Back to the stone age

So I am typing this on a school lab computer. For the week, I am laptopless because I forgot my laptop’s power cord and because my laptop’s battery sucks (HP sucks, by the way). I’ve already turned in my CS lab late. And I can’t go on AIM.

Anyway, with that said, I do have the opportunity to check my email at least once a day, so if you need something (that’s not urgent, obviously), email me and expect a response within 24 hours. If you need to contact me urgently, use my cell phone number. (No, my mom doesn’t have the phone; calm down) Or if you also have an HP (presario) laptop with a cord to share, call me so I can come over and charge up my laptop :P

Thanks. And stone age sucks, although this stone Sunray isn’t that bad.

Maxis Commentary?

Was Maxis trying to make a political commentary with its SimCity 4 program? Apparently if I charge the low-income residents 20% tax and the high income residents 0% tax, my deficit becomes a 30% surplus. Meh, whatever works for my city! Is it a bug or was it intentional?

Making money is a lot harder than it looks. When my water gets really contaminated, the whole system shuts down. When that happens, unfortunately, I lose 97% of my population. (21k to 800 ish) When that happens, I have no population to insanely tax, so I have to take out loans :( . I hate loans.

Berkeley Email Forwards

Many people have asked me how they can avoid the disgusting SquirrelMail interface of CalMail, and I have suggested forwarding the emails to the primary email address. Here’s how you can do that:

For Yahoo! Mail Users:

Note: You must be in the original mode (not the Beta mode) to do this. If you are not in the original mode, click switch back after you are logged in.

Go to Options (top-right of the page), then to Mail Addresses under Management. Click the Add button, make up a label for your mail, then click continue. On the next page, put “” in the input box designated as the “Mail Server” and your CalMail username/password in their respective boxes. Choose a color to associate mail with. Click “Setup Mail Server”, and you are done!

For GMail Users:

Login, then click on “Settings” (top-right corner). Select the Accounts tab, then scroll down to “Get mail from other accounts”. Add a mail account with the same details as above ( for the POP server, 995 for the port number). Set other settings as you please, and you are done.

For Windows Live Mail Users:

Unfortunately, I don’t have a Windows Live account, so figure it out based on the above.

Share the love

College season has been officially over for more than three months. Ms. Jankowski gave me permission to share her letter once all the applications are in (I waited an extra 8 months–can’t you tell?). I will post Ms. Jankowski’s letter. If you still have them (or got them at all in the first place), I ask you to post yours too. And if this is Ms. Jankowski reading this, thank you for the letter. I apologize for not being admitted to half of the colleges for which you wrote the letter and not going to any of them; the fault is not yours.

The English Department at Leland High School is agreed that a student like Jinghao Yan is as rare as the appearance of Halley’s Comet. Jinghao is profoundly gifted in the areas of math and science, for example earning a 5 (the top score on the Advanced Placement exam) on the AP Physics exam without actually taking the Advanced Placement Physics class. Many students with Jinghao’s math and science talent would be tempted to avoid any risk to their GPA shun classes such as English that do not play to their strengths, yet since his sophomore year (the first year that advanced classes in any subject are offered at Leland), Jinghao has taken the most challenging English classes available to him. The risk has paid off in helping to make Jinghao a more well-rounded student as well as assisting him in developing a strong, thoughtful writing ability, yet his sophomore accelerated class also accounts for one of his only two Bs (1). Earning such an unexpected grade did not discourage Jinghao, who persevered and signed up AP English Language and AP English Literature (this school year). Jinghao never runs from a challenge.

Jinghao took my AP English Language class very seriously (2), actively participating with thoughtful questions and intelligent insights and always determined to improve and become the best writer he could be. Jinghao’s tenacity is the reason I know him so well and why I feel so strongly about his potential. During the first semester, he had a disagreement with me over a few points, which nonetheless would make a difference in his grade, so he decided to write me an Email expressing his concern. Since AP English Language is a class that focuses on developing a mature, academic writing style, Jinghao surmised that a professional business-grade letter would get my attention. The letter was intelligent and stylistically flawless, and I told Jinghao that he had made my week with this charming missive. Pleased that he had brightened my day, Jinghao created what he called a bi-monthly newsletter where he wrote me astonishingly adept letters about our class, his experiences at school, or the world at large. Needless to say, I looked forward to each one. Jinghao may be the student that everyone runs to for math and science help but he is actually quite modest (3) and cares deeply about his classmates and his teachers.

Jinghao is a brilliant, kind, and thoughtful student who has an incredible future ahead of him. I honestly believe that there is nothing that Jinghao cannot overcome, and that whatever he aspires to, he will succeed at. Jinghao has much to offer and the tools to take advantage of the best that American schools have to offer.

Robin Jankowski

1. Heh, as of now there are two more to add to that, thanks to lit and my supposed “perseverence”.
2. On brief occasions, I suppose that was true.
3. Modesty isn’t as frequently seen in non-English classes.

Joey! I didn’t know that you were …

Gay??? Source:

Subject: jinghao
Posted: January 11, 2007
Mood: indescribable
Music: the new mario song

Okay. I have a crush. A major major crush. China crush. Lol. Yeah Jinghao’s from China. The only thing I’ve ever said to him is “glugh” because my tongue tied as I gazed upon his hot broad shouldered form. And the best thing is that no one else thinks that he’s hot. YAY! Now if I can work up the courage to go up and introduce myself to him…

Anyhow, I’ve been hearing from my friends that he’s been staring at me alot when I’m not looking. So hopefully, he has a thing for me too! Either that or he thinks I’m a total freak. I want this one.


Joey! This is what I find out by Googling “lol jinghao” on a random Sunday evening. I can’t believe you’ve kept this secret to yourself for all these years! If only I had known!

(Stop being gay by entertaining your alternate personalities)

Berkeley Schedule

I’m done choosing my classes. You can see them here:

I hand coded the chart, so it took longer than I wanted it to, but it helped me choose the classes that didn’t overlap. I was pretty disappointed when the 10-11 math 53 discussion sessions were full/unavailable, so I had to drop the Environmental Science seminar (9-10) in order to add the 9-10 AM math discussion sessions :( Now I got astronomy seminar instead of Environmental Sci, and I have to wake up an hour early–not to mention the extra one hour of nothing every day.

Have you guys finished registering for classes?

AP Scores

I just picked up my mail and saw my AP scores. They were much better than I had anticipated; at least AP Bio was (5). Hooray for Bowen Education! My 5 in Macro won’t help me at all (not even units) because I would need a complementary 4 in Micro in order to get Econ 1 credit. 5 in Physics C: EM doesn’t help either because Berkeley’s Engineering department doesn’t believe the EM is intensive enough (it really isn’t–I learned it the hours before the test). I took most of these APs because they would’ve counted towards MIT, but I never got off the waitlist. (Caltech doesn’t count them)

I really wish I got a 5 in lit, though. I know I shouldn’t've expected any higher than a 4, but a four means nothing to my credits.

Engineering school is too strict.

Blacks, Mexicans, Caucasians, et al

I have just returned from China, a diverse country of 1.3 billion people and 56 ethnicities. I’ll try to summarize my experience in a brief paragraph:

In China, I saw Blacks, Mexicans, Caucasians, Indians, everyone, but there were no Blacks, Mexicans, Caucasians, Indians in China; they were all Chinese. There were homeless families living under bridges, young men slaving away eighteen hours a day at a textile factory for less than minimum wage, unscrupulous businessmen willing to put their lives and their families’ wellbeing at stake to earn that extra penny, poor farmers breaking their backs to see their fields rot and die. There were people of all kinds, more than one can imagine. All the world’s stereotypes come alive in the land of the Middle Kingdom.

Perfectly Competitive Job Market

So for the first time in a life time, my parents hired this Mexican guy (Mexican 1) to mow our lawn since they were excessively busy preparing for our trip to China. We paid him 25 bucks, and he provided the equipment, gasoline, among other things.

Halfway through his job, another Mexican, Mexican 2 (this guy lives down the street), comes over and beats up Mexican 1 while causing a mess with the pile of plant material Mexican 1 meticulously collected. Mexican 2 complained about how Mexican 1 was an unlicensed worker and how he’s stealing the job that’s rightfully his (Mexican 2′s). Mexican 1 was silent the whole time.

Enraged by Mexican 1′s calm demeanor, Mexican 2 assaulted him again, this time screaming something along the lines of “GO BACK TO MEXICO, YOU F@$KING [Niger]!” (I guess this guy can’t pronounce Niger either :P ). Ironic, since they’re both Mexican and the second one can’t tell the difference between a Nigerian resident and a Veracruz resident.

I guess of the 25 bucks we paid, 2 dollars go into gasoline and 20 go into his health insurance. Poor Mexican, getting beat up by another Mexican for stealing his job. At least we have concrete assurances that the free market system works in this world :)

A in lit? Psh, screw that!

My lit grade right now is fractions of a percent from an A. Yes, I know it’s overly inflated, as are everyone else’s grades. If it weren’t for that unexpected B on our final project, I would’ve gotten my first A in AP literature. But now I don’t really care. Does getting an A matter to me, really? Not really. Maybe some self-esteem boosts, but I got tons more where that came from. What’s worth more is Mr. N admitting that he ACTUALLY liked my paper:

(11:28:23 PM) Me: I was pretty happy with my comparison/contrast essay result
(11:28:39 PM) MrWen: as was i
(11:28:52 PM) MrWen: there were only a handful of papers that i enjoyed reading
(11:29:00 PM) Me: hey, that’s quite the honor. thanks
(11:29:37 PM) MrWen: to write a complicated paper like that in high school is no small feat.
(11:30:09 PM) MrWen: it’s hard enough to juggle one text, but to juggle multiple texts but somehow keep things coherent… that’s a hefty challenge.
(11:30:35 PM) MrWen: most people resorted to a basic formula…
(11:30:42 PM) MrWen: discussing one book… then the next… then the next…
(11:30:55 PM) MrWen: the more successful papers found a unifying thread to discuss all texts concurrently.

Thanks, Mr. Nguyen. I guess I know what to do for tonite’s bedtime reading.