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Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005, 09:04 am
he's back

I was checking the Friends list and thought to myself that it might be nice to write here again.

So I'm back from the NJCL convention, on account of which my LiveJournal was deleted for several weeks (though undeleted immediately before for a morning-after pill debate on cette_vie's journal), and on the whole, I think it was a valuable experience.

For those of you not in the know, I spent the first week of August down in Columbia, Missouri (or, It's In The Middle of Nowhere By Flyover State Standards) to "do my Latin thing" with cette_vie, eala, meretricula, lhaw_en_edhel and the rest of the BLS crew. It was long, it was fun, it was challenging, it was all that jazz. A topical approach might be better here:

Academically: Middling to lousy. My lack of legitimate high-level knowledge last year was offset by my elite test-taking skills, but this year I did nothing but lose ground. Seven seconds became seven thirds, I couldn't even finish the Advanced Poetry reading comprehension test because idiots revised the testing schedules, and I lost my first-place academic ranking. I won't lie - I didn't study hard enough, and my standings suffered for it seriously. So be it.

Medically: A mixed bag. On the whole, I ate fairly regularly and didn't devolve into terribly unnatural dining habits, but on the other hand, by Thursday I had made myself so nervous about Certamen that I was vomiting up blood. Also, same vomit ruined my purple T-shirt on Wednesday, although eala's emergency replacement turned out to be far superior.

Hygenically: Tip-top. With the exception of the unavoidable greasy feeling I get when traveling long distances, I felt fantastically clean the entire convention, due in a large part to the fact that I succeeded in taking 13 showers in only seven days. Since the heat index at high noon in Columbia approached 110 on no fewer than three separate occasions, it was (almost) justified.

Politically: Also superb. prezakia succeeded in knocking the stuffing out of his inept South Carolinean rival for parliamentarian, Sarah Catoe; our former state president (and dear, sweet girl) Rachel Singh administered a surprising smackdown on Allison Vergotz of Pennsylvania; and best of all, evanbro beat Anson Stewart of California in his bid for Technical Coordinator. I'm happiest for evanbro because his rival was pure asshole, varnished very thinly with psuedo-attractive, faux-friendly political unction. I wasn't honestly sure if the voters would make the right choice.

Also, as someone who doesn't have a terribly substantial amount of faith in democracy (I was a Blue-Stater in 2004, for chrissake), I was heartened by our state's voting fellowship. (Non-JCLers: Our state gathers for a special election meeting in order to discuss candidates for next year's officer board as a group and choose our picks.) Although there wasn't much reason to have faith in our rather skanky state parliamentarian, the quality of the debate was absolutely superb, and, moreover, the majority didn't take the vocal minority as the highest authority. The voting was like something out of the French Revolution: Rachel Singh's and my partisans (mostly from BLS) on the left, Ryan Manning's on the right, and the undecided masses in the middle. It was my greatest pleasure to watch Ryan's whole "I'm a national officer so I know more than you" bid for five of his candidates go down in flames. Furthermore, our state actually rejected the hideous amendments being made to the constitution after 30 minutes of debate.

For fifty people, democracy can be a beautiful thing.

Certamenically: Above-average for me, TREMENDOUS for mine. eala, meretricula, Rachel Singh, and I got much better pittings than we had in past years, pitting us against easy states in the first round, formidible Virginia in the second, and California in the third. It was the first time in five years of Certamen that I had been on a team that won all three rounds - and, except for the first, they certainly weren't easy. Predictably, though, we were seeded 4th and had to face beeeeeep, thegrubbie05, Steve Tensmeyer, and Fred Hall, the fabulous Ohio four, in semifinals with California. We lost in one of the ugliest rounds I can ever remember, which consisted mostly of (a) erroneous challenges, (b) beeeeeep and I killing each other in matter/antimatter-like buzzing reactions, and (c) California playing carrion feeder on the aforementioned questions. But...


My brother Jacob, Chris, Xingbo, and Enid - but especially Jacob - played beautifully in the final round. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to watch the first half of the round, because with the miasma of five years of losing, I was worried about contaminating them. But I watched the second half, saw how wonderfully they anticipated the questions, and at question 17 - when it became mathematically impossible for them to lose - it was all I could do to prevent from screaming bloody blue murder.

When the score was announced at question 19 and the hopelessness of Florida and Texas became apparent, I got up and I screamed. I have never screamed like that in eighteen years of life on this earth, and I felt what I felt only once before in my life. It was like getting into Harvard again. Tears came to my eyes, and when a sore loser of a Florida sponsor yelled at me to sit down, I wheeled around and barked at him: "Hell no! My team just won for the first time EVER!"

They did what I could not, and for that I was proud of them. Also, beeeeeep and company defeated Andrew Rist of Texas, the guy who beat me on virtually everything (including the Decathlon) by five points on the final question. It was like winning myself.

Socially: Categorically the best convention I can ever remember. Surprisingly, I managed to ride out the entire event on a fairly even mental keel, and the people around me were happier as a result. cette_vie's many friends (in particular Cain and Evan), selonmiller's Michael Pomeranz, and a whole host of other people made me feel far more welcome than I ever had previously felt at such an event. It was a truly refreshing thing, actually, to sit down to eat and know that I enjoyed the company of every single one of my fellow diners. Even within the MassJCL delegation I was treated to a much higher level of friendliness and camaraderie than I was used to - even among the guys. It was a blessing.

In sum, the amount of personal glory I won was miniscule, but it was better to see that the people I'm leaving for college next year are more than capable of handling themselves.

But now I'm back in the real world, and am only now in the process of working myself out of a personal slump. Although I described myself liberally as an "antisocial ball of stress" to all and sundry who noticed my pre-convention funk, the convention actually had precious little to do with it. I'm not sure what it was (by which I mean to say I know exactly what it was and don't want to discuss it), but I've felt ridiculously unmotivated and generally far less of a person than I was a year ago. I'm definitely looking forward to getting my proverbial shit together and hauling ass over to Cambridge in three weeks or so.

On the Harvard front: the only thing left to do before Cambridge is a go is get the fricking termbill correct, and my roommate assignment may theoretically arrive today. But then again, FDO lost not one, but two of my previous housing applications, so there's no guarantee I'll know anything before Friday.

This week is basically work combined with a battery of doctor's appointments. Off to see the general practicioner on Tuesday, my optometrist on Wednesday, and the dentist on Thursday. On Friday I'll be leaving at 12 AM with my dad to drive down to Washington, DC to get my UK passport, now that his birth certificate has arrived from England. And I've almost finished settling the rest of my big-people obligations in preparation for a trip to somewhere - I'm not sure where - next week.

People in Boston: it would be nice to see you at some point if you're not overly busy.


Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 03:36 pm (UTC)

~huggles~ i'd be delighted to see you as well, dearest darlingest alliensis! (And I'm very glad you're back.) Are you free after work on Tuesday? My baby brother's having a party, and he gently suggested that I be elsewhere, since he wants to have "band practice."

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)

I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday at 4, but afterwards I'd be all yours. I'd even buy you dinner. :P

"Band practice," eh? Do we even want to know?

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC)

what are you doing right now?(...rain means no painting)

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)

I'm at work at this very second, but only until 4:30 - or 3:45, if Chris feels like paying us for the last 45 minutes for no reason.

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
toughluck999: i fear the future of my chapter tho

many of the people left in lunenburg that attended nationals were in ryan's pocket, i hope our parlementarian doesnt run for national officer because im not sure i would whole heartedly be able to support her, also, my advancement in the politics of jcl may be hindered by her presence in office for states

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)
cette_vie: Re: i fear the future of my chapter tho

Now I'm scared... no. I hope she doesn't run for national office either. I don't know if there's really anyone I would wholeheartedly endorse.

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)

*hugs* Awfully nice to see you back. And I'm so glad you got on well with the friends as well. It's truly a boon. Overall, this convention was a satisfying triumph as well. Cheers. =)

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 06:29 pm (UTC)

Yes, just look at our babies all grown up. :D

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 06:13 pm (UTC)

well congratulations :) also, as one who has much experience with the personal slump, i have no doubt that you'll pick yourself back up again. hang in.

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC)

Yeah, you came out of it, perhaps I'll be out soon.

Just out of curiosity - is there anything you did freshman year you're not planning to repeat sophomore year, as a sort of heads-up type of thing?

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)

you're free to drop by MD234 anytime with economists. =)

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC)

Issues from the week I was gone have been trashed, but I could back-issue ones from last week, I think. But you'll have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest to get the full spread of goodies.

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 07:17 pm (UTC)

i want to hang out with you! somewhere...too bad my parents said i could have actually gone to san fran with you if it hadn't been the week before i was going to school. we do need to continue our planning and just generally talk more. i wish i could have seen more of you at convention but certamen intensity prevented some of that until thursday/friday.

Mon, Aug. 15th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)

Dude, come visit me!

Or meet me at City Hall Plaza after five o'clock.

Tue, Aug. 16th, 2005 02:30 am (UTC)

It's good to have you back online, but just ONCE can't you update with:

"Went out, got smashed. Parts of night blacked out. Woke up wearing a panda costume, in Worcester."


Thu, Oct. 13th, 2005 01:00 am (UTC)
godlike_maius: Princeton? What?

Isaac, Tom told me that you saw me at Princeton on Sunday, or something like that. Where was this? And when? Cause I definitely didn't see you.

Thu, Oct. 13th, 2005 02:06 am (UTC)
alliensis: Re: Princeton? What?

You were on Nassau Street at about 2:30 on Sunday, wearing your Stanford hoodie, and you seemed to be in a hurry, so I didn't bother you. I was down there over the weekend visiting friends.

Mon, Dec. 5th, 2005 03:43 am (UTC)

NJCL 05. What a wonderful week. However, (maybe happily) you forgot to mention that MASSACHUSETTS beat on UTAH in one of the preliminary rounds, but UTAH didn't actually get last.

Am looking forward to seeing you in Indiana, as far away as that is. Also if I'm ever in Boston, I'll look you up. Hope you'd do the same if you're ever out in my neck of the woods.

Mon, Jun. 19th, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)

My livejournal was deleted so now I have an underscore please add me.

Sun, Feb. 18th, 2007 03:45 am (UTC)
(Anonymous): what the heck is this?


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Tue, Oct. 2nd, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
_sarizzle_: That Inept Parliamentarian

Your assumption that I was inept was extremely unfair.My weakness at public speaking had nothing to do with (what still is)an in depth knowlege of parliamentary procedure and constitution composition.

This is well overdue, I realize, but I happened upoun this looking up my stats from a few years ago and felt the need to stand up for myself.

hapy ill advised assuming!

Sun, Aug. 17th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): ........

Your blog is interesting!

Keep up the good work!