Thursday, December 28, 2017

Ashwin Arasu Blog Post Fall 2017

Blog Post Fall 2017

Well, I guess I’m The Truth.    
First day on campus, Dakota must 've done this.

There may or may not be some cool story behind the nickname, but by our first team meeting in September, I was already accustomed to the boys calling me Truth. It is definitely a name that needs living up to. I’ll take it.

Those first couple weeks in preseason were a blast. We were lucky enough to stay on the third floor of the brand-new Meier Hall. School hadn’t officially started, which meant no class, no late-night studying, and (as I have now come to appreciate) no  irksome coding assignments. Our days were simple. We played golf together. We ate together. We hung out together. It was a great way to bond with the team and get acclimated to life on campus.

During that time, we had the honor of playing against the Army golf team in the Bush Cup. The friendly match took place at Olympic Club, and was a great opportunity to be around some of the most dedicated, loyal, and honorable individuals, who have made it their life to serve our country. We spent a whole day with them, from breakfast to 36 holes of competition to dinner, and learned a lot. Hearing about the rigors of training and life at West Point, from college kids like us, put things in perspective.  I’m not sure if the hours and hours we spend studying and practicing at Stanford can be compared to the mental and physical intensity that the cadets put themselves through.  This is a reminder that can help push us to push ourselves.  Having even half the level of dedication and discipline as them can get us a long way.  Moreover, it is a reminder that helps us appreciate those who serve our country even more.  
The 18th hole at Olympic Club during the Bush Cup.
Then, school started and we got deeper into our fall season.  In many aspects, life on the Farm became more and more routine.  I had class to go to, every weekday. Workouts came twice a week, every week.  And driving to qualifying rounds meant the team van would be filled with country music, every time.  But routine doesn’t mean boring and it doesn’t get old (even the country music).  I believe that the team understands that reaching a high level in anything, whether it’s golf or school, means doing the little things, everyday.  Knowing this and knowing that our time at Stanford is short makes every class, every workout, every opportunity to practice at Siebel, every qualifying round that much more important.  My first quarter feels like it went by too fast. 
“Big grey” (our team van) took us to some beautiful spots so far! In clockwise order, qualifying at TPC Harding Park, Cal Club, and Halfmoon Bay.

Above, Tiger Woods and Casey Martin at dinner. Below, we traveled in style.
My favorite memory so far was my first college  event, the Nike tournament in Oregon.  We played at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club,which has hosted many prestigious events, like the US Amateur and US Women’s Open. We got to visit and tour Nike’s world headquarters.  At the Nike dinner, we got to witness some great conversation and hear some hilarious stories between four Stanford teammates: our very own Coach Ray, Notah Begay, Oregon Coach Casey Martin, and the Big Cat himself,  Tiger Woods.  

The most exciting part for me was getting to compete against one of the strongest fields in college golf.  I learned a lot about my game.  In the second round, Coach Ray walked with me my whole round. Like clockwork, before every approach shot I was given the yardage to the front of the green. I took from that experience that it takes a system of planning and mindfulness to pick apart a golf course.  I don’t need to be a hero and go for every shot to score my best.  

The event was also important for us, especially after coming in 11th place in Illinois. Early in the year we talked about how we might be underrated, how we might lack the star power of previous years, but also how we still have one of the deepest teams out there.  It came down to the last few holes in Oregon, and we didn’t get the win, but it still was a great confidence boost. We have the resources at Stanford, in our facilities and Coaches, to prepare at the highest level.  We have great group of guys that have the talent and the work ethic to take this team far this year.  We have the potential to achieve great things.

I only have one quarter on the Farm under my belt, but it’s clear to me that this place and these people are really, really special! Go Card!

— Ashwin

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2 Quarters as a Stanford Golfer: What I’ve Learned

With our second of three quarters drawing to a close I find it to be a good time to reflect a bit on some of the experiences I have had thus far as a Stanford golfer and student. There have been many highs, a considerable number of lows, and everything in between. All things considered, it’s been a fantastic six months. We have an awesome team of hardworking, dedicated student athletes who are determined to have success in the coming months. Pair that with two fantastic coaches and I see great opportunity for our program. But before spring quarter is upon us, let me revisit some of my fall and winter quarter experiences.

Here are eleven things I’ve learned, witnessed, experienced, and done in my short tenure on the farm:

 1. Ride with Caution: Stanford students are extremely bright; however, I’ve found there to be an indirect correlation between intellectual horsepower and bike riding competence which makes riding to class in large groups of people rather treacherous. Ride accordingly. Unfortunately, I (my right wrist) learned this one the hard way.

2. To Be or Not To Be: “Who’s that guy?” A question that Coach Ray often challenges us with in team meetings. “That guy” can be the one who stays late to get in extra work after practice, finds time for additional workouts, or identifies himself as the strongest player on the team. Conversely, he can be the one who never seems to be seen practicing at Siebel (our practice facility) on the weekends, shows up last to every team gathering, or doesn’t respond promptly to important team texts and emails. Whether he is someone you want to be or don’t want to be is indefinite; however, the coaches will certainly be keeping tabs on the matter. You should too.

3. Where’s Waldo?: Being from North Carolina, my favorite thing to do other than play golf is hunt, so naturally there are a few pieces of camouflage clothing that made my college wardrobe. While I typically wear camo with the intention of blending into my environment, I can guarantee you that I do not blend in on Stanford’s campus. Not even in the slightest.

4. Rain Rain Go Away: Have you ever been told that it “doesn’t rain” at Stanford? It’s a lie.

5. Top Courses: By my count we have played 10 top 100 courses in the world depending on which rankings you look at. I have been told before that it typically takes about 5 years to play all 100, so with 10 down in the past six months we seem to be pretty well on pace.

6. Hot Start: Being a freshman, our Scotland trip was my first experience with and introduction to the Stanford Golf Program. Not a bad way to kick off my four years here. We played 10 incredible courses, stayed in amazing places, had a great group of Stanford golf supporters and friends come along with us, and most importantly had an absolute blast. Cheers to Connoisseur Golf for being fantastic trip hosts.

7. Stick to Your Guns: It is wise to take classes in subjects you are familiar with and that won’t be excessively difficult in your first quarter at Stanford. Your GPA, golf game, and self-esteem will thank you. Choose the right ones and fall quarter will be great, choose the wrong ones and you may be in for a ride. There is certainly an academic adjustment period for freshman learning how to operate on a college academic format. Balancing that with trying to get your feet wet as a college golfer can be a formidable challenge if you end up with a surprise class or two that happens to be an excessive workload or just plain hard. Fellow freshman Dakota McNealy and I experienced this in taking Petroleum Engineering and Computer Science, respectively.

8. A Who’s Who of Handshakes: One of the things that makes our program so neat is the people that surround it. Whether it be PGA Tour players, notable businessmen, or famous television personalities, always dress appropriately and keep a clean haircut, because you never know who might be hanging around.

9. Come Hungry, Leave Happy: Thanks to a 2014 change in NCAA policy driven by UConn men’s basketball’s Shabazz Napier, we are now allowed to be fed as many snacks as possible. Consequently, the Stanford Varsity Golf Clubhouse is always stocked with all sorts of snacks and drinks to be eaten whenever we need them. As a group of 19-21-year-old college boys, you can imagine that this is a resource that is fully taken advantage of every day. If you ever see a yogurt parfait in the refrigerator don’t be hesitant to act quickly because it won’t be there in 5 minutes.

10. Switch it up: While we have pretty solid dining hall food at Stanford relative to many other colleges, it is, and will always be, college dining hall food. That being said, it is critical to not eat at the same one for every meal. Most of the dining halls have some sort of theme, for example my dining hall, Wilbur, is Asian themed. Stern, just across the street, is Mexican themed, so there are different options. I typically try to never eat at the same one for consecutive meals. There are 7 or 8 of them in total so it is not too hard to keep yourself happy by not eating the same few meals over and over.
11. Four Leaf Clovers, Horseshoes, and the number 7: All things considered, we as Stanford golfers have a pretty incredible college golf experience that is advantageous for nothing but success both on and off the golf course. We are all extremely fortunate to be in the position we are in and have the opportunities we have as Stanford golfers. This is something none of us take for granted and use as daily motivation to work hard to continue to breed the success that this program is built on.

 Thank you all for reading and for being supporters of Stanford Men’s Golf.

 Go Cardinal, Henry Shimp

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Junior Jeff Swegle shares an amazing day and week in his life at Stanford


Hey everyone, my name is Jeff Swegle, and I’m a junior on the team this year. This week, I’m gearing up for the Prestige at PGA West. Right now, it’s Monday night and the team leaves on Friday. On my plate for this week: 2 psets (“pset” is short for “problem set”, what we call homework assignments), a midterm, plus lots of golf and a little bit of socializing. My goals (in order of importance):
            --Get my game in shape/make the starting 5 for the Prestige
            --Do the best I possibly can on my Phil 151 Pset
            --Turn in my Physics 41 pset (preferably on time)
            --Survive Japanese (after this week, just 3 weeks left)

A Week in the Life, Day 1.

Monday, February 13, 2017.

7:15. Jake’s (my roommate) alarm rings. He’s on the volleyball team and is off to morning weights. I roll over for another 15 minutes of sleep before my alarm goes off.

7:45. I stop ignoring my alarm, but am too tired to get up. I open my phone and watch 10 minutes of Roger Federer highlights on YouTube to wake me up ( By 8:15 I’m out of the shower and doing some last minute cramming for a Japanese in class midterm. I need to be able to communicate that I want to do something, that I have done something, that I am planning to do something, list things that I have done, and some other stuff that I don’t remember now.

9:00. Downstairs to breakfast. My first class is at 9:30, so I need to move a bit quickly. I eat quickly with my friend Leah (who, fun fact, took two gap years in Israel and plans to join the Israeli Defense Forces after she graduates) and then head to the first class of the day, Phil 151.

9:27. Phil is the class that I like the most/care about the most this quarter, so I get there a bit early. During lecture, I alternate between focusing on the content (First Order Logic) and trying to place geographic region of his accent. Today we are wrapping up our discussion of Sentential Logic, and moving on to First Order Logic.

10:20. I leave Phil 151 and head over to Physics 41 lecture. I’ll spare you the details, but the highlight of the lecture was when our professor returned the class to the topic of Work (as in, w = F * s) by saying, “Ok, time to get back to work.” There are few things Stanford lacks, but one thing I could do with less of? Puns. Looking at you Mav. (ICYMI: Mav is notoriously punny.)

11:30. Off to my Japanese midterm. Spoiler alert: I pass, but get the worst grade in the class. On the one hand, I’m disappointed to get the worst grade in the class; but on the other hand, my goal in the class is to get better at speaking Japanese, which doesn’t necessarily coincide with getting a good grade on a written exam. I’ll shake it off.

12:20. I get out of my midterm and head to Siebel (the team practice facility). From there, I head over to qualifying at Crystal Springs, which is about 25 minutes north on 280. We play 9 holes, but ultimately conditions force us to halt play. However, this doesn’t stop Isaiah from finishing birdie, birdie, birdie, par, eagle (a holed-out 7 iron from 180 yards) to lead the team at -4.

17:30*. I return from qualifying and head directly to my Phil 151 section. The section is only supposed to last 50 minutes, but I’m the only person who shows up; and so my TA and I end up spending more than an hour discussing the theoretical scaffolding of First Order Logic.

            (*Note the use of military time. I made the switch this quarter, after I accidentally set an alarm for 8:30, failed to notice the distinction between AM and PM, and consequently slept through my two morning classes.)

18:45. Time for a quick bite to eat and then Phil 151 section. The dining hall cooks up so nice salmon, which I compliment with a side of chocolate ice cream.

19:30. Physics 41 section with teammate Brandon Wu. Not much to say. I return to the dorm around 21:00.

Now: Currently, it’s 22:06:20. Two of my teammates, Henry Shimp and Madie Chou (technically from the women’s team) are hanging out in my dorm room doing some Math51 homework as I type this. Pretty soon I need to go downstairs to practice some piano for my music12A class tomorrow so I can avoid minor (that’s for you, Mav) humiliation.

A Week in the Life, Day 2.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

6:46. My alarm for team workouts wakes me up. I quickly turn it off, hoping my roommate doesn’t wake up, and get down from my bunk bed. I quickly change in the dark, and head out to the curb by Faisan (my dorm), where Bradley Knox, another Junior on the team, is idling in his car, a 1992 Nissan affectionately nicknamed “The Great White.” Franklin Huang, the other Junior on the team, is already inside. I hop inside, The Great White swings by Bob (a co-op house on the row) to pick up Mav and V, and then we’re off to workouts.

7:11. Team workout are in a gym called “Mini Maples,” inside Maples Pavilion. Team workouts officially start at 7:15, but it’s an unwritten rule that people should get there earlier than that to stretch out. By now, everyone is here so we get started. Today we warm up for 10 to 15 minutes, then head to the basketball court for some dynamic motion patterns. Then it’s back to Mini Maples for today’s lift: a weighted split squat super set with a jumping pattern, and a single arm bench press super set with slow motion sing armed rows.

8:30. After lift, The Great White drops me and Tank off outside Faisan. I start heading to the dining hall, but don't make it. Instead, I’m greeted by a Valentine’s Day surprise courtesy of the Faisan RA’s: 6 boxes of Krispy Kreme Donuts, 2 gallons of milk, a gallon of orange juice, and French press coffee. I end up eating breakfast in the lounge with Jarrod, my RCC (Resident Computer something), Leah, and Sasha (one of my friends in the dorm) while listening to the Beatle’s Red Album on vinyl (courtesy of my RA, Paul).

9:15. I leave from Faisan to go to Old Union, a building near the center of campus, where I have an appointment with my Japanese tutor. I practice my Japanese with her for 30 minutes and feel pretty good about it. I’m definitely making some big improvements, despite not doing so well on the exams.

9:45. Last evening I did not practice piano as anticipated, so I return to the dorm and post up on the piano in the lounge. I practice from 9:45 to 11, working through the repertoire that I’m supposed to know for class. As I practice, friends from the dorm intermittently walk through and say hi. All in all, its been a great morning so far.

11:30. I head to Japanese class, where I get my midterm back. Not much to say.

12:30. I leave Japanese, grab some quick lunch and then bike to Siebel to warm up. We have 9 holes of qualifying today to make up for the 9 holes we missed yesterday. I spend an hour and half warming up: stretching, hitting balls, putting.  The weather is perfect; about 70 degrees, sunny, no wind. I’m excited to play.

2:30. I get a ride with Franklin to the course.

2:50. I tee off with Henry, David, and Dakota (the three freshmen this year). I stripe my first drive just barely into the left rough. Feeling good.

5:00. I finish up the 9, shooting a solid -1. Brad led the team today with -4; about half of us break par. After a quick huddle with Coach Ray, we head back.

5:30. I get a long dinner with Brandon Wu, Isaiah Salinda, Madie Chou, and Sierra Kersten.

7:30. After a bit of socializing, I make it back to the dorm room and settle in for some homework. I need to get a good start on Phil 151 in order to ask the professor questions in class tomorrow, and I have some Japanese to do as well. I’m very confused with the Japanese, so I get some help from my friend Scott (who speaks fluent Japanese) who explains everything in less than 5 minutes.

12:20. I finish studying for the night. I got through about half of my Physics 41 pset, working together on it with my friend Emily, but was unable to answer anything substantial for 151. Luckily, I managed to come up with enough questions about proof strategies for 151 that I feel confident that tomorrow I should be able to knock out some of it out.

Day 3

8:30. My alarm rings; time to get going for the day. On tap: 3 classes, plus qualifying in the afternoon, and then some PSETs to work through in the evening.

9:00. I’m downstairs, showered, and ready to get breakfast. As usual, I eat with my friend Leah. Pretty normal.

9:27. As usual, I get to my Phil 151 class a few minutes early. After lecture, I have some questions left over from my first attempt at the Pset last night, so I ask the professor if he can help clarify some things. I end up discussing the proof strategies I need to employ to get through the Pset with him for 30 minutes.

10:50. I walk into Physics 41 20 minutes late due to my long discussion with Prof Hawke. I walk in during a demo with a rope and string which seems mildly interesting. Today we discuss force done by a string. 30 minutes later, and I’m heading to Japanese.

11:30. I arrive in Japanese class to find three people I have never seen before sitting in the classroom. They are exchange students from Tokyo University, who have volunteered to help out in class today. Class starts with 25 minutes of conversation practice with our guests. Afterwards, the three of them head to lunch and we have a class conducted as usual. The professor reminds us that we have a vocabulary quiz on Friday, which reminds me that I haven’t started studying for it yet. Probably should get on that.

12:20. Japanese gets out; I bike to my dorm, hopping in my car, drive to Siebel to pick up my clubs, and then drive to Los Altos Country Club with Franklin, where we are qualifying today.

13:15. Franklin and I head to the putting green with the rest of our teammates. The weather is perfect, and the course looks like its in great condition. The greens are fast and true. I’m excited to play.

13:30. First swing of the day, and I stripe it down the middle. Hell yeah.

18:30. The last group putts out on 18 green, and we circle up to talk over the round and compare scores. I have the low round of the day, 69 (-2). For the most part, LACC wins today.

19:00. Franklin and I drive back to campus.

19:30. I drive to Pieology (kind of a build your own Subway-style pizza place) to get dinner with one of my friends, Colin. (One thing I’ve learned since I’ve been at school: no matter how busy you are; you should always be able to make time for dinner with friends.) We eat pretty quickly and head back to campus, as we both have a fair amount of school work to do.

20:00. Back in the dorm room, its time to start in on some psets. I have a few things on my to do list: I need to practice some Kanji characters for Japanese, put in my stats from the round today, get through my 41 Pset, and get through my 151 Pset. I take care of Kanji and stats in 30 minutes, and turn to my psets.

21:00. It quickly becomes apparent that typing my proofs for 151 will be nearly impossible, as every character I need to write is going to have to be copy-pasted form the internet. I ask one of my friends, Arianna, for help setting up Latex on my computer (kind of a computer language for typing up math psets that makes your work look nice, and includes all the characters that I need). Eventually I decide to put that on the back burner (I’ll figure it out tomorrow) in favor of actually doing the pset.

23:00. After 2 hours of work, I’ve made barely any headway. First Order Logic is very confusing. I brew a cup of coffee and head to the lounge to work on 41 with one of my friends in the class, Shelby.

00:30. The 41 Pset went smoothly, and we’re almost done. Shelby goes to bed, and its time to turn my attention back to 151.

1:30. An hour later and I’ve still made barely any headway. I write a long email to one of my TAs. The subject line might as well be S.O.S. I’ve done all I can tonight, and I need some rest.

1:50. I brush my teeth and head to bed.

Day 4.

6:45. My alarm rings for workouts. I get out of bed and quickly change and head for the curb, where The Great White is waiting idly. The team workout outfit for today is red shorts, grey shirt; but due to a sudden and unexpected laundry crisis, I find myself team libero.

7:12. Everyone is at least 3 minutes early, so we start the lift. We have a guest appearance today from Coach Ja-mo, which is exciting (Ja-mo swings by team lift once every week or two to check in on us). Coach Cory has a great workout devised for us today. We warm up with some tissue work, then hit the basketball court for some dynamic movements, then return to Mini Maples to pick up some weights (and then put them down after that).

8:15. We wrap up the lift, and sophomore Chris Meyers delivers an inspiring break down.

8:30. Bradley, Tank, V and I return to parking lot prepared for the return journey in the underbelly of The Great White.

9:00. Post-breakfast, I return to my room. Before I shower, I take another look at my 151 PSET. Yesterday, most of my toil was directed towards Problem 3; this morning, I glance through the other problems. I’ve already finished 1, and to my relief both 2 and 4 seem fairly straightforward. As long as my TA responds to my S.O.S., I feel optimistic about getting it done in a reasonable amount of time.

9:30. I hit a quick shower, and then its time to head downstairs for some piano practice.

10:00. Ok so no piano. I go downstairs and am about to start playing when I get a dorm email from our RA, Paul, who’s subject line is “Coffee, now, eom.” I need some coffee, and I know Paul is both a genius and a Phil 151 alum. I pack up my stuff and go to his room.

11:00. Paul gives me fresh ground, French press coffee, and helps me with my 151 PSET for an hour; then I get an email response from my 151 TA saying he will be in his office to answer my questions until 12:00. I have Japanese at 11:30, so I rush to the quad to meet him in his office.

11:25. I leave my TA’s office with some of my questions answered. I head to Japanese.

12:20. I officially survive Japanese.

12:30: I eat lunch with Franklin and some of the people in his draw group. After lunch, Tank and I drive to Siebel for practice.

14:00. After a warm up, team practice starts. We divide into 2 and 3 man groups and accomplish 4 tasks that Coach Ray has set up for us; one for putting, one for short game, one for pitching and one for wedges.

16:00. Isaiah, Chris and I finish the team practice. I go to the clubhouse to get the trackman, and then drive to the other side of the range to hit a wedge combine, and then practice hitting 9 iron to distances ranging from 120-150 yards.

17:00. Tank and I return to Faisan. I spend about 20 minutes working on Phil 151, then bike to piano class.

19:20. I didn’t end up practicing much piano this week, so class does not go particularly well; however, with some moral support from Brad (who is also taking piano) I make it through the playing section. The professor lectures for about 45 minutes about minor and major scales, which I find pretty interesting.

19:30. I eat a quick dinner at Flomo dining.

19:50. I put my laundry in the washing machine, and take a 20-minute breather from my hectic day to brew a cup of coffee and listen to some music. I’m pretty tired, so I need to recharge to tackle this homework. I listen to my current favorite band, Glass Animals, and lay on the couch in my dorm room.

20:10. Time to get to work. I start back in on Phil 151. A note on all the work I’ve been doing on this PSET up until now: it has been completely conceptual. That is, I’ve been trying to sketch out what my proofs for each question will look like; I haven’t actually written anything down yet. Gulp.

20:30. My friend, Negi, comes over to my room to work on 151 with me. Negi is a grandmaster chess player, so a low-key genius. Sadly, he’s also finding the PSET rather difficult. We spend about an hour talking about one of the problems, and think we come up with a solution. Time to start typing up some answers.

22:30. Still hard at work. About half of the problems seem pretty easy to prove, but there is one problem in particular that we are stuck on. We keep trying to approach it from different angles but nothing seems to be working.

00:30. Still working.

01:30. Still working. That problem won’t give; we’ve worked on a lot of the others; but we have nothing typed up yet; everything we have done has been conceptual.

02:00. Negi keeps working, but its time for me to call it a night. We leave tomorrow morning and I haven’t packed a thing yet.

Day 5.

7:15. My alarm rings, but I’m way too tired to get up yet. Around 7:30 I manage to get myself out of bed, and I go take a shower to try and wake myself up.

7:35. In the shower, I’m still thinking about the problem that had Negi and I stumped last night. All of a sudden, the answer occurs to me. I immediately cut my shower short and go back to my room to write it down before it stops making sense.

8:00. I ride my bike to Lakeside dining to meet Calli Ringsby (a member of the women’s team) and Brandon Wu for a breakfast PSET session for Physics 41. Wednesday night I figured out the PSET, but I still need to write it up and want to compare some answers with them.

10:30. Finally the PSET is written up and submitted online. I return to Faisan to pack. I take advantage of the packing time to listen to some music, and get through almost an entire album by Glass Animals.

11:15. I’m all packed up, grab my stuff and go to head out to my car; but then I realize that I don't have my car keys. I search my room for 5 minutes, but to no avail. It dawns on me that I’ve been keeping a nearly-to-the hour journal all week for team blog; I pop out my computer and retrace my steps.

11:20. I call V for a ride.

11:25. V arrives and drives me to the course, where I pack up the rest of my stuff and (magically) find my keys in my golf bag.

12:00. The team departs from the golf course en route to San Jose International. We stop by Smashburger, courtesy of Uncle Leland (read; Leland Stanford Jr. University), and then board our flight. We fly Southwest which not only highly unusual and also very disappointing because it prohibits me from pulling rank to get a window seat.

15:30. Our flight lands in Ontario, California.

16:01. My Phil 151 PSET is officially late.

17:00. We get the vans at the airport and begin the drive to where we are staying in Palm Springs, at the McNealy’s house. We had to fly into Ontario, California, due to some inclement weather in Palm Springs, and so we have a roughly two-hour drive ahead of us. The team independently sorts itself into vans based on music preference. (There are two main factions on the Stanford Men’s Golf Team: Team Country Music, consisting of Maverick, V, Shnyds, Meyers, Shimp, Dakota, Knox, and Coach Ray; Team Not Country Music, consisting of me, Tank, Wu, Isaiah.)

19:30. We arrive at the McNealy residence, where a feast of barbecue pulled pork, chicken breast, sushi, and pizza awaits us.

20:00. Ping-Pong begins.
            Ping-Pong power rankings:
1)   Knox. Prestigious forehand and backhand ability. Only weakness is a tendency to go for shots despite being horribly out of position; but as he frequently pulls these off, not much of a weakness.
2)   Meyers. Literally impossible to return his serve, unless you’re Knox; however, hit either forehands or nothing.
3)   Me? Occasionally hit backhand winners; frequently whiff. But it’s my blog so I’m 3.
4)   Wu. Somehow manages to always return the ball, despite having exactly 0 offensive capability.
5)   Tank.
6)   Mav/Dak/Shimp/Shynds/Ja-mo/V.
7)   Isaiah. Celebrates his won points with much vigor. Rarely wins points.
8)   Coach Ray. Tough showing from Coach Ray this year.

20:00. I decide to forego ping pong tonight in order to continue working on this 151 PSET. I’m finally in the mode where I’m crafting all of my proofs in writing. I could do this sloppily, but it’s already late so I might as well take my time and get the phrasing perfect.

21:30. I’m exhausted from the week, and head to bed. I ask V to wake me up at 7:30 if I’m not already awake.

Day 6.

7:30. V wakes me up. I feel incredible after 10 consecutive hours of sleep. I’m excited for the day.

8:00. I head upstairs and eat breakfast as I continue to work on this PSET. The going is slow, since I’m trying to get my responses just right.

10:30. The team packs up and heads to The Hideaway, the course where Coach Ray’s parents belong. Gary Ray has invited the parents of the players to The Hideaway to play with their kids for 18 holes.

11:00. We show up at the driving range and start warming up. Mr. Ray is waiting for us on the driving range, and parents start arriving.

11:30. The entire group, players, parents and coaches, load up from the range and go to the clubhouse to eat lunch.

12:00. Lunch is amazing; we have a private room, and seemingly private wait staff, and 3 huge tables. I sit with my Dad, who is in town for the week, who I haven’t seen in about two months. We have a great lunch, get to catch up, and then it is time to tee off.

12:30. My dad and I tee off with Bradley and his mom, Susan. The course is pure, and the greens are smooth and fast; the weather is perfect; today is a welcome relief from a pretty stressful week.

6:00. Everyone is officially done with their rounds, and we bid goodbye to the parents for now.  We all load into the vans and stop quickly at the McNealy’s to shower and change before a quick turn around to the Madison Club.

7:00. The team arrives at the Madison Club for dinner. We walk inside and are immediately shown to a massive table for the entire party. As soon as we sit down, large platters of sushi are laid out in front of us; once those are finished, bread and pizza comes out. Once we have polished those off, the waiters bring out menus (despite the fact that we all are already pretty full).

9:00. We return to the McNealy residence, extremely full. I play a little ping pong with the boys, then its time to go back to work. I practice piano for about an hour with Colt McNealy looking over my shoulder (Colt, who is a pretty good pianist, teaches me how to read cords from the bottom up, and helps me understand major and minor finger patterns.)

10:00. I go back to work on this PSET. I’m getting really close to finished.

12:00. I head to bed.

Day 7.

6:00. My alarm rings for our morning practice round. One more day until the tournament begins, and I’ve got a little bit of last minute prep to do.

6:45. We get breakfast at the course, and the go warm up.

7:30. We tee off hole number 2 in the shotgun start practice round. Mav, Tank, and V are all playing in the college am this afternoon, so it is only me, Brad, Dak, Wu, Isaiah and Chris this morning. We decide to have birdie game between me, Brad and Dak versus Wu, Isaiah and Chris. The course is in great shape, but is soft due to the rain from the last few days in Palm Springs. Playing in two threesomes, we get around the course pretty quickly for a practice round.

12:00.  We finish up and compare scores. The birdie count is: Wu 4, Is 3, Meyers 1, Knox 2, me 2, and Dak 1. (Isaiah tells me I should record that he had 9 birdies for the blog.) We get the lunch provided at the course.

13:00. We go practice as Mav, Tank and V go to tee off in the college am. I spend 30 minutes putting, 30 minutes doing some full swing technique practice, and then 30 minutes practicing hitting different shot shapes.

15:00. We return to the McNealy residence. I lay low for a little while, and then (surprise) get to work finishing this PSET. (At this point I would like to make clear that it usually does not take me this long to finish PSETs, but this one happens to be especially difficult, and I’m taking my time since it is already late.) Dakota, Siobhan (Mav’s girlfriend) (sorry ladies) and I have a little study session outside by the pool.

17:30. I am 5 sentences/30 minutes away from finishing this dang PSET and it is time to go to the players’ dinner.

18:00. The players’ dinner is incredible. They provide a buffet with three different kinds of pasta, chopped salad, pesto chicken breast, and some delicious prime rib. An hour later, we leave to return to the McNealy’s.

19:15. Brad, Tank, Wu and I begin a very heated ping pong campaign.

20:30. All ping-ponged out, I head upstairs for the last hurrah on this 151 PSET. Tank joins me; his task for the night is to convert an R script into a pdf.  We join Meyers, Wu and Isaiah, who are also studying in the kitchen. At 21:00, I figure out the final question and provide a very satisfyingly succinct proof (probably and hour of thinking for 5 sentences of writing).

21:12:30. I submit my 151 PSET at long last. Tank continues working on converting his R script to a pdf.

22:00. Tank is still working on this R script, but takes a study break to create a new Ping Pong Power Ranking, as he disagrees with mine.

22:15. Time for bed. I have a wake up call tomorrow at about 7:00, and a tee time at 9:53. After a long week of work, I want to be well rested and ready to compete.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Quick Takes Video blog by Maverick McNealy and Isaiah Salinda

Meet the team as they respond to unusual questions by Maverick McNealy and Isaiah Salinda.

To watch full sized on YouTube click here -