Hi there, blog readers! Now that we’re a week into IAP, I have a chance to talk about some of the things I’ve been up to.
I hunt with Project Electric Mayhem (can you figure out the pop culture references in the name?), a large conglomerate of students and alums of the East Campus hall 5th East (my home), the fraternity tEp, the independent living group (ILG) pika, and assorted other folks. We have strong support for “remote hunters” – people participating from distant cities and such, so we get a lot of random alums in far-flung locales who want to play. These remote hunters aren’t always alums…one of our hunters this (and last) year was hallmate Greg ’09’s mom, who frequently comments on these blogs!
Anyway, Hunt, which began early Friday afternoon, ended at about 2:30am this morning. Congratulations to Dr. Awkward, the winning team.
6.186 Mobile Autonomous Laboratory (Maslab) (as a TA):
This is an advanced vision-based autonomous robotics class/competition that is in its seventh year and occurs every IAP. Last year I was a student on a team with hallmates Brian ’08, Ilan ’08, and Matt ’08. This year, I’m a TA. I’m in the lab for three 4.5-hour shifts each week, and got to plan, prepare, and deliver the vision lecture. You can check out the progress of the different teams in their team journals on the wiki forums.
I get Self Defense PE credit, and I finally start with an activity that many friends already do and that I’ve been interested in doing for a year but never started. I’m going to the basic PE classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and also the Saturday ground fighting/grappling classes (I went to one yesterday, and it was fun!). MIT has many, many martial arts clubs (others popular among my friends include Isshinryu Karate and Tae Kwon Do), and many club sports in general (here’s a list). American Jiu Jitsu stresses…well, I’ll let the website do that, since it does a better job than I would.
“American Jiu-Jitsu Club has been at MIT since 1994. We learn and practice self-defense. Jiu-Jitsu, or the Gentle Art, consists of a wide variety of techniques: joint locks, submission holds, pressure-points, throws and strikes. Jiu-Jitsu does not rely on brute strength, but rather on flexible response and the use of an attacker’s own energy. Jiu-Jitsu prepares a person for any situation, including stand-up and ground fighting, knife attacks, and multiple attacks.”
Boot Camp PE:
As you can probably tell, I’m trying to finish up my PE requirement. Boot Camp “combines intense cardio work with strength training circuits and quick bouts of rest time,” leaving you with “no other choice than to improve your level of health and fitness!” I was very, very sore the day after the first class.
Assassins’ Guild Ten-Day:
Most years, the Guild has a ten-day game during IAP. It hasn’t started yet; I just got the email telling me that I was being cast yesterday. This IAP’s game is “Alpha Centauri”. The GMs (the people who write and run the game) for this game are Erik ’09, Xiao ’09, Dennis ’08, Ash ’08, Peter ’01, and Charles. The description of the game on our website is…
“After tens of thousands of years, the post-nova cloud over the mysterious planet Elrushyn has been blown away by solar winds. With great natural resources and a highly strategic location, many governments and corporations quickly colonized the planet and now fight for dominance under the rules of the Benjii-Savaar Treaty of Conduct. According to the treaty, Elrushyn only has amnesty for ten more days, and must quickly hash out a constitution and government to establish itself… before the empires go to war to claim it.
The once-bustling planet is now hushed in apprehension as the First Elrushyn Congress at Centauri begins. ”
The idea is that you have a character, and information on your character’s background, motivations, goals, believed allies and enemies, abilities, group memberships…in short, all the stuff that your character would know in real life. From there, you and the other characters play your roles. There’s no script, but most characters will have goals that they’re trying to accomplish during the game, and a well-written game will result in lots of action, intrigue, and drama.
So that’s my IAP thus far. We will see what else the month brings.