Sunday, July 20, 2014


It's easy to sit here, at 3:50 AM, and read blogs about productivity. It's easy to be inspired by some of the most inspirational people in the world.

One of my favorite movies of all time is Good Will Hunting. There's a scene in the movie (probably one of the most famous scenes of the movie, but I haven't done any research on it) where Will explains to a seemingly smart college student where he went wrong with his life. He spoke about the college student's blatant plagiarism of ideas - he was simply memorizing words from textbooks and regurgitating them in order to seem smart. Not only did he not truly understand what he was saying, but he was paying a ton of money in order to obtain this lack of understanding. He explains that the college student spent $150,000 on something he could have gotten for $1.50 in late fees at the library.

The fact that I took away from that scene is this: knowledge is free. Knowledge is more free now than it was when the movie was made - things like MIT's OpenCourseWare, Udemy, EdX, Udacity, etc. have been teaching countless students in countless subjects for long enough now. Late fees at the library aren't needed.

What is needed?
  • Motivation
  • Time
That's it. Not only that, but we have time. If there's time to sit here writing this, there's time to use for other things. Of course, I was never a fan of the scary concept that if there's time to partake in leisure activities, there's time to study/work/etc. When I was younger, I was exposed to a quote that made me feel uneasy about myself. It was about how while one person was sitting and watching TV, another was training, honing their skills in their craft. While I understand how the quote could motivate, it also made me feel like crap for relaxing. Did the person that was honing their skills never take any time off? It's important to relax as much as you need to keep your brain active when it needs to be. I feel like lifting weights demonstrates this excellently. It's important for your muscles to rest, so they can rebuild the microscopic tears you made while bench pressing your new personal record. In my opinion, the brain functions the same way.

Motivation is the harder of the two requirements to tackle. It can't just be fleeting - for any appreciable changes to occur, one needs to work over a long period of time. Just like how you can't just decide to work out with extreme intensity for a week and expect the same results as working out at a lower intensity for two months. Motivation stems from passion. Passion is hard to just create, but I feel like you can create it the same way you can create confidence: fake it for a while. It sounds dumb, but that's how self-confidence worked for me, and I can only apply my own experiences to subjects like this if I want to be sure about what I'm saying.

In conclusion, I want to say that I struggle with self-improvement just as much as anyone else. I, however, feel a strong urge to make a change in my lifestyle (it's summer, and I've had enough of this whole "relaxation" thing - so much that I actually want to occupy myself with something that challenges me mentally/physically). I want to turn this urge into results. I'll update on where this goes on the blog. I might do video blogs or something. I'm not sure yet. Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Piano Teacher

I'm concealing a ton of excitement by not putting an exclamation mark at the end of every sentence in this paragraph. Tonight, my family and I went out to dinner. We went to a nice Indian restaurant. Seems a bit ridiculous considering we know how to make almost everything on the menu, but their food tastes a lot better and the atmosphere is nice. So, we ate, and I brought up a topic I'd been subtly hinting towards for the last 2 weeks or so:
"You know, mama [pronounced muh-mah, the way I've addressed my mom forever], piano is a really nice instrument. If only there were some way to get better at this beautiful instrument without forming bad habits. Alas, if only I had an experienced pianist visiting our house once a week for about an hour to point me in the right direction and help me progress to a higher level of proficiency..."
That, ideally, is what I would have said, but as soon as I said the word piano, my mother stopped me. Remember when I said I'd been subtly hinting towards piano lessons? Yeah, I haven't exactly mastered the art of subtlety yet...

After much convincing (part of which actually took place before the dinner), she agreed to let me try piano lessons. I did a lot of research on finding a good teacher, and I think I've found an amazing one. We've now called him and scheduled a lesson for this Sunday at 5:30. I truly can't wait to progress to playing the piano properly, partly parce que le plupart de my presence on this planet has been packed with piano pieces impossible to play because of a paucity of proficiency in playing this pulchritudinous instrument.

I'm sorry.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Maturity Level and Rome

If I had to pick a word to describe my day today, it would be uneventful. According to, I could've also used quiet, routine, unexceptional, humdrum, uninteresting, unmemorable, or unnoteworthy.

I went to sleep at 2:00 AM last night and woke up this morning at 6:50 AM, thanks to a splash of water on my face from my fantastic dad. I really do appreciate the water splashes - I've never been able to keep a normal sleep schedule for long, and part of it is because I find it so difficult to get up in the morning...

I went to school, talked about A Tale of Two Cities in English, and did a lab in Chemistry. Then, we started the reproduction unit in biology. It was here that I found out how truly immature I was. I'm hoping that by the end of the unit, I won't have to hold back laughs at certain biological terms. The class isn't an accelerated class - I take Regents biology along with Chemistry Accelerated. While being in an academic class doesn't say anything about one's level of maturity, it does have a different atmosphere - I feel like Regents classes are more open to slight interruptions interfering with the pursuit of knowledge. It's not necessarily a bad thing - we still learn the basics of biology, which is what we should want, but there's less curiosity in the class. It's hard to put into words. I'm still an amateur writer.

After Biology, I went to AP World History - my one AP class this year. I'm particularly fond of this class, and it's not because of the subject, but because of the workload. I don't know why, but there's something immensely satisfying about knowing the tremendous amount of work we'll have completed by the end of the year - at the end of this year, I can point to my 900-page textbook and say, "I read this." As for the outlines, I feel like outlining a textbook is an important skill that I'm going to need in college, so I don't really mind them as much as some of the other students in my class.

After AP World, French. French comes very naturally to me for some reason. I notice patterns in the language very easily. We learned about passe compose (sorry for being too lazy to insert accents) with the reflexive tense today. Like most other things, I picked it up pretty fast. After French, I went to CPR - this class is pretty light in terms of workload, but I want to stress that I get everything right in case I'm ever in a situation requiring First Aid.

After French, math. My favorite class of them all. In math, I'm transported to a sort of Rome, where I watch as roads are built all around me, and I'm blessed with the privilege of navigating them to go from problem to answer.

What else happened today? I went home, slept, started my outline, watched the premier episode of Cosmos, and started writing a blog post titled "Maturity Level and Rome", which was about my day. Blog posts won't normally be this regular, but I wanted to document what a normal day is like for me in my current life. This is one of the few blogs where I write about a day that I might describe as mundane.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Resurrection

The last time I blogged, I was in 8th grade. I've changed so much since then, it's hard for me to believe I wrote half of this stuff. Still, I remember sitting in front of my computer on dark mornings, playing League of Legends and dreading school the next day.

Doesn't sound much like current Arnav, does it?

I could dwell on that stuff forever, but I want to blog about other things. Firstly, I want to address why I'm blogging again. It's fairly simple, really - I've just been influenced by MIT Admissions Blogs. I've been reading them for a while, and I thought it would be a fun thing to do. However, that's what got me started with blogging in the 8th grade, and that wasn't such a huge success - I didn't really follow through with it.

What makes this time different?

This time, I plan on blogging for myself. Previously, I had blogged in a more social manner - everything written on my blog was written for other people's eyes, and I spent far too long making sure the site was visually appealing. Since then, I've come to realize that I'd like to blog for the reason I think most people might blog: it's like keeping a journal. I'll be writing more for myself than for others, and should therefore enjoy writing more. This will lead to blogging being less of an obligation, resulting in more blogiation. I made that word up because I saw the letters in obligation. Heh.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Best TV show ever, definitely up there with Sherlock and Season 1 of Lie To Me. Kinda makes me wanna minor in law when I get to college...

Today I practiced my suit-wearing skills for an hour. Sounds pathetic, but it was fun. Perfected my half-windsor, gelled my hair, wore glasses, got a briefcase, walked around house like a professional awesomeist.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Project Euler

Gonna try this out. Looks like a fun challenge. It's a ton of math problems that you can solve in any language, but require some sort of computing power to solve.

Monday, August 27, 2012


This marks the first day I spend a full day on Linux! I've got it running on a virtual machine (it's obviously not the best solution, but it's definitely the easiest one) and it's not bad. I need to apt-get some new browser, though. Shoutout to r/teenagers IRC for getting me on Debian in the first place. I've done some python on it, but 2.6.2 doesn't support import antigravity, which makes me sad. :(