April 2007 Archives

Scavenger Hunt!


I think you know that you've reached a certain level of recognition when a hug from you is listed as one of the items in the school-wide scavenger hunt. It was too bad, though, since I was playing. Not wanting the other teams to get those points resulted in at least one crash into a shelf.

The scavenger hunt itself was really excellent. Taking place from 7pm the 13th to 7pm the 14th, our teams wandered as far away as Cambridge to get items, take pictures, find information, and do tasks.

SERV & Nonengineering Exploration

Last Wednesday we had elections for our community service group here at Olin- Supporting Encouraging and Recognizing Volunteerism. This group is responsible for exactly what it sounds like- working to help promote community service. Since we have community service hours here every week from 3-5pm on Friday, it's great to have service opportunities here on campus.

Oh wait- getting back on point- I'm going to be the Manager of Finance and Records for SERV next year. I'm really excited, because right now I'm planning a lighter course load, so I'll be able to get really involved with planning service activities for campus. I want to try to lower barriers of entry to people performing service by having more opportunities on campus, and also by helping schedule service at times when Olin students are free.

The Manager of Finance and Records is also responsible for several other things. First of all, taking minutes at weekly SERV meetings so ideas are recorded. The MFR also keeps track of all reimbursements and funding for service. Finally, and somewhat importantly, the MFR is responsible for being the SERV liason to CORe.

I'm particularly excited about this because it gives me a chance to try to spread SERV even further. Since CORe is supposed to be the liason between students-faculty-staff I'm hoping to get everyone involved in a big project this coming year. The interaction with CORe was actually how I became interested in the position. I was on CORe this year, and I was sad at not being on E-Board, and upon investigation the SERV MFR seemed to be the ideal role. I care about serving people off campus, and about Olin, and this is a good connection between the two.

So, potential-future-Olin-students (or current Olin Students), let me know: what cool service things do you do? What types of service would you like to see on campus?


Change of thoughts. This past weekend I went to NYC to visit my Grandma and Aunt. While I was there I saw three plays: the Coast of Utopia trilogy by Tom Stoppard. If you get a chance to see these plays, or any Stoppard, they were amazing. I highly recommend it. The plot centers around the Russian Revolution and the events around the time the serfs were freed. I also got to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I really liked the chance to get to be away from everything here for a bit. As much fun as Olin is, it can be a bit overwhelming at times.

Long time no blog

Hey all,

First off I apologise for being a complete lazy bum about blogging for the past couple weeks. They've been pretty crazy for me with putting out the Annual Review, CORe elections, transition etc. Congratulations and good luck to Jeff, who is now our new VP, and the lucky one to deal with all this here on.

I also attended the Society of Women Engineer's (SWE) Region F conference this past weekend. At this conference, Olin's SWE Chapter successfully put in a bid to host next year's regional conference AT OLIN! I'm pretty psyched about this from both a personal perspective, as well as from an Olin student perspective.

From my perspective because this means that we get some say in the sessions and activities that are offered as part of the conference. I've attended one national and one regional SWE conference thus far, and in my limited exposure, I've been pretty disappointed with the topics, impact and


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I was going to post about the scavenger hunt this past weekend, but with everything that's going on, I feel like I should perhaps go to a more solemn topic.

Today was the Day of Silence. I was one of the students who participated- before today I never had. Basically, the Day of Silence is about recognizing and honoring all of the queer individuals who have to remain silent about their orientation, etc. Open, one of the bigger clubs at Olin, organized everything, from screening armbands to setting up a "breaking the silence" ceremony. The armbands indicated one of two levels of participation: participant (someone who actually would not talk all day) and supporter (someone who could talk, but still wanted to show that their hearts were with people). I was a participant.

It was a sad day already, with a ceremony for VT in the morning, but not talking definitely kept me more solemn than usual. It was a strange feeling not to be able to talk for so long, and it certainly made things difficult. I ended up eating lunch by myself, just to avoid the awkwardness that came with a one-sided conversation. The discomfort was worth it, though. The ceremony, the general support, and the camaraderie that came along made me realize just how good a network can be, and I'm glad that I can be supportive of people I know who had to deal with being silent. I may not identify as being queer, but I'm glad I went to a queer-friendly school.

Virginia Tech


Yesterday, 30-some young people like me were killed. They study what I study, do the things I do- rush from class to rehearsal to class to speech to meal to work to friends to sleep. People with hopes and dreams and interests, brilliant curious people, just college kids like me. Students with their own nerdy jokes and analytical discussions like mine, with ideas just as big, just as small. Young adults just as consumed in their storm of clubs, projects, assignments. People just as stressed about their over-stuffed to-do list for the next week, just as focused on passing their next exam, and just as thrilled by the painting they experienced over the weekend or the song they just heard. Creatures just as relieved to put down problem sets to sing or play or dance. People sighing like me as they put their head down into the 3rd day of rain and the hard start of another week's work, highs and lows. More than 30 people just like me were killed yesterday. Killed by another just like us.

I'm sure details of all levels will come out to satisfy our horrified curiosity. I wonder if they can answer the shocked questions we, the public, or we, the nation's students might ask. They're the same questions we've asked before. Could it happen to me? What would such horror do to me? Or a loved one? What does it mean when young people gun down their peers? Why does it happen again and again? Are we still shocked, or does repetition approach normalness? What is it about the way we live that twists and grinds people to do this? Are security or surveillance acceptable solutions? How does this tragedy shape our vision of the futue? How do we go on? And where are we going on to?

I have no answers. I am sorry for everyone that felt this happen.


Welcome to the Olin College Student blog, all you readers from the Boston Globe! Ellen or I will be posting later on today, so check back again for even more recent postings.

Have questions about what the heck this college is all about? Just leave a comment, or send us an email.

Religious Life at Olin


Yay weblogs! Yay weblogging! Yay taking far too long a break from writing, such that I have spent all day avoiding Jessi Murray, who threatened to "find me" if I hadn't posted by midnight last night. I'm scared guys...

So religious life at Olin. It's not something that everyone considers when looking at colleges but it is certainly pervasive in my life. I am personally Roman Catholic, but I'll try to touch on all the religious happenings here at Olin and why I find it so inspirational and amazing.

Random Junk Digest, vol. 52


Salutations, blogonauts!

There's been so much great stuff going on in the past week that I can't possibly limit myself to just one topic. So, strap yourself in for a thrill-ride through one wild week at Olin.

Trivia Night

Last Thursday, we had a school-wide trivia competition. Faculty, students, and staff participated, and all the proceeds went to support our Senior Week activities (more about those in future posts, I'm sure). Our very own Professor Chris Morse produced and em-cee'd the event, and long-time Trivial club president Adam College did the scoring (he was banned from competition because he is too good). Questions ranged from ancient history (the Colossus of Rhodes, I got it right) to Disney (the Fox and the Hound are named Copper and Todd, I got it right) to pop music ("cricket... cricket..."). The winners took home a $100 gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant, and prizes generously donated by parents were raffled off all night long. Our team didn't win, but we still placed respectably.

Awesome times on a Tuesday night


Politically active? Want to be? Just want to help people? Olin might be able to help you do that.

One of Olin's bigger clubs on campus is OSA- the Olin Students for Awesome. They are a group that covers a wide variety of issues, from human rights to appropriate technology. In general, if you want to do something that has a humanitarian goal, the OSA kids are the ones to go to. Subgroups, including Olin's Amnesty International group, Olin's STAND (Students Take Action Now Darfur) group, and Olin's HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) group, among others, all form a network of people dedicated to making the world a better place.

Tonight I went to one of OSA's events, namely a movie dealing with the current Darfur conflict. Both Olin and Babson students were in attendance, and after the movie finished, we had a thirty minute discussion on getting involved and individual vs. group/governmental efforts in campaigning. It was excellent to participate in a discussion with people who are clearly passionate about these issues; you could tell that people were looking at each question from all different perspectives. I tend to be more involved with the human rights side of OSA, and it's really amazing to be in this network of people who will drop work to go to a Die-In or a rally. I've found that the people here who are into this sort of thing tend to be really enthusiastic about it, and are quite eager to educate those who are interested. Don't know what divestment is? Ask Tim or Allison and you'll be set. If you are at all passionate about things of this nature, rest assured that at Olin you can find a network.

Or, at the very least, you'll have the ability to talk to people about what's going on in the world outside of college.

Also, don't be afraid to comment with unrelated questions. I and the other bloggers are totally open to just answering whatever you want to know. If there's something you'd like to have an entire post on, let us know. Want pictures? We can do it.


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So you get a chance to meet Ellen, in person. At least, if you're going to FIRST Robotics Nationals in Atlanta this weekend. Yay!

A lot of people at Olin did FIRST robotics in high school- and Woodie Flowers is a distinguished partner at Olin College.

This weekend about 300 FIRST teams will be at the Georgia Dome to compete for the coveted title of "Championship Winner*"

Olin admissions will be there- and FIRST is actually the way I found out about Olin. If you're going to be at nationals, please feel free to drop by and give the Olin table a visit! If I'm not there, Allison Bahme (admissions) might be there, as well as Greg Marra, or Ash Walker. I'm excited- we're going to have Olin first year students projects' on hand, and be available to answer any questions.

*Bonus points if you know what year team 469 was a championship winner.

From singers to speakers

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These past two days we've had a lot of gatherings going on. I missed my Tuesday posting primarily because of Expresso Black, and Wednesday I was busy having Big Conversations. I apologize for the delay, but here I am!

Expresso Black, for those of you not in the know, is the uncensored version of Expresso, the school-wide talent show that happens once a semester. Because professors tend to bring their kids to Expresso, some of the more risque acts have to be toned down or left out. Expresso Black was a reaction to this, mostly initiated by the current seniors. It began with a handful of clean acts, including one act that I participated in, but soon moved into the realm of dirty sea shanty and hilariously read Harry Potter fanfic. All of these were peppered by jokes, gags, and songs performed by the great emcee, Lee. Not all of the acts were out for laughs, though, as the night finished off with a serious monologue that got the most applause of the night.

One of the things that felt the most fun to me was that I knew all of the people up on stage. Knowing that that girl gesturing at the crowd is actually your mild-mannered friend makes the act that much more amusing. Hearing people sing when you had no idea that they could is absolutely awesome. One of the group songs, an a cappella version of a Panic at the Disco! song, exhibited the vocal talents of at least one person who I had only heard sing once or twice. I'm glad that I can feel like I'm part of this community, even when that community is mostly singing songs overflowing with innuendo.

Our community came together again to listen, brainstorm, and discuss big issues, namely appropriate technology, the next day with Big Conversations. The headliner of the day was Amy Smith, an amazing woman, but the afternoon was filled with smaller activities that filled a variety of facets of this topic. I think, though, that Big Conversations deserves a more complete entry than this, so I will leave it up to one of my fellow bloggers to fill in. Until next week!

Miscellaneous goings-on


I'm going to make this a bit list-y. That way, others can fill in better details about events as the week goes on.

1) In reference to the game of mafia Jessi has been describing- there've been a few completely off the wall events. My team is still in, and we've been subject to some interesting stuff. We've had a 4:30am window break-in (totally legit, we knew they were mafia people and not robbers or something), and we've also escaped to Boston College so no one would be able to shoot us. How nice to be able to have 60 other colleges to hide at.

2) In reference to this week, it's been pretty long. Room draw is coming up- that should be exciting. We have a points system so people can choose their room based on rank (senior-junior-sophomore) and their random luck.

3) ExpressO Black is Tuesday- an uncensored version of the characteristic Olin ExpressO (very much like the variety show during Candidates' Weekend, except uncensored.)

4) Big Conversations are happening this week. Amy Smith from MIT is coming to be the keynote address, and then there will be break out sessions.

5) Phoenix Fest is Saturday- also known as a big party thrown by CORe for Olin students. It should end up being a lot of fun.

So- over and out, as I am in Chemistry class and our 10 minute break is ending! Hope everyone has a great week!


Recent Assets

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  • Police station
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  • Boba tea study break
  • Olin students around the bonfire
  • Sitting on the wall we helped build
  • Hard-working Habitat crew

Recent Comments

  • Mel (Olin '07): I so wish I could be there to see the read more
  • Kevin Tostado: What time are the performances? As an alum in the read more
  • Brittany L. Strachota: Looks like a huge success! Keep it up. :) read more
  • Kimly Do: also also, an electric water kettle is not really necessary, read more
  • Brittany L. Strachota: We shall see. Though, 150 is an awful lot of read more
  • Chris Fitzhugh: That being said, I have a desktop and immensely value read more
  • Brittany L. Strachota: I want cookies! Also, don't forget, kids, you WILL be read more
  • Noam Rubin: Hey 2015, I'd also recommend bringing a couple cups, bowls, read more
  • Jordyn Burger: Yep! Congrats, Brendan's gonna give you cookies! [I'll let him read more
  • CSF: Is the title from The Jeffersons? read more