My name is Xiaozheng Judy Xu and I'm a new freshman blogger! I can't believe I'm half way through my first semester at Olin already. Not long before this I was looking at this blog and getting fascinated and excited by what Oliners do. Now, sitting in my comfortable chair, submerged in the sunshine through my dorm's window, I look like this seal below:
I saw him during Orientation at the Boston Aquarium when we had a Boston Scavenger hunt ;). We also saw the beautiful Boston Public Library and just missed Mike's Pastry which provided delicious canollis. Orientation passed by in a whiz, ending in the glory of our team pie-ing (throwing pies on to the face of) the R2 (Resident Resource)s, because we won the egg-drop competition!
The campfire above was lit when I went camping with the Olin Outing Club at Mt. Madison/Mt.Washington, a three-hour drive away. Despite the rain, s'mores on a campfire and sleeping in a huge tent with 10 other freshman was awesome!
The next day we climbed Mt. Madison and I ate this delicious sandwich on the summit. Going down was much harder, but we made it and I consider it a grand accomplishment! I strongly recommend going on the camping trip, and first years have priority!
Our sibb family went on a Vermonster ice cream dive at Ben's and Jerry's for our first family event. Every freshman gets an older sibb who answers all our questions and hang out with us. (p.s, My sibb, Haley, is also a blogger!) 7 young men and women finished this whole bucket of 20 scoops of ice-cream, all together.
One cool club I joined this semester, thanks to Pass-No-Record, is Glass club! Above are the glass fusions and beads I made. I've never done anything like this before and it is very fun and satisfying to make art~. To make the beads we melt glass rod in flames and mold them together. The fusions are easier: we cut small pieces of glass and arrange them together and Jiaying or Micheal (the glass club heads) magically fuse them into one piece for us. :)
My co-curricular this semester is making Aerogami with Brad, our electrical engineer professor. Despite the 8-10am Monday morning timing, folding air planes is very relaxing and flying them super fun. They can turn, twirl, rotate and do all kinds of things.
Speaking of Brad, he is also the professor of my favorite class, Eyesim (or more usually 'ISIM'), which stands for Introduction to Sensors, Instrumentation and Measurements. I got to build MANY circuits on a breadboard and magically see my pulse on the computer screen and 'become' alive. I had no experience with circuits before, but with the tutorial lecture+ lab session+ Ninja (course assistants- "Need Information Now? Just Ask") tutorials, it's very easy to learn and 'understand' stuff.
Looking back, I have really done a lot of things besides what I mentioned, and there are so many cool things that other people do. I'm listening to discrete math (drawing two-coloured stars and playing raisin games), learning electrical and software for Olin Robotic Sailing, trying to make a Japanese-learning game, making 'healthy' and sometimes disastrous dessert as a passional pursuit, and composing all kinds of strange pieces for my music class 'Wired Ensemble' (one of the AHS - Arts, Humanities and Social Science - classes we have to take). For instance, today I performed a found percussion piece using my TI-83 as an 'instrument'.
Lastly, I want to share two things that I gladly found out after coming to Olin:
- We have a super casual Taekwondo club! (I thought I couldn't do it anymore at Olin). Our club instructor, a junior named Erika, teaches us how to make sound effects instead of ki-yep (battle cry) when we kick.
- The weather is super nice here, with more than 80% of sunny days, warm temperature (compared to Toronto, where I went to high school), and VERY beautiful leaves of all colours (this, compared to Canada where coloured maple leaves is our pride, means a lot).
Cheers, and to all the prospies: Don't stress out on your college apps, just try your best! Start learning useful software (ex. solid works, matlab, labview, etc), programming and build things outside of schoolwork! And most importantly, enjoy life! ;)