Sunday, August 27, 2006

tabula rasa

Time goes so fast. I've moved back to Berkeley for my junior year as the fall semester has started. It's hard to believe I'm already halfway through college.

I've met my new roommate Ozan. He's a quiet guy but is really nice otherwise. I'm sure it won't be long before we become good friends. The two guys from the room next door are also pretty cool. This will undoubtedly be a great school year.

In any case, I should probably get back to studying as classes begin tomorrow for me. Take care, everyone.

Currently listening to: "Run to the Hills" by Iron Maiden

Monday, August 21, 2006

back from another Northern California trip

The weekend was pretty fun as my family went on another road trip to far Northern California. Having enjoyed our trip in June so much, Dad decided we should go there again before school starts.

Day 1

As with our previous trip, the first stop was Redding. The 250-mile drive was shorter this time thanks to the smooth traffic. However, the weather was still really warm when we arrived. Aside from a visit to Costco, the rest of the day was uneventful.

Day 2

Due to the high temperatures, none of us felt like going anywhere in the morning. On the other hand, my family went to Lassen Volcanic National Park after lunch. This was our first time here in almost nine years. Our first stop in the park was a geothermal area called Bumpass Hell. The three-mile hike was strenuous but otherwise enjoyable. It was overall my favorite part of the trip.

Bumpass Hell wasn't our only stop as we also went to a few other thermal areas. One thing I noticed is that the thermal features didn't seem to be as active as on our previous visits. It's often said that nature is constantly changing. So true.

Day 3

Dad needed to answer some e-mails before checking out of the hotel. In the meantime, Mom and I decided to try the sudoku in the local newspaper to see what the craze was all about. The puzzle turned out to be quite addictive; no wonder everyone is talking about it these days.

The first destination of the day was Lake Shasta. Its blue waters were absolutely beautiful. Mom wanted to visit the Shasta Outlets in Anderson again, although there wasn't anything she needed this time. Our last stop on the way home was WinCo Foods in Vacaville. The best thing about WinCo is that everything there is so cheap. This was a great end to a great trip.

Conclusions

The vacation was lots of fun even though we didn't visit any new places. The family time alone made it a wonderful experience. The highlight of the trip was the hike to Bumpass Hell. Lassen Volcanic National Park is no doubt one of the most unique places in Northern California. I'm sure this won't be our last time there.

At any rate, I should get back to studying as the fall semester is just around the corner. :-)

Currently listening to: "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash

Historical note: Pictures from the trip are available here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

summer school is over!

The summer session at Berkeley has ended. English N1A was a challenging class but wasn't too bad otherwise.

For a start, there were no midterms or finals. One reason I hated secondary school literature classes is that the teachers would often give us quizzes. While writing the essays in English N1A proved to be time-consuming, that was better than memorizing stuff for pointless tests. On the whole, I'm confident that I did well in this class.

I dropped CS 61A again as the pace was a little too fast for me. That means I'll have to take it in the fall, but I'll worry about that when the time comes. In any case, I'm glad summer school is over.

In other news...

1. There was a dance at Unit 2 two Tuesdays ago. Although few people showed up at first, the dance ultimately turned out to be quite fun. You can read my review of it here. I also went to two other dances this summer, but nobody actually danced at either of them. Strange.

2. Dad has planned another trip to far Northern California for the weekend. Sweet!

Currently reading: Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy