Also thanks to all the people who've watched and supported us this past semester. Have a Merry Post-Christmas and a Happy New Year!
As you've probably gathered, Olin is all about project-based learning. It is one of my favorite things about Olin. One of the reasons I originally didn't want to study abroad was a fear of missing out on projects. Group T, the engineering school in Belgium where I'm studying for the semester, has a similar philosophy to Olin on the idea of project-based learning. I had a pretty cool project this semester, Pixter, in my class called Engineering Experience 3: Computer Based Control.
As mentioned in Foreign Cultures Rule by Derek ('15), Sinterklaas is a really big holiday in the Low Countries. Personally, I really enjoyed it. What did you expect? It involves chocolates and other sweets, so why wouldn't I enjoy it?
I left mijn schoenen (my shoes) outside my door and when I awoke in the morning, Sinterklaas had left me sweets and treats. If you are over 10 years old you can feel free to click the link below and continue reading (warning! Sinterklaas spoiler alerts).
Tuesday night I was on Babson's campus for a club meeting, and happened to run into a guy I went to high school with who goes to Babson now. He was with some friends who asked me a little bit about Olin. I explained what classes I am taking, and we chatted about shared-cafeteria-etiquette (they're allowed to eat at Olin 20 times per semester). One of the Babsonites jokingly asked if every single Oliner knew how to unicycle. I chuckled and said no.
When I arrived at Olin, one thing I was incredibly excited to do was to learn to unicycle. Someone started teaching me a little bit at candidate's weekend, and it was so exciting. Unfortunately, I have only had the chance to try once, this weekend. The delay was definitely not for lack of desire:
Something happened that has so far prevented me from hopping on one of those single-wheeled contraptions. It was the first Saturday that I was at Olin, other than move-in day. I went with a few friends to the Open (the Olin/Babson gay straight alliance) picnic. It was my first time socializing with upperclassmen, and I was having a good time. The picnic was at a park in Needham, with some little barbecues and a playground. I was standing casually on the ledge of a sandbox and when I stepped off the sandbox there was a little clump of grass that I unluckily stepped sideways on, and I rolled my ankle. It didn't hurt that much, but when I looked down at it, my ankle was approximately the size of a mango. I decided it would be best to go to the hospital. So Gwynneth ('12) and an Kelcy, and alumna ('09) took me to the hospital, where we had a pretty good time, despite the malfunctioning leg. I even got a sticker from the radiologist! It is now on my laptop. It has a lion getting an x-ray, and says "Picture Purrfect!"
Thankfully my ankle only ended up being sprained, so I got an air-cast and a pair of crutches. Living Olin life was pretty challenging as a brand-new freshman on crutches. There are lots of double sets of doors(to prevent wind tunnels from forming in the hallways)which are hard to handle when you only have one free appendage. The hospitality of Olin really shone brightly for those three crutch-ridden weeks though. People carried plates for me in the dining hall, held doors open for me countless times, and my friends would very graciously wait for me to hop up flights of stairs. My very sweet Sibb even went to the library to retrieve my water bottle after I left it there.
Eventually I started walking again, but my friends still lightheartedly call me "gimpy", I still greatly appreciate my current ability to skip down hallways, and upon meeting upperclassmen later in the semester they have asked "Oh, were you on crutches for a while earlier?" I imagine this injury won't be forgotten for a while.Now that both of my ankles are the same size again, I will hopefully be able to unicycle sometime soon.