22 August 2008

How will senior year go?

So today I picked up the revised version of my senior year schedule because of an error in class placement. I at least got into symphonic band rather than orchestra (I don't play string instruments; I play only piano and mallets) but did not get AP Computer Science. Which leaves my schedule as follows:
2nd - Teacher's assistant
3rd - AP Calculus BC
4th - Symphonic Band
5th - AP U.S. Government (1st sem.)/Economics (2nd sem.)
6th - English 4 (possibly might change to AP English Language if I can work something out with the counselors)
As far as this goes, it might be a lightly scheduled yet difficult senior year. Besides the complexity of the AP classes, there are other things I must deal with, including college apps, SAT's, and preparation for independent living. After having surfed CollegeBoard.com for the past two weeks, my college lookout so far aims at: San Jose State University, University of the Pacific, University of Washington (in Seattle, not DC), Reed College, Washington University (in St. Louis, again not Seattle or DC), UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and some others in certain areas of the US I'm eager to "temporarily" reside in.

Now that I'm lacking in AP Computer Science yet I still plan on majoring in a computer science/IT-related field in college, the question is: How will I be able to "prepare" myself for my major? I doubt that colleges would want a candidate for such a major who lacked any high school experience in the field. Luckily I still have other academic interests like business and mathematics (I got a 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam!) which I think I might as well advance my interests in in the time to come. This summer I've been exploring Java programming with the APCS homework (which the teacher recommended for ALL the potential APCS students) and the editing of Wikipedia.

Next year, I hope to be able to learn from the mistakes I made the past three years of high school and reverse them so that I can perform better this year, possibly even straight A's (something I so far haven't been able to get to in high school)! Luckily my "light" schedule will give me more time to practice for the SAT's and polish an impressive application - unintentionally increasing my acceptance chances. I've done many more practice problems for SAT thanks to the Princeton Review using a passcode provided in an SAT prep book I bought from Barnes & Noble. The same "learning from my mistakes" philosophy I shall use for SAT and everything else in life.

Anyways, after having picked up my schedule, I went home, had lunch, watched some Inuyasha, and practiced the piano.

And just a few minutes ago, I decided to revisit the Parents Television Council's April 2008 report The Rap on Rap that complained that the impressionable children watching the hip-hop video shows on BET and MTV are being corrupted by images of thug life, gratuitous images of women's body parts, foul language, and basically everything you dislike about rap music. This isn't a surprise given that rap music has always been controversial - even back in the late 80s/early 90s with N.W.A and 2 Live Crew. As a longtime fan of hip hop music I won't deny that a lot of it is morally incorrect. I certainly agree with the PTC's position that those programs are not "kid-friendly" and was quite surprised to notice that a sizable audience of kids age 2-11 watch such shows! But here's the thing: the PTC is an organization that many claim insist that TV be "politically correct" in the field of tradition values and accuse of dubious research, blatant deceit, and inflation of FCC complaint numbers. As I read through the PTC's report (which I've already done a few times) I also have some suspicions. Sure, I'd agree that the average viewer would be offended by much of the content on those shows, but the report doesn't note exactly which videos are "really" offensive and which aren't. The report also includes a table of videos included in the research, which ranged from gangsta rap ("100 Million" by Birdman, "Speedin'" by Rick Ross, "I'm So Hood" by DJ Khaled), rap "ballads" ("Fly Like Me" by Chingy, "Girl You Know" by Scarface, "I Won't Tell" by Fat Joe), R&B (various videos by Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, etc.) among others. I've already gone on YouTube and previewed two of the "not-so-raunchy" choices: "Superstar" by Lupe Fiasco and "Independent" by Webbie, and I doubt that they'd match the PTC's fear-mongering impression of rap music. Furthermore, as pretty much all the videos shown on BET/MTV were edited for content, PTC freely admitted that its researchers referred to the "uncensored" versions to find out what got muted out - to get around the censors, maybe? As I have far much more to say afterwards, I'll continue this tomorrow.

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