Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Culmination Of A Dream



Song:  White Bird

Group:  It's A Beautiful Day






These are the shirts and hooded sweat jacket that we had gotten Alex during 
our last trip to UC Berkeley.


Although we had already gotten the acceptance notification on their official web site earlier...
this official acceptance packet had come in the mail while we were on our 
little trip a couple of days ago.


Of course...
Alex had already accepted the same day he learned of his acceptance to UC Berkeley...
online.


This is, first and foremost...
 the culmination of a lifetime of effort that Alex had put in.

It was his daily study habits...
his thirst for knowledge and his love of learning...
and his undying perseverance to goal achievement that had led him here.


But...
his love of learning and his study habits were a planned result
from, both, his mother and I, working together with this in mind.

It is nothing complicated...
in fact...
it is very simple.

It is just applied common sense:

As I have said time and again...
there are but two drives in all beings:

The Pursuit of Pleasure

The Aversion To Pain

The more of the behavior you stimulate...
and associate with pleasure...
the more it shall be repeated.

And by removing any pain associated with it...
 it will eventually become automatic...
and will self perpetuate.




An example:

Reading

My wife had...
from birth...
cuddled with our son in bed...
as she read to him.

She would trace the words with her finger as she read to him...
and when his attention wandered...
she would make him laugh and would cuddle with him...
and then resume reading.

After a several months...
she would place his finger on hers as she read each word.

Then, as soon as he could...
she would have him trace each word with his finger as she read.

She read to him many times a day...
and always each night as part of their bedtime ritual.

Every time...
it was associated with warmth and expressed affection...
and punctuated with laughter...
until he fell asleep.

Reading became his number one fun time activity.

We also always kept his library stocked with numerous books.



Study Time


It is a sacred time of quiet in the house.

When Alex first started attending school...
each day after school...
he first finished his school work
under the watchful and helpful eye of his mother.

Then it was on to his advanced work...
his mother's own blend of advanced course work for much higher grade levels.

Alex always loved this.

His mother would explain the concepts to ensure 
he would never founder or get frustrated.
And, she praised his successes with copious amounts of extra
amounts of affection and laughter.

(this takes away any pain associated with learning...
as well as stimulates the pleasure).

Before Alex had reached middle school...
I fully retired.

I then took over the homeschooling aspect of some of his subjects
(his mother also took some...along with his organizational and research skills).


These were just two quick examples I go into more detail in...
in earlier articles.


None of these things we had done involved sacrifice.

It was our deepest pleasure to be involved as much as we could 
in the guidance of our son.

He is our deepest and greatest love in life.


Now that he is an eaglet testing his wings...
ready to fly...
I cannot help but feel a great twinge of sadness 
(I teared up on his first day of Kindergarten  :)...
buffered by great pride.

I am also secure in the knowledge that momma bird will be moving
the nest as she will continue to teach him to fly.

To see our children soaring in life is the greatest happiness for a parent.

















Friday, May 18, 2018

Apartment Search - Our Trip To UC Berkeley Area


Song:  Twin Peaks Theme

Composer:  Angelo Badalamenti


We just came back from our two day mission on finding an apartment
or condo to rent for Alex and his mother while Alex attends UC Berkeley.

We had found a very good condo right on the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay.

It is walking distance to the ocean and it has very peaceful surroundings.

We are putting in an application for it.

Hopefully, we can get it.









There are many shops and restaurants walking distance from the unit.

Also, they will be starting a ferry service to San Francisco from this harbor later this year.


This is the view of San Francisco from across the bay.


We then drove to UC Berkeley...
only to find out that they are having graduation services on this day...
so, we just went to a UC Berkeley store nearby to pick up some souvenirs.



We loaded up on sweat and tee shirts...
some coffee mugs...
and...
a license plate garnishment.


We then drove back home.




After crossing the summit...
we encountered rain.



Although this hooded sweat shirt I will wear around the house
won't mark me as a too proud parent...
my license plate cover surely will.

It says the same thing as does this sweat shirt  :)






Thursday, May 17, 2018

Alex's Valedictorian Award


Song:  World Of Dreams

Group:  Future World Music


Today was an award ceremony for the top two honor graduates in each high school
(Alex was the top honor graduate - the Valedictorian).

Alex has a weighted GPA of a 5.66

His GPA is the highest in the district.

Alex had taken all of the available AP courses available at his high school...
and even before entering high school...
Alex had been attending the University of Nevada Reno for all of his math courses...
since he had surpassed all high school math while in middle school.

Alex had gone to UNR for not just the normal two semesters each year...
but for three semesters each year (he also went every summer session)...
and he took some general courses at Mountain College...
and he also took some online courses from Brigham Young University as well.


Alex and I waiting for the ceremony to commence
(I am sporting my mountain man beard  :)


Alex's math teacher was chosen by Alex as the most inspirational teacher for him 
at North Star.

(Although, Alex wished he could have picked two.
His English teacher was also highly inspiring to him.
She was also so very supportive...and I am deeply grateful to her as well).


The ceremony was about to begin.


I thought that the two honor graduates from the disabled school was highly inspirational.


Although both had disabilities...
they had not given up in life...
and our county had measures in place to allow them to get...
not only educational opportunities...
but rehabilitative therapy...
and some occupational training.


The two honor graduates from North Star.


Alex then gave a speech honoring his teacher.



Alex's teacher had helped him start and run his math club at North Star.


After the ceremony...
Alex wanted to eat sushi.

So...
we skipped the ceremony's dinner...
and went to Sky Terrace Sushi...
at the Atlantis Casino.

We first went back home to change clothes...
and lucky that we did.

By the time we had finished eating...
I had soy sauce on my shirt  :)










We had eaten our fill...
and had gone home to just relax.

We are leaving in the morning to secure an apartment near the UC Berkeley campus.

He and his mother will be living there until he completes his studies at UC Berkeley.

Things are now moving fast.

We have to pack up and get things moved.

Although...
they won't be moving in until after his high school graduation ceremony
in mid June.

We just have to move quickly to ensure we can secure a good apartment...
before the influx of new students get all the best ones.


As I had stated before...
Alex had requested to start from the Spring semester
(He wanted a gap semester to travel and to finish up some
things he is helping out with...
with a private company).

They had granted him his wish...
and this Fall...
Alex and his mother will be traveling back to Japan
for a more lengthly stay than our last trip.

This time...
they are planning to see some of Kyoto and Kobe...
as well as visit his relatives on Shikoku.

This is our acceptance to UC Berkeley present to him.

Alex was very happy when I told him.

He just loves to travel to other parts of the world...
and he certainly deserves it.








Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Alex's 2018 Online Mathematical Talent Exhibition


Group:  Godsmack


This year...
Alex will be putting on his Mathematical Talent Exhibition online.

He wanted to reach out to the young math community
through the Art Of Problem Solving.

Alex has been a member of AOPS for over four years...
but he had been using the site to learn from four years prior to him becoming a member.

It is a premier math learning site for children who love math...
or who need a little help in understanding math.

In order to participate in the actual contest...
a child will need to have a free account through AOPS.

Alex wanted to give children around the world a chance to compete...
and to learn about competition math.

Alex knows that competition math greatly helps in understanding math...
and will put children far ahead of the math curve at their schools.

Although the contest itself is on designated days...
and only at the designated times...
Alex will be providing the answers and solutions online after the contest
so children in other parts of the world who may not be able to actually compete...
may still take the test after the competition to see how well they match up
to other children in the world...
and they may learn how to solve competition math problems through
the later provided answers and solutions.

Alex will be providing virtual medals and certificates for the top three placers
of the middle school and high school categories.


Below are the instructions to get your child registered at AOPS.

It is a great way to get your child supplementary or advanced math skill support.


First, go to artofproblemsolving.com. To make an account: click on the upper-right corner where it says "Log In / Join". If you don't already have an account, click the button that says "Create a new account", then go through the steps. You will need to choose a username and password, and provide your email address and date of birth. (If you're under 13, you will need to mail in a consent form from your parents to the AoPS Headquarters in San Diego, California.)





Then, hover your mouse over "community" and click on the button that says "forums".




This is what the forums page should look like.




Once you get to the forums page, scroll down until you see "Other Forums" and click on "AoPS Mock Contests".



This is what the AoPS Mock Contests forum looks like.



Scroll down to the thread that reads, "2018 Mathematical Talent Exhibition! (pre-contest)" and with text that says, "UPDATE: The official contest date is Sat-Sun, May 26-27!"






You will need to sign up in that thread by making a post to participate and be allowed into the private forum where the test will be given. Here is the first post of the thread:





To sign up in the thread, you need to make a post that mimics the format of the signup posts above you. (You can quote a post to copy it by using the quotation mark button to the very right, then remove the tags that say [quote] and [/quote].) Hide your name in a "hide tag" for HS Signups or MS Signups, depending on which division you plan on participating in.

Once you've signed up, you're all set! I will invite you to the private forum (called OFFICIAL 3rd MTE Administration Forum! (MS/HS)) in which the contest will take place. Once you are invited, you should see the name of the forum in your "My Forums" tab.

To get to "My Forums", click the "My AoPS" button that appears when you hover over the Community tab:





You should see six tabs, with the leftmost one reading "Profile" and the rightmost one reading "My Blogs":





Click on "My Forums" and look for the 3rd Annual MTE administration forum. Click on the link in the title to be taken to the listing of posts.





On May 26 and 27, there will be a post with the title, "Contest currently in progress!" It is not there yet, but when test day arrives, click on that thread to participate in the contest.






There will be a Middle School and a High School contest.

Day 1
Starting time: 2:00 PM (PST)
Ending time: 6:00 PM (PST) (at latest)

Day 2
Starting time: 2:00 PM (PST)

Ending time: 6:30 PM (PST)

The Middle School contest will have the following (tentative) format:

Day 1 (Saturday)
10 to 15 minutes: Introduction
1 hour: Speed Round
10 minutes: Break
50 minutes: Sprint Round
10 minutes: Break
50 minutes: Target Round

Day 2 (Sunday)
10 to 15 minutes: Introduction
40 minutes: Theme Round
10 minutes: Break
90 minutes: Insight Round
10 minutes: Break
30 minutes: Passing period (includes History of Math fun round)
60 minutes: Geometry Bee for top scorers
30 minutes: Awards

Total: 6 hours of actual test time, ~8 hours including downtime
Day 1: 2 hours, 40 minutes of test time, ~3.5 hours including downtime
Day 2: 3 hours, 10 minutes of test time, ~4.5 hours including downtime

You can expect to go through a very challenging test over the course of a few hours per day, with few breaks. This means that you must prime your mental agility as well as your stamina and endurance capabilities.

Regarding the difficulty level, you can expect about early AMC 8 to MATHCOUNTS Nationals level.


The High School contest will have the following (tentative) format:

Day 1 (Saturday)
10 to 15 minutes - introduction
1 hour - Speed Round
10 minutes - Break
50 minutes - Algebra Subject Test
10 minutes - Break
50 minutes - Geometry Subject Test


Day 2 (Sunday)
10 to 15 minutes - introduction
50 minutes - Discrete Subject Test
10 minutes - Break
90 minutes - Insight Round
30 minutes - Passing period (History of Math)
60 minutes - Calculus Bee for top scorers
~30 minutes - Awards!

Regarding the difficulty level, you can expect about early AMC 10 to early-mid AIME level.



The contest is free...
as is becoming a member of AOPS.

Through Alex's Mathematical Talent Exhibition...
he hopes to give young mathletes the challenge they desire...
the learning opportunity they will appreciate...
and the recognition they deserve.











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