Talk about your dreaM

Hey there, 

     This is the last day (actually last five minutes) of Sprint Break... I went to North Carolina on a Habitat for Humanity trip with an Olin group of 8 people. Other than learning how to hammer nails into wood, I got two days of summer sun, went to the beach, met a cool NC high school girl, and had fun roof climbing and playing Euchre (Card games with tricks and trumps are the best!) 

     Before the break, my team proudly created our first project for mechanical prototyping: "Aluminum Tide is a kinetic sculpture that produces a rolling metallic wave that encourages two steel spheres to orbit each other synchronously in a perpetual dance of intrigue and mystery. Three years of hard work* led us to produce a machine that operates at a speed directly proportional to the rotation of the earth and emits a sound reminiscent of Rachmaninoff's prelude in G major." *(i.e, one month of intense machining)

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My 1st project for Mech Proto: Aluminum Tide  

     Since the last post I also discovered the best Japanese Ramen place in Cambridge! The first time you go there, you have to talk about your dream. Jong, who joined my class after serving in military in Korea, said his dream was to "unite North Korea and South Korea". I got the blue sign so I had to talk about 3 dreams, and here they are:

         1. Open a dessert shop (preferably on a small plane)

2. Become an Aerospace Engineer

3. Do the above two so I can eat Ramen whenever I want

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"Talk about your dream", Cambridge
yumeramen.jpg     Em... It's not just ramen, it's your DREAM

      So dear candidates, remember that College is just a mean for discovering, changing and living your dreams. This week as you get your decisions from Olin, be as excited as I was if you get in! There are plenty of opportunites here. Otherwise, don't be too sad because the true gold will shine no matter where it is. Afterall, it's up to you to cherish and nourish your dreams. 

      Goodnight Sunday, 

      Judy XZ 

 

How Going to College is a Bit Like Driving in Massachusetts

I first have to start this post by apologizing for how egregiously late it is. At first, I just postponed it by a day and suddenly, the next thing I knew, it was 2 and a half weeks later. I'm sure many of you know that feeling.

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But on to the topic at hand. Around the time I was actually supposed to post this, I had to go drive into Needham in order to do some shopping. For those of you who don't know, Massachusetts drivers are completely insane. This particular quality is not helped much by the fact that most of the roads don't bother being straight and that there are 5 and 6 way non-right angle intersections everywhere. So in the approximately mile and half stretch of road that I drove between leaving Olin and returning, I managed to witness the following traffic shenanigans.

  1. Someone parking in the middle of an intersection. They had a green light, they pulled out looking like they were going somewhere, and then they just stopped. And then, when my side had a green light and I drove across, they decided to honk at me, as if I was the one at fault.

  2. An intersection that has a "right turn" light, but, in fact, has two "right turn" roads that lead away from it, and have lights at different times. It was quite fun to try and figure out when I got to go.

  3. A road entirely full of potholes from the ridiculous amount of snow that we've had here this winter.

  4. And, of course, the obligatory person trying to go 20 miles above the 30 mph speed limit right behind me.

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All of this got me to thinking about how college is a bit like my driving experience. Sometimes (but not often) there's people who decided to park in your way, and all you can do is either find ways to help them, or just go around them. You also may not know the exact way you want to go when you start out--there may be two right turns which both look correct and you just have to guess which one is really the one you want. If it's not right, well, then you just come back and go at it again. And sometimes there will be people who are encouraging you to do things you may not want to do (tailgating you) and you just have to keep to your convictions and continue on.

Overall, the road through college is a little bumpy and full of potholes at times, but at the end you'll be feeling pleased that you made it through, and you'll have some good stories to tell about it.

Just Keep Swimming

Greetings, Candidates! (And Parents, Gappies, Oliners, and other assorted readers! But this post is more geared towards Candies.)

You're going to do great things.

One week from yesterday, you'll find out if you've been accepted to Olin. If the way you're feeling is anything like the way I was feeling, this statement both excites and terrifies you. It feels like so much is riding on it. But I've been there, and I can assure you of one thing: life will go on. 

Next Wednesday, one of three doors will open for you:

1. You've been accepted!

Yay! Confetti! Lots of excitement. You've been invited to participate in the great, ongoing experiment we call Olin College. You have a great four years to look forward to here.

2. You've been waitlisted.

You might decide to take a year and do something awesome, try out another school, or do something you've always wanted to do. You have some exciting opportunities ahead!

3. "We regret to inform you that..."

You'll have the chance to explore somewhere else. It won't be easy, and I'm sorry. But when you look back years from now, this will be a drop in the bucket. This doesn't change how you'll be feeling in the moment. I may seem seem a bit like:

But I promise that you still have a brilliant future ahead of you, and that whever you end up, you can make it great.

So my advice to you is, whichever path you end up on, swim ahead full speed. You have one week left until you know about Olin, and the rest of your senior year to enjoy! Make it a blast: Whatever happens, you have quite the adventure ahead.

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Signing off,

Michael, c/o '17

Spring Break!

Hey Olinsiders,

Sorry for the brief and disjointed update, but it's Spring Break and I am currently in Orlando seeking refuge from the endless winter back home.  Hopefully Massachusetts will be a bit warmer by the time I get back, but for now, I'll be soaking up as much sun as I can while I'm here!

flower&garden.JPGThe Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot in Disney World

This break was much needed in more ways than one.  Being an Olin student is fantastic, and I absolutely love it, don't get me wrong - but it's a lot of work too.  Beyond escaping the cold, I was also quite ready to take a mental breather.  

I've also just realized how close I am to being halfway done with Olin, and it's pretty weird.  It seems crazy that it could even be possible!  It feels like I've just started, but also like I've been at Olin forever.  I think that's an ideal place to be, though: feeling completely at home without losing the "magic" of first semester.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep it alive until I graduate.

Candidates' Weekends were great!  If you were there, perhaps I gave you a tour or even got to interview you.  I love that the whole Olin community gets to be so involved in the admissions process.  It's really cool to see Candidates get just as excited about Olin as I got during my CW!  All the Candidates I met this year were fantastic.  Good luck to you all - I know you'll do well wherever you end up!

Here's to a great Spring, wherever you are!

-Haley '17

Não é Olin

I'm going to start off this post by highlighting the most important difference between me and the many snow-ridden posts before me: It's summer here!  We went to the beach last weekend!

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I'm checking in from the sunny São Paulo, Brazil.  In case you missed my last post, I'm here with four other Olin students, taking a leave of absence to work at a university called Insper to help develop their new engineering school.

Our job here is multi-faceted: we act as harbingers of Olin's culture, and figure out how to adjust it to improve it for a new iteration, but also to make it fit within Insper's constraints.  For example, we're acting as NINJAs in several of the first-semester courses that have just started.  But NINJAing here is very different from at Olin, and not just because of the language barrier.  Insper students don't live at school - every evening they go home to their family or to their apartment.  However, at Olin, one of the ways NINJAs are different from, say, TAs, is that the NINJAs are your peers.  The great thing about them is that they can be a close friend, or even someone that you help in a different class.  They live in the same buildings as you, and they're available late at night when the professors aren't, and you can talk to them when you need to.

So it's a difficult challenge to figure out how we can preserve the informal peer teaching aspect of NINJAing in the new environment here.  And the coolest part is, we'll be working on that, improving our roles as NINJAs, and hopefully creating an environment that will facilitate learning and peer teaching even after we leave in June.

Besides NINJAing, we're working alongside the professors to develop curricula for the coming semesters.  This is an exciting job that involves prototyping labs and lesson plans to see how everything connects.  Insper's courses are a little more overlapping than those at Olin.  For example, the ModSim that's running this first semester will be different from Olin's version, because at Insper, ModSim won't teach coding.  Students will learn Python programming in their Software Design class, and then will use that knowledge to implement their ModSim models.  It's less modular, because each course has to work for the whole curriculum to work, but with more space for underlying themes to tie all the classes together in a semester.

Overall, we're here to figure out what parts of Olin we can bring to Insper, what parts can be changed, and even what parts of Insper we can bring back to Olin.  It's already a busy schedule, and then you throw in learning Portuguese, taking a business class, social events, exploring the city, trips, and more - we have a busy life!  But it's a refreshing break from classes that allows me to be a little more introspective into my own education and what changes I can make when I return to Olin.

Recent Assets

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