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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

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Late Introduction
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Michio-kun Offline
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Post: #1
Late Introduction

So...I've been around for a month and I didn't post an introduction. Here's a tl;dr personal introduction. How and why I ended up at this hell-hole forum.

----

I joined May 5th around which time I had begun to consciously consider quitting school.

Well let's go back to the past for a minute. I guess it all started when I was in the 7th grade. I began a stereotypical period of rebellion against my father (I lived alone with him). Mostly rebellion against his ideas and his attitudes. I also started to question things like religion, culture, school etc. It wasn't long before I lost my faith, and generally became a bratty kid who spent a lot of time in ISS (in-school-suspension) and detention.

I lived in a podunk town out in the hill country of Texas where you weren't cool unless you played sports or praised Jesus as much as everyone else (especially if you weren't a Christian). I played some sports and I always wondered why everyone took it so goddamn seriously. I spent a lot of time doing bear crawls, duck walks, and killers for the Gestapo because I was an asshole to my peers and my teachers and even dared to talk back to the coach one time.

Sooner rather than later, teenagers generally undergo period(s) of existential meltdown. Still in the 7th grade, I started to wonder about the big question: What is the meaning of life? which led me to ask more questions I thought were strange...What is nothing? What is a life? Why am I observing through this consciousness and not someone elses? Are good and bad relative? Why aren't dreams considered real? What is real? Where is the universe? etc...

I thought I was crazy or something, so whenever I caught myself thinking about these things I would disregard them. Fortunately I had regular access to the internet, so one day I used a search engine to search "meaning of life" which eventually lead me to discover something called "philosophy". I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever discovered but I couldn't believe it. I mean, 3 millenia of philosophical works and none of these things were ever mentioned even once in school? What the fuck is going on here? I figured that school would eventually introduce me to something as important as the entire subject of philosophy or maybe I would at least overhear it in every day conversation or maybe see something about it on TV. Boy was I an ignorant fucknut.

Anyway, so I begged my dad to take me to the bookstore, probably one of the first times I had set foot in a bookstore. We went to Barnes and Noble and I wasn't really sure what I was looking for...somehow I found Bertrand Russell, and I also discovered the physics section. I started browsing a subject I thought would be inaccessible and archaic. I had been interested in astronomy mostly since I could walk. I had a telescope which now collects dust in a closet somewhere.

Well I picked up "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene because it had a cool graphic on the cover and it just sounded badass in general. When I finished reading it, I decided was where my true interests lie and that I would study physics in college some day if I could survive another 5 years of my local government internment camp (school).

I was annoyed that school was forcing me to learn all this stuff instead of just letting me focus on my interests. But I kept at it, because I needed to get into a university one day.

Skipping ahead a few years of the same crap at the same crappy school with a father who I thought was a dumb ass. I discovered the Texas Academy of Math and Science. I thought this place was my destiny. I imagined having spontaneous philosophical discussions over coffee, learning interesting science, living with a fun roommate, meeting people who weren't rednecks that only wanted to go binge drinking or go to church etc...

To make a long story short, TAMS turned out to be more of the same shit I was running from in high school and in some aspects, much worse. A healthy portion of the students there were narrow-minded in the sense that they only cared about school and academics. It seems like grades were the only thing that mattered there. After a test, the only thing people are capable of talking about for the rest of the day is, "How did you do on the test?", "What did you get on #____?" "OMG my Indian/Asian parents are going to kill me unless I make a 120 on this calculus test!" The kids were extremely arrogant about their grades as well. Fuck true knowledge. If you had lower grades than someone else, you were dumber than them. Everyone with a 4.0 gpa were the smart ones. Everyone without it was stupid. Period.

I was going to sign up for a philosophy course as an elective and nobody could get their heads around why I would do that. Half the people straight up told me it was a useless subject.

So anyway, by my second semester of my junior year at TAMS, I started to think about whether this was really the place for me or not. I eventually figured out that I wasn't happy there and that the whole time I was just rationalizing my situation since for the moment, there didn't seem to be any alternative. After all, if I wanted to get into MIT or Cal Tech, TAMS was the way to go right? At the time, I was planning on majoring in mechanical engineering because it was related to physics and I wanted to be practical.

Then I started wondering whether all this was worth it. If TAMS was like this, any other academic institution would be the same as well and even if I went somewhere like Brown University where they have a coreless curriculum, would it be worth the 100K dollar tuition? Probably not in my case I decided.

Finals were coming up on me fast. It's May now, and I was the most apathetic that I had ever been since I enrolled at TAMS. Finals started on May 5th, a Monday and it was May 4th. So much was on my mind that day, I ended up laying in my bed most of the day just thinking about what the fuck I was going to do with my life. I had to pass my chemistry final to pass the class otherwise I would fail. A failing grade at TAMS means you don't get to come back for another semester.

I wanted other options, so I started thinking way outside the box. I know I wanted to just study things on my own time and I wanted to know how I could make some money off of it or at least do something that didn't involve taking a corporate dick.

Naturally I went to my trusty laptop and googled, "college drop out options" and I found you guys. I ended up deciding I could tutor math, SAT, and freshmen physics/algebra based physics. I would continue my studies in math by enrolling in a class at my community college and taking online courses from Stanford. I wanted to focus on studying change and space. I'm not very interested in number theory or a lot of applied stuff.

I'm also trying to find a part-time job at the moment in case I'm having trouble finding tutoring gigs.

So ya. That's it I guess. Sup.

To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. - Chuang-tzu
The quieter you become, the more you can hear. - Baba Ram Dass
The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass. - Dogen
Great Faith. Great Doubt. Great Effort. - The three qualities necessary for training. - Zen saying
Possessing much knowledge is like having a thousand foot fishing line with a hook, but the fish is always an inch beyond the hook. - Zen saying
06-04-2008 05:34 AM
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Hanny Offline
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Post: #2
Re: Late Introduction

Win.

[Image: 72eoaf.gif]
<Darthmat> I love the taste of meat in my mouth. Cory, I don't know how you live without it.
<Darthmat> "Forbidden meat tastes sweetest."

Penisometer
8======================================================================o
Conclusion: Still a penis.
06-04-2008 06:17 AM
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Suicidal-kun Offline
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Post: #3
Re: Late Introduction

Toooo long, I'll read later. Welcome to SS I guess, a little late welcome, but a welcome nonetheless, right?
06-04-2008 07:09 AM
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chibichibibear Offline
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Post: #4
Re: Late Introduction

Wow, that was rather inspirational. I'm glad to have read it!

And welcome, (hmm I should go make my own intro post...)

Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English philosopher, mathematician and writer.

My posts are usually lengthy, and I can't help it much... Sorry.
06-04-2008 09:55 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Posts: 18,240
Joined: Aug 2001
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Post: #5
Re: Late Introduction

'Tis good to have you here. Yes

Any further updates on the tutoring stuff, btw?

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06-04-2008 10:17 AM
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Michio-kun Offline
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Post: #6
Re: Late Introduction

I'll be tutoring pre-calculus probably a few weeks from now. I have a book picked out which I made sure was good, Precalculus by Swokowski recommended to me by others. I'm going through it myself and it's excellent. It's brief, but clear in the explanations.

I also found a 3' x 4' whiteboard "used" for 30 dollars (usually 3' x 4's are 80-110 bucks). I got it from amazon.com and the thing was in almost perfect condition. I need an easel or something though...to put it on.

To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. - Chuang-tzu
The quieter you become, the more you can hear. - Baba Ram Dass
The whole moon and the entire sky are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass. - Dogen
Great Faith. Great Doubt. Great Effort. - The three qualities necessary for training. - Zen saying
Possessing much knowledge is like having a thousand foot fishing line with a hook, but the fish is always an inch beyond the hook. - Zen saying
06-04-2008 10:31 AM
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