Sunday, June 17, 2007

The things I would like to tell people
(but usually don't)

Introductions, someone once said, are tricky things.

Okay, so no one actually said that. I said that. But it's true, isn't it? So often in this world, you only get one chance to make yourself stand out. First impressions really do matter, and I don't want to screw this up. It's like introducing myself to a room full of strangers - only worse, because this is actually an entire Internet full of strangers.

So where to start? At the risk of being unoriginal, let me start by saying my name's Paul Baranay. I was born in South Bend, Indiana - I'm pretty sure that if anyone knows about it, they know it because of Notre Dame (as in Notre Dame football). I technically now live in Michigan, which annoys me to no end, especially since my house is right on the state line. And besides, it's more fun to say I'm from South Bend.

I'm 18 and just graduated from high school - glory hallelujah for that. Next year I'll be going to MIT, which I personally regard as the best school in the world. (Of course, I'm biased.) I plan on majoring in biomedical engineering, but apparently most people change their minds once they get to college, so don't hold me to that. This summer I'm working at good old Notre Dame, doing research with cow bones...but that's a story for another day. (It's also a good line on a resume.)

So, that's the boring stuff. It's lucky I'm not in high school anymore, otherwise I'd feel obliged to talk about all the stuff I did there. In retrospect, I did too much in high school anyway. But, hey, it didn't kill me and I still have a decent social life, so I guess it's all good.

As I said, though, that's the boring stuff, the easy stuff - the things that don't really tell you much about me, about what makes me different from anyone else, because everyone says those sorts of things.

The things I would like to tell people, but usually don't, are these:

I am basically the dumbest smart person you will ever meet. I am an undercover geek, an occasional athlete, a social butterfly, an unforgivable bibliophile. I am a nerd in prep's clothing, a scholar and a gentleman, a walking dictionary. I am optimistic and ironic, cynical and sarcastic.

I am lazy and I am an over-achiever. I used to be too involved for my own good and still think I've been cured.

I count by squares when I am nervous. I am working on memorizing pi and I actually think math jokes are funny.

I want to learn Italian and insist that Latin is a useful language to know. I am basically in love with Rome.

I am a poker player and a computer addict, a Facebook stalker and a fledging blogger. I am making a list of movies I need to see before I go to college. I buy too many books and not enough music.

I believe dark chocolate is God's gift to man. I pretend I don't like going to the mall. I love Oakley sunglasses, North Face fleece, and leather jackets.

I will always be a fan of the Notre Dame football team, no matter how much I claim to hate their performance during any given season. I have mostly gotten over my hatred for USC, but I will always despise Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. I recently converted to the Red Sox but I'd still cheer for the Colts over the Patriots.

I admire Dr. Gregory House as much as I despise the entire cast of Grey's Anatomy. I am obsessed with Harry Potter. I swear that Snape is not evil and Dumbledore is not dead. I dream of riding motorcycles and curing cancer. I think everyone could benefit from a little more dry humor.


Bluegirl said...

Hi! Interesting post -- I definitely enjoyed reading it. Introductions are so much more than "My name is _____.", aren't they? :)

Anyway -- good luck with blogging! I can't wait to read more.


PS) House is amazing! I still kind of have a thing for Dr. Karev, though.

Paul said...

Thanks Kate! Nice to know I have at least one reader now. Don't forget to tell your friends! :D

jkim said...

"apparently most people change their minds once they get to college"

Hahahha.. I applied as Course 1. HAHAHAHA.

Heidi Liu said...

Weirdly enough, I ended up reviewing dark chocolate on my blog right before I found this (because I'm a fb stalker too.)

Looking forward to reading, Paul.

Paul said...

@ Jess: Haha, wow, I never would have guessed that. Um, any thoughts on what you will ever change to? :D

@ Heidi: That's pretty freaking hilarious. I love when the universe works out like that.

jkim said...

ohhhh Paul. do you not read my blog at all? ;)

Omorx De-Prince said...

Hi Paul,
I don't have any comment except that I love your blog and your kind of person - truly complex, if going by your words.

When I read your words, "I'm 18 and just graduated from high school", the first taught that came on my mind was that you probably turned 18 on the 16th day of June 2006 and on the 17th day, you started blogging. You probably had being waiting to become 18 before you start blogging. I may not guess right and please don't blame me for attempting either, because I'm a mathematician and a phylosopher by birth and in mathematics and phylosophy shall I die.


Paul said...

Pssh, Jess, who reads your blog? :P

Thanks Omorx! I really appreciate it. Interesting guess about my birthday - for some reason that's a very appealing idea, I wish I'd thought of it! :) Unfortunately, though, I turned 18 quite some time fact, I'll be turning 19 in a little over three months! (Scary.)

Anyway, philosophy and math rock. I hope you keep reading!

Arkajit said...

hey, paul! welcome to the blogosphere, a.k.a. the desert of the real :)

and yes snape is definitely not evil -- otherwise that would be too lame and formulaic. but alas dumbledore is dead as JKR has confirmed :(
but there still may be hope for sirius! :)
regardless, only one month until we find out! :D

and lol, i have to agree with jess, because otherwise you'd have known that she's course 5 now... at least i still read her blog :P

Paul said...

Yes, the blogosphere finally sucked me in. Glad to be here, and thanks for reading! :)

Eh, JKR is a tricky lady. Besides, spell Snape used to "kill" Dumbledore was quite clearly not the Avada Kadavra. Not to mention the fact that there's all sorts of meanings to the word "dead." :D

And how dare you take Jess' side in this! :P (Besides, even if I did for some crazy reason read her blog, I think I can be forgiven for missing that one little detail. :D)

Bluegirl said...

It's me, back again, to say that the comments here are pretty funny. I second (third?) that Harry Potter is freaking incredible and that there is NO way that Snape is evil. Way too cliche or "formulaic", however you want to put it. Have you read the different theories (I think they were on The Leaky Cauldron?!?) about Snape's possible motivations? Very intellectually stimulating. :) lol

Also, shame on you for not reading JKim's's amusing.

And, moving on to other things, thanks for the comment on my "average" post. I am still planning to apply to some of the elites (after all, you never know until you try, right?) but I'm applying to my in-state schools as well.

Star said...

Hey Paul,
Just wanted to stop by and say, basically I love you. Not that I'm an internet stalker or anything... not at all... But yeah, I found your blog from the link on the MIT site. (I’m going to be applying next year so I’m going crazy with the blogs about now.)
From your introduction we sound freakishly similar, except that I memorized about 800 digits of pi in math class last year, yes I was THAT bored, so I’m a little ahead of you there. And Facebook is evil, nothing else to say about that. Oh, and course 6 trumps all other majors.

I also love how you say “I am basically the dumbest smart person you will ever meet”, its so true for me as well. The other day my cousin (eight years old) goes “for someone who is supposed to be such a genius, you do a lot of REALLY stupid things.” I couldn’t stop laughing for quite some time.

Oh, and I bet I know your real reason for starting this blog, you applying for MIT blogger, right? If so, I wish you luck. And have a GREAT time there next year!


Snively said...

Dumbledore is alive.
House is amazing.
Oakleys are God's gift to man.
Latin is useful.
An overall acceptance of sarcasm would make the world a better place.