We're all aware that Olin is a fuzzy happy lovely wonderful fantastic idyllic place, but it's definitely, totally, certainly not perfect. If you spend all of your time on campus, you are almost guaranteed to lose your mind completely. Personally, I might lose my mind anyway, but I find that getting off campus at least once a week does help somewhat.
The past two or three weeks, in particular, have been awful. It's mid-semester crunch time, and almost everybody is stressing out about something - midterms, projects, lab reports, and so on. For example, last Friday my Computer Architecture class met for about 20 minutes, talked about stress, class feedback, where the class is going for the rest of the semester, and a few other things not at all related to computer architecture. The professor then announced that he'd had a long week, was feeling "beat down and miserable," and that the class was now adjourning to the Dining Hall for a mid-morning, de-stressing snack. No objections were heard from the students. We had some juice and muffins and the like and talked about Dubai and ocean surveying and oil and more things not at all related to computer architecture.
Such was the mood on campus. It therefore seemed like the perfect time to leave for a little while, and not think about Olin at all. Thus my good friend David and I left Olin, and in fact left the state of Massachusetts, to go to Vermont and visit an Olin alumnus, Matty.
Matty lives in Brattleboro, takes classes at a circus school, and works somewhere in New Hampshire as a mechanical engineer. (In case you were still wondering, yes, he is definitely crazy. In a good way...) We spent Friday night at his house, met some of his circus friends (a dancer, a contortionist, and a trapeze artist), and played a silly card game that the contortionist had made up himself. It resulted in, among other things, me getting my face drawn on with eyeliner (no, I am not posting pictures of it on the internet - I don't care how funny it was), Matty having to do handstand push ups, and David bringing the rest of the group snacks. We all kind of collapsed around 1:00 am; it was a tiring card game.
On Saturday, we drove north for about an hour, "leaf peeping" along the way (I'm told that's what they call it in Vermont? Sounds a bit sketchy to me, but okay), and went hiking at Hamilton Falls. We played with cameras for a while - one of my absolute favorite things to do. I experimented with the manual mode on my camera a little bit, until my battery died. And then my back-up battery died. And then Matty's backup battery died. (Oh well.) Here are some of the pictures I did manage to take, prior to all the battery death.
The Hamilton Falls sign - very epic. This was, in fact, the only sign on the road (that we saw, at least). The falls are supposed to be some of the prettiest in New England, and this was the only sign they could manage. Amazing. (To be fair, there was actually one more sign a little further along the trail... But still.)
Matty and his camera.
Hamilton Falls (and Matty at the bottom). The longer exposure time makes the water look more like... Feathers?
We returned to Olin Saturday evening. Within two minutes of getting back, I already had a $50 parking ticket and failed dinner plans. Alas. Should have stayed in Vermont a bit longer, I suppose.