professors in the audience.
|Evening in Math Department||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I stayed home in the morning. Originally I planned on doing laundry and going to get groceries and such. But because of the precipitation outside, I really did not want to do this. So I stayed home and did some house work. One thing I spent a lot of time doing was working on my laptops. My laptops, in their rank from best to worst are called unit, ring, ideal, tensor, vector, field, and functor. unit is my current primary computer, ring was my prior primary computer, which broke last Wednesday. ideal was the one I used in the office, which also broke last Wednesday. tensor was the one I kept in Taiwan to do TV recording, which broke earlier this month. vector is used for webserver, it has only 128 MB of RAM and its CPU is at less than 600 MHz. But that's all I've got. So today I spent some time cleaning up and preparing this 5th best laptop for use at school.
Then because it was raining, I did not bring it with me when I went to school in the afternoon. I went to class, held office hours, and then had class again. Then I came back home to get my car and immediately drive back to the math department with my laptop. Besides setting my laptop, I also got dinner there and watched some table tennis (even played a bit). I of course, also worked on some stuff, and then eventually left the department. Since I am driving and in the area, I figured I would also stop by RiteAid to buy a pain-relieving thing. I eventually got home at 9 PM. It was a long day.
Back home, I continued to work on various things, and now it is time to sleep. I was actually getting really tired at 8 PM, since today was the only day since I made my computer music clock that it actually went off... this must imply I did not have enough sleep yet and did not wake up on my own as I usually do. But today I suppose I am quite busy so this is what it is like. Apparently I do have what it takes to push through tired states and keep working. Though my efficiency is definitely a lot lower.
This Tuesday, there was precipitation in the liquid form. I cannot remember the last time it rained here. I was unprepared, without an umbrella or wearing my rainy-day shoes. This happened after I got done with teaching (in Dodd) and had to walk 10 minutes or so to lunch. But since I was hungry, I walked anyway, without waiting for the rain to lessen in intensity. It was not too bad anyway.
I also set up Thunderbird on the roaming profile of the math department Windows computers. These are the most prevalent ones in the department, and there are many of them around various rooms. I have been hesitant in doing this before, since I would just use my own laptop. Furthermore, the roaming profile is not shared with the Linux machines, which are few in number, but are usually the ones I generally like to use. Worse yet, the computer in my office is older and thus do not share the same roaming profile. So inconvenient! The setup works fine, and I can now easily manage email in a familiar interface. This alleviates the need for using webmail (which I did today) or using my phone to write emails. I use my phone for read-only email access, but I do not like writing emails on it.
In the evening, I stayed in the department longer just to have the rain lessen. I also cooked my pot for the first time in ages. It is good to have a little bit of extra time so I could cook a longer meal.
This Monday, I have a little bit of rest in terms of my schedule. Last week was very full, long hours. I also had to prepare for HSG teaching. This week should be a lot less stressful in terms of hours and responsibilities. That does not mean we stop struggling to grow. This is not a license to be stagnant. In fact, some things were done today. Some good and necessary things. May the Lord continue to watch over those things.
This Sunday, I taught the high school group at church. While they were singing, I was busy helping Hou-En with the microphone system. For some reason, it was not working properly. Ernest is gone, so we had to hold the fort. Anyway, eventually we got it, so I went back to sing. And then we started the meeting. I first presented the outline of Romans that came about this week. And then we shared on chapter 1. It went pretty well, I think. Praise the Lord.
Afterwards, I soon hurried off to go see an opera. This is the third of the four operas in the Ring cycle by Wagner. I went to the first one with three Techers, and the second with a math grad student. This time I could not find anyone, so I went alone. It was really good, and I quite enjoyed it. The music is great as usual. The staging is less and less weird (or foreign) by now, and I actually liked most of it, too. It was really long, from 2 PM to 7 PM. I ate a lot of energy bars, reminiscent of the time I took my qualifying exam.