First break all day today! Fifteen minutes, let's go.
Awesome things about E2:
The people. They are incredible. Imagine your typical classroom with average kids, lazy kids, and smart kids who usually answer questions and do their homework and try hard and everyone looks up to and depends on. Then imagine all those kids taken out of their high schools and put into this program. That's how I feel when I talk to the other kids. Every kid here is smart. We work in groups. Normally I worry about being put in groups with "dead weights", lazy kids who rely on me to do all the work and just derp around and let other people decide things. There's nobody like that here. There's no bad groups because everybody here is the kind of person who contributes, who innovates, who goes beyond the expected. It's an electrifying environment. Everyone works really hard, carefully notates all the steps, and thinks about what they're doing. Small things. If their work is too messy for their taste, they'll copy it onto a fresh page. When speakers ask for questions at the end, there are always a ton, so many that question time is usually as long as or longer than the actual speech. And they're good questions! I'll have a question but the speaker will call on someone else, and then the other person asks what I was going to ask.
These people know what they're talking about, know what it takes to be successful. I never have to explain something more than once if I'm trying to communicate, and often I don't even have to explain, they just understand!
Everyone is so dedicated and hardworking. The Engineering Design kids had lab until 3AM. Then they had homework until 5. The work here isn't graded or go on your transcript or anything, but they'll work really hard for the sake of it. There's no one dumbing themselves down or trying to seem cool by not caring. It's cool to care.
The conversations are invigorating. We'll have a discussion about a scientific or social topic and elaborate and hypothesize for a while(we are always stopped and made to return to work, but while we walk we talk). Today we talked about submarine warfare inspired by our underwater robotics course and it launched into a broad discussion on technology's effect on war. A guy shared a quote:
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
What a sobering thought. It's true though. The technology that is in war now will cause a large war to destroy everything. Entire cities leveled in seconds, Code Geass style.
We just had a great conversation about technology's effect on humanity, just for fun. It was a great way to stretch our brains.
This morning we saw a lecture about google glasses, a freakily terrifyingly awesome new technology with the screen projected right into your eyes, gesture controlled, and sound directly into your ear bones without a headset.
I was walking with K the friend who accompanied me to Anime Expo and who we hung out with in Boston before the program and referring back to the conversation.
Me: "Countries are making an effort to avoid nuclear war because technology definitely is taking warfare toward a point where you could definitely destroy civilization with a couple shots fired."
K: "But that's what I want though? :3"
Me: "You want to 'destroy the world and create a new one?'" [reference to an anime we both like]
K: "Nope, I"m just fine with destroying the world" XD
Apparently the point of K's engineering fixtation and MIT dreams is to create a bunch of giant mecha robots to destroy humanity. I suggested he find a better topic for his college essays.
We also went to the Cambridge Innovation Center, which was a really cool building incubator for startups with an incredible culture and amazing view of the Charles River. I got to go to the MIT Coop and talk about anime with my friends for 45 minutes, which was super fun.
At the end of the day:
In class we started planning for our final projects. It's 12:43 AM right now. Staying up till 1 or 2 doesn't even feel weird or radical anymore even though it's the latest I've ever gone to sleep. It's just like regular hours. 10:30 PM, my usual bedtime, seems more like "late afternoon". I'm one of the earliest to go to sleep right now.
Part of the reason is that we had a mandatory study break scheduled, half an hour in which we just got to eat barbecue and relax. Although it was fun, it really delayed all our work. XD We needed it though. The Engineering Design class, the one that went till 4AM yesterday, was actually banned from assigning any homework today by the program adminstrators. They've probably had five hours of sleep total this week, so they get to rest today.
I learned something. I LOVE design in engineering. During lectures and meals I like to draw out all the designs and prototypes for EVERYTHING that we're doing and talk and talk and talk about the robots and jump up and down when we got ours working. It is really exciting to discuss all the different ways to accomplish a task and really sparks my creativity.
Our final project is a model cleannup of an ocean oil rig. We will be doing the task in the MIT olympic size pool with the rig represented by a 7 foot PVC pipe with a floating platform and the oil spill represented by black ping pong balls. Our team needs to inspect the pipe with underwater cameras we're wiring onto the robots and clean up all the ping pong balls.
Long story short, I'm the project manager of my three person mini team whose task is to scoop up the ping pong balls with a big mesh net to be removed. It's very stressful. Build day is tomorrow and we want to finish ON TIME because we are doing real budgeting and we pay $20 per person per hour for any overtime we incur past 11:30. We need to budget for every single screw and pipe. We have a total of $600 to be shared between four teams.
I have three college application samples to read by college counselling class tomorrow, as well as final preparations for build day. I need to write a 2 page letter to the sponsor who's sponsoring me to come to E2 as well as a biography of myself for something. These are all due like now. Not to mention blogging. No wonder there are no E2 bloggers. Nobody has any dang time!
I have the stomach cramps i usually get when I'm stressed. I'm still very energetic, optimistic, and positive mentally, but it's hard to tell that to my stomach. XD