High School

As a continuation of the previous post, I’ll talk a bit about my high school. Make sure you’ve read that post before this one, or you’ll be confused.

In the beginning of the 2016 – 2017 school year, for some reason I absolutely didn’t care where I went to high school. I didn’t think it was important seeing as I was this proud douchebag who thought the world was his oyster. I don’t even remember how I had planned my life back then, I don’t even think I had a plan for it.

But it all changed when this guy took me to an anime festival called INORI in Bandung’s State High School 3 (SMAN 3).

Getting accepted into a State High School requires you to be ranked among other potential students based on your Middle School National Exam (4 subjects, total score of 400) score. If the number of applicants exceeds the quota, the lowest get kicked out. So it really is a top cut.

You see, SMAN 3 is this elite school of the smartest youth of Bandung. Out of all of the other State High Schools, SMAN 3 almost always tops the charts with their high passing grades and high average test scores. And it’s relatively simpler to continue to a better university the better your school is here in Indonesia (not necessarily).

While the two of us were shopping for anime posters (I bought a sweet Kirisaki Chitoge calender) and playing odd boardgames, my pal was also somewhat advertising the school to me. His sister went to the school, as did his mother, and his grandmother, and the rest of his family with the exception of one uncle, so they had the same expectations for him.

I was instantly hooked with the overall studious aura of the place, the aesthetic garden, the classes, the smart people (and ghosts because it’s apparently haunted, so that’s a plus) roaming around the halls, the tables (I don’t like standard Indonesian wooden tables) and there my motivation kicked in. I wanted to go there.

Image result for sman 3 bandung

Over the year, I studied and prepared by myself (my own school’s help was disappointingly minimal) and there it was, the exam.

The first subject was Bahasa Indonesian, or the Indonesian Language. The exam tryouts were usually a grueling 50 questions where most of the questions required some abstract form of inferring to extract the correct answer from four answers which were basically identical. And the actual exam was exactly that.

Second was Math. Don’t need to go into detail with that. It wasn’t much of a problem.

The third was English. I’m great at English! Right? According to this exam, nope. The exam was shitty, riddled with grammatical errors, tons of things copy-pasted from Wikipedia, and the questions made no sense.

One of the questions had some sort of sweet Father’s Day card detailing appreciation to the father receiving it. Normal stuff. The punctuation was bad though. Then came the answers.

What can we tell from the text?

a. The writer of the text is going to be a father.
b. The writer of the text is informing the reader how to be a good father.
c. A father wrote the text for his kids.
d. The writer of the text is inviting the reader to a Father’s Day party.

What kind of abstract inferring do I need to use? The text had absolutely nothing about anything above.

And that was only one of the 50 bad questions.

Finally was Science. The physics problems were okay, the biology was a tad bit more trivial than usual. Other than that, no complaints.

A month later, the scores came out. I got an 88 in Indonesian, a 97.5 in Math, an 86 (wtf) in English, and a 92.5 in Science. That totaled up to 364/400. Last time, the lowest score to get into SMAN 3 was 373. Welp.

My friend was more skillful than I was, and probably had a lot more hours of after school practice. He got a 371.

But he was like, “Naw man, what the heck, just try signing up for it. This year, the average scores went down by 40 points.”

So we signed up for SMAN 3 another month later. I got a +7 point incentive for my house distance (the closer your house is, the bigger the incentive) and he got a +6. So I was 371, and he was 377. If you got kicked out of the list for your first choice, you would be put into the list for your second choice unless you got kicked out of there too. Then, you would have to go to a private school.

I picked SMAN 5 as my second choice. SMAN 3 and SMAN 5 are literally right next to each other. They share the same address and building. Once upon a time in the Dutch days, they were together as one school known as the Hogere Burgerschool te Bandoeng which was already elite in the past. Then for some reason, they split into two schools. SMAN 5 is also one of Bandung’s best, hovering around the 2nd and 3rd place usually.

Unfortunately, I was kicked out of the list three days after I had signed up. My friend wasn’t though. He got accepted into the school of his dreams and subsequently became my school neighbor, because I got accepted into SMAN 5, right next to SMAN 3.

It’s not exactly what I had expected, but I’m not too surprised either. Actually, now, I honestly think that 5 might actually be more ‘me’. But I’ll leave my stories about my first days in 5 for later on. Rock on, guys!

Image result for sman 3 bandung

Congrats, you survived this post. Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Indonesian Schools

Hi guys. In future posts, I may talk about school and stuff, so maybe it’d be best if I explained a bit about how schools work in Indonesian.

First and most importantly, elementary school is 6 years and not 5. Hence, middle school is from 7th to 9th grade and high school is from 9th to 12th grade (thus destroying the term ‘sophomore’).

Between elementary school (SD) and middle school (SMP), you have to take a mandatory national exam, which has three subjects; Indonesian, Math, and Science. The next school you go to is very much effected by these three things.

In middle school, things are still very much like elementary school. The natural sciences haven’t split and become their own subjects yet, and remain together simply as ‘Science’. Also, there isn’t really a structured credit system, and everything just follows the curriculum.

Now in high school, things change. There are paths you can go along. You can either be a Math & Natural Science student or a Social Studies & Humanities student. In other schools, there are Literature or Art categories, but in my school, there aren’t.

Indonesia is very biased and people often get pressed into Science when they don’t really belong there, because ‘if you’re a science student, you can go wherever you want. If you’re a social studies student, you’re limited’.

Things also vary depending on the school and curriculum.

Oh, and some teachers don’t give their full effort teaching you. Tardiness and stuff doesn’t matter, because they’re teachers! So if you go to school in Indonesia and this stuff happens, don’t fret. It’s just Indonesian nature.

Here’s another thing. Here in Indonesia there are state schools that are operated by the government, which are usually named by a simple number. I go to SMAN 5 Bandung or State High School 5 of Bandung. There are also private schools, which vary in quality, and there is an undeniable correlation between quality and price (remember that).

The extracurricular activities are also pretty cool, I guess. Scouts (pramuka), PMR (Red Cross), and Paskibra (the guys in charge of ceremonies and raising the flag) are standards. My school is famous (I mean it) for its extracurricular activities, and I’ll elaborate on future posts.

That should suffice as a short guide.

Sohcahtoa Variations

We all know Sohcahtoa. It’s that one handy mnemonic universally used to remember that the sine is the opposite over the hypotenuse, the cosine is the adjacent over the hypotenuse, and the tangent is the opposite over the adjacent.

I was looking around for Sohcahtoa variations to see if there was anything better to use to teach kids rather than some arbitrary mnemonic that sounds slightly Native American.

After extensive research, I have found the absolute best mnemonic. It’s a bit inappropriate, but that’s exactly the reason why high schoolers will remember it.

Are you ready?

Some old hippie caught another hippie tripping oacid.

Hahah! Isn’t that just perfect?

How did you remember the basic trig ratios in high school?

Mindf*ck Movies

Have you ever watched a movie that was so confusing you had to read its Wikipedia article 3 times? Have you ever searched up [INSERT MOVIE TITLE] Explained on YouTube?

I sure have. Some movies are really confusing. But they make you think, and I love that. Now I have a checklist!

Once upon a time, I was browsing on 9gag, and I found a collection of recommended movies that will blow your mind and make you extremely confused.

Apparently, the people of internet categorize this sort of movie as a ‘Mindfuck Movie’, and they’re really popular to everybody intellectual.

To the person who wants to watch mindf**k movies

Out of these 21 movies, I have only watched 6. I guess I better go pump up those rookie numbers. You should too.

Quora!

Quora is by far one of my favorite sites on the internet. It’s on my Opera Speed Dial right up with YouTube and Wikipedia.

Opera Speed.PNG

(That reminds me, I haven’t bought anything on Amazon with my own money before, why is it up there?)

Anywho, Quora is pretty much Yahoo Answers on intelligence enhancing drugs. It’s Yahoo Answers on a LOT of intelligence enhancing drugs. Oh wait, Yahoo Answers is pretty much dead, you can’t really make it better by drugging it…

Quora is a Q&A site where the asker isn’t emphasized. The answers are. And the quality of these questions and answers are sooooo much better than the cancerous things Y!A gives you.

On Quora, you can ask questions, put them in a topic, and any Quora user can answer them. You can upvote other people’s answers, comment on them, and follow other users with real life credentials (unlike those dubious stuff on Y!A…)

You can have a question session where people ask you stuff and you can even forward your own question to somebody. Maybe even a popular Quoran like Richard Muller, Jake Williams, Ali AlShamsi, or Jimmy Wales will answer your questions if you directly ask them to.

Yep, that’s right. Jimmy Wales. Wikipedia founder. He’s active on Quora, too.

There are also a lot of Quorans who are famous due to some notoriety. Ivan Tregear is the master of loopholes in shitty hypothetical scenarios. Teacher Dave Consiglio and his cult of Devastators are hypothetical world destroyers. And so much more.

It’s an active community, that’s what it is. All of these users are active, friendly, and open. (Most of the people there are liberals, but some conservatives manage to survive)

My absolute favorite part about Quora are the answers. There are tons of people with the same badassery as this guy on Yahoo Answers:

Hilarious

That Controlled Enthusiasm guy is awesome.

On Quora there’s a lot of that (and the questions are usually a lot better, usually). There are also creative answers like this:

Clever.PNG

And loads of other fun stuff, inspirational stories, weirdos, and actual good answers to tons of questions. If you can’t find your question, (the search system kinda sucks…) then ask away! Somebody’ll answer it eventually.

It’s like a huge intellectual community that makes procrastinating useful (that’s why I sometimes don’t blog, I’m busy browsing through Quora and using it to procrastinate). And since you’re on this blog, you’re probably somebody like me, so I know you’ll enjoy it, too.

To visit, click on my Opera Speed picture or just go to http://www.quora.com.

(No, this is not an ad.)

Not Sleeping

Everybody sleeps. That’s a fact that we all know.

Whether they be a child or an adult, big or tall, smart or not, as long as they’re alive, they have the capacity to sleep (unless of course you’re in some sort of coma, but that doesn’t really count does it). Some people enjoy sleep more than others, and some people just can’t control their urge to sleep.

sleeping-man-1131497_1920.jpg

And yes, we need sleep. Although it’s common knowledge that sleep is vital for us, for some odd reason, we keep on pushing ourselves to not bend under the crushing grasp of sleep.

Well, to be fair, it makes perfect sense.

Drivers, pilots, and navigators push their body’s capability a bit so that they can successfully not die as the complete their job. Students can stay up long periods of time to maximize the amount of stuff that goes in their heads (and complete pesky homework). A lot of people work night shifts while still being active during daylight hours. First world people in general have made it culturally okay to not sleep.

And it seems to be highly encouraged.

A quick visit to the corners of the internet will show you a massive amount of people who go by the saying “Sleep is for the weak.”

The thing is, people keep trying to ditch sleep to do everything they want to do and maximize their time. However, when they do sleep, it feels frickin’ awesome, and it becomes increasingly hard to wake up on command. This is something that I call alarm immunity.

I am one of those people. Sometimes I forget that I even have an alarm… This comes from my productive nocturnal nature. For example, last night I did some KhanAcademy, read a Feynman lecture, and made a post about Harambe.

So you see, in my opinion, if sleep wasn’t vital for human beings and we could choose not to, then I think I would choose not to altogether. So would many, many, other people. Heck, in that hypothetical reality where sleep is unneeded, I don’t think people would sleep. Maybe it would be categorized into the same phenomenon as fainting.

Unfortunately, that hypothetical reality is not this reality, and we all need a good share of sleep. How would you feel if you lived in that reality? Would you choose to ditch sleep altogether, or would you carry on per usual?

We can think that out while we continue living in our world where sleep is actually important. Catch those z’s folks!