Rohit's Realm - UC Berkeley

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August 25, 2002

The Scheduling Nightmare

So freshman year, I had four 8 a.m. classes in Fall and five 8 a.m. classes in Spring. I swore to myself at the end of Spring that I would cut down on the 8 a.m. classes, and when I did scheduling (for the first time), I did. I was enrolled in Econ, EE, CS, BA, and English, so my first class was 9! NO 8 A.M. classes. But slowly, as the summer progressed, my schedule changed itself, moving more and more towards the 8 a.m. hell that I know all too well.

September 10, 2002

The Worst Day Ever

(Well, not really, but it sucked!) So, I woke up today, feeling really tired, sick, and feverish. I didn't want to go to math discussion at 8 a.m. because it is usually entirely useless. But then, I remembered, I postponed reading my bio lab until today because I felt tired and sick on Monday night too. So, I went to math discussion (and it was fairly useless), and then went to the library to read the bio lab and do the pre-lab activities. Little did I realize that it was waiting to pounce, as the lab turned out to be FIFTY pages of reading, and took over an hour.

September 20, 2002

I Hate Mathematicians

It's Thursday morning...what does that mean? MATH QUIZ at 8 a.m.—one that counts. So I got my ass out of bed and crawled up a mountain rivaling Everest to Etcheverry Hall at 8 a.m. yesterday morning. No GSI is there, so basically the class and I engaged in a group masturbatory event while waiting for the GSI to show up with the quiz. He final does, at 8:30 a.m., and announces the good news: NO QUIZ today...the professor forgot to write one.

September 29, 2002

Something Is Very Wrong

Nothing is working right now. Looks like I might have hard disk failure on one of my computers. And then there is the printer straight out of Office Space that never works. Not to mention the power failing over and over again, causing my UNIX machine to get file system errors. This doesn't include the headphones that play in one ear only, the speakers that make weird noises late at night, and the monitor that gets white lines every once in a while. Then Outlook crashes and reboots my computer when I attempt to delete a message. Wireless works only when I stand near the bed, but not when I stand near the dresser and NFS never works at all. The wireless card won't work with FreeBSD because of system incompatibilities. SP1 on WinXP seems to be causing instability, Microsoft Office doesn't work anymore, and I have no time to deal with any of it, because I have a Bio midterm tomorrow. FINALLY, best of all, the blogger seems to be messing up my archives, in that it's deleting them. WHAT?! Good for all this. So what does EECS really teach you?? How to fix computers?? Of course not, it just makes you more aware of the futility of attempting such a task.

October 01, 2002

Sell Out

You know, this blogging thing is kind of addictive. I never kept a journal, for many reason, including, but not limited to:

October 04, 2002

Birthday Blues

You know what I find funny? I'm at work on a Thursday night, the day before my midterm. It was my birthday today (or yesterday . . . whatever) and instead of being out celebrating, I'm working and studying for math. And my co-worker is also studying for a math midterm he has tomorrow. And guess what: his birthday is October 3rd too. Wow, our lives suck.

October 17, 2002

Midterm Review (Of Sorts)

So check this out: EE midterm coming up and we get some review problems (a week before the midterm) but no solutions, because we are to try to solve them. Well, that's just great—so what we are really doing here is doing problems and have no way of telling whether we are doing them correctly or not. Why not look at the homework and see what you did wrong, and then do the review problems?? Well, HAVEN'T gotten a SINGLE homework back in 8.5 weeks of school!! Oh OK. All right. Use the book to try and figure out if we are doing the problems right or wrong. Wait, the book has no problems or examples anywhere near the difficulty of the problems assigned, nor does it use the same conventions or notation. Meaning? That's right, you guessed it...entirely useless. Well, let me be clear: I have tried to do the review problems and now it is 12:30 a.m. on the night before the exam, and I would like to know if what I spent many hours doing is correct or just completely off so I can brace myself for failure (because at this point, it doesn't even matter if I realize I don't know how to do a certain problem, because it's to late to do anything about it). BUT wait, I can't even brace myself...why?? NO SOLUTIONS...NOT ONE SINGLE PROBLEM. All the review sessions were scheduled so they conflict with OTHER classes' midterm reviews & midterms themselves. HOW?? Well, I knew where & when my CS review was going to be the first day of class. How did EE get scheduled at the same time when more than half the people in EE are also in the same CS as me, and more importantly, WHY!? So what does this all mean?? This means one simple thing...I am going to go into this test completely unaware of how well I know/understand the material, because there are no resources to indicate to me ANYTHING. This is rather frustrating because in a subject such as EE (i.e., MATH & PHYSICS), having review problems with no solutions is even worse than having no problems at all. And it's not like there is any excuse either! Solutions could be posted the same time as problems, and we could take it upon ourselves to try the problems or not, instead of being force fed high school crap such as try the problems so you won't cheat. WHY THE HELL WOULD ANY ONE CHEAT ON REVIEW PROBLEMS THAT ARE ENTIRELY OPTIONAL?? Does that make sense AT ALL??? What is the harm in posting the solutions at the same time as the problems, so we can check our answers rather than solve the problem in the way we think and pretend that we know that this is the right way to solve the problem. And now, to study for math.

November 03, 2002

Retroviral Dreams

Dude! I think I've been studying Bio too long. I now dream about scary retroviruses that are coming to attack the world. I mean seriously...retrovirii are the bastards of the microbial kingdom: they DON'T have a DNA genome, they USE the host's DNA polymerase and ribosomes to replicate themselves, they INSERT themselves into the host genome and become provirii. Not to mention that whole reverse transcriptase thing...I'm telling you—bastards.

November 07, 2002

The Body Compactor

Ever woken up with the distinct feeling that your body just went through a trash compactor? No? Well, you don't know what you're missing. Recently, I've been feeling like this almost everyday at 6:30 a.m., when I drag myself out of bed and into the shower.

November 11, 2002

The Big Game Is Coming!

Two weeks until the Big Game (between Cal & Stanford). Why does this matter? Well, the Big Game also represents the end of school for me, essentially. After the Big Game is Thanksgiving (going home for the first time in 5 months), then a week of basically nothing except my hardcore practical Bio lab exam. This is followed by dead week and finals and Winter Break!! Wow, I can't wait! It's so close...almost within grasp! And yet, not at all.

November 21, 2002

Pain, Suffering, and 8 A.M.

There's something magical about being awake at 6:30 a.m. in the morning. And no, I don't mean the fresh morning air, or the clear blue skies. I mean the pain, the exhaustion, the desire to sleep and not wake up (for at least a week). The hatred for everyone and everything. Really, this is a great time to be awake. And normally, I would have nothing against being awake at 6:30 a.m., because some people do that and that's their thing, and that's OK. But it was never and will never be my thing. Chance and fate and other stupid stuff like that have forced me to be awake around 6:30 a.m. almost every single day that I have been at college (excluding weekends and holidays, of course), but this by no means implies that I either enjoy or tolerate this life. I will not fall into complacency. I will fight!! In other news, my next semester schedule is almost complete (but far from finalized), and only includes two (unavoidable) 8am classes and only three techs. This schedule might completely change, but there is no plan to increase either the number of techs or the number of 8 a.m. classes. Then again, neither was there this plan last semester and look what happened. Only time will tell.

December 10, 2002

EE 40 is the Worst!

I need to print out the revised version of my EE 40 Lecture #20 notes again, because, well, that class sucks and half the lecture notes are wrong. Digressing from the main point, let me say that I completed all my homework for last week using Lecture #22 notes, only to find out a few hours later that everything in Lecture #22 was just wrong and that in Lecture #24 the professor said, and I quote: We are re-doing propagation delay today. Feel free to forget everything from last time!

December 18, 2002

Worst Semester, in Life

This has been my worst academic performance ever. And by ever, I mean EVER. I don't know how it happened. But it did. I've never done this bad in school. Oh well. Not going to cry over spilled milk. I just need to really concentrate on doing better next semester.

January 21, 2003

First Impressions (Take One)

Below are my first impressions for my classes this semester.

January 22, 2003

First Impressions (Take Two)

Below are the remainder of my first impressions for my classes this semester.

February 02, 2003

An Entirely Enlightening Experience

So, what's been going on recently with me? Well, on Thursday night, I went out and played rugby for a couple of hours. Rugby, you ask? Why yes—rugby. And yes, I know I only weigh like 135 lbs. And yes, I got crushed and now my back hurts and I have huge bruises on my shins and ankles, etc. Am I going to go again and play next week? OF COURSE! Wouldn't miss it, unless I had to do homework or something. Going outside and playing was really fun. I haven't played a fun game since... summer. But this wasn't my enlightening experience of the weekend. Read forth and learn of my enlightenment.

February 06, 2003

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Of My Day)

I had a really interesting day today. As the title of this post would suggest, it consisted of good, bad, and ugly things—yeah, I feel the need to restate the obvious. Anyway. I'm in a good mood right now, so let me begin with the good stuff. I had my second class in 390 Hearst, because my English class was moved there (from 102 Wurster), and I must say, I really like that building. It's very pretty inside, naturally lit, and from my seat (I've already claimed one for myself in this lecture hall), I can see the Campanile, just like I could during Physics 7A Lab, in Fall 2001.

February 19, 2003

To Stress... Or Not?

My three day weekend concluded on a positive note, with Jim's second party, although it was rather harsh to have to go into work on Monday. After work on President's Day, two hours were spent in the computer labs in Cory, working on an EE 20 lab. I must say that I much prefer the Soda labs to those of Cory, despite Cory's computers being a hell of a lot nicer. I guess I have just grown accustomed to the Soda labs after my fun filled 40 hour weekends spent there during summer taking CS 61B.

February 28, 2003

Two Equivalents Of Déjà Vu?

Excuse the chemistry pun—I know it's lame, but it is actually relevant, considering that what I speak of occurred in OChem lecture on Thursday. So I was sitting in class, learning about organic molecules and crap like that, when this girl right in direct line of my vision to the professor pulls up her hair, and quickly ties it up in a ponytail. I was suddenly overwhelmed by a strong sense of déjà vu, and after thinking about it for a minute, I realized why: I was sitting in the same seat almost one year ago, listening to a similar lecture (about organic molecules), when a girl in front of me did something very similar and the incident reminded me of that time apparently. What was weird was the instantaneous flashback of my entire freshman year sparked by such a small event. It makes me wonder more and more how the mind/brain works, and more excited than ever to take some neurology courses in the upcoming two years. OK, so that was one "equivalent" of déjà vu.

March 07, 2003

Outsmarting The Vultures

Anyone who has ever set foot on the Berkeley campus knows about Sproul Plaza. The hordes of protesters protesting something or another, the lines of tables advocating something that you're not interested in, the extremely well informed (and insane) bums screaming about some current event, and of course, everyone's favorite Sproul manifestation, the proverbial flyer-er.

March 11, 2003

Is There No Sacred Place Left?

Everywhere I go, I'm hounded by the self-righteous, incompetent political activists and in my eyes, their equivalent counterpart, the unfriendly, completely insane bums that traverse the streets of Berkeley, reeking havoc on all who dare to WALK in the city in which they pay taxes. I've grown accustomed to dealing with their shit on Sproul Plaza and now Dwinelle Plaza. I figure, it's my fault—I know this as a hotbed of morons and if I choose to walk through this area, in order to save time/energy, I take the implicit risk of being harassed by one of the freaks.

March 13, 2003

The Krispy Kreme Caper

Not to sound like a Hardy Boys novel, but I liked the sound of that title. Allow me to introduce myself: I'm Rohit, member of the graduating class of 2003, 2004, and 2005. That's right. Now, when I mention my having had senior standing since the summer of my freshman year, most people remark how cool that must be. I beg to differ. Having senior standing has brought nothing but pain and anguish to me since my first year.

March 15, 2003

How Much Wick Is Left?

All my life, as long as I can remember back, I've had a tendency to burn both ends of the candle. Well, I suppose this phrase doesn't apply to my pre-high school days as directly, but definitely in the last six years, it seems like each year, I sleep less, work more, and have less time to do anything but what I'm already committed to. This trend has become especially significant since I began college because I fear I may be approaching maximum capacity.

April 05, 2003

Saturday Night Fever

No, I did not go to a disco or anything like that. Oh no. My day proved I was an even bigger loser. I spent nearly all of it at the library, learning about molecules and stuff. But that is nothing new. Read on, however, and learn what is.

May 08, 2003

Welcome to the College of Ludicrousness and Stupidity

Welcome to the College of Ludicrousness & Stupidity, otherwise known as the College of L&S. You're about to begin your journey into incompetence, ineptitude, and foolishness. Each day you are a member of this college, you will feel yourself get dumber. This is normal. Think about what you will have achieved by the time you graduate!

September 22, 2003

Lifestyles of the Perennially Pathetic

I have found a new population of people to target my wrath at for today. It's ok - I'm sure most you hate them as well, so this should not be a very controversial entry. Then again, maybe some of you folks out there are actually the type of people I am going to write about, and then you will be upset, because I called you out on your despicable behavior. Either way, something had to be said, and I am just the guy to say it.

October 26, 2003

Very Holden Caulfield

I had a very Holden Caulfield moment today, and no, it did not have anything to do with prostitutes. For those of you who have had your head up up your ass for however many years, Holden Caulfield is the main character of The Catcher in the Rye, every teenager's favorite novel, and JD Salinger's classic angst-ridden adolescent.

November 18, 2003

Who Needs Enemies?

Y'all know that age old adage about who needs enemies when you got friends like these? Well, yeah—seems I have come across that situation much to my lament. And let me guarantee you, this is going to be a real rant. Not whining about how I whine so much. Anger. I am actually more angry about this situation than I care to admit.

November 25, 2003

Of Psychos and Stalkers

I'm thinking of buying a gun. No, I haven't become a gun nut yet, but given my recent and altogether unacceptable experience with psychos and weirdos, I think buying a gun might be a good idea. At least then, I could wave it around and pretend to be threatening with my 6'2'', 140 lbs frame. Let me explain.

December 11, 2003

Break-Up with Reality

Hi, Rohit. This is Sanity speaking. I have something to tell you: I'm leaving you. It's not you, it's me. I've just decided that I need to move on. Please don't think that this is your fault. It's not. I'm just not ready for this kind of commitment. Perhaps if we had found each other at another time, it might have worked out, but Fate has settled the matter. It just wasn't meant to be. I hope you understand. I really hope we can still remain friends. I just wanted to let you know that it was great while it lasted. Goodbye.

April 02, 2004

Stalkers, Take Two

I had hoped that after all the publicity associated with my rant on stalkers last fall, I would no longer have to deal with it anymore. But when I returned to Berkeley after a Spring Break spent at home, I found a message on my white board, informing me that a note had been slipped under my door. I didn't pay much attention to this fact, considering that this is not entirely an uncommon occurrence. Entering my room, I noticed a small, yellow flier right beneath my feet. Turning it over, I realized that this was no ordinary note.

January 24, 2005

The X-Files DeCal

Don't consider this a real post. It's not. It's just a shameless plug for the DeCal class I'm co-teaching this semester. If you need units and/or like The X-Files, check out the course website. Follow the instructions on the main page if you want to register for the course.

May 23, 2005

Bye Bye, ResComp

With my time in Berkeley coming to a close very soon, I have had to say many goodbyes in the past few weeks to people, places, and things. Those who know me know that I'm not exactly an emotional person, and in particular, I'm not very emotional about goodbyes. I think the following email I wrote to friends and colleagues at ResComp, where I have worked the longest of any job I have held at Cal (three years in various capacities) really sums up my approach:

July 18, 2005

The End of the Beginning

January 4, 1988. Reagan was President, Gorbachev was General Secretary of the Communist Party, the stock market was recovering from Black Monday, and Michael Jackson's Bad was less than four months old. That very same day, in a small, nondescript town in southern Orange County known for its clean streets, wide roads, and cookie-cutter houses, a small boy just turned four, and relatively shy, emerged from comforts of his home to confront the world of academia—a world that would occupy his life for the next eighteen years to follow.

October 02, 2005

Icing on the Cake

I was just thinking today how anyone who doesn't know me in real life, and only through my online persona of blogger, might actually believe I really am as cynical, bitter, depressed, and elitist as I come off through my writing. Okay, so maybe it's true, but those who know me outside of the Internet will have to agree that while my blog does seem to weigh heavily towards the aforementioned topics, I am not incapable of other emotions. To at least partially address this issue, and perhaps even rectify some misguided perceptions people may hold, I will now present a uncharacteristically positive entry.

March 09, 2007

One Thousand Words

As the old aphorism goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and that is particularly true when talking about Unfortunately, due to my recent battle with existential angst and a bout of all-around somnolence, no photos have made it to my web site in almost four months to complement my mostly irrelevant writings. Today, I remedied that, so those of you tired of reading my mindless verbosity can revel instead in good, old-fashioned drinking and debauchery that is almost synonymous with the Realm..

August 30, 2007

Bears, Don't Break My Heart

With the Cal vs. Tennessee game only days away, in recent weeks, I have become overwhelmed with anticipation as I wait to see whether my beloved alma mater will avenge itself for the ignominious loss delivered to it last year by the dastardly Volunteers in front 100,000 people (and national television), or will it hold steadfast in its long-held reputation as an also-ran in a conference perennially (or so it seems) dominated by the evil Trojans of U$C. Such are the luxuries of unemployment.

October 07, 2007

Cal's Dilemma

In what may come to be known as the biggest college football upset in a year teeming with them, Stanfurd yesterday beat #2-ranked U$C 24–23 in the final seconds of the game. I think I speak for most Cal football fans when I say that this unexpected result presents a moral and ethical dilemma of proportions unknown to humanity since Sartre first presented his famous example of moral conflict in 1957. Should we support—either implicitly, or worse, explicitly—our arch-rival's success against another, more worthy enemy, or should we remain strong—like McCarthy, a true American hero—in our hatred of all that is (cardinal) red? To wit, just as in Sartre's example, neither answer is particularly palatable. [...]

October 14, 2007

Boys Don't Cry

For those who have had the displeasure of making my acquaintance in so-called real life, it should hardly be surprising to learn that I have never been one to cry; my emotional unavailability is surpassed perhaps only by my unabashed elitism and perennial depression. Even my parents, who arguably would have the best perspective, readily admit that I almost never cried as a child. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I even felt like crying, let alone actually let loose a few salty tears in name of sorrow or misfortune—that is, until last Saturday night. [...]

October 14, 2010

Touch the Magic: the Bay Area

Last I left you, dear readers, I was ensconced in a most melancholy state, brooding somewhere in the depths of Orange County. A lot has transpired since then. For starters, I have moved to a new time zone and am writing this from my new apartment. But more on that (very) soon. Today, I discuss what passed in the interim, namely a trip to the Bay Area for my five-year college reunion, Cal's Homecoming Game against UCLA, and most importantly, a reunion tour with the maladjusted boys formerly of 1524.