As I write this I have about 14 days to go till I leave for Boston. I still haven't bought my clothes and formal attire yet and my visa only just arrived, so it's all a bit rushed. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm excited and of course the obvious answer is "yes, definitely", but the honest answer is I'm more exhausted and focused on my 9 exams and 3 assignments currently than anything else.
It's funny, as one of two students in Australia to attend the Research Science Institute, you'd think I'd be all on top of my school work and getting A+'s on everything and all that jazz...but really I'm just like any other Grade 12 student right now. The unyielding juggle of schoolwork and life continues whether I'm up for it or not, and it's so easy to miss a beat and suddenly everything comes crashing down. In our school, like most, we have an exam week in which all of our exams are scheduled and we don't have any regular classes. Everything is one after the other -BAM BAM BAM and you just have to keep up. When you think about it, it really is a lot of stuff you have to know and be on top of.
I'm sure it'll work out fine as usual, but there's never any avoiding of that pre-exam stress time in which everyone is a bit on edge and there's always a frantic rush to print out assignments at the last minute. Gotta get around to making that blog post about Artificial Intelligence that I've been writing for a couple weeks now too...
The difference this time around is that I have two assignments from MIT already that I need to attend to before I go. That is, a Statistics assignment in which I have to analyze several high level stats reports on different topics and summarize in 100 words or less what the statistics and maths mean and why they are relevant. Doesn't seem to hard until you see the maths and realize you don't have the slightest clue what an eigenvalue, Cronbach alpha, F-statistic or ϕ (phi) even mean. Oh and the other assignment is just reading Shakespeare's Hamlet, so no biggie.
But hey, at least there's that Hamlet adaptation from 2000 with Ethan Hawke.
I'll admit, it is a bit overwhelming. And that's without even mentioning the fundraising. Don't even get me started on the fundraising.
But ultimately it is a positive experience. I've been after this kind of prestigious academic endeavour all the way through my education. Hell I went to the University of Queensland to do experiments with Bose-Einstein Condensates for physics, and investigated fractal Menger Sponges for my Maths C assignment. I live and breathe for this kind of challenge!
Except Shakespeare. I really don't like Shakespeare.