College Graduation

Long time no update! I hope you like the new design. I updated the Contact page, the Links page, and added some more jokes to the humor section. I also added a section on web design in the Programs section. [Updated 2009/09/16]

Many things have happened since the last time I’ve written. Okay, so my parents say I put too much personal information online (again?!), so I guess I won’t be writing intimate details about my escapades anymore.

End of quarter was a busy time for me. I had 2 papers to write as well as an incredibly difficult Stats 116 problem set to finish. It took an average of 2 hours a problem, for a total of 20 hours. However, I wasted about three days before starting to study for my Stats final. I thought, how hard could it be? And I just couldn’t sit down and focus. The procrastinator in me had surfaced. I was also busy with the FiCS senior dinner and burning FiCS DVDs. But God made everything well at the end. I got my 4.0 quarter, and the DVD didn’t come out too badly. Unfortunately, I lost Alfred’s scrapbook along the way…

Graduation was on June 18. It was poignant. Church service was held at 7 AM in Meyer. I got my dad to come pick up the tickets (though I don’t think anyone checked). Then he joined me at the service. Pastor Ryan spoke about Psalm 23, about how Jesus guides us and protects us, and we are like the sheep. At the end of the service, Chinsan gave the closing announcements. It was the first time I’ve seen Chinsan cry.

Then the seniors went to the main graduation ceremony together. Jess was in her Stitch hat. I held balloons and the “C” sign of “FiCS” (for Wacky Walk, the girls made a last-minute effort by pasting neon-colored letters on black posterboard: F-i-C-S). I kept trying to hold it upside-down, but the girls threatened to take it away if I kept doing that. Anyway, Tom Brokaw spoke about the need for us to engage the real world and leave our keyboards behind (how ironic as I’m typing this up). Some people were hitting beach balls in the audience throughout the ceremony. I thought it was rather funny. Mr. Brokaw didn’t make any remark about that, though he did scorch the girl who wrote something in the paper about him. That was funny too.

In the afternoon was our departmental ceremony. My family had lunch by Packard. I borrowed Sam Chang’s tassle since I somehow lost my own. Anyway, I ran into Prof. Dutton, Prof. Peumans, and Prof. Kovacs. Prof. Dutton talked about how his robe was designed for a degree in Theology. He met my parents as well. After lunch, the students had to line up and then sit in the scorching sun. I was next to Jamie, whose family brought him a spray-fan. I was lucky to sit next to him. Anyway, this year, my lab partner Catherine and I won the HP/Agilent award for our EE 133 FM transceiver project. We both received an HP photo printer, which I put to use right away after I got home to print out a photo for my Visa application.

Most of us left after the MS ceremony was over, though we were asked to stay until the PhDs were done. My family wanted to leave early, so I asked for 20 minutes to take pictures and say goodbye to the FiCS people, who traditionally met at the Main Quad one last time before everyone departed. I ended up leaving early anyway, and didn’t get a chance to take pictures with some people. It was kind of anticlimactic. However, right before I left, Mickey gave me an ESV Study Bible. It was a precious gift. God bless him.

I’ve been home everyday after that, working on websites and reading. I read The Monk and the Riddle . It gave me an idea about a broader principle of pursuing one’s passion.

I’ll be in China from July 13 to September 15. It’s going to be exciting. I’ve never been to China on an exchange program before, and my parents were always with me on prior trips. Now, I will be going with some peers and going to do some work in China, so the experience is going to be quite different! We are going to 中国北京清华大学 for cultural exchange as well as gaining experience to write up a business plan for an exchange program between 清华 and 斯坦福. I will be working in the NanoTech lab at Tsinghua, under the supervision of a former member of my advisor’s group. I hope to contribute something useful to the lab.