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Old 2018-06-05, 15:19   #23
jvang
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Some of the finals were pretty simple
Welp, apparently not. Turns out that I didn't do too well on a few of the exams. My report card shows 3 Fs, so I won't be going back to ASMSA

I'm guessing I'll have to redo the last semester of those classes, not really sure though.

Today's picture is from Assisi, this cool historical town. The shot is from the top level of the basilica, overlooking the modern part of the town. The ancient part is to the left. Assisi is famous for a few things, like its ancient clock tower and St. Francis's Basilica.

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Old 2018-06-06, 07:10   #24
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Good picture!

Receiving your report card must have been a bit of a shock.
Is there someone at ASMSA that you can contact to discuss your situation?
I'm guessing that you'll enjoy the summer more if you know what you are going to do next semester!
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Old 2018-06-07, 02:31   #25
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Is there someone at ASMSA that you can contact to discuss your situation?
I've already talked with them a bit. I didn't think I was going to get 3 F's, but I hadn't done too well for the rest of the year in general.

This is a shot of Florence coming from a road in. There was a sort of scenic overlook of the city so we stopped for pictures. The big dome on the left is Il Duomo, which is in the top 3 for largest domes in the world.

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The next day we went into the actual city to look around and shop. This is the front of Il Duomo, which is much larger than it looks in the previous picture. This is because the surrounding rooftops are 4-5 stories tall, which blocks part of the building from view. There was a line to go inside, but it was hundreds of people long and the ones from our group said it took all day to get in. Instead, I went with a group of friends and shopped.

One guy was looking for a nice watch; after 6 hours he found nothing nice that was affordable. 2 others wanted some authentic Italian leather jackets. Upon arriving in Florence we had toured an established leather shop which clearly has some sort of contract with our tour company, since they had a big presentation about leather and why they were awesome leather sellers or something. Instead of buying leather there, we went next door to a much smaller leather shop run by 2 guys. The guy in charge was super nice, helped my friends find the perfect jackets, and gave us a tour of his underground workshop in a section of ancient catacombs where he had raw leather sheets straight from the factory from which he made custom jackets and alterations. After realizing that we were pretty tight on money, he just took 500 euros off the cost of the 2 jackets, cutting the price by way over half each. The last picture is a tag from one of the jackets where you can find their website; if you ever find yourself in Florence and like leather definitely drop by their place. The jackets are very high quality, they do all sorts of custom designs and stuff, and I completely recommend them if you are looking for that kind of thing.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
Assisi is famous for a few things, like its ancient clock tower and St. Francis's Basilica.
Forgot to mention, around here there are a few things named after a "St. Francis." We have a St. Francis River, a St. Francis County, and Missouri has a Saint Francois County and the Saint Francois Mountains. Apparently the origin of the "St. Francis" is unlikely to be he Italian St. Francis of Assisi, since the original naming of these areas is attributed to some guy who wasn't Christian/Catholic and wouldn't have named something after a saint.

Last fiddled with by jvang on 2018-06-07 at 02:40 Reason: typing is hard
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Old 2018-06-07, 11:24   #26
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The church on the right in your first picture is Santa Croce, which contains the tombs of both Galileo (a key figure in the history of science, of course) and Michelangelo (equally key in the history of art).

Thanks for the leather tip!
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Old 2018-06-08, 01:08   #27
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The church on the right in your first picture is Santa Croce, which contains the tombs of both Galileo (a key figure in the history of science, of course) and Michelangelo (equally key in the history of art).
Oh, neat. I guess I should have dropped by there, sounds cool.

My mom isn't too happy about my grades, so to make her happier I'm learning to program in Haskell. I have a basic background in programming in Python, so Haskell is pretty weird. I'm using a book called Haskell Programming from first principles by Christopher Allen and Julie Moronuki, and it's about 2000 pages long. It's supposed to be for people new to programming and experienced programmers alike. It's nicely written, but pretty complex. The first chapter is an introduction to the lambda calculus, which really hasn't clicked for me yet.

My dad also isn't pleased with my grades, but he's being more accepting of it. For the first semester he was much more involved in my activities at ASMSA, but for the second semester he took a step back and watched instead of intervening. I think his involvement was affecting him too much, so he tried backing off. Now he's just having me teach him what I learn so that I get better about learning and studying. I'm pretty awful at taking notes since I've never needed to before going to ASMSA, so taking notes on this Haskell book might help. Having been able to take notes would have helped me a bit in classes, though I would have also needed to know how to use them effectively. He wants me to present the programming material to him in a structured manner, so I need to figure out how I'm going to do that.

He also wants me to write about my thoughts/feelings on this whole situation. I don't mind working with the Haskell book; from what I can tell functional languages are neat, given that the language and it's fundamentals don't make much sense. And since my home school I'm going back to has said that I'll still be able to graduate at the same time as everyone else, finishing up high school shouldn't be too bad. I feel like it would be awkward being held back for a year to make up my classes. It still sucks that I'm not going back for another year at ASMSA, but at least my one year there was enjoyable. I made a lot of friends and still learned a lot despite my grades.

I haven't told my grandparents about my grades yet, but I'm guessing they'll react like my mom has. Hopefully they won't be too disappointed that I'm not able to stay at ASMSA.
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Old 2018-06-08, 20:41   #28
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The first chapter is an introduction to the lambda calculus
The lambda calculus is the abstract theory behind functional programming languages such as Haskell. If you enjoy learning about it, then that's great, but you don't have to master it to be able to program in Haskell.

A big difference between languages like Haskell and ML on the one hand, and languages like Python and C++ on the other, is that functional languages treat functions more like any other data (numbers, strings etc.) as things that can be passed as arguments to other functions or returned as results. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it can be fun!
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Old 2018-06-08, 21:38   #29
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Yeah, it's pretty interesting stuff

This picture is from a rooftop on Capri. I just thought it looked neat, although I don't know what's off in the distance to the right.

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These are from the Colosseum. Pretty big! We got to go inside and check out the arena and stuff. Apparently the Colosseum was originally completely covered in marble and earthquake-proof, but when Rome was sacked the raiders took all of the marble and gutted the bronze rods from the underlying bricks. The bronze was inside of the Colosseum walls, like modern rebar, and after it was removed parts of the structure failed from later earthquakes.

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My dad wanted me to write about my plans after high school, but I'm still not really sure what I'll be doing. I only have a basic understanding of the college admissions process, so as far as I know I'll just be looking for the most affordable education that is somewhat reputable, or at least one of the state universities. I also don't know what to study. Something computer science-related would be totally cool, but I also enjoy aerospace engineering, architecture, and that sort of thing. From what I've heard most colleges have an undefined 1st year where you can take more general classes and figure out what to major in, so I hope that's a thing wherever I end up. The only thing I'm sure about regarding my major is that it won't be humanities
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Old 2018-06-09, 07:46   #30
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Apparently the Colosseum was originally completely covered in marble and earthquake-proof, but when Rome was sacked the raiders took all of the marble and gutted the bronze rods from the underlying bricks. The bronze was inside of the Colosseum walls, like modern rebar, and after it was removed parts of the structure failed from later earthquakes.
I didn't realize that was what had happened. I sometimes wonder whether anything we build now will still be standing 2000 years later. I think the current US president would like to have a modern-day Colosseum built!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
Something computer science-related would be totally cool, but I also enjoy aerospace engineering, architecture, and that sort of thing. From what I've heard most colleges have an undefined 1st year where you can take more general classes and figure out what to major in, so I hope that's a thing wherever I end up. The only thing I'm sure about regarding my major is that it won't be humanities
Yes, that's a big difference between college in the US and here in Europe: we have to choose a major immediately (and many bachelor degrees here last just 3 years).
The disadvantage of the US system is that the colleges that are best at computer science may not be the same as the colleges that are best at aerospace engineering or architecture, for example.

Just to give you an idea, here are the web pages giving the course lists at one of the top Dutch technical colleges (in English):
Computer Science
Aerospace Engineering
In particular, the math is very different - differential equations, for example, are much more important for aerospace engineering than for computer science.

Do your colleges hold open days? A chance to talk to current students is great for actually seeing the books they use, hearing the disadvantages as well as the advantages of a particular college, and getting a feel for what it is like to live and work there. Visiting them can be a lot of fun!
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Old 2018-06-09, 15:23   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
I didn't realize that was what had happened. I sometimes wonder whether anything we build now will still be standing 2000 years later. I think the current US president would like to have a modern-day Colosseum built!

Yes, that's a big difference between college in the US and here in Europe: we have to choose a major immediately (and many bachelor degrees here last just 3 years).
The disadvantage of the US system is that the colleges that are best at computer science may not be the same as the colleges that are best at aerospace engineering or architecture, for example.

Just to give you an idea, here are the web pages giving the course lists at one of the top Dutch technical colleges (in English):
Computer Science
Aerospace Engineering
In particular, the math is very different - differential equations, for example, are much more important for aerospace engineering than for computer science.

Do your colleges hold open days? A chance to talk to current students is great for actually seeing the books they use, hearing the disadvantages as well as the advantages of a particular college, and getting a feel for what it is like to live and work there. Visiting them can be a lot of fun!
That's also why the Colosseum is pockmarked with tons of holes, to reach the bronze infrastructure.

Our colleges definitely do have days/weeks where prospective students are invited to visit, and sometimes even live there for a bit. There's just so many that it'd be hard to visit every one and keep track of them.

Today's topic: What schools I am considering for college and why...

No clue yet. I'm thinking about something affordable, so an in-state college/university is looking pretty nice. I just can't figure out the differences between some of our colleges. We have an Arkansas State University, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a University of Arkansas at Monticello, and a University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Why are there so many different state colleges? Are their curriculums different? Are they even funded by the state in the first place?

All in all, the biggest thing I'm looking for in a college is a strong, well-regarded curriculum. When I apply for a job somewhere I don't want the validity or quality of my degree to be in question. I've heard of a college in Phoenix, Arizona that is famous for basically giving out degrees for a high price. I forget what the term was or the name of the college. I'm pretty sure that a case like that is pretty uncommon, but I'd like to avoid colleges that aren't respected for a good curriculum. I have no idea to figure things like that out though.

Today's picture is of what I think is called the Arch of Constantine? It's pretty big, about half as tall as the Colosseum, which is to the right. This was immediately before we toured the Colosseum, when we had just arrived in Rome.

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Old 2018-06-10, 07:17   #32
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Originally Posted by jvang View Post
That's also why the Colosseum is pockmarked with tons of holes, to reach the bronze infrastructure.

Our colleges definitely do have days/weeks where prospective students are invited to visit, and sometimes even live there for a bit. There's just so many that it'd be hard to visit every one and keep track of them.

Today's topic: What schools I am considering for college and why...

No clue yet. I'm thinking about something affordable, so an in-state college/university is looking pretty nice. I just can't figure out the differences between some of our colleges. We have an Arkansas State University, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a University of Arkansas at Monticello, and a University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Why are there so many different state colleges? Are their curriculums different? Are they even funded by the state in the first place?

All in all, the biggest thing I'm looking for in a college is a strong, well-regarded curriculum. When I apply for a job somewhere I don't want the validity or quality of my degree to be in question. I've heard of a college in Phoenix, Arizona that is famous for basically giving out degrees for a high price. I forget what the term was or the name of the college. I'm pretty sure that a case like that is pretty uncommon, but I'd like to avoid colleges that aren't respected for a good curriculum. I have no idea to figure things like that out though.

Today's picture is of what I think is called the Arch of Constantine? It's pretty big, about half as tall as the Colosseum, which is to the right. This was immediately before we toured the Colosseum, when we had just arrived in Rome.

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I guess it's the Arch of Titus. The arch of Constantine is in Paris.
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Old 2018-06-10, 09:33   #33
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I guess it's the Arch of Titus. The arch of Constantine is in Paris.
I think Joey's right, actually: on my map of Rome, it is referred to as the Arco di Costantino, and Wikipedia calls it the Arch of Constantine, too, but adds that one in Paris was modelled on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
I just can't figure out the differences between some of our colleges. We have an Arkansas State University, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a University of Arkansas at Monticello, and a University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Why are there so many different state colleges? Are their curriculums different? Are they even funded by the state in the first place?
I'm no expert on the US college system, but perhaps this Wikipedia page can help with some of your questions:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...es_in_Arkansas

If you have any Euro banknotes left from your Italian trip, take a look at the arches and bridges pictured on them. They aren't real, but are based on various styles of architecture in Europe.
If you got the chance to design an arch or a bridge, what would it look like?
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