Monday, January 30, 2012

Random ramblings – 4



(The last time I posted “Random Ramblings” was way back in August, 2011.)

-          30 days out of the 366 days in 2012 are already over :O Makes me take a step back and think where the last 30 days have gone.

30 days is a lot of time. Let me see if I can remember anything about the past two days.

-          Yesterday (the 29th of Jan, 2011), I wrote the selection test for the International Olympiad in Linguistics. I had to travel all the way to University of Hyderabad’s campus in Gachibowli (23 km from my home) to write this exam. To be honest, it didn’t go that well. I did give it my best shot but I guess I wasn’t ready. Anyway, I’ll do a lot lot better the next time around.

-          Today, I had my science Unit Test which went pretty well. Expecting just a mark less than 20.

-          Also, the school round for the Marrs Spelling Bee was held in my school. It also went pretty well and I got selected from my class along with a friend (anyone remember the “giraffe” from “31-29 Boy What a match”?) I think I aced the dictation round. I could just unjumble 3 words out of the 10 though. That kinda surprised me as well. The oral round was okayish.

 Speaking of exams, I just realized something. Other than the school pre-finals and the board exams, I do not really have any other exams. That means I can concentrate fully on acing my school exams. Interesting. :P

            My next unit test is on 1st Feb which coincides with the day after tomorrow. Wait a second, shouldn’t that have been the other way around?
           
Until next time,
Adarsh!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Respectttt



Respect is what water gained from me today.

            I woke up feeling quite low today. My eyes felt groggy didn’t feel like doing anything. I so wanted to study for stuff but I just couldn’t get myself to. Instead, I plonked down and started watching TV but got bored soon.

            It felt queer. I couldn’t quite pin-point what was causing it.

I was walking from one room to another without any purpose when my glance fell on something. “OMG” Was the first thought that came into my mind.

            Over the next 2 seconds, it struck me nice and full.

Apparently, I hadn’t drunk water since the past 36+ hours.

                From 11:30 pm(24th Jan) to 1:30 pm(26th Jan), I hadn’t drunk water. That’s about 38 hours if I’m not mistaken. In that period, all I had drunk was three glasses of milk but no water.

                Voila!

                I instantly took a glass and filled it up with water and drunk it. Repeated that cycle 3 times until I became ‘active’ again and could do stuff.

                 Seriously, I never thought water was so important. It gained a whole lot of respect from me today.

HAIL WATER.

:P

Adarsh.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sound Familiar?


                Have you guys ever heard of a debt trap? A person(usually an Indian farmer) is said to have fallen into one when he goes on paying money but the debt never seems to be cleared and if anything, appears to grow more in size.

Sound familiar?

                Almost everyone falls into a trap like this right from when they’re 3 years old until their mid-twenties.

Now?

                Yes, I mean the exam-trap. If you compare them, you don’t really see much difference. Each one of them sucks the blood of the person who falls into it. The exams never seem to end. If one ends, the other starts within a few weeks. And the best of all, each year, the amount of portion keeps on increasing.

                To be entirely honest, I wrote the above from the general point of view. Personally, I don’t really hate exams. It feels good to be tested once in a while and come out on top of everyone else. (Not blowing my own trumpet but it happens more often that not) I like the challenge that the exam gives. It is during exam times that I happen to use my actual mind the most because it’s a challenge that I love to beat.

                Over here in India, we people take 10th grade very seriously. Everyone’s like 
“Study..study..study..You need to get good marks in your 10th board-exams..Study..study..study.” I find it a tad bit funny.

                Anyway, it’s the time of the year when I have to write Unit-tests, Pre-finals and finally (the exams that matter the most) the board exams.

                My unit-tests are starting from the 25th of Jan, the day after tomorrow. The first exam’s Math. They end on the 6th of February.

                After that we write what people call the pre-boards. They are conducted in the 3rd week of February over a period of five days.

                After all this, the real-deal starts. The board exams start from the 2nd of March and occur over a period of 24 days till the 26th of February.

                I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to that final exam on the 26th of February. Part of me gets excited at the prospect of finally being done with school while the other part doesn’t want to leave it. Got too many sweet/fond memories attached to it.

                Aah. Like it or not, I’ll have to write that final exam and get done with school. The whole world’s ahead of me.
                Anyways, over the next few days expect posts that’ll be me writing out my thoughts on the exams that I’ll be writing.



Btw, I’m writing the selection test for the IOL this Sunday in Hyderabad….. It’s hard. Never thought I’d say it but, it’s hard. I’ll need loadsa practice before I’m comfortable with it! Hope I do well J             

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keys for the 2nd IEO (Other classes)



                I’ve been getting a lot of requests for posting the keys for the 2nd IEO for classes other than 10th. I don't mind posting them but, I do not have access to their question papers!

                So, if you could scan your question paper and send me an e-mail at adarshnet@gmail.com with the scanned files attached, I could post the keys.

                Do not wait for others to send it because even they will be waiting for others to send it. At the end, no one will send it.

                So, if you have a scanner, scan it ASAP and send the attachments to me at adarshnet@gmail.com I assure you that I’ll post the keys within 24 hours of you clicking the 'send' button on your e-mail.

Adarsh.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Key for the 2nd IEO (Class 10)

NOTE : If you want the keys for the other classes, CLICK HERE


                What follows is the key(for the 10th class paper) of the 2nd International English Olympiad conducted by SOF in association with the British Council.



                The following are the answers that I think are the correct answers. Don’t worry though, except one or two, most of them are the correct answers. If you don’t agree with any of the answers below, you can comment on this post and I’ll follow up.

                By the way, I’ve made a few mistakes and as far as I know, I’ll be getting something around 46. Let me know how many marks you’re scoring in the comments section J

Thanks for visiting!

1.       (A) Accelerated
2.       (D) Reversed
3.       (D) Collided
4.       (B) Risk
5.       (C) Rose
6.       (C) Though I know I will have to use them in the future
7.       (C) Get to the Eiffel Tower
8.       (C) Than depend on other people for things
9.       (D) Taking my life in my hands
10.   (A)
11.   (D)
12.   (C)
13.   (B)
14.   (C)
15.   (C)
16.   (D)
17.   (B) 
18.   (C)
19.   (C)
20.   (C)
21.   (B)
22.   (C)
23.   (B)
24.   (A)
25.   (D)
26.   (B)
27.   (D)
28.   (D)
29.   (C) -- (edited)
30.   (A)
31.   (A)
32.   (C) -- (edited. Was previously D)
33.   (B)
34.   (C) -- (Edited. Was previously B)
35.   (A) -- (Edited. Was previously D
36.   (C)
37.   (B)
38.   (D)
39.   (A)
40.   (D)
41.   (B)
42.   (A)
43.   (C)
44.   (D)
45.   (B) -- (Was previously A. T'was a straightforward question. Too much thinking took me astray :/ )
46.   (B) -- (SOF says the answer is A. They must have made a typo. It doesn't make sense)
47.   (B)
48.   (C)
49.   (A)
50.   (C)

If this key helped, please let me know in the comments.
Thanks for visiting this key!

Adarsh.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Diverging ways


Disclaimer : This post is purely fictional. Any resemblance to any place, character, thing living or dead is purely unintended and regretted.

Happens to be the very first-of-it's-kind.

Diverging Ways

You know, I miss the days
When I used to enjoy your company.

That was a long time ago.


Somewhere along in the bitterness of life,
We diverged on a fork in the road.
It seemed small at the time,
But it is only now that I realize how huge it really was.

We still kept touch,
Be it through calls, texts or chats.
However, on your way, you found someone.
You were bewitched by her ways.

I looked on from my side of the road.
I had neither the courage nor the strength to stop you.
You were finally learning to fly.
I had to let you learn,
Even if you flew right into the devil’s lair.

At first, I didn’t take much notice.
I didn’t think it would stand the test of time.
But, I was proved wrong.

8 months later, everything has changed.
We were never this further apart.
You still keep touch,
But the ‘coldness’ in your calls, messages, chats is well visible.
You think nothing has happened,
But here, I know everything has happened.

I can do nothing but stare in your direction
As I watch you just grow further and further apart.
I do not have the courage or desire to stop you,
I’ve never seen you this happy.
Bliss is what you feel around her.


Your shadow on me is decreasing.
More of me is being visible every damn day.
It scares me.
How will I ever adjust to the light?
But somewhere, a voice tells me
“You have to.”

At every mention of her, my heart twitches.
I don’t like it but I know I don’t have a say.
Each lives their own life.
Each has their own destiny.
Each has their own path to their destination.
Shortcuts spoil it more than you know.

Now, I see you with a glint of disappointment.
I try my best to hide it.
But, I think it shows.

How did it happen?
Wish the answer was as simple as a 'Yes' or a 'No'.
The answers more profound.

I try my best not to say anything but sometimes,
The load gets too heavy.
You have to unload.
Be it in the ocean or on land.
You have to make yourself lighter,
If you want to keep riding the skies.

I don’t understand how it all happened.
I can’t fathom it.
Why it happened, I don’t know.

But,
My mind tells me,
“God works in mysterious ways.”

And,
God sure does work in mysterious ways.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An analysis.



Sorry about the ‘bland’ title. Couldn’t help it.

Anyways, what follows is a very-very long entry(around 1600+ words). It’s just me rambling. But, if you like sports, you should probably give it a read. I’ve done some analysis on Volleyball and (kind of) published my results here.

Here goes,

While we were sitting on the sidelines watching our classmates play volleyball (terribly), my friend retorted “I don’t understand this. All of us started playing the volleyball at the same time but, why are some better than the others?” I just shrugged off the question at that moment but, it sure did get me thinking. Especially after I watched like 3 hours of the Big Bang Theory(the sitcom) on the Television.

                There are a number of possible reasons for the above being true. I’m going to list them all here and explain my views about each one of them.

                Yes, it’s true that all of us started playing volleyball at around the same time(around two years ago). However, that in no way indicates the amount of time each one has spent.

                While I was thinking about all those who played well, something jumped out on me. Everyone one of them owned a volleyball. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll be good at volleyball if you own a volleyball because there’s this one kid who indeed does own a volleyball but, he isn’t that great in playing it. There must be something else behind this. That is practice. I think that’s the main thing that separates those who play well from those who doesn’t. Atleast in my case, it does.

                While other’s just played/practiced at school only, the volleyball bug caught me. I bought a ball and started practicing it at home as well. I’m no athlete, let me tell you that. But, when I catch a bug, it gets pretty crazy. Volleyball dominated my life during that time. I mean, if I wasn’t at school, I was in front of my house practicing volleyball using the walls of my house. Even when it turned dark, you could hear a constant hammering sound inside the house. That would be me banging the ball on the wall.

                I used to do it for like 1-2 hours a day. Now, I don’t know how much time I exactly spent on doing this or how much time the bug had me but, it was enough for me to be ‘better’ than the average kid at the game.
                That’s one reason, more practice.
               
                However, that’s not the only factor that I think led to this disparity among the students. Something called ‘motivation’/ ‘desire’ also played a big-big role.
                I’m a stickler for sports. I love playing them(not what you’d expect from a nerd eh?). I especially love team sports. When we(my class) started playing volleyball, we were complete beginners. Seriously, I didn’t know the abc of volleyball. People had to coerce me into playing it at the start but soon, as I like to say it, the bug caught me. I began finding volleyball more and more fun. I wanted to get better and better. There was a desire inside me to be better than the rest and that made me try and give my best at the game(or at practice for that matter). All the good players that my friend was hinting at, love the game. That’s what matters, you’ve got to love the game to be good at it. It’s pretty much the same for everything that you do. If you want to be good at it, start loving it.

                What else? Well, I think your agility too plays a very important role for this specific game.            

                You do know what agility means, don’t you? It basically means your ability to move around. If you are agile, you can move about pretty quickly and that definitely helps. Especially in this game. Actually, moving away from the topic, the first time I came across this particular word was when I was playing with those Pokemon cards. Each pokemon had a measure of agility and that was the first time I came across that word. See? Cartoons do help!

                Anyways, as I was saying, agility also played a very important role. At least I think it did. Now, I pride myself for being agile. I may not be able to touch the ground with my hands without bending my legs but, I can move about pretty quickly. Every time I fall, my hands move like lightning to break the fall and cause as minimum damage as possible. There have been times when I managed to duck just in time. However, you cannot call me graceful. I’m agile but, there’s not even an iota of gracefulness in me. Seriously, I might look really ‘idiotic’ while running or moving about on the court but, I get the job done! Sigh. How I wish people understood that one thing.

                Coming back, one other thing that I’ve noticed in all those who’re better in volleyball is that they’re agile. Those who weren’t sure did have a disadvantage.

                Also, your willingness to learn also matters a lot. I for one have been very open about my desire to learn volleyball. I browsed stuff on the internet, read books, asked my coach for some advice and all. Some people just didn’t want to learn and now, I see them messing it up on the court and when I tell them that I’ll be in their place because they aren’t doing it properly and the team’s suffering, they tell me “I’m learning Adarsh. Let me.” Seriously, my blood curdles when they reply that. YOU DON’T LEARN ON THE COURT! YOU’VE TO LEARN OUTSIDE IT! If you aren’t willing to put the time or efforts then you aren’t going to get well at doing that anytime soon.

                One other pet peeve that I have is that I hate it when people think somebody is watching them and try to serve in a ‘cool’ way and that serve just ends up going outside. Volleyball is not a spectator sport! Actually, it probably is a spectator sport but please don’t mind them! Stop trying to look cool while playing, it does more harm than you know of.

                There’s one last thing that I think separates those who play well from those who don’t. TEAM WORK. Those 8 letters are really really important if you want to do well in any team sport. Volleyball isn’t a game where a single player who plays really well can make up for the rest. I’ve learnt that time and again and it’s probably settling into my brain finally.

                While I was thinking all this, some unusual things came up. What I said above doesn’t explain why someone is good at serving, why someone can play the upper-arm pass okayish but is pretty terrible at the under-arm pass, why someone plays the under-arm pass extremely well but upper-arm pass not so well, why someone is an expert in the under-arm serve and not in the upper-arm serve, why some of us play better than the others?

                Now, I’m a scientist(say it's true for the time-being) and I believe that there’s an explanation for everything.(except for one thing that humans can’t fathom. I’ll talk about that later.)

                How could I explain the above? After a bit of thinking, the answer dawned upon me.

                I’d read this ‘different’ book sometime ago. It was called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Once I remembered it, it all began making sense. I got the answers to all of the above questions. Now, before I go any further, let me tell you this. I’d suggest you read that book but there’s a warning that I’d like to give. To some people, the book may seem ‘depressing’ but for others, you’ll be a bit dazed. I was one of those who were dazed and not an iota of depression. But, it’s a good read. Try it out, you never know which one of them you’ll turn out to be.

                The book basically deals with different stuff but, for my explanation, you just need to know one thing. When people spend more time on one thing than the others, they get better at it. If you spend round about 10,000 hours on doing something, you’ll be an expert in that particular field. But, that 10,000 hours is just an estimate. It may take 9,000 or 11,000 or maybe even more.

                Anyways, so basically, if you spend more time on doing something, you will get better at that. You are probably like “Duh! What’s new in that?” What you fail to notice is how that one thing explains all the questions that came up.            

                AAA. He’s somebody who’s good at serving. Why? When we first started playing, we were all assigned positions. Each one was given a position where he played best. AAA was in the serving position. He had this teenie-meenie advantage at the start in serving so he became the server. Now, that teenie-meenie advantage soon turned into a huge one. Why? Because, he served every single ball. He got loads of practice during the match itself and soon caught hang of it. Hence, he’s good at it.

                The same goes for the rest. The kid who’s good at the under-arm pass and not at the upper-arm pass is so because when he first started playing the position he was assigned to was the back ones. That made him use his under-arm more than his upper-arm and hence, he became good at only one skill and not the other. The vice-versa goes for the kid who’s good at the upper-arm and not at the under-arm pass. The one who serves well using the under-arm is so because he uses that serve mostly and not the upper-arm one.

                See? It all makes sense now.

Alright. Alright. I'll stop. Just get up. I don't like people touching my feet and begging me to stop #kidding.

That concludes a post that I'd written a long time ago but never really got around posting it.

Thanks for reading,

Adarsh.

(PS: btw, I’m probably bragging a lot nowadays :P)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Intuition ;)


(PS : If you want to, just skip 451 words to that's where the post actually starts :P)

            Intuition. 

This would be the Chinese symbol for intuition


Wikipedia describes it as the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason.
            For me, it’s just the voice in me that tells me what to do without giving any reason.
           
            As a kid, I used to watch cricket (I’ve got cricinfo for that now). More often than not, I was put-forth the question “Who’s going to win this match?” I always told them what my intuition told me and voila! It was true almost always! Now, people might attribute that to luck but not me.
I’m sorry but your dreams of kidnapping me and becoming a millionaire by betting are dashed. Those days of guessing the result of a cricket match correctly are gone. My intuition doesn’t reply anymore when I ask it who’s going to win the match. 

            Also, my intuition also helps me quite a bit while solving problems. Atleast, it did, 3 years ago.

            It was evening and I was attending some class on Math. The teacher wrote a problem on the board and asked us the answer. 

“There is a number whose two digits are equal to one another. If you square the number, you will get a four-digit number whose first two digits equal each other and the last two digits also equal each other. What is the original number?”

            To be entirely honest, I didn’t have a whisker of an idea how I was going to solve that particular problem. Intuition took over me. I wrote two numbers down on the blank page in front of me and multiplied them. Voila! They turned out to be the required numbers. Everyone in the class was like “ :O ” when I gave the correct answer. 

            Some people call it luck. I call it ‘intuition’.

            Now, before you start trusting your intuition, I want to type out a disclaimer.

            Intuition doesn’t always work. Period.


            Nobody’s been happier than me when they trust their intuition and go ahead but, nobody’s been more disappointed with it when it didn’t work out the way it was supposed to.

            I don’t guess on MCQ test papers. But, on a particularly hard test which I hadn’t studied for, I had to guess. 

            Attempting a problem gave me a 25% chance of getting it right. 

            So, I turned to my intuition for help.
I marked A ,a, b, c, d, a, c, a,…..etc and finished with it. I was pretty jubilant at the end of the exam. I was pretty confident of doing real good on it.

            I learnt it the hard way that intuition doesn’t really work well when you’re writing exams :P I score real low(like real-real low) on that test. But hey, I did learn a lesson!


Anyways, the reason I’m writing this post is…. (You all are probably like, you should’ve said that 456 words ago! I know..I know…I rant a lot)

            So, this December, I took a decision. I had to choose between Yes/No (Duh!). Most people expected me to say ‘Yes’ but, I said ‘No’. And they were all like “Why?” I told them I don’t know! My mind is telling me to say no. They were like “Yeah. Right #sarcasm”

            To be honest, I still don’t have any idea why or what made me say ‘No’ and why I didn’t relent even after so many people told me to reconsider. But, looking back, it was a great choice. Steve Jobs was right. You can’t connect the dots going forward, you can only connect them going backward.

            A lot of ‘amazing’ things happened in the past few days. Had I said “yes”, they probably wouldn’t have happened.

            One of them was the International Linguistics Olympiad

By the way, it's not just another olympiad. At least, it isn't for me. Checking out one of their problem here -- click here(IN A New tab ofcourse. Don't leave my blog just yet :P)

            I was just browsing through the MIT admission’s website(Yep. Again. Must be my hundredth time) when I saw something called “International Linguistics Olympiad’. For reasons that are still unclear *cough* intuition *cough* I browsed through the website and instantly sent a mail asking for more details. 4 days later, it’s confirmed. I’ll be going to Mumbai(most probably) on this 29th and writing a selection test for representing Team India at the IOL 2012, Slovenia. Now, I’m terribly excited about this. IOL problems are my stuff. I mean, those problems are meant for me. ( Don’t get it? Never mind.)

            Now, had I said ‘Yes’, I wouldn’t have had the faintest idea that something like IOL even existed. Because I trusted my intuition and went forth with it, I’m getting a shot at representing India at the IOL 2012 in Slovenia. It’s just a ‘shot’ I know. But, my intuition tells me I’m going to rock the selection test(see?). Just need some practice.

            The other amazing stuff will have to wait some more time because if you’re still reading this. Your brain cells are probably cursing me for making them work overtime(no offense! :P).

            Next time you are faced with a choice, go with your intuition! Follow it’s advice long enough and you’ll know you took the best choice!

            Now, I’ve got to go get some homework done :/

Until next time,

Adarsh!

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 – Year of Re-discovery




          2011 was the year of getting back  on track.

          2012’s going to be the year of Re-discovery.

          Somewhere along, I lost my way. I found it again in 2011 but I still have to know if my potential has undergone a change or if it is the same.

2012’s going to give me the answer to that….and so much more.

          Until next time,

Adarsh