Archive for the ‘Math Team’ Category


Thursday, May 1st, 2008

For all of Sunday night, and most of Monday night, I was working hard on the Math Team’s annual slideshow, which has for several years been the domain of personal idol, Dan Pfeiffer (Why did you leave, Dan? WHY?!!!) who regrettably graduated. He did the previous two year’s slideshows, 2006 and 2007.

It runs a total of 6 min 20 sec and is comprised of photos from Mrs. Barfield, Schmitz and myself. The two songs used are, well, the first one is obvious, and the second one is “Little James” by Oasis.

Perks to being the one making the slideshow:

  • Acne mysteriously disappears from all photos of myself.
  • I can name myself whatever I want.


  • White people’s red-eye. Red-eye is never a problem with Junyong or Matt Yang or Junyong’s sister. This is also why Walthers didn’t appear as much as he could’ve.
  • Single core rendering.
  • Format compatibility.

There’s a weird happy feeling that I get knowing that I created something special that people enjoyed, like inventing a famous sandwich or case mod or webapp.

You’ll notice that I wore contacts for the night at the hotel. This was for several reasons, one of which is to have adequate vision for swimming in the pool. I want to avoid accidentally tackling an unusually tall 12-year-old Canadian tourist by the pool deck during a heated game of Leonhard Euler. I have a supply of 30 pairs of disposable one-day use contacts just for such a purpose. They have an interesting effect on people. Nicole thinks I look younger, while Dan thinks I look five years older. I think I just look weird.

“Furious Worms”

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

There was probably not a faster blogging mathlete in the state this time yesterday. I posted the last post “Schooling” from an ice cream van blazing down I-57 at an startlingly, um, “legal” velocity. We initially ran into some problems with the router and squid. But thanks to a Dell, an Acer and two HP laptops, we now have tunes, Youtube, and Counterstrike.

We were heading towards Danville, near the Indiana border. We tried to get a hotel nearer U of I but the Science Olympiad state competition crowded us out of town. Damn those Science Olympians! At least our digs are nice. It’s got an indoor pool and is gas station adjacent.

Now it just so happens that the day of Regionals is Junyong’s birthday. So we had a little surprise planned for him. To be ordered in advance and picked up at a local super market.

nerdy cake

That wasn’t the only present JY got that night. One even inspired envy from the usually nihilistic Walthers, who requests a mint-flavored variant for his birthday.

After that, we took the traditional dip in the pool. We were supposed to play our favorite pool games: Leonhard Euler (our version of Marco Polo), Corpse Rope and Archimedes’ Principle among others. But Walthers wasn’t willing so we instead allied with the juniors in creating a maelstrom by running laps in the water. We then played Pirates of the Caribbean.

JY brought his Wii. Also, Zombies!, Apples to Apples and other board games. For most of the rest of the night, I was training myself to live up to my “Asian heritage”, as Matt Yang put it, by practicing Super Smash Bros. on JY’s Wii. We were innocuously hitting each other with hammers and loud drumming. The juniors were a few rooms down playing Call of Duty on a PS3, violently shooting each other with USPs and M203s. Oh the difference a year makes.

We decided to go to bed hours earlier than anybody else for two reasons.

1. We’re old.

2. Since this is our last year at state, we thought we should be at the top of our game for the competition.

So we went to bed at an insanely early. Mere minutes later, at midnight, we got a call and a question. Then another and another. The freshman girls kept calling our room and asking to talk with JY and Walthers and Schmitz (but not me for some reason). Schmitz refused to talk to them, as expected, so they talked to Walthers instead. They asked him things like whose the hottest guy on math team, boxers or “skintight briefs”, or what toothpaste he prefers to use.

Girls are weird.

Bright and early, we got up for the competition. I was shocked to discover that our window had completely fogged up during the night, prompting me to exclaim, “Wow! You guys are …moist!”

fogged up window

*Boring stuff: eating breakfast, driving to U of I while watching South Park, taking calculator test…*

We stuck around for a presentation about the TV show NUMB3RS, which apparently none of us watched except Schmitz. The presentation was pretty much “If you look carefully in this clip, you’ll see a really nerdy [book/shirt/model] that we gave the producers.” After Jay and Mike woke up, we left, skipping out on the awards.

I learned how to play Apples to Apples on the bus ride home. It’s a game where given a adjective, you must play one of the seven noun cards you were dealt. The person whose turn it is picks the most accurate or most ironic or, hell, the one they like best. The person’s nouns which are picked most often wins. It’s not as simple as it sounds. Though it is funnier than it sounds. Tactics must be adapted when playing with four teenage boys. “Postal Workers” wins “Sexy”. “Worms” wins “Furious”. “My Mind” wins “Dirty”. And “Girl Scouts”? I’ll spare your innocent minds.