Winter 2024 wrapup


My second semester at UMich is just over, and I will recount major things that happened. I will continuously update this blogpost.

Course reviews

The biggest mistake that I made is that I elected three EECS courses, two of which are extra heavy in workload. The rest are not trivial either. It is impossible to cover all of them in one single blogpost, so I will split them up into individual articles, listed below.

Notable material gains

  • A 20 oz thermo flask, as a gift from the School of Information for participating in the 10-week accessibility challenge last semester
  • A bicycle, as described in 2024-04-05. Easily the best investment this semester.
  • A MIDI keyboard (AKAI MPK mini play) with which I made a few loops
  • A MCR-themed zine I took at the Duderstadt gallery (it said "take one")
  • Two CDs: Blurryface (2015) and Scaled And Icy (2021).

More on the CDs: Blurryface is for myself, SAI is for a friend. I rode downtown to four record stores in one day and bought them in the third and fourth, respectively. The first store had SAI listed online, but they sold out recently. The second store sold mostly vinyls. In both the third and fourth, I took the last tøp CD in stock, so I can't really blame the person who did it in the first store.

The four stores are

  • Your Media Exchange, 319 S Main St
  • Underground Sounds, 120 E Washington St
  • Encore Records, 208 N 4th Ave
  • Wazoo Records, 336 S State St

All in downtown Ann Arbor. I've been to YMX last year, and I found some rare items in the tøp vinyl section like the Location Sessions for record day. I don't have a turntable, so I left them for people who do. This time it's gone, along with many more. Whoever bought them has great taste.

Notable losses

  • My sanity over the 373 project

Notable expenditures

  • $39 for the MIDI keyboard (I outbid a swarm of ebay bots by one second)
  • $512 for the Boston trip
  • $90 for the bicycle
  • $187 for a ticket to tøp's Clancy Tour (ffs fbr)

Notable experiences

  • I visited my friend in Boston over spring break.
    • I saw The Museum of Fine Arts
    • I saw The Museum of Bad Art
    • By law of the excluded middle, I saw all art in existence
    • I took a lecture on Chinese policy at Harvard
    • I took a lecture on computer systems in the auditorium by the so-called Banana Lounge at MIT
    • I took the MBTA subway
    • I saw a weird MIT exhibit with a bunch of glass, lamps, and wood rescued from a bathhouse on fire
    • I went to the MIT museum
    • I talked with W1ATO over the W1XM repeater
    • I went to the Harvard art museums is basically a tub for rich people to dump their art in and as an excuse to exhibit stolen shit

Quiz time!

Which two of these paintings are from the Museum of Bad Art, and which two are from the Harvard art museums?

Four paintings. 1: a tabby cat resting paws on a basket of fruit. 2:
a frowning lady drawn with crude lines. 3: a bald child with blurry facial
features. 4: a frowning lady with a rodent-like thing on her

Click to show the answer!

1, 4: Museum of Bad Art

2, 3: Harvard art museums

  • I went to an iDKHOW show in Detroit, as described in 2024-04-05.

Dallon Weekes singing and playing a red bass

  • I watched the eclipse (98% partial in Ann Arbor)

Solar eclipse through eclipse lens; a crescent

For the folks without eclipse lenses, here's a reenactment:

Me holding a banana in the way of the sun

  • Except for two occasions, I participated in the W8UM/R Sunday net every week, getting to know AC8TO, KE8BZJ, W8EMV, and KB6NU. Also I love our net control WD4DSR.
  • Attended a W8UM monthly meeting (though one hour late and didn't get any pizza) and met AC8TO in person
  • Saw a crime drama play called Trojan Horse. My friend played a role who died for the most of the play
  • Applied for IA of 370 and 373 next semester
  • Cracked open a beer, which I just finished as I write this. The cashier typed a "1" into the YYYY field on the auto checkout before realizing (1) I was born 2003 and (2) aging is inevitable

Things unrelated to coursework that made my day worse

I received the prize money for last semester's GERMAN 103 roleplay. Instead of $200 per group, it was $200 per person. But it went straight to my direct deposit and was split to two parts:

  • $172 to repay my "financial aid"
  • $28 in federal tax

It pisses me off that I worked so hard on a roleplay just for the prize money to fund genocide.

Things unrelated to coursework that made my day better

Last year I signed up for Kristin Henry's Stickers and Stamps project. It took months, but I finally received their letter in the mail. Enclosed is a sticker, a handwritten postcard, and a stamped envelope for me to return something in. So I handwrote a brief letter a few days later and sent it to Kristin.

It was the second time I physically put something in a US mailbox. The first time was when I had to send form 8843 to the IRS to prove that I had zero income last year.

Cool find at the 373 lab: a vintage Fluke 77 multimeter.

Grey multimeter with automatic range

Albums discovered

I spent the entire semester listening to Radiohead, all thanks to a meme video.

  • The Bends (1994)
    • Favorite tracks:
    • Fake Plastic Trees
    • Street Spirit
  • OK Computer (1997)
    • Paranoid Android
    • Let Down
  • Kid A (2000)
    • Everything In Its Right Place
    • The National Anthem
    • Idioteque
  • Amnesiac (2001)
    • Pyramid Song
    • Life In a Glasshouse
  • In Rainbows (2007)
    • Weird Fishes
    • Videotape

And if you stretch the definition of "discover", I discovered Clancy (2024).

Interesting food in the dining hall

Both of these were found in Bursley:

  • Blueberry pizza (pretty good actually)

Blueberry pizza

  • Gummyworm cake (it tastes exactly what it looks like)

A single gummy worm on top of oreo powder and

Funny car plates

  • UWU 55
  • B1GENUF (on a mini)
  • QING1SE (清一色)