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Joel G. '18

Sep 21 2016

Dream Machine

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

You know you’re in a sad place when you’re so desperate to procrastinate an assignment that you organize your life, clean your room, get a job, exercise, drink 8 cups of water, consult your doctor, and resurrect a blog you’ve ignored for almost 6 months (!!). So welcome to my sad place, featuring life updates and interior decorating tips.

It’s a new semester, which means another dramatic housing lottery at Zeta Psi. Every year, the brothers participate in a rather chaotic room assignment process, with all the tranquility and order of the Republican National Convention, except that at the slightest hint of instability we throw out our progress and start over from the top. As you can imagine, this usually takes a while.

When the dust finally settled, my new roommate Robert Tran ‘18 and I moved into Dream Machine, a cozy double in the third floor of 233 Mass. Ave. The beds - like all the rooms in the house - were lofted to save space, which left us with the entire space to... read the post »

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Apr 5 2016

That wasn’t skiing, that was falling with style!

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

Hello everybody! My name is Katy and I’m a senior studying electrical engineering (6-1). Joel has kindly let me write a blog post for him about my favorite thing about MIT – the ski team!

For those of you who don’t know, at MIT the month of January is not part of the normal school year. Instead, we have Independent Activities Period (IAP). During IAP students can choose to take condensed classes, conduct research, work on projects, work at an externship, travel, or really whatever the hell they want. I prefer to spend the duration of IAP with the MIT Alpine Ski team, living in a cabin in New Hampshire, and skiing all day every day. Yeah, I’m pretty much living the dream.

I’ve always been a somewhat cautious person, or to put it another way, a total wuss. I avoid compromising situations, whether it be going to a party where I don’t know many people, or refusing to try a back dive off the board even when all the younger kids do it no problem. I guess you could say I have a finely... read the post »

Discussion

Mar 9 2016

IAP, CES, and other acronyms

Posted in: Life & Culture

January is “supposed” to be an off-month for MIT students - a break between the semesters to relax, recharge, recoup, and reflect*. But somehow I managed to be at least as busy as I was in October or November, which, despite the excitement and adventures, has wrought havoc on my personal health, just in time for me to start the spring semester at the tail end of a prolonged battle with the flu.

* I’m actually not sure about the last two; I just started with ‘relax’ and ‘recharge’ and then felt obligated to continue. Sometimes I feel like I’m slowly devolving into a Markov Chain.

I drafted most of this post in the eerie, apprehensive calm before the academic storm, when classes had started but I didn’t yet have any work, but then life happened and school exploded and my to-do list overflowed its buffer in memory. But without further ado or apologies, let’s recap the last 106 days (!!!) since my last post.

During IAP, the MIT Alumni Association runs an “Externship” program in... read the post »

Discussion

Nov 24 2015

A Walk down CourseRoad Lane

Posted in: Academics & Research, Majors & Minors

One of Danny B.D’s many contributions to the MIT community, along with a propellor hat fashion resurgence and an infamous tenure as East Campus Historian, is the ubiquitous and indispensable CourseRoad, an open-source 4-year academic planner. CoursedRoad collects all the data about MIT’s courses and majors and lays it out in a beautiful pastel graph that visualizes dependencies and degree requirements, and lets you drag and drop classes to plan what you want to take each semester. Pictures make more sense than I do, but playing with it yourself makes even more sense.

CourseRoad is a wonderful tool because it lets you toy with alternate realities, explore possible futures, and save them all as separate roads. Wondering if you have space to squeeze in an astronomy elective? Add it to a CourseRoad and see how it fits! Want to see what it’s like to be Course <n> without going through all the work of actually being <n>? Build a Course <n> CourseRoad! It’s like a hyper-speed... read the post »

Discussion

Nov 12 2015

Steady-state Equilibrium

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Academics & Research, Life & Culture

-- THREE WEEKS AGO --

Thursday night, while debugging an Arithmetic Logic Unit for a 6.004 lab, after registers and stack pointers and opcodes began to blur together into hexadecimal soup, I decided I needed a break. My circuit design was only failing one of the online tests, which meant that there was just one tiny (read: stupid) error somewhere, but I couldn’t focus (quite literally) long enough to find it. I left to pick up some sort of caffeine from the convenience store across the street from the Zeta Psi house.

Since it was raining lightly, I sprinted to the crosswalk. But when I got there, I kept going. The rain felt good, the night was refreshing, and I’d been staring at my computer for the last… well, as long as I could really remember. I ran past the store, past the next block, and past Central Square. I thought about my 6.004 circuit error. I thought about life. I thought about space, politics, and the new vegan place that opened nearby. When I got to Harvard, I... read the post »

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