August 2009 Archives

Welcome 2013!

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george's blog post preview

Welcome Class of 2013! I'm probably the tenth person (if not more) who has enthusiastically said this to you today!

Well, assuming you made it there, what with the cancellations of flights due to tropical storm Danny, parents getting screwed by the rental car company, sudden emotional crises, chance jackelope encounters, or what have you. Don't worry if you haven't made it to the gates, past the softball field, and to the blue-and-silver balloon festooned Campus Center cafeteria. I was 5 hours late to the first day, and I turned out alright; really all you "lose" is the half of the room that can't be seen from the door (which is always coveted, unless you and your roommate are really tight and rearrange your room so you both get the good side). But seriously, I hope you've gotten to school alive and well, gotten the big half of the room (unless you're in 224 where both halves of the room are uncomfortably shaped), and are now enjoying one of the three times in the year that the dining hall goes all-out with the fancy dishes and tablecloths.

Anyways, we're really excited to have you around (myself especially, since I didn't even get a chance to see you at CW last year), and we hope you're doing well. But, as excited as you are right now, we don't want you to fall into the trap of sitting in the lounges, playing Apples to Apples nonstop because you think there's nothing else to do (I have a card dedicated to me in one of the decks, with some very racy alt-text to boot!), and hounding the one guy you know who brought a computer to get a sweet, sweet, 5 minutes of email. So, the Olin bloggers have gone ahead and compiled a list of things you might like to do during orientation. Hit the jump for suggestions.

A Different Kind of Laboratory

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Let's face it. Sitting in front of a computer all day can be mind-numbingly boring. Unfortunately, that's how I spent my summer job at Lincoln Laboratory. Don't get me wrong, the work was quite interesting. But it's really difficult for me to keep focus sometimes when the sun is shining outside.

So I was more than happy to visit another national laboratory where work has just a little more blue sky involved.

CAT-3 Wind Turbine, National Renewable Energy Lab, Boulder, CO

Welcome to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Boulder/Golden, Colorado.

My friend Heena (a fellow rising senior at Olin) spent her summer here, working for the National Wind Technology Center. She studied the dynamics and natural modes of turbines. But more importantly, she got to get outside and actually climb up these things!

Luckily, during my visit she took me along to the top of a turbine.

Climbing up a wind turbine

Today I Saw Halloween Oreos

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Or: Summer is Ending.

As of approximately 1.5 hours ago, I am done with my summer internship at IBM. Tomorrow I move into Olin to being R2 training (see you soon, freshmen!). How did things fly by so quickly? I have no idea. Let's have a fun picture recap!

The End of Summer :: Looking Forward

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I hate to do it, but it's everyone's last day at work, and someone needs to admit that the end of summer is quickly approaching.

Besides, I'm stoked about my classes this fall, so maybe I don't hate to get the ball rolling that much.

I'm very excited to be designing my own major at Olin: Engineering: Cognitive Science.

IDDS - Going to the Villages

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Excited Children

As we bumped away down the red clay road, the children of Offuman village ran alongside the bus, shouting and waving us off. It was impossible not to be struck by the emotional intensity of the moment, having shared the lives of these beautiful people and knowing this was the final goodbye. The opportunity to work with the communities we are designing for has been an incredible part of IDDS Ghana and has visibly leant a richness to the prototypes that are now emerging from each of the 12 project teams. The IDDS organizers established relationships with 10 villages around Ghana, ranging in size from 100 to 8000 people, and we made three separate visits to the villages most appropriate for our projects.

It amazed me how many deep connections were made in only 9 days spread over the month of working with the villagers. Prior to the first visit, we had received a crash course in Ghanaian culture, which had left my mind swirling with information and nervous excitement. Between the proper greeting protocol, Twi phrases, and social expectations of a woman, I was sure I would commit some sort of egregious error. The first thing we did when we arrived at Offuman was to formally greet the Chief and elders of the community. They sat around the edge of the Chief's courtyard, all wearing gorgeous black and red robes (the colors of mourning - someone had recently passed away) and clasping a handkerchief and cell phone in their hands. Before any verbal introductions could begin, each party had to stand up and greet the other by shaking hands from right to left. Then a bottle of Schnapps was presented to us as the traditional welcoming gift - a symbolic gesture that stayed at the Chief's palace for future guests. We introduced ourselves one by one, and my attempt to use the few Twi phrases I had learned (Me din de Tess; Mefiri America. My name is Tess; I'm from the U.S.) was surprisingly greeted with wide smiles and clapping. It was apparent that they greatly appreciated our efforts to learn their language and understand their lives, and in return we received generous help and advice from many people.

Recent Assets

  • Pride Bracelet
  • Heena Shows off the Inside of a Turbine
  • CAT-3 Wind Turbine, National Renewable Energy Lab, Boulder, CO
  • Climbing up a wind turbine
  • View from top of CAT-3 Research Turbine, NREL, Boulder, CO
  • downsized_0820091346.jpg
  • wachusett.jpg
  • boat.jpg
  • foofest.jpg
  • dr_zaius.jpg

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
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  • CSF: Is the title from The Jeffersons? read more