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MIT student blogger Snively '11

Back Home by Snively '11

No Strings Attached

Let me tell you, flying home during the summer is much less painful than flying home during the winter. This is actually the first time I’ve flown in the summer since I came to college in 2007. My only experiences with airplanes in the last 2 years have involved delays, cold, snow, and angry angry passengers. Now, there was no cold, no snow, and slightly fewer angry passengers, but a slight delay. All things considered, though, it was a pleasant experience, littered with naps and tasty food. The flight experience was capped off with retrieving my checked bag off the carousel and, to my delight, it was the first one out! My parents and I left the airport, drove to my grandma’s house a few miles away, and spent some time visiting with her there.

Hi grandma! (She reads this, you all should say hi too, she’s a nice lady! You’d like her.)

After that it was an hour long car ride back home for dinner at McMenamins. If you’re from Oregon and eat anywhere but McMenamins when you get back from college, you’re doing it wrong. I had a double Wilbur with double cheese and double bacon, two apple ciders, tater tots, and an extra order of fries. Yum. No pictures though, it wasn’t on my plate long enough to photograph.

After dinner we finally made it to our actual house. After a rather vigorous greeting by the dogs I unpacked some clothes and flopped on the couch. There’s not a lot like flopping on the couch at home after a semester at MIT, something I didn’t get to do last summer.

I went to bed early and woke up early, to weather like this

People in Boston will never understand what weather in Oregon is like. It’s just as sunny, only not as hot, no humidity, and a pleasant trickle of breeze (MIT is also known as the windiest campus IN THE WORLD!)

This summer I’ve decided to work at home, working outside for my dad. No, I’m not working for Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, iRobot, or any of those other “MIT summer job” places, I’ve decided to take a hit to my resume and spend what is likely to be my last summer at home. This isn’t to say I won’t be working though, it’s just not mental or technical. It’s physical labor of the purest variety. I’ll be building fence, trimming trees up to 20′, painting and caulking the exterior of our house, mowing fields, and generally being tired and sore. Honestly, after so much MIT, I’m really looking forward to this. Here’s a picture of my new best friend

I’ve already gotten a head start on the only “technical” task I have this summer, GPS mapping our property and identifying trees.

My dad wants a layered view of our property and locations/types of all our trees. In what is an unprecedented cooperative effort between my Garmin GPS, Excel, Notepad, SolidWorks, Photoshop, and Adobe Acrobat, I think I’ve come up with a method of mapping everything. The final product will be a multi-layered PDF. I’ve slapped together a quick demo of a rough cut. The satelite overlay isn’t there yet, nor are most of the trees, but the perimeter of the property is mapped, as well as a few of the trees (the ones pictured above actually).

I’ve taken bunches of pictures of home since I’ve been here and have enjoyed exploring drawers and basement areas that I haven’t seen in years. In one drawer was a copy of our newspaper from when Obama was elected. I lol’d. Check out this headline

You only wish your newspaper was as cool as mine.

My desk is all set up with the gadgets I’ve brought home from college. Unfortunately, I left the cords for my HDD in Boston, so I’ve got the data but no way of accessing it.

So that’s me. I’m all settled and ready for a tough summer of hard (but enjoyable) work. I start Tuesday. Hope you all enjoy your summers as well!

37 responses to “Back Home”

  1. Luczek says:

    hello Snively’s grandmother
    [yay home]

  2. Alan '13 says:

    TI-84+??? Where’s the what-I-only-know-as-the-super-trusty-calculator-god-only-second-to-92-but-significantly-more-beautiful, the 89Titanium? xD

  3. Alan '13 says:

    Oh wait, you probably use mathematica instead…I’d like to see Mathematica in a hand-held device…perhaps a super modded ds? :D

    and perhaps a serious question: calc usage at mit? all tests = no calc? or 89 friendly? or scientific calc only? etc

  4. Piper '12 says:

    Man, I want to work on a ranch one summer. I don’t know how I’d pull this off…

    Have a great summer smile

  5. Liz ('14?) says:

    Hi Snively’s grandma!

    and I appreciate the gum wrappers on the calculator, assuming that that’s what they are. I’m trying to cover mine in multi-colored wrappers. :D

  6. Snively says:

    Yep, those are gum wrappers, and they’ve weathered senior year of high school and 2 years of college.

  7. Justin E '13 says:

    a mac and a dell?? If only I had the money. very nice setup.

  8. Agrees with Deeni.

    And a big hello to Snively’s grandmum!

    Do treasure your time home. I’m working now and home feels like merely a hotel to me.

  9. Kyle '13 says:

    What type of HDD do you have? or would you recommend?

  10. Do you have any siblings? I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned them?

  11. Snively says:

    @MIT’11 Parent
    Nope, just me.

    Sometimes it’s not about having money so much as it is about having terrible spending habits. Ask anybody who lives with me.

  12. Snively says:

    I love it. I’ll never totally let go of Windows, but there’s no reason to hate on Macs.

    It’s not a Tablet PC (for the same reasons you listed). Instead, it’s just a tablet. It connects to my computer via USB and lets me have essentially the same functionality as a tablet (although I don’t actually draw on a screen). Between that and the Livescribe, I’ve effectively compensated for not having a tablet.

    Western Digital Passport. Definitely go for USB powered, and with a passport you can just tape it to the top of your laptop and leave it always plugged in, creating what is in effect an additional hard drive.

  13. anonymous says:

    so, snively, how do you like your macbook?

  14. Snively,

    Wait, dude, TI-84? Is it plausible to use one at MIT, or should I go ahead and get myself a TI-89?


  15. Deeni says:

    This is just to say: “Hi Grandma!!!”

  16. Snively says:

    @Jose P
    Do not go out and buy a TI-89 just for MIT. Spend $10 more and get Mathematica (computer software). It’s a much better investment. I wrote about it <a>here</a>

    TI84 works just fine at MIT.

  17. Deeni says:

    Oh and you have a beautiful home.

  18. Labib(?14) says:

    Is that gmail redesigned running on the Mac? I’m pretty sure it is.

    BTW, when did you get a tablet PC? In most of your older blogs you were always talking about how tablets are not good, because they come with built in graphics cards, which is why you got the LiveScribe instead. I was surprised to see the tablet in the desk.

  19. Vinay says:

    You put and twice in the last sentence of the first paragraph. (Yes, I know I can be annoying.)

  20. Vinay says:

    Oh, and “Hello Snively’s Grandma!”

  21. Snively says:

    @Alan ’13
    It varies. Your freshman year will probably see zero calculator usage during tests (with the exception of 3.091, chemistry). PSETs and everything else it’s fine.

    That being said, you won’t miss it. The tests don’t have questions that you can backsolve or concoct sneaky answers for using a calculator. Most questions involve methods and procedures, no numbers or math.

    This year I’ve had 2 classes that did allow calculators on tests, 2.005 and 2.006. Any calculator is fine, scientific, 84, or 89, but I think the most advanced function I used on it during the test were lists.

    I primarily use Mathematica and Grapher for PSETs, but trust my TI-84+ for tests. PSETs can get pretty number heavy sometimes, with scripts in MatLab or Excel spreadsheets being critical. It all depends what major you decide to follow.

  22. I’m jealous of your computer set-up. And your newspaper. GAH Oregon must be great.

  23. J.B. '13 says:

    @ Grandma Snively: HI! Congrats on a totally awesome grandson.

    @ Snively: Sounds like some good summer plans. Have fun, and don’t forget to take a day to run through the sprinklers like you are five, ok?

  24. Snively says:

    Ah, but this isn’t a passport, so it’s got a printer usb connection and some weird type of power plug. It’s ok though, I don’t really need anything from it this summer.

  25. The TI-89 titanium is the most ungodly epic fail “upgrade” to ever grace this earth! How could you possibly prefer that piece of crap to the TI-84?
    -To Alan ’13

  26. Since you obviously have both and probably therefore would have a more informed opinion, which is better? Mac or Dell?

  27. @Snively
    Don’t WD external drives run off mini-USB and 12V DC? Those should be easy enough to cannibalize.

  28. KelseyK says:

    First, hello to your grandmother! Second, I didn’t eat at McMenamins immediately. While this may make me a bad Oregonian, I DID go to Dutch Brothers, which I think makes up for it in a way. I also ate at the local pizza place (which beats Chicago Pizza any day). Third, WHOO JOHN DEERE. And finally, the Statesman Journal is an epic win.

  29. Somebody says:

    Where do u live in Oregon? I visit there yearly.

  30. Somebody says:

    I love it in Oregon and by the way anybody who’s reading this stay out of Southern California. I live there and it is dry, smoggy, and filled with dim witted people(why do u think there are so many accidents), especially Riverside. Rednecks and bleeding heart republicans clash with Democrats over gay rights and nothing gets done. Both sides are to blame for the economic mess and the majority of people in politics are as corrupt as Blago. Nobody will put aside their pious opinions for one moment just to solve the economic crises and survive the recession . USC alumni are a particular nuisance when football season starts.

  31. anonymous says:

    how d’you stick gum wrappers on a calculator??

  32. Snively says:

    I’ll try to put an entry up about it sometime soonish

    Separate the silver part from the paper very carefully, and then use a sharp edge (credit card) to scrape/press it down on the calculator case.

  33. @ Snively

    So, C(Mathematica) = $10 + C (TI-89), where C is the cost function? :D

    (Wow , I completely forgot about Mathematica – until now.)

  34. Reply-all:

    Phew… I love my TI-84+ Silver Edition: it has a puzzle pack and the Periodic Table (totallyuselessbtw)! :DDDD

    (Besides, I always wanted Mathematica, and I don’t feel like paying for a calculator I don’t need and don’t want).

  35. Anonymous says:

    Don’t you have a fabulous dog and a pretty keen niece dog too? How come you never talk about them, or show pictures of them.

    Oh and “hi” Snively’s grandma? Is it Joyce?

  36. marvell says:

    O17QfN hi! mi site is
    see you!

  37. Kiwi says:

    Hey snively, I noticed in the comments you said you were an only child. How did your parents handle you going so far away for school? I don’t have any siblings and my parents aren’t handling me leaving for college real well.