This summer I am not staying at Olin, nor am I living on my own. Though some of my friends are staying in their first apartments in cities they had never seen before, I am one of the lucky rent-free stay-at-home students. Fortunately, my Olin-sickness is easily relieved by the fact that I live about 20 minutes away by car. Due to this, I've found it easy to stay in touch with my friends doing the NASA program or other research at Olin, in addition to all the people staying in Boston/Cambridge or even the Worcester area.
What else does this mean? I get to go to awesome appropriate technology talks.
As you may have read, Amy Smith came to speak at Olin earlier this year. Right now at MIT is the International Development Design Summit led by Amy Smith. A recent graduate, Laura, sent out an email recently to tell us about some of the public talks. My roommate for next year sent me a message asking if I wanted to go, so pretty soon I found myself at MIT.
The talks were amazing; that night featured microbial fuel cells, turbineless wind power (by Humdinger Wind Energy LLC), and solar water disinfecting bags. Afterwards we went to a classroom to eat desserts and chat. At first I stuck to talking to Jef ('09) and Becky ('10), but Laura told us that we were forbidden from talking to each other when there were such amazing people in the room. As much as I enjoy talking to Oliners, I ended up being glad she intervened. Seeing the projects that some people had done, I was floored. It seemed almost magical how these people had seen a problem and then figured out elegant and appropriate solutions. It made me resolve to do more with OSA this year, and hopefully some of you '11ers will join in the fun as well.