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Michael C. '16

Mar 18 2015

Is MIT too hard?

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Academics & Research, Life & Culture

For most people, sprinting a mile in under 5 minutes is physically impossible.  And yet world-class marathon runners are able to run twenty-six back to back 4:45 miles.  How do they do it?

The answer is that they aren't sprinting.  Instead, through training they've built up an enormous aerobic capacity, which allows them to run at blazing speeds for long, sustained periods. What's sprinting for us, is a comfortable pace for them.

A proper base of training shifts your perspective of what's possible.

 

^ a non-metaphorical sprint, from a past weekend in Big Basin.

 

 

I used to think that MIT was unnecessarily hard.  Certainly it feels that way in the middle of a hell week - what's the point of having midterms, psets, and essays clustered in the same few days, anyway?  

And you know what? MIT is unnecessarily hard -- at least if you think the purpose of school is to "teach you material."  Tight, clustered deadlines don't make you learn material any better.  Turning... read the post »

Discussion

Jan 28 2015

Goodbye, for now

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Regular readers may know that I've admired Apple's design philosophies for some time.  (Regular friends are well aware of this, and are also sick of me talking about it.  By the way, have you seen the latest Jony Ive video?).

Anyway, I'm very happy to say that yesterday I joined the iPhone Product Design team, and will be working in Cupertino for the next 6 months!

^ from the Infinite Corridor to 1 Infinite Loop

 

This, however, does mean a few things:

(1) I've dropped out of MIT for Spring 2015 and will not be able to blog about MIT-related activities during this time

(2) I will not be blogging about any of the work I'm doing at Apple, for obvious reasons

 

...which basically means that I will be blogging essentially zero for the next 6 months.  I will, however, try to post some tidbits about life in the Bay Area!

 

So this is basically a temporary goodbye (and a permanent goodbye to the graduating seniors - I'll miss you).  Can't wait to meet 2019s in the... read the post »

Discussion

Jan 12 2015

How to survive your first winter: a college student’s guide

Posted in: Miscellaneous

^ how not to do it.

 

"Help! I'm from [Los Angeles/Orlando/other perpetually sunny place].  What do I need to survive an East Coast winter?"

 

I'm glad you asked!  As a lifelong Californian before I went to MIT, this is a problem I wrestled for a while.  And I've learned that it's really not that hard.  As the saying goes, "there's no such thing as bad weather - only inadequate clothing."

Sure, cold weather is cold (duh), and winter clothes are relatively expensive, but with a few basic purchases you'll be well on your way to staying warm on a budget.

Maybe you'll even learn to love winter (I do!) and its beauty:

^ I visited Ouray, CO over winter break for a few days of ice climbing.  Temperatures dropped to around -5 F at night, and yet I stayed (mostly) warm.

 

The secret to staying warm on a budget is that it's all about layering.  

Not only does this let you adjust to different temperatures (by putting on/off layers), but it also saves you money: the... read the post »

Discussion

Nov 29 2014

Who needs Black Friday anyway?

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

^"Every patch is a memory, every tear has a tale. These are the stories we wear." - Worn Wear

Buying new stuff is fun. It provides that instant rush of novelty that consumerism thrives on.

And hey, I’m not immune. But there’s also something sentimental about celebrating stuff you already have. It becomes part of you.

My favorite (and well-used) fleece or puffy jacket will always remind me of certain backpacking trips in the Sierras, or favorite climbs in Yosemite. Gear becomes attached to specific memories and stories, the same way that a certain song can conjure up memories of middle school.

That’s something that a shiny new parka will never provide.

Yesterday, instead of lining up at midnight for the Black Friday frenzy and buying new stuff, I decided to take a different approach. I first went with my friend Emily Y. '15 to a Worn Wear gear swap hosted by the local Patagonia (you may have heard of their prominent anti-Black Friday ads). Later I dropped by the local... read the post »

Discussion

Nov 22 2014

10 reasons why MIT is beautiful

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Miscellaneous

Sometimes MIT gets a bum rap for not having a pretty campus.  I disagree. Sure, we may not have brick buildings and ivy-covered walls.  But we have wacky (modern? postmodern?) buildings, the best river views in Cambridge, and a whole lot more. 

So without further ado, 10 reasons why MIT is beautiful:

(1) Because I get to see this view every day walking home after class:

(2) Because even the Infinite (Corridor) has an ending.

(3) Because in between classes, I might eat lunch in Killian Court...

(4) ...or take a walk by the boathouse:

(5) I'd show you sailing photos, but I'm not confident enough in my abilities to bring electronics on board.  So here's the boathouse from another angle:

(6) Because sometimes you look up and nothing makes sense:

(7) Because engineering can be colorful:

^from 2.008 Design and Manufacturing II.  I'll write about the final product soon!

(8) Because we get cool toys to play with in class:

^a Form1+ we used in... read the post »

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