Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Chronology of my Life

My life has been anything but homogeneous through the years. I can easily section it off into a few parts, with common themes within each one.

Pre-Sophie Era

During this time, I was in elementary school and didn't really have anyone outside of my family and certain teachers. Despite this, I wasn't all-that-lonely, and made the best of it. During recess, for example, I'd try to spend my time in the classroom reading or drawing. During this time, I drew the most of all, with likely hundreds of creations. I learned how to draw a basic 3-D perspective in second grade.

Also during this time, I read many books about Science, and learned to love it, mainly between second and fifth grade. Since I didn't have any interest in sports, I was shunned by the others are was unable to make many friends; usually a couple at a time before something caused us to separate (usually out of my control). A common phrase I'd hear was "Neil germs, no returns."

Early Sophie Era

This second part of my life started when I got my first cat, Sophie, who was only my cat in many respects. We also got broadband during the same Summer, which was just before I started junior high. This time was characterized by my first set of friends I saw often, and the times were good. I drew my first comic series, consisting of ten volumes. The basis was a never-ending story about Kirby, inspired and encouraged by my friends.

However, it wasn't meant to last. As more joined our group, there was dissonance from time to time, and I was eventually ejected (although I heard that they really weren't mad at me a while later). I fell into the first real depression of my life, when I realized I really was lonely after all those years. I spent lunch alone, and socialized with very few. Although, one person stands out from this time, I haven't seen her since the time towards the end of the Late Sophie Era.

I also gained my first interest in Linux and the BSDs during the mid-Early Sophie Era, which took up a large part of my life and still does to this day.

Late Sophie Era

This time really started with high school, where I was alone and ate at random places over the campus. Some of my better friends were from my Math course, which was a year ahead of where I was intended to be initially (which I fixed over the previous Summer). Still, I don't remember much from this early period in the Late Sophie Era other than I was very involved with the Symphonic Band, and played Euphonium, Baritone, Trombone, and Bass Trombone. I also made tight friendships with others in low brass, which haven't lasted the test of time.

Then I started Running Start at the college, taking only third-year Japanese at the high school (I had studied and passed the second year final with a pretty good grade over the Summer). My time at Cascadia was great: I met a lot of new people who accepted me and shared my interests, learned a whole lot about many different subjects, and found out how much I really loved to learn. During my time there, I took the first year of Physics, Calculus, and Chemistry, along with a slew of other classes.

I celebrated my first real Pi Day during my last Winter quarter of Cascadia, which turned out to be the day of the Physics Open House, where I showed off my ballista. Since it was Pi Day, I also shared two pies with my comrades. During this time, I also devised Pi Man (long before my first Pi Day), who was the alter-ego of my Math teacher. We all took delight in a different Pi Man strip for each set of homework assignments turned in.

During my first year of Running Start, I also had my first romantic relationship. She was very intelligent, and we fit together fairly we (especially since we both enjoyed riding buses). It mainly ended because she left for college on the other side of the mountains, which isn't so easy to access without a car.

Although I had been using Linux/*BSD for a few years, I hadn't been much into programming until my first year of college. In the spare time between my arrival at the high school in the morning and my first class, I began to write small C programs to do various things. Ever since then, programming's been a huge part of my life.

The Sophie Era ended sadly, when while interning at Microsoft, Sophie ran out of the house. She lingered around for a while, but would never enter the house again. Despite putting up posters, we never got her back.

Fiona Era

I missed my cat, but I eventually moved to finding a new companion. I picked Fiona up from the animal shelter, since she seemed very nice, and am glad I did. I still miss Sophie sometimes, though.

This started the Fiona Era, which continues to today. It started with the conclusion of my internship at Microsoft and starting at the University of Washington in Seattle. I commute, mainly because I love Fiona too much, and I enjoy buses anyway. I've found UW to not be as conducive to learning as Cascadia, but far better for research and a breadth of programs.

My first quarter came with meeting old friends again, and making new ones. The presence of Linux is far greater at UW than any other place I've seen, and I've found many to associate with. My first favorite class here was Special Relativity, in which I learned a whole lot about the topic, from time dilation in flat spacetime to the curvature of space by matter in General Relativity.

This past quarter is the most recent chapter in the Fiona Era. Although I didn't enjoy it as much due to not managing my time effectively, I still learned a lot on both the course-related and life-related fronts.

That's the basic summary of what I remember of my life. I can't comment much on it, since I've had to deal with it for so long.

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