Well, I'm three weeks into sophomore year. I suppose I'd better provide some updates. We'll go from most immediate to more long term.
How I'm spending my weekend: Well Friday night was awesome. On a whim my friends and I went out to a nice Hibachi place in Needham, which was great. Then we got back and it was time to have some fun. My roommate and I host movie nights every Friday night at 9:00PM. We have to compete with people with projectors, but we still like to think we have the highest concentration of cool people of any movie night on campus. =) Last night we watched Paycheck, which I still think is a great movie, but all my friends thought was absolutely horrendous. Well, I guess they're not as cool as I thought. *Wink* We also invite members of the Class of 2011 that we're trying to get to know better, but so far the only one not to be frightened off by East Hall (the more upperclassmen dorm) is my SIBB. Yea, he's that hard core.
Today was fun. I slept in until 9AM. *GASP* It was quite amazing. I'm behind on committee repopulation (the Vice-President of Student Initiatives is responsible for coordinating the student representatives that serve on the various committees around campus), so I spent some time on that. Then I took a nap (sleep is a precious commodity). Finally, the fun started around 4:00PM. My friends Mike and Alex walked into my room with a mischievous look on their faces and started in: "Jeff, we've heard reports that there's a couch for the taking at the Wellesley dump..." They didn't even have to finish before I'd grabbed my keys and towels for the back of my Jeep and we were off. The couch turned out to be too big, so I drove the cushions and a nice plush chair back to Olin while they resolutely began carrying the couch down the road (the dump is less than a mile away). Well, I rushed back to Olin, unloaded the first trip, grabbed some rolling dollies, and hurried off to the dump again to assist those two oh-so-hard-core guys. I arrived to an ugly scene: the couch was in the middle of the road (the dump was closing, so no one was driving on the coming-in side), my two buddies collapsed on top, looking exhausted. I'd say they'd gone maybe 300 yards. Well, we got the couch on the wheels, and I left to the sounds of the two of them whooping pushing a couch with no cousins and an exposed metal wire frame down the road. It was amazing. I got a ride on the couch while we were going up Olin Way. We got it up to their room and we headed to dinner.
At dinner I sat with Meena and her friend Anne, which isn't a good idea. They come up with some strange idea when they get together. The short version is that my whole dinner table started singing "Happy Birthday" even though it wasn't anyone's birthday, just to see what would happen. Well, as expected, everyone eventually joined in, and when we got to the part where we should say someone's name, it got dead quite. I love social experiments. It was hilarious! (I promised Meena I would blog about that).
What I've been doing for the past three weeks: The beginning of this year was defined by the deaths of Matt and Rachel, which were very hard, and still are in many ways. It shook Olin up pretty bad, and we're only now regaining our footing. For me personally, after I regained emotional stability, I found that, though it seems like it should, the world doesn't stop, and I still had work to do. So that's what I've been doing.
My classes have been fun. I got into my Wellesley class of choice, Philosophy of Law, and am having a grand old time. I'm actually thinking about going to law school after Olin, but that will have to be a different post. I'm also taking Principles of Engineering which is basically my Olin dream class. Contrary to popular belief, not all, or even most, Olin classes are just "build really cool stuff and see what happens," but this one is that and more. I love it. We've compared with other schools, and it seems that this type of mechatronic project course is only taught at the graduate level of most universities. I'm a sophomore. Finally, I'm taking Modern Physics (which is quantum mechanics and is totally blowing my mind) and Differential Equations (which will become Probability and Statistics at the half point of the semester). The former is hard core, and it will be really fun being able to talk about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (which is actually a formula, FYI) intelligently. The latter is interesting because it is being taught be a visiting professor, and getting adjusted to Olin academic culture is a steep learning curve, but we're helping him along.
Reflections on sophomore year in general: Well, I must say that being a sophomore is so totally awesome. For me, it has brought balance to my life. Last year was rough because everything was a new experience, and the Integrated Course Block totally owned my life (being integrated, it is very pervasive). This year I'm spending more time on CORe, working 2-4 hours more per week (I'm an ICB NINJA, which is like a course assistant, but more fun), and I still feel great. I'm pretty sure it is because I'm better at balancing things now and setting my priorities. That, or there's a huge assignment I've forgotten about... On that note, I'm out. Thanks for reading.
Jeff Moore, Olin College Class of 2010