The Maslab 2007 competition (the culmination of the class for which I’ve been TAing this IAP) is tomorrow evening, and I am excited. The teams have been working very hard, and dealt well with setbacks. There was an interesting incident yesterday evening (I wasn’t there) when one team accidentally shorted their battery and their robot caught on fire! But now they have a new battery, and their robot is fine, so they should be good to go tomorrow.
I hear from a friend who knows that team very well that they proudly sent out some photos of their robot without giving any context for the photos, and that she asked them, “Er, what’s with the smoke?” or something to that effect.
Some students in the lab have fallen asleep at their laptops or on chairs. I’m guessing those were the ones who pulled all-nighters or close to it. I remember what that sort of thing was like last year!
It has been very cold recently, and there has been some snow, leading to a lot of frosh from warm climates making exclamations like “OMG the snow is COLD!” and amusing everyone else. I remember my first winter at MIT, which was pretty cold. It was December, and I was going out with a friend and her roommate to celebrate her birthday. It was cold and windy, but she, being from Chicago, thought nothing of it. We walked all over Boston because she couldn’t decide where she wanted to eat. I had only limited experience with that sort of cold and almost none with that much snow…and the roommate was from India and having her first snow experience! Finally, we explained that at this point we were willing to eat just about anywhere as long as it had a heater and an intact roof.
We did gun defense in Jiu Jitsu last night (in the self-defense PE class). The idea is not to play hero and to attack a mugger with a gun who would otherwise have just run off, but to be able to defend yourself in a situation where it looks like the person might actually shoot you. We used rubber guns, and worked in pairs, with one person yelling “BANG!” The advanced class finally shut the door between the two rooms because they were sick of our noise. :)
I played in the Assassins’ Guild tenday game. My character even survived game, which was no small feat in this particular game, as the same could not be said of 28 (out of 52 total) other characters. The publicly accessible game info lives here, and you can even get an idea of what was going on and what the plots were if you read the scenario and wrapup documents. There’s even a photo gallery from the first few days of game (I know I don’t give you guys a lot of photos in my entries these days, so I figured you might enjoy knowing where some photos were). I’m pretty sure that one of the award-winning players from the game is someone who used to occasionally comment on this blog a long time ago.
I have other friends spending their IAP learning glassblowing, metalworking, archery, new programming languages, and so on. If you come to MIT, what do you want to do during IAP? This year’s offerings are viewable here.