19 April 2008

Friday: I might not die at MIT!

I started off the day at the President's Welcome and Keynote Speech by Amy Smith from the Mechanical Engineering Department. It was pretty much amazing. Then again, I love speeches and people that can actually deliver a speech well... Amy Smith's speech was amazing. I was so happy when she started talking about agriculture in the beginning, and I actually knew one of the statistics she brought up! She had been asking the audience for guesses on statistics for things like the number of tractors per 1000 people in a variety of countries, as well as several other categories. Eventually, she got to statistics about the percentage of the population involved in agriculture. That was definitely me up in the back that yelled 1.8 when she got to the US. They had apparently rounded up to 2% but I was close. It made me happy. Agriculture at MIT! Yea!

After a quick bagel and chai latte (unfortunately, it was probably the worst chai latte I've ever had...) I met up with Tess and her host's roommate and we went over to Stata for a physics class. I was way too shocked at the setup of this classroom to think of taking a picture, but it was amazing! There were projectors and computers and whiteboards and cameras and physics demos everywhere! I really suck at physics, but I was able to (sort of) follow along. I think if I had been taking the class from the beginning of the year I would have actually understood what was going on... Then we were off to the Differential Equations class. That was an exciting class. I also managed to keep up to a certain extent (I had no idea what they were doing but I could figure out where things went and apply basic logic to the gibberish on the board) and the "Haynes Miller Bingo" sheets were simply brilliant. By the end of class, he was asking for a truce because so many people were shouting out "Bingo" every time he switched chalk colors.

At 2:00 I met up with my dad and we went to the Parliamentary Debate Team Demo Round. It was horrifying. First, it's set up completely differently from how we do things in FFA. 180 degrees different. Second, is that the commonly accepted speaking style? They said "like" A LOT. Maybe I'm just used to formal FFA speeches. Even so, I really want to do debate next year. I think it'll be the closest I'll get to the rush of Extemp Speaking and they have events pretty much every weekend. More competitive public speaking! My favorite!
After a quick stop at the Academic fair and the Civil and Environmental Engineering reception, I headed over to the Parsons Lab for my UROP tour. They're doing a lot of things with cnidarians, which I was really excited about because we just finished up a unit on cnidarians in my zoology class. I also really scared the kid in the banana costume that was there - I told him all about how Cavendish bananas are at risk of extinction. The look of shock on his face was priceless. I then hoofed it over to the Interphase information session. I've decided that I might not need it as much as I thought, and that it would require me to show up late because of my trip to Scotland anyway.

I had another dinner at a sorority, and then it was off to Meet the Bloggers! MTB was pretty chaotic, especially during the picture-taking.The funniest part for me had to be when I went over and talked to Snively. During the RD-admit telethon, Snively called my house and we had a conversation about how I might end up going to Oregon State instead of MIT. Snively sounded like he was having a heart attack. So, at MTB I introduced myself to Snively and informed him that I was, in fact, going to be at MIT in the fall. He was very excited and gave me a massive hug. Then someone else, whose name I cannot remember, gave me a massive hug, too. It was mildly awkward, but very very amusing.

As soon as MTB winded down, it was time for a certain fruity tour. Tess, Stephen and I headed over to Lobby 7 at 10:00, just like we had been ordered to by a million and two people. We met a wonderful some wonderful people named Jack Florey and were subsequently led on an interesting/citrus-y tour of campus. Oh, and I just have to say, it is a small world. Those wood ladders we used at one point were probably milled in my hometown. I didn't notice on the way up, but on the way down I recognized the little H inside the log - Hampton's logo. The wood could have even come from my family's farm. It was kind of awesome. We had some donuts afterward and then decided that sleeping was not a bad idea...

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