Birthdays, Weekends, and Clocks

It's the weekend! Not just any weekend, but a 3-day weekend with beautiful weather forecast and hardly any work to get done. I  consider it the universe's belated birthday present to me, although I did have an excellent birthday on Tuesday. Yes, there were meetings to be had and work to be done, but my friends made it a brilliant day nonetheless. Start with free coffee and a book:
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And end with some cheese, bread, and other non-pictured refreshments:
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But this weekend isn't just an extended birthday celebration, it's a much-needed break from the past couple of weeks and a chance to prepare for the final push to the end of classes...

My calendar tells me there are only 18 days left until the end of classes. That's scary. Partially because it means there are only a handful of weeks before I finish being a sophomore and become a junior. Mostly because there is still so much to do: third Stuff of History project, third phase of UOCD, assorted German studying, and finishing up DICEIO's model of Olin. And of course, it's all terribly fascinating.

 
Stuff of History just finished up its second project. My team studied (and made!) copper sheathing and investigated whether or not Paul Revere's process for rolling copper was in fact "the best". As part of the project we made some improvement to a Wikipedia article, so feel free to learn more there. We also got to play with copper bolts made by another team and almost exactly replicate what it would have been like to try and attach the copper sheets to the side of a ship. Definitely not your average history class. Or MatSci class, for that matter.
 
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Copper spike through a copper sheet that was initially hot-rolled, but finished with a pass of cold-rolling.
 
We survived the second UOCD Design Review comparatively unscathed. This final phase is where we develop our final idea to the point where we could make a detailed product proposal. If we can pull this phase together, it will confirm to our professors that even though our team was not leading the pack for the first two phases, we still learned a lot. Still a daunting task though, especially since our idea is rooted simply in the concept of "telepathy".
 
DICIEO continues to fascinate me and drive my interests more and more towards education theory. We now have a very rough mapping of how Olin's goals, values, and methods all relate to each other, based on interviews with faculty, students, and our own insights. Soon we will be talking with alumni and employers to get some post-Olin perspective, but then it will be up to us to put it all together. Our plan is to have something to present at Expo (May 14!) in addition to perhaps writing an open letter to Rick Miller and Vin Manno, addressing concerns or questions in their proposed vision statement based off of the work we've done this semester.
 
DICEIO also excites me because it will be a fully-fledged, 4-credit class next semester. Technically it's called "Representing Olin" or something, but acronyms are so much cooler. We're going to have more people, more space, and more involvement with the community, working on a project I don't think many college students could ever hope to work on. Getting the chance to take all the different parts of a school and distill it down into a clear mapping that says "this is who we are, this is what we want to do, and this is how we do it" is just incredible. And then there's the fact that next semester I will be taking a class I helped write the course description for. Welcome to Olin.
 
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Sticky notes, moleskines, and coffee: the essential ingredients for a design meeting
 
Speaking of courses, course registration went remarkably smoothly. I'm going to attribute this to how obscenely loud my roommate played "Flight of the Valkyries". It suits the occasion oh so well. Anyway, I am now registered in Human Factors & Interface Design (HFID - a.k.a. "that class that teaches a lot of what my major is"....well, as soon as I actually fill in the paperwork for Engineering with Design), Real Products Real Markets, Representing Olin, and the Historical & Scientific Approach to Energy & the Environment, a.k.a that class that is in desperate need of a cool acronym. Cool name or not, it should be a cool class. If I've learned anything in Stuff of History this year, it's that any class taught by Rob Martello or Jon Stolk is worth taking.
 
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It's Jon Stolk in a wig. What more can I say.
 
Posted in: Class of 2014