Anything but Sophomoric

 Greetings Olinsider friends!

As things are getting into a groove here at Olin, I'm already noticing some definite changes upon becoming a sophomore:

  • Specialization! Continuing to get more choice in what classes we take, and for me, that means more bio. :)
  • Connections! I'm noticing my work is tying together more and more.  For instance: my project for Linearity II (math) is actually optimizing the output of the bacterial communities from my research.
  • New people! Meeting the current first years has been amazing, and seeing them go through some of the same things we did (oh sharks, rays, and scallops) always causes a little pang of nostalgia.  My first year was fantastic, and I hope theirs is even more so.
  • Last but not least: Leadership! Power, responsibility, complete and unbridled control over my own little sub-Olin domains.

Kidding, kidding.

As of this semester I am now the Co-President of the Olin Christian Fellowship (OCF) and Glass Club, as well as a NINJA (course assistant) for Six Microbes That Changed the World.  So far all three positions have given me unique and spectacular growing experiences.

For OCF, we've been doing lots of planning so far: weekly events, special events, budget, content, and more, and making sure everything is seen through to its best.  My Co-President and I are completely new to this, and luckily we have some amazing upperclass folks to guide us along and show us the ropes.  Last year it was pretty much just show up to events and enjoy. This year, I really get to see what goes into making sure things happen, interested people can make it to them, and fostering a great community in the club.

Glass Club has been much more on the instructorial side thus far: although it was up to the two of us to figure out what materials we need, times to meet, and how to organize meetings, being a leader here has really been about attempting to convey what we've learned in flameworking to the new members.  Doing demonstrations and watching the first years make glass beads for the first time was really exciting, and their curiousity has really made me want to learn more to continue teaching them.

glassclub.JPGTip #1: Don't touch hot glass.

Although it's less of a 'leadership' role, being a Six Microbes NINJA has definitely helped me grow in similar ways, and let me see how much I've progressed after spending the summer in the lab.  Other students ask me questions, and hey, sometimes I even have answers!  Being able to help people find their way around the lab has been one of my favorite things this semester, and I look forward to helping new people in the lab for semesters to come.

Which means I actually know what to do with some of this!

Which brings me to one of my favorite things about the world: the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know. Teaching and leading really help you see more clearly what you don't know, and propel you forward in new and exciting directions with every interaction. With each of my new hats this semester, I've gained new responsibilities, and amazing new opportunities to improve as a leader and as a student.  I can't wait to see what's next!

Until next time,

Michael, c/o '17

P.S. Prospies!  Visiting season is here, and the Fall Open House is coming!  The leaves are just starting to turn their amazing New England reds, oranges, and yellows, and it's the perfect time for a visit.  Come check out all the amazing things going on, you won't be disappointed!

Posted in: Michael '17