le cahier de kev

le cahier de kev

adventures fresh off the press

All Work And No Play...

...will certainly ruin Kevin's day! Just Kidding :)


Things seem to be okay right now in regards to the blog and the website so I might postpone the new redesign since I'm also working through my new math and science site.  I'm rewriting, adding diagrams, and writing in additional information for the orgo and calculus topics.  In addition, I also redesigned my old Wordpress site to have the html version of my notes.  I know that the Orgo notes were the most requested so I'm working through those, and then, I'm going through the precalculus and calculus foundations since they are needed for physics.


Everyone's been very nice and patient about them which I appreciate.  It takes around 2-4 hours to make one handout since I re-review the accuracy and any typing errors.  This is for the easy ones.  I know that once I get into the deeper topics such as reaction mechanisms, I might just draw them by pen and then scan it.  I think it will be a lot faster.  I tried to use programs such as ChemWriter to design a few compounds, but it took me some time since you can't delete something when you make a mistake (only undo the last action you performed).  It does make nice looking structures though!


My attempt at making the structure of aspirin for one of my handouts.

I drew a simpler looking structure for the Survey of Orgo handout.

The Orgo for Life/Health Sciences handouts will be more advanced.



So I'm sure all of you saw from my February entry that the blog was a little wonky.  I spoke to an IT person from my webhosting service, and she helped a lot.  We got to resolve the matter and now I can continue my entries.  What I'm going to do for now is to combine February and March's entries for this month (March).


The past Tuesday, as I entered the room for English Conversation Group at New York Public Library, I was greeted by Dana and Andrew, two librarians who assist with the group.  Dana and I were talking about the weather and how we were happy that it was getting nicer for spring.  Then she mentioned seeing the snow icon on Friday (which I also so on my weather app) and I told her, "Yes! I saw that too!"  We both hoped that it wouldn't be too bad.  A client also mentioned that the next day and I told him that I honestly hoped that it wouldn't be too bad.


As Friday came, it wasn't too bad.  It did flurry, but it didn't make the commute as hectic as the previous blizzards that we had.  But with Daylight Savings and the weather getting warmer, it does feel a lot better to get more sunshine.  Sunshine is always good, right?



My Math and Science site is up and running.  Here is a snapshot of my Math and Science site:


My notes are now available to the world!

You can click to go to the site.



I have three sets of notes up, and I'm working on alkanes for Survey of Orgo, molecular and valence bond theories/bond length and strength for the Orgo for science and pre-meds, and inequalities and trigonometry for the precalculus review.  Like I stated on my site, I will update every week.  However, I won't be able to post every single day since it takes a lot of time to rewrite, redesign, and scan the notes.  Luckily, I always have my continuing education notes so the information has still stayed fresh in my mind through practice and through research and work.


February has been eventful.  As I had stated, I attended fashion journalist Dana Thomas's book launch and talk at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she discussed the lives of fashion designers Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.  She was very charming and entertaining.  She lost her place in the middle of her talk, but just made a joke about it and continued on.  We all laughed.


Hearing excerpts and the thought process from the author's mouth herself brought the book to life.  I found it a lot more interactive and entertaining.  A major theme that she discussed was how the passion for their craft got lost once their work became more commercialized.  Instead of focusing on one or two pieces, they had to churn out more than double or triple what they were used to to keep up with commerce.  It was pretty tragic to see them become successful and then plummet down.  As Dana discussed, even with all of their money, they couldn't enjoy their life.  They had to keep churning out dresses and other designs at the expense of their creativity and passion.





Dana Thomas addressing the audience and answering questions



There was something that Dana quoted which caught our attention.  She quoted the fashion designer Alexander Wang who said, "I love what I do, but I'm not going to kill myself for it."


It is interesting that she mentioned this toward the end of her presentation.  In cognitive psychology (memory and learning) I remembered the concept of the "Serial Position Effect," where the first and last items have the greatest impact on recall.  Basically you remember the first and last items most vividly.


The quote is true though.  No matter what field you're in, there's a line between working hard and working so much that you miss out on significant life events.  Of course, you have to work hard if you want to start your own business, succeed in school, or perform well at your job.  But when the work takes a negative toll on your health or you don't have time to attend your child's birthday party, then that's something else.


However, there are always different circumstances for each person.  Some people do need to work long hours to provide a better life for their families and themselves.  This is understandable though when you have to make sacrifices and you might not be able to attend events.  But I think the take home message for this is to not sacrifice more of yourself to the point where it is detrimental.


After the event, I had dinner with my brother at Schnippers at Chelsea.  I promised him that I'd have dinner with him to catch up.  Fortunately, I had time after the event and he had free time too after he got out of work.



Two orders of "The Schnipp" burger

My order of the chocolate shake


I treated both of us to two orders of "The Schnipp" and I also wanted to try their shakes.  I heard that they were good, but expensive.  I decided, "Okay I'll get one," since I don't eat this every day.  The food was really good.  I don't know if it was because we were hungry or what, but we enjoyed it.  The shake was thick.  It was like drinking ice cream through a straw.  I knew that they used premium ice cream for it, but I didn't know how thick it would be.  It was definitely worth the experience!


Across from us there was a tourist family with three daughters.  The parents bought all of them vanilla shakes.  There were also people eating and reading their Kindles/working on their laptops so it was nice to see that it was still vibrant at that time.  Well, New York City is always vibrant for the most part. haha


In terms of something more fun, I've been introduced to Sushi Cat and Kitty Cat Clicker (the cat version of Cookie Clicker).  Usually with app recommendations, I would say, "Okay I'll get to it later," and then I'll end up forgetting since it gets thrown into the back burner.  However, these two have been pretty enjoyable.  It's nice to just take a break and not burn out.


Sushi Cat


Kitty Cat Clicker

An addicting alternative to Cookie Clicker!



Receiving the reward



I'm actually taking a break to write this entry.  It's always been very cathartic to just recap thoughts and show pictures of food, places, and fun apps instead of staring at data and formulas. hehe  After I post this entry, I will put the finishing touches for this week's handouts.


The weather was pretty cold up until recently.  I had a lot of English conversation participants who came from warmer climates so they told me that it was quite a surprise to experience this cold since they didn't expect it to be this harsh.  Even I told them that it wasn't this brutal the past few years so it was a surprise for me too.


My friend and I had to walk through Times Square since he needed to buy a pair of jeans.  We weren't surprised to see that there weren't too many people outside since it was freezing that night.  I snapped a few pictures and he snapped two pictures for me before we ran into the store to escape the cold.


Times Square at night

February 2015


That's the summary of February and March for now.  Hopefully we won't have any more intermittent snow coming in!  I'm ready for the weather to be able to sit outside or just stroll to the train station (instead of speed walking to prevent hypothermia from setting in haha).


Stay warm in the meantime everyone!

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