Thought Repository

The Last Few Days

My first semester at MIT is finally over, but it didn't end easily. Never before have I wanted so much to go home, but never before have I had such trouble doing it. I didn't finally get home until two days ago, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Our story begins two and half weeks ago...

The weekend of the 6th and 7th I visited Pittsburgh. As soon as I returned on Monday the 8th, it was all fab class (How to Make Almost Anything), all the time. Really it had begun before the weekend. I had been up all night before my flight in the lab. All the week of the 8th students from the class invaded and took over the Physics and Media lab. The weekend just got even more intense. We were there 24 hours a day. That whole time was great, working on really cool electronics projects and bonding with my classmates. Monday the 15th was the class open house where we presented our projects. My project turned out great. Miraculously every part of it came together just like I wanted it at the last minute. Neil really enjoyed point out my project as the kind of thing you could really build in 2-3 days. I had written the software ahead of time and experimented with sensor circuits on a breadboard most of that week, but all the components of the final object, the schematic, the layout, the board, and the package, were build and put together that weekend. You might want to check out my fab class project page or some pictures from that week.

Once that project was over it was time to focus on my project for Context Aware Computing. I hadn't really started and it was supposed to be due tuesday. Ted was understanding and gave me more time. I kept trying to work on it but I just couldn't get myself to do it. I finally met with him and he allowed me to change my project and expand the project I had done earlier in the semester. The result was Journey, a web browser for recording a better browsing session history. Between the system and the paper, I expected to get it done friday but late enough that I wouldn't be able to demo it until monday. Originally my plan was to return home thursday, then friday, now monday. I had a few things I wanted to do after I was finally done with classes, and I figured that the weekend would be good for that if I finished the project on friday. As any lazy person should know, a project will expand to fill whatever time is allowed (and often a little more). I didn't finish everything until sunday night, giving me only monday to do my other projects.

Monday I made plans to go see The Return of the King with Mike Berman and his friend Nathan. This meant staying in Boston another night and going home on tuesday. Not a big problem since I was using the night to have some fun with friends. Besides, I could use tuesday to finish up my projects that I wasn't able to on monday. Tuesday morning I got into the lab at 11am. I had two projects I wanted to finish. For Jackie, I was making a 3D printed model as a present. Also, I wanted to laser cut a set of 3D maze cube puzzles to give to people. Tuesday night came and went. I wasn't near ready to go home at the normal time. Carly was going to pick me up later, but I still wasn't ready due to problems with the first model that caused me to restart it at a bigger scale. When I finally left the basement of the lab it was 8am Wednesday morning. I was tired, hungry, and I was completely covered with plaster dust, cyanoacrylate glue, and and laser cutter soot. Never in my life was I happier to finally go home and relax.