Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Elusive Ice Rink of Pain

My friends were kind enough to make sure I didn't fall. By the way, we're
four more people in the picture. The group we made over time would
have been complete (in this picture), but they were doing something else.
There's always an elaborate and elusive way to find meaning in everyday life. For me, it was to conquer the ice rink. I remembered the first time I encountered the diabolic ice queen - it was just last week - but that did not stop me. I wouldn't let that smile of hers - the marks made by skaters - scare me off, oh no. I'd rather take a fall than to let her put her foot over my head! At first, I was confused; I didn't know what to do. I forgot how to skate in one week... I thought it would be like riding a bike, but apparently I was painfully wrong. With small slides, I evolved from the kiddy kicks to gliding on ice. Actually, calling them kiddy kicks is disrespectful, there are a whole lot of children who are better than me - one "child" told me that I was terrible, I died a little inside. I was confident, I could feel the audience cheering me on, encouraging me to push my limits! And so I did, I glided the fastest I've ever done and boom, I broke the speed of sound... Well, I fell down on my coccyx and you could hear the sound; it wasn't a sound of a broken bone, but you could tell I had a good fall. Curses, the ice queen got me again! I could feel her scoffing at me as I tried to get up but couldn't. She cursed me so that I would not be able to sit on anything without feeling her stings. Ah, it was a shameful experience, yet hilarious. I'll get you sooner or later! 

After a disappointing defeat with the ice rink, I went to Hummus (yep, that's the name of the restaurant) to eat a shameful meal of chicken kabob. It was my first time having Mediterranean(?) food and I was surprised at how "fresh" their meals were. There were so many greens, tomatoes, and potatoes that I forgot I had meat on my platter. It was surprisingly good for all the vegetables it had, the fresh taste made me feel much better after (compared to eating a thick Philly steak). The meal wiped off the bitter taste of defeat. 

We happened to wear a pair of funny shirts when
juxtaposed together. Ironically, I do have time and I will
tell this story. Don't mind the face I'm making, I was having fun.
With my remaining time in Penn, I want to make myself more content. Everything has gone beyond my expectations: Bill, Mary, and Craig are phenomenal, my new-found friends have taught me so much (plus, they've made me extremely happy) , and the overall experience is inspiring. The best way, I see, to utilize the entire experience is to go to all the activities I can. For me, the activities are at the core of the program alongside the classes. I originally thought that the classes would be the central point and I would focus all my time on it, but that's not that much different from school. Although, the physics class offers so much more than just a "classroom experience", it really touches the question: "What is science and how do we do it?". I believe that it is important to make new friends and the environment, it's quintessential to the "exposure". After three weeks of being in Pennsylvania, I can  say, for sure, that the social and environmental experience may be the most important aspect of the trip. 

I had some unanticipated time after my "date" with the ice rink, so I decided to spend a couple hours programming and planning out the rest of my summer. I haven't touched it since I left and I was working on a tower defense game. I program in C++ and I had all the framework coded, I just needed to fill in the behavior of the enemies (motion, life, etc) that I planned to do later. I took this time to fill them in, particularly the movement and path the enemies took. With a simple "leg" system, I can make the enemies move certain distances in a set amount of states, but I had trouble programming them to move in a Bezier Curve. I can't wait to finish programming this game, the final product is going to be so satisfying. 

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is the pain will go away with time
    lol :D