Every summer, I tend to get a lot of the same questions about life at MIT. What’s it like? Is it hard? How much sleep do I get? These tend to be mainstream curiosities. Recently, someone from my high school threw me a curveball: what do I do for fun. MIT may be known for its academic rigor, but it doesn’t have to be a grind all the time. So, even though I had my first 9-5 job this summer in a California cancer research lab, I definitely saved time for fun. Case in point: daycations.
I consider myself an avid daycationer. When you live within an hour and a half of Lake Tahoe, the bay area, wine country, and Monterey, you tend to be a daycationer.
I started this summer with some easy trips. A day on Folsom lake in June…
One thing I noticed is that my hair is definitely not used to the bay area climate. We left dry, mid-90s Sacramento only to arrive at the extremely foggy (extremely, I tell you!) mid-60s Muir Woods.
But eventually I got bored of “posing by trees” pictures, so I started looking for new angles. I thought, “hey! I’ll take a picture of my brass rat so I can say my MIT ring was at a national monument.” Success! Although you can’t really tell it’s in a California forest.
Turns out, an MIT alum happened to be walking by at the exact moment I had my ring off, on the same trail in the middle of the same forest 3,000 miles away from Cambridge. Wow. Better yet, he was wearing his ring, too. Photo opp!
Brief intermission: remember when I was telling you about how people ask a lot of MIT questions? This unexpected meeting reminded me of the importance of the “elevator speech.” I learned about this in my Foundations of Engineering Leadership (FEL) session over IAP.
It’s no secret that people will want to know what you do at MIT, so it’s helpful to have a 30-second spiel about yourself ready. Of course, you might need to tweak it a little depending on who’s asking the question (future employers won’t be that interested in what dorm I live in; alums probably will be), but it makes things a little smoother when you know what to say when faced with the typical MIT questions. I’m sure it’ll come in handy in my classes for the GEL Program!
[Intermission is over; please return to your seats.]
By the way, the alum at Muir Woods also mentioned that his daughter would be attending MIT this year. Hey, Sarah ’14, how’s it going?
But our adventures were far from over. A few miles away was Stinson Beach. When most people think of California beaches, they might think of, oh, I don’t know, sun. And maybe Katy Perry. Neither were present at the beach this day. It was freezing and windy and we were just about to pack up and leave when we saw—get ready for this—Bubble Man.
I don’t know if he really goes by the name Bubble Man, but he does now. He’s a Steve Martin look-alike who has this bubble system that makes GIGANTIC bubbles. The kids were going crazy. Okay, I was too.
Once we got the ingredients, we mixed them in a pot that we definitely cooked dinner in the night before. I really hope we don’t use this pot again. Equine pasta sounds just wrong.
The learning curve for this process is fantastic. You make a lot of little bubbles, you change your technique, you make a freakishly large bubble that goes into traffic and pops on some innocent driver’s windshield. I’ll let the pictures below tell the rest of this story.