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MIT student blogger Chris M. '12

Summer Season by Chris M. '12

Taking things into my own hands.

I’ve been crossing things off my master to-do list (nerd alert) and there’s one item I’ve been staring at guiltily for far too long:


As it turns out, this semester was…..well….I learned a lot of “extracurricular lessons”. We’ll put it like that. But an unintended side effect of the tough semester is that between having my time tied up in school and feeling a little less than confident, I haven’t felt like I have any place or inspiration to have anything to say. But ah well, so it goes sometimes.

Thankfully, the semester is over and it’s on to bigger and better things! So what exactly am I up to for the summer? Well a little bit of this and that.

During the year, I keep a box full of scraps of paper, hastily labeled “Ideas for Later”. And in this box I keep, surprise, ideas for later. The way it typically works is I’ll have a random thought or idea pop into my head at the strangest of moments, and quickly jot it down. Then I’ll throw it in the box, and whenever I get antsy about working on a new project, I’ll “think inside the box” so to speak, and review my ideas.

Well here lately, I’ve had more and more ideas than I’ve had time, and when evaluating my options for summer employment, I decided to strike out on my own and dedicate the time to working on some of these projects.

So that’s exactly what I’m doing! My friends in Oregon have been generous enough to let me stay with them, and I’m spending my days coding, reading, and sketching out designs for my projects. In the meantime, I’m out enjoying all that Oregon has to offer in the way of climbing, running, biking, and maybe here soon kiteboarding and rafting.

You might be wondering what exactly it is that I’m holed up in my room working on at 4 in the morning, but I’d rather talk about it when it’s done so it’ll have to remain a mystery for now. But I will say there’s nothing that will motivate you to learn something like having an idea about how you can use it.

It’s actually one thing I wish there was more of at MIT. I think we could use a little more “manus” in “Mens et Manus”. I talk to people all the time who get burned out in classes because it just becomes information, an exercise, a task, and a grade instead of tools for you to use in creating cool things and solving tough problems. It’s a bit of a shame really. But that’s another post.

So yes, I’m out enjoying the West Coast and all it’s splendors trying to turn one or two scraps of paper into something more. Who knows, maybe I’ll have something I can keep working on after I graduate, or maybe I’ll come across some major challenge I’ll need to mull over for a while. At the very least I’m doing what I love, and getting in some of the beautiful outdoors while I’m at it.

2 responses to “Summer Season”

  1. UCLA '15 says:

    I like how you throw your random ideas into a box for future references. I think I am going to start doing that too.

    I look forward to seeing what your project turns out to be. Until then, have a safe summer with all the climbing, running, etc.

    By the way, I am the guy who claims that he will one day take you to the dining hall at UC Berkeley. As it turns out, I decide to enter UCLA this fall as a sophomore instead. So, if you ever come down to Los Angeles (or Southern California in general), I will be more than happy to show you around.
    (Please feel free to ignore this if the above paragraph makes no sense to you.)


  2. Matt '13 says:

    I totally agree with you about the second-to-last paragraph.

    You can never have too much manus!
    especially at MIT!