NaNoWriMo, Pompeii, and a flight to China

Hello, Oliners! Kaitlyn here again.

So. The new semester started, and I'm not taking any classes. And it is a strange feeling. I've had plenty to fill my time--work, Mandarin, flute, writing, baking, running, reading, etc.--but I keep finding I miss learning things! Like, officially learning things. Particularly math-y, science-y things. But I'm planning to start up some review, at the very least.

Anyway! Stuff that has happened since last I blogged. Well, first off, I finished NaNoWriMo with 68,000 something words and a couple of days to spare. That was pretty much thrilling, even though I am going to have to completely rework everything I wrote now. But hey, I made my goal.

NaNoWriMoVictory.pngAfter that, I participated in the SLO Wind Orchestra's Christmas concert, which was a ton of fun. Not too difficult music, but it was great to play with a group again after leaving the Youth Symphony from high school.

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And a week after the concert, my family left for Italy! That was... amazing. We spent three and a half weeks in the big sites: Venice, Florence, Rome, Pompeii, and then a little time in Sienna and back to Florence. 

Arpan Rau's gap year- Part 2: Running, Robots, and Web Design

Hi guys!

My gap year has been going great since I last checked in (here). FIRST robotics season has started, and working with two teams - my old team, 3061, and a 2nd year team out of nearby Hinsdale, 4979 - eats up most of my free time. It's great to get an opportunity to pass on what I learned during my four years with the team and hang out with old friends.

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Teaching FRC 4979 how to solve sum-of-torques problems

I'd love to post more pictures of the robots that my teams have been building this year, but unfortunately they're kept top-secret until the end of the six week build season.

arp5.jpg Here's a teaser of what 3061 has been up to

My parents run marathons. I've never had time to join in during high school, but I figured that my gap year would be a great time to start. I started training for a half marathon in May - it should be a good way to get into a shape other than round. I found a training schedule online and have been keeping to it as best I can, increasing the amount that I can run and decreasing my pace week by week. 

One large goal for my gap year was to pick up skills that I'd otherwise not have time to learn. In my rapidly diminishing spare time, I've been teaching myself web programming in an effort to learn more about how the websites I spend so much time on are built. It's slow going because I have multiple languages and tools to learn at once- Java, Javascript, and HTML for starters, but I hope to be building and hosting my own websites soon.

My gap year so far has been a fantastic change of pace and I'd recommend one to just about everyone. I'm looking forward to working another internship this summer in either mechanical engineering or web design and attending Olin next fall.

Thanks for reading!

Arpan

A whole semester already!

Hi again, It's Claire. I can't believe an entire semester has passed!  And my New Year's resolution is to remember when I have a blog due so that I don't end up writing it an hour before it's scheduled to get to Graham.  Luckily I squeaked by and here we are. 

To be perfectly honest, not much has happened since I last blogged.  Life has stayed pretty great.  Gotten better even.  I started some new activities (as if I wasn't busy enough already) and I'm working on growing my business and getting ahead academically for next year.  It just so happens that one of the Calculus professors from the Air Force Academy lives down the street and has agreed to teach me Advanced Calculus, Differential Equations, and Computer Programming until I head out, all for a low flat rate.  Now I just have to hope that the math doesn't bury me.

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At the USAF game!

I also started Taekwondo this past November.  I've done several martial arts in the past, including Karate and Jujitsu, but as a military child it's hard to keep up any particular style of martial art because when you move you have to change.  This time I chose Taekwondo because US Taekwondo is the largest martial arts company in the US, probably because Taekwondo is the only recognized Olympic Martial Art.  It's tons of fun and a great way to exercise and relieve stress.

I picked up dancing again too, and I go Swing and Blues dancing every Monday and Friday Night.  The dance crowd in The Springs are all wonderful people and great to hang out with, and the dancing itself is so fun! For New Year's we held a Great Gatsby Blues party and it was a blast! I can't wait to see what the dance scene in Boston is like. 

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My jobs have been really great, and now that the New Year has started my personal business is picking up as well.  I've had three custom orders this month all estimated at $300, one of which is from a customer in Italy. 

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So all in all, not much to report, but I'm doing pretty well. Hopefully I'll be able to visit Olin in march for the last Candidates weekend--it'll be great to meet up with some other gappies, friends from my Candidates weekend, and all the prospective new students.

Happy New Year!

-Claire

Gap year guest post: Illusions and enigmas at NYU

Hello again!

My name is Matthew Beaudouin-Lafon, and if you've been following this blog you might remember me as the NYU-attending frenchman. Since my last post, a lot of interesting things happened. The most significant one I would say is that I won the dorm's talent show with a card cheating demonstration. For example, I demonstrate a technique called Bottom Dealing which, as you might have guessed, involves dealing cards from the bottom rather than the top. The beauty of my presentation, in my eyes, is that I am using the four Aces throughout the routine, but in the end, under the pretense that I am dealing them to a 'partner', I give myself a Royal Flush.

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The original plan was to hook up a normal camera to the projector, but that didn't work. So we Facetimed the projector's computer. Poly is a school of problem solvers.

 

The prize was a trophy and $50 gift card for Amazon. Not too bad! But the really interesting part is that I will enter the NYU-wide talent show, in which the top performers of each dorm competes. The grand prize being $1000. So that's pretty attractive. Though I will be competing against students of NYU's school of performing arts, who may know a thing or two about, well, performing.

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Winning came as quite a surprise!

Lights, Camera, Action with Emma ('19)

Hey Oliners!

Over the past 5 months I've been working on a new show for NBC!  (I'm an actor) My sets were on the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, California.   On a future blog, I'd love to share all the neat engineering and technical jobs that one can find in the entertainment industry.  But...that isn't all I've been up to!  I also worked on an ExxonMobil campaign targeted at engineering students and spoke at a Girls in STEM event in Kansas City, for girls in grades K-12. 

Be An Engineer Campaign

Earlier this summer I filmed a commercial for ExxonMobil.  The spot featured STEM students in all sorts of majors - engineering, biochemistry, computer science.  We filmed in the engineering labs at CalState Long Beach, which was super fun.  During filming we each talked about why we think STEM is so important and how engineers are changing the world.  The commercial was aimed at recruiting high schoolers into engineering programs and to pursue careers in STEM.   Check out the commercial!

 

A few months later, in September, I traveled to Kansas City for a 'Girl in STEM' event put on my Time Warner Cable at Science City.  I've worked a lot with TWC in the past, mostly on their Connect a Million Minds initiative, which is another STEM outreach program - geared mostly towards elementary through high school students.  This event however was very special to me, because it was all about girls in STEM.  Time Warner Cable actually partnered with the Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri to put this event on and there were thousands of girls there.  I spoke at a panel, answering the girls' questions which was super fun. 

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