Third Time's The Charm

Hello again! As crazy as it seems, another semester here at Olin has nearly gone by, with only a few papers and presentations standing between us and winter break. This semester’s end also marks the slightly-more-than-halfway point of my time here at Olin, and what a ride it has been so far. I wrote previously on the changes between first and sophomore year, and although the changes between sophomore and junior year have been somewhat less pronounced, they’ve been just as exciting.

  • Junior year crises! (Not quite what I planned on starting with, but parallels my last article the best ;) ). As we’re more and more often asking “What’s next?”, many juniors are really starting to think about what we want to do with our lives. Jobs? Grad school? What field? I’ve always known I wanted to improve the world through health (hence the focus in bio), but now I’m getting to the point where I need to start thinking more about the nitty-gritty of that. It’s kind of scary, but also really exciting to start thinking about where all this is going!
  • Applications! The more we learn, the more we build on what we’ve learned before. I’m using lessons from User Oriented Collaborative Design not only in my current design class, Investigating Normal (Adaptive & Assistive Tech), but in my Feminist Bioethics class at Wellesley. Stock-and-flow framings from ModSim my first semester are coming back as I model the movement of cancer in BioTransport. As more and more lines connect different aspects of my education, I’m also seeing how much I’m using everything else I’ve learned at Olin so far, and how I can bring this with me into the real world.
  • New dorms! Living in a suite this year means I have a whole ~12.5x9.5 space to myself that I can arrange and decorate however I like. My past roommate and I always did our best to have a homey feel to our space, and that’s definitely carried over to my new living quarters. (Hint: curtains are what really does it.) From the mini-kitchen setup to the lamps I brought in, my room really does feel like my home. As we’re getting closer to Christmastime, I even brought some decorations from my more permanent home, tying ribbons around bedposts and lamps, hanging icicle ornaments from most surfaces, and, my personal favorite, striking up the Mickey Band on my windowsill. I even was able to bring some of the same fir-tree scent sticks from home to really make it cozy!

Mickey’s Brass Band, playing all of your favorite Christmas classics.

  • Getting the hang of things? Some things stay the same, as I’m still Co-President of the Christian Fellowship and Glass Club, and again a NINJA (course assistant) for Six Microbes That Changed the World, however, I’ve seen changes in each in our last loop around the sun! For instance, the Christian Fellowship had a retreat this year, for which my Co-President Sophie and I booked a cabin, planned meals, bought food, and organized transportation! It was a blast, and everyone seemed to have a great time and get a lot out of it.

We even fire-grilled our own dinner!

After NINJAing Six Microbes last fall and two other courses in the spring, it was great being back in the lab and teaching again, especially when so many of the students are really excited about what they’re learning. (Final presentations just passed on Wednesday the 9th!)

In closing, it’s been another amazing whirlwind of a year. I still completely stand by “the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know,” and am excited to find out all the new things I’ll realize I don’t know over my next three semesters here.

See ya real soon!

P.S. Prospies! Good luck with applications and essays! I remember how tough they were (and I’m thinking about them even more as I draw closer to grad school applications). You can do it, and I’m excited to meet some of you this spring at Candidates Weekend!

Posted in: Michael '17