Sunday, December 31, 2017

Dinner And A Talk With Alex


Song:  Creep (Cover Of Radiohead)

Artist:  Brian Justin Crum


Alex just finished the last of his university applications the day before.

He had written approximately 50 essays for all of the universities to which he had applied.

Many of the universities had 3 - 5 essays per application.

Last night...
I took Alex to his favorite restaurant in celebration of his completion 
of the application process.


We started out with appetizers.

Alex only liked the Naan.

I had the Naan with cilantro - jalapeno hummus...
and I had a salad.

Naan and Kabab is one of our favorite restaurants in Reno.

It has excellent Mediterranean food.


Alex ordered his favorite...
Salmon Kabab.


I ordered the Kabab Koobideh platter...
my favorite.


I can't tell you enough how tasty these dishes are.

The spices are perfect...
and all of the meats and vegetables are fire roasted.



Alex then finished off with dessert.

It was a pistachio ice cream which was topped off with baklava.


We had extra Naan...
and I had Alex take back a slice of chocolate cake for his mother.

On the drive up to eat...
I had asked Alex which essay was his favorite.

He said that he has a favorite mathematical author who is a professor
at one of the universities which had accepted him.

He had written about how he would like to learn under this particular professor.


I also asked him which essay was the most difficult for him to have written.


He said that a total of four universities had asked him to write
an essay about a particularly tough challenge he had conquered in life.

Alex had written about his early life while he was undergoing
ABA therapy for Autism...
of how he had conquered his many compulsions and tics...
and especially his greatly heightened sensitivity to stimuli...
and of how he continued to grow and to learn how to organize his thoughts...
as well as to focus on his passions in life.

This essay was difficult for Alex as he was only three years old when he had started 
his 40 hour a week in home ABA therapy...
and of which continued until he was five years old.

He said that although he remembers much about that time...
he had to really dig to remember the details so he could write about it in his essays.



As Alex is getting nearer to becoming a full time university student...
I am growing more and more nostalgic...
but even more...
I have a growing apprehension about my not having taught Alex enough 
about the world he will soon be facing.

And so...
during dinner...
and for the drive back home...
I had told him about the many pitfalls in life.

I had told him that he has built a very strong foundation
for the rest of his life...
but that he must be aware of two basic pitfalls in life...
that which comes from within...carelessness and temptation...
and that which comes from without...accidents and evil.


I had stressed that many traditions are not mindless constructs of man...
but are general rules of conduct to prevent mishaps in life...
as had been seen and experienced by people over a great amount of time...
and had been passed down from generation to generation.

I reminded him that over the next decade or so...
what he does will determine the rest of his life.

If he loses focus...
if he becomes careless...
he could lose it all.


I had stressed that the key to surviving accidents...
is to use enough forethought to prevent them from happening in the first place.

I then talked to Alex about the tradition of chastity until marriage...
of how it has an important purpose.

I had stressed that to forego this tradition is to place
a short term pleasure over the long term gain.

It is to unnecessarily risk losing his dream
for something he has plenty of time for
after he completes his university...
and becomes a professor.


I know that Alex will be faced with attempted manipulation
by his peers should he not desire to participate in risky behavior
they deem as manly or otherwise as part of the group.

He may be labeled by those who wish to manipulate him...
 as a coward...
or otherwise as someone who is considered undesirable.

He knows that there are social bullies...
and of how they will attempt to have him sabotage his own life
through manipulation.

I have also stressed to him...
many times...
that he should never ride in a vehicle of another adolescent...
as the biggest killer of adolescents in America...
are motor vehicles...
driven by them, or by another.

I especially stressed how he should never allow himself to become a designated driver
for the idiots who think that drinking is a manly thing to do

( I had gone into how the Alcohol and Tobacco industries
had actually hired Psychologists to design a way to increase
their markets many decades ago.  
Their heavily manipulative solution was to use the concept of modeling...
by having all of the heroes drink and smoke in movies
(the Tobacco and Alcohol industries sponsored the movies and TV shows...
and demanded each character smoke and drink)...
especially in heavily dramatic scenes involving closeups
of them smoking and drinking just before climactic moments...
and so, tying it in to their success over man...
and with women.  
This was the great evil of the industries...
and of the Psychologists...
as they had succeeded in hooking generation after generation...
 with many starting out as teenagers ).


I told Alex that any "friend" who asks him to be a designated driver...
is no friend...
and that he should never allow himself to be around anyone who is impaired...
as they excel at doing stupid things.

Anyone who "parties"...
is someone whom he should walk away from...
as they are on the wrong path in life...
and they will want him to walk that same path with them.


I also stressed that...
just as not all men are honorable or good...
not all women are honorable or good.

As Alex goes higher in life 
through his dedication to his education...
there will be some women who wish to "hook" him.

There will be some who will look at him as a catch.

This, of course...
implies that he is a fish...
a commodity to be used for their own selfish desires...
to satisfy their hunger for a life of ease.

Various forms of manipulation will be attempted by these temptresses.

Any form of manipulation is a sign to walk away.

Alex must learn to look for a pure hearted woman...
one whose chief trait is kindness...
one whom has a high maternal instinct.

As I have told Alex many a time...
he should have it in his mind to never get married.

When he meets the woman who...
through her selfless pure heart and high maternal instinct...
makes him think differently about marriage...
he will have found the right one.

When he finds the right one...
there will be no doubt...
and it is she who will constantly be on his mind.

Then...
and only then...
should he think about marriage...
and then...
only after he finishes all of his schooling...
and starts his profession.

If both wish to be married...
both will be willing to wait...
if their hearts are true.

-------

To circumvent the pitfalls of life...
merely think things through.

If it is a distraction...
if it causes a diversion from your path...
if it unnecessarily puts your future at risk...
it is the wrong thing to do.

Always beware of the false immediacy argument
favored by the manipulators of life.

Very few things in life must be decided immediately.

There is almost always a few minutes to think things through
before deciding on an activity.

Should any person attempt to use a false immediacy argument...
you will know that the person had withheld the information
until the last moment to create a sense of urgency...
so as to attempt to force you to make a judgement without thought...
as they knew that you would not agree with it, with thought, in the first place.

If things are so dire that it must be decided on immediately...
you automatically know to pass on it.

--------

So...
as a general guideline for living life without falling victim to its pitfalls...
simply do everything in accordance with the achievement of your dreams.

This will automatically keep you on the right path.

-------

Alex is now busy with his preparation as an instructor at this year's
winter math camp.

He will be teaching competition math...
and he is having fun preparing his lesson plan.















Sunday, December 24, 2017

Alex's Fall Semester Grades / Christmas Lights



Song:  O Holy Night

Artist:  Josh Grobin


It was a couple of days ago that Alex received his final grades for high school...
his college classes, and his university classes.

These grades are also important for Alex as we will have to send in these transcripts
to all of the applied to universities as supplemental information.

Alex has yet to receive word from the majority of the universities...
and, even the ones which have already accepted him...
should his grades fall this year...
they could refuse to take him...
so, as Alex had received all A's in all of his classes again this past semester...
he feels especially good.

Of course...
he still has one more semester to go...
but, this was a particularly important semester for him to do so well in.


On the next morning...
I had to drive over the Sierra Nevada mountain range for an appointment
in California.

As I was going over the summit...
the sun began rising...
so, I took some photos.







My appointment was over quickly...
so, I drove back over the mountains to go home.

When I got home...
I was tired...
so, I slept until late in the evening.

On the evening of the next day...
we went out to a local Chinese restaurant to celebrate Alex's good news.




Alex had ordered the above two dishes:

Chicken Chow Mein

Crispy Duck




I had ordered the above two dishes:

Beef Chow Mein

Roasted Duck




My wife had just ordered one dish:

Vietnamese Beef Pho



Alex and I had finished our Chow Mein...
and most of our duck.

We had ordered extra so we could take some home afterwards.


---------------


This Winter has been disappointing in its lack of snow.
Usually we would have plenty of snow on the ground by now.

Still, we wanted to see some of our neighborhood's Christmas lights.

We had just come back from driving around our neighborhood
to see the Christmas decorations.

It is now Christmas Eve.


























The lights would have looked so much better with a foot or two of snow covering the ground...
but, it was still nice.















Thursday, December 21, 2017

To Alex - The Value And Meaning Of Life



Song:  Connections

Artists:  Paul Horn (flute) / Stephen Halpern (Keyboard)



I am Alex's Father.

One of my most sacred of duties is to ensure my son
may reach his greatest potential of happiness for the long term.

It is to know the value of life.

A person cannot fully value life unless he understands two concepts...
that of time...and that of death.

Our time in life is short...and death is final.

So...
in knowing that life is short...
it gives life its sense of urgency.

Knowing that death is inevitable and final...
gives life its value.

When a person understands the value of life...
the meaning of life becomes that which gives it the most value.

So...
fearing death would be indicative of a misunderstanding 
of the value and meaning of life.

What should be feared is not having lived a well lived life.

I had previously written an article on the concept of mortality...
by clicking on the below link...
it will give a more thorough understanding of what I mean.



Does this mean that a person should have a reckless disregard for safety?


Of course not.


It means that a person should not live his life based upon his fear of death.

To unnecessarily cut short life would be to not fulfill a well lived life.


A simple mental exercise to find the central passion in your life
is to see yourself on your death bed in your mind's eye.

At this point...
as the person knows that death is certain and may occur at anytime...
there is no fear of death...
there is only the person's reliving of his most magical moments in his life...
that which gives him the most happiness in those moments.

As you look back on your life on your deathbed...
simply plug in the passions which you would love to pursue in life.

The person should have a deep sense of fulfillment and a contented look on his face...
he has no regrets...but he is instead filled with the memories of a magical life...
and in those moments...he is surrounded in an ever growing warmth
of the most magical and soul stirring music and colors
combined into his greatest symphony...
as he looks forward to the climax and the utter peace in the afterglow
of his Magnum Opus.


Each magical moment in life adds to its sound and color...
another piece of the orchestra...
another pane of the stained glass...
and so, to the depth of feeling garnered...
all of which gives life its great beauty...
and which constantly enriches everything in life forever more.


To not look at death openly and honestly...
is to take away the great value and meaning of life.

It is to never fully experience the magical moments
presented in the simple pleasures of life.

While we each revel 
in the complete innocence and pure heartedness of a child 
as demonstrated in his genuine smile and full belly laughter...
the wide eyed exuberance of wonder at the exploring of his world
and making life changing discoveries...
of his great pride which shows in his glittering eyes when he accomplishes a great feat...
these and more are moments of pure magic in a parent's eyes
because we know that childhood eventually ends.

And so...
each of those moments are forever emblazoned 
in the heart and mind in each parent.

Each parent knows that those times will rapidly come to an end...
except for the hope that they will once again see those pure hearted moments
in their child later in life...
and so, when they happen, they are deeply treasured.


To never think of death is to think that life is never ending.
It is to live a mundane existence of muted sounds and opaque colors...
as there is then nothing special about it.

The focus then becomes of moving from one short term pleasure to another...
in hope of alleviating the boredom of that mundane existence.



I will end this article with two poems I had written for one of my early articles...
as it succinctly illustrates my meaning of life:
(Time - Flowing Like A River)

---------


Spring...Summer...rich memories made

Autumn...life enriched through experience fondly remembered

Winter...one time...never again

----------

As you stroll down the Autumn path in life...
its trees ablaze in the full glory
of the crimson reds...
of the luminous yellows...
the depth of colors
a reflection of the depth
of memories made.


You may face Winter...
ever ready for
its icy winds...
as you are
constantly warmed
by those memories made.

Through the windows
of the mind...
 you gaze upon
the landscape
of life before you...
with the crystal clarity
that Winter brings.

You sit satisfied
before the fireplace...
still burning brightly
with your love of life.

You are ready for
everlasting sleep...
without fear...
without regret...
as you have
truly lived...
Life.

                          ......Shiroi Tora





















Saturday, December 16, 2017

First Round Of University Application Replies


Song:  I'm A Man

Group:  Chicago


Alex had applied to a total of 23 top Math Universities in the US.


Last week...
Alex had received three university application replies...
and this morning, Alex received two notices from 
universities which are in the top 20 in the world for math.



I had waited for Alex to get up this morning as he was expecting to have an answer
from one university today.

Alex logged into his computer to read his email.




Alex was surprised...
as there were two universities which had replied.

He was only expecting one this morning.


Alex then logged into the first one to see the results.

Anticipation was on high!


Alex read it and found out he was accepted to the first one.



Alex was basking in the moment...
then it was on to the second university log in.


Alex then logged into the second university...


and he was also accepted to this one!

Both of these universities are in the top twenty in the world for math.

However, there are still another 18 universities Alex is waiting to hear from.

For the majority of them...
he will have to wait until the end of March to get an answer...
but, Alex would be perfectly happy if he went to one of these two which had
just accepted him.

And...
Alex's declared Major is in the hardest one...
and he was accepted in this category for both...
Science and Engineering (Math is included in this Major).


As you can see by Alex's hair...
he had just awakened...
but these two acceptance letters fully opened his eyes!  :)



Alex is feeling good.

Everything is right in the world of Alex  :)


No matter what happens in the next few months...
Alex may now continue on his journey to becoming a university math professor.

Even were he to get rejection letters from the rest...
he would be perfectly happy with choosing one of the two which had just accepted him.



The tally so far:

1 Rejection letter

1 Deferment letter 
(going to the next round of picks...answer by end of March)

3 Acceptance letters

With one of the universities...
he had been sent a Golden Ticket.

They had been actively recruiting him...
and it is also a famous math and engineering university.


Again...
there are another 18 universities we are waiting to hear from...
and it may be until the end of March before we get their answers...
but, at least we know that Alex has some top universities to pick from already.


I had suggested we go out to eat to celebrate tonight.


However...
Alex wants to wait until Monday evening...
as he is taking his UNR final for his Linear Algebra II class then...
and he doesn't want to go anywhere until he takes his final.
He just wants to stay home and study for it.

Alex is also registered for the Spring Semester at UNR.

He will be taking Functional Analysis
(the next higher class after Linear Algebra II).










Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...