Paper Deadlines and a Movie

Mon May 20th, 2002 02:27:00 PM EST

Diary Entry 92
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Two paper deadlines this last weekend, and I went to see Orange County at FLiCKS.

My research group finally got the OSDI 2002 paper out the door. The deadline was midnight Friday, and we submitted at 11:56 p.m. We had been working on it at that point pretty much around the clock for the last week. It was only Friday morning or so, around 4:00 am, that we had our final data to write up for the experimental results section. The six of us, four Ph.D. students and two professors, sat around an office all day Friday working together and trying to avoid CVS conflicts using an informal locking protocol; e.g., ``I've got techniques.tex!'' ``No, I'm working on that right now.''

I slept very late on Saturday. In the afternoon I went biking for a couple of hours by myself. I pushed myself hard and it felt good. I had missed part of taekwondo practice on Tuesday night and all of it on Thursday night, so I was more short on exercise than usual. Went to my apartment complex's movie night and saw Real Genius followed by Top Secret!.

Sunday, I did my CS 161 assignment in the early afternoon, and then relaxed, doing some reading. Then I got a call from Tal. He and Mendel needed some help polishing up their paper for CCS 2002. So I had dinner quickly and went in and helped with the LaTeX'ification and proofreading. The deadline was 9 p.m. (midnight EST), so afterward we had time to go out to FLiCKS.

The FLiCKS movie was Orange County. This is about a high school senior, Sean, living in Orange County, Calif. Sean is a typical surfer dude until he reads this book by a (presumably fictional) Stanford professor. The book inspires him to start taking school seriously, and he decides to become a writer. He applies to Stanford, but his high school counselor screws up his application and he is turned down. He goes on this road trip to Stanford with his loser brother and his girlfriend to try to convince the dean of admissions that he should get in. The trip turns into a disaster, mostly due to the loser brother. In the end, his dad donates $40 million to Stanford for a new gymnasium building and gets him in. Then he decides that he'd rather stay in Orange County with his utterly dysfunctional family and his girlfriend.

Wow. It's amazing how wrong this movie is, on so many levels. First of all, this kid has been praying every night, literally, that he would get into Stanford, and then when he finally does after all these trial and tribulations, he decides to stay home. And then the concept that a surfer dude could turn himself into a serious straight-A's student after reading one book: heh, I just don't believe it. His family is just such a total bunch of losers it hardly seems believable at all.

On the other hand, the chance that this guy would want to leave his girlfriend, who is just totally, totally hot, seems pretty unlikely too, especially considering the saying I've heard around here a few times, and it's not totally inaccurate: ``Nine out of ten women in California are beautiful, and the tenth is at Stanford.''

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
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