Hey, remember that job I got six months ago? I start this week! (I got a job working at the computing help desk last semester- you know, I’d be the person who answers your frantic phone call and then tells you to check if your computer is plugged in. It turned out that I wasn’t able to make it to these mandatory training meetings which conflicted with field hockey, so we postponed my first day by six months.)
Monday was the 2.001 lecture from hell. I’m not even joking. So you know how the least fun part of physics is trying to figure out which angle is which? I mean, you have some block on an inclined plane or something, and you’ve got to figure out the component of mg in the direction of the inclined plane. Where is theta, and is the component mgsin(theta) or mgcos(theta)? That’s always my least favorite part. Of anything. Ever. Well, this particular 2.001 lecture was one and a half straight hours of that basic concept. Only it related to normal and shear stresses, a diagram of a rotated block with no less than 8 vectors to break down, the use of double-angle formulas, and the most absurd algebraic manipulation I have ever seen. (I’m not even joking.)
Thankfully, the point of all that was to introduce the concept of Mohr’s circle, which is this amazing shorthand way to solve these kinds of problems. But you know how professors are, they always make you do it the hard way first, so that you “appreciate” how brilliant the shortcut truly is. (There were actually lines in my notes that reference how Mohr probably hated this stuff as much as I do.)
Anyway, after class I tried a culinary experiment and I successfully made homemade mashed potatoes! It was glorious. I mean, granted, the recipe came from my college student cookbook, and it’s just mashed potatoes. But still! Awesome!
Then I decided it was time to accept that the week-long post-field-hockey-season-rest I had allocated for myself was officially over, so I should get my butt in gear and start exercising again. So, I did something I’ve been dying to do for years- I went to a kickboxing class! (MIT has kickboxing as a club sport.) So I showed up at the session feeling all super awkward since I don’t know anyone, and all of a sudden Gloria ’08 (yet another Conner 2 resident) walked in and proclaimed, “Laura! I didn’t know you did kickboxing!”
Me: “Ummm….actually this is my first class and I feel really awkward.”
Gloria: “Hey me too!”
…What do you suppose are the odds of that?
Anyway, kickboxing rocked. It was seriously a lot of fun. A little awkward, since I’m brand-new and all. But still a lot of fun. And a really intense workout. I’ll be sore tomorrow, that’s for sure.
But for now, I have sold my soul to scheme (the programming language that introductory computer science is taught in at MIT), so I have to finally force myself to figure out just what the difference between cdr and cadr really is. Hmm, puzzling…