Keeping Busy Over Winter Break

After I flew home in December, I flopped onto the couch with a book and a mug of tea, and barely got up over the next couple days. It helped that Bellingham, my hometown, was snowed in with an usually large amount of snow, and no one knew quite what to do.

It was a good thing I got some relaxing time in, because I've been busy scheming and scheduling and having fun since then.

During the first week of January, a bunch of Olin students flew in to visit me and go skiing and snowboarding at world-famous Mt. Baker.

An *almost* complete group picture of the Olin kids in Glacier - missing Joe '09.
From left: Casey '10, Tim '09, Maia '11, Mary '10, Roland, Ducker '09, and Stefan '10

We rented a cute cabin (with an 8 person hot tub!) in Glacier, WA, and tired ourselves out cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding. We had a great time despite a remarkable number of things going wrong: lost car keys on the slopes, lost cabin keys, hitch-hiking, emergency learning how to put on chains immediately followed by putting on chains, etc. We viewed it as an adventure.

I was sad to see everyone go, but it turns out that it's a good thing everyone left the day they did. Remember all that unusual snow from December? Well, it melted, and the ground became saturated (snow is absorbed more than rainfall is). Then it rained a lot. The day I took everyone to Seattle to fly out, there was an avalanche over Mt. Baker Highway on one side of the cabin, and a mudslide that left 6 feet of debris on the road on the other side. Talk about cabin fever! My mom and little brother were up until 4am sandbagging behind our house; there were 4 mudslides behind our house that night!

Mudslide damage behind my house
More pictures: flooding, mudslide damage to asphalt, my sandbagged house, my yard

I thought I'd be out of the extreme weather when I flew back to Boston on Monday, but Natick has a promising high of 10 degrees tomorrow :(

I came back early to make my Brandeis classes (they start a week earlier than Olin). I've gone to a couple Brandeis classes this week since I haven't decided which one I want to take yet. I've narrowed it down to Philosophy of Mind, Human Neuropsychology, Visual Cognition, Syntactic Theory, or Chemistry of Sustainability. It might be hard to believe, but the original list was much longer. And please, if you have any suggestions, let me know... I need to get this figured out before the rest of my classes start!

In addition to spending lots of time at Brandeis, I've been keeping busy with the "Maia tries to figure out how to buy a car" adventure. I'm living off-campus this semester in Professor John Geddes' house in Natick while he is teaching in Scotland. Because of that 10 degree weather, I'd rather not bike the 6 miles to and from Olin. I'm test driving 3 cars tomorrow: a 2000 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport, a 1994 Subaru Legacy Outback, and a 1998 Volvo V70. I really know next to nothing about buying cars, so navigating Massachusetts' registration and insurance laws should be fun. If all goes well, I'll have a car (and freedom!!) before school starts.

Keep on truckin',


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