Everyone Loves Acronyms - NYC & BTP

What better way to decompress over spring break than to travel to the most populous city in the U.S.? I might be using a hint of sarcasm. While my trip to New York City was not necessarily relaxing, equally positive adjectives may be employed to describe the adventure: exciting, thrilling, fun, enchanting, energizing...

A few short anecdotes:

My roommate and I learned that NY drivers are much less respectful of pedestrians than Boston drivers... we were literally almost plowed over by a taxi on the way to buy tickets to a show. I harbor no resentment; I always thought it was slightly odd to expect those heavy metal accelerating machines often controlled by distracted cell phone chatterers to stop for me.

We saw The Little Mermaid on Broadway. The set and costumes transcend description, honestly. I was blown away. While we had wanted to see Chicago originally, I am more than content with the experience.

We visited both the Museum of Modern Art and the Met. [I should mention that I had somehow never gotten around to visiting NYC before, so all of these activities were exciting, both inherently, and because I had heard all about them from others]. Both of the museums impressed me, although I would like to spend a couple of days more just wandering around them...

While I could write more, I need to pack for this weekend's festivities: The Boston Tea Party! It's an annual swing dancing convention outside of Boston, complete with top-notch instructors, hours of workshops, mind-blowing competitions, and dances that last all night. I went last year, and discovered an affinity for west coast swing dancing. Since then, I've gotten the chance to go to dances and practice, so I'm looking forward to being more confident, having more acquaintances in the scene, and dancing, dancing, dancing!

Not to completely ignore the school side of things, I am working on what is quite possibly the most exciting project ever: casting bells in MatSci/Stuff of History. We're using the lost wax casting process to create several small bronze bells with different compositions. Watching the molten bronze pour into our mold from a glowing red/yellow crucible is breathtaking. If I can edit this post later, I'll try to include a picture (we take plenty of them).

Finally, in UOCD, we're in phase 4 of the design process, which brings a second round of visiting our users to talk about some of our rough ideas and involve them in the design process. Since my team is studying chocolatiers, I often find myself taking advantage of the offers to taste-test some of our users' creations. While I wouldn't quite call myself a chocolate connoisseur, I have begun to keep a few truffles on my desk for those times I can't resist a little indulgence. Mmm. I've also completely lost any semblance of taste for Hershey's. Chocolate gets so much better!

This time I mean it - I've got to leave for the Boston Tea Party in less than half an hour.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Shannon

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