The year 2016 just stepped into its second half. Contrary to what I had thought before, this month of July only got me busier with works. Busy for nothing? I once thought. Yet it turned out to be little things adding up to my to-do list.
These few months had been highly mathematical for me, mainly because of my tutoring of two students in Math Olympiad. This necessitated me to spend hours every week without fail to regurgitate materials learned in the past, just to be able to churn out materials to discuss every week. Joining my mathematical activity was my mini-project done out of my interest: compilation of solutions to those IMO 2015 shortlisted (solved) problems to record my line of thoughts more systematically instead of just scribbling onto random pieces of paper. Yet the enormous time spent on inputting math symbols into LaTeX led me to self-doubt–is this compilation a waste of time?
The recent days also saw my emphasis shifting from Hackerrank to Harvard’s CS50 on EdX: a step to ditch the vanity of reaching 83rd percentile on Algorithm section (after all, I have been dabbling on mostly problems categorized as easy/medium, and a few difficult ones. Can this be considered great?) The problem sets on CS50 looked elementary; still, time tickled away quickly as I adventure through the tasks, no thanks to the arcane syntax of C. Another catch behind my exploration was the understanding of the mystery behind the redirecting and ‘piping’ of files, and the theory of srand (48) and drand (48)–things we never bothered in competitive programming.
The commitment in Toastmasters reached another climax with club events coming up: the 10th anniversary dinner, club contests and speech crafts. But it’s the declination of members that troubled us tremendously: something inevitable for a club that typically comprises young people who are bound to go off for studies and transfers to other state for work. A few of us decided to do something to change this state, and that’s how we were elected as exco members (with I being the temporary president). Here came the additional onus of promoting club to outsiders and friends, and the mandatory after-meeting discussions to plan for the next steps.
Rounding up my to-do list is the logistic preparation to attend Waterloo: something that my parents went nuts with me. Discoloring clothes, winter garments, long johns, what to bring there, how to keep the luggage under a total mass of 46kg,… I leave you to understand how tedious this can be.
Perhaps I should see the blessing in disguise, that I will have at least 6 extra hours following the discontinuation of my two students from private tutoring next month. Can that guarantee me a tranquil schedule and mind before flying off to Canada? I don’t know.