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MIT student blogger Kevin S. '19

8 / Fresh start by Kevin S. '19

A month of eating and sleeping and other fun things

To set the mood: Armstrong Cabin – Justin Hurwitz, from the First Man Soundtrack


This IAP, I…

My first, second, and third IAPs brought me around the country and world. This IAP, however, I had the most free time since I started college and tried my best to make the most of my time off and take some fun classes and do some fun things here in Boston.


My first priority was to focus on eating well and to cook most, if not all, my meals. Below is a collection of my attempts to put together something edible: breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, midnight snacks, among other intermittent meals.


I wanted to give baking a shot, too, including making English scones inspired by my Downton Abbey binge, matcha cookies, and baguettes. Some tasted better than I though, some not so much.


…arranged flowers,

I got off the waitlist for an Ikebana workshop sponsored by MISTI Japan and learned the intricacies of flowers and their natural beauty and aesthetics.

We focused on vertical and horizontal hierarchy and whitespace in our arrangements. Pretty cool. Got to take home my creation too.


…cultured myself,

We get free admission to the MFA and ICA, among other museums in the Boston area, and it’s been a few years since I’d been to either. My friend and I made the trek out to the Fenway and Seaport area and took our time exploring the temporary exhibits.




I signed up for a 4-hour workshop at the Beaver Press located in Barker Library. Our group learned how to set type, design a layout, and print our work on a handmade letterpress.

This was the first time I’d tried anything of this sort, and I left with a newfound appreciation of print and type and the beauty of the craft itself. No spell-checking, undo, or auto-align here!



Inspired by Marie Kondo’s new series, I went through my room and decluttered my boxes of artifacts dating back to my freshmen heyday.

I spent several hours immersed in rummaging through and reminiscing about all the memories that the admission tickets, booklets, name tags, flyers, postcards, and everything in between contained.

I made a big fun mess in the kitchen, but I consolidated everything into one notebook that is so full it can’t lay flat anymore. I still have some pages left for my last semester.  :^)


…stayed in the moment,

There were many beautiful sunsets, snow-covered sidewalks, video chats with my dogs, and single-digit-with-windchill-in-the-negative-twenties to 46-degrees-and-kinda-sunny weather shifts (throwback to my first Boston winter when I though 26 degrees Fahrenheit was cold).

I also volunteered at a Bruins game selling tickets for the 50/50 Foundation, spent many afternoons in the locker room with Normatec recovery pants, had lunch with the Language Conversation Exchange at a table of bilingual students, and checked out books from the library on graphic design theory — “It’s all about the process!”




My main focus throughout IAP was training for the US Championships, and here is the group of us at MJM after our “sendoff,” aka a mock competition simulation, two weeks before the real deal.


My training mates made a poster to cheer me on during my event. :^)



After the US Championships, I had a week before school started and debated between taking a IAP class on computational design in footwear or take a trip back to Switzerland.

I ended up choosing the latter, and back to Zürich I went. I signed up for a two-day Schnupperlehre (aka shadowing/mini-internship) at Interactive Things, a digital product design studio. The program is geared towards grade-school students exploring potential career paths. I applied anyways and they responded! I was paired with a 14-year old and interviewed engineers and designers at the company and learned about their design process and framework, and projects they all are working on. On the second day I got the chance to play around with an Olympics dataset and learn data viz for the first time.

My dream is to work at a design studio in the future, and I was so excited to get to experience two days-in-the-life of one, and one in Switzerland!

I crashed at the same dorm I lived in during my exchange term, visited my friends, explored more of the city, and spent two days in the alps in St. Moritz and fulfilled another dream of mine: skating outdoors on a frozen lake.


…and braced for my last first day of school.

Hello spring semester!