Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sun Tea at MIT

Well, I'm back at MIT for my last semester here. It's a different sort of semester, first of all because it is my last, and secondly because I'm only taking two (straightforward) technical classes to finish my major, along with the 3 HASS (Humanities Arts and Social Sciences) classes I need to finish out the 8 that MIT requires. They are a lot of fun -- Concensus Building for Sustainable Development, How to Stage a Revolution, and Social Documentaries -- and I feel like I am getting a taste of the liberal arts college experience to have all these reading and discussion based courses and few of the problem sets for which MIT is famous.

Here is 77 Massachusetts Avenue (the main entrance to MIT's infinite corridor), as seen from Froy and Fernando's room. It's not quite the view I had this summer on Pine Ridge, but still, it could be a lot worse.

It's always an adjustment to come back to MIT; it seems so artificial and contrived after being in places where everything is less neat and tidy but so much more real.

Still, life is good. Fernando and I found some nice glass bottles at Goodwill and have been making sun tea in the windowsill. I never realized how little sun we actually get in dorm rooms at MIT, what with all the clouds and buildings and lack of a front or back porch (Froy and Fernando live on the 4th floor), but still, it seems to work pretty well!

For those of you who know my sister Lexie, she has just started her freshman year at Colby College in Maine. And my brother Trav just got married at the end of August. Here's a photo of me with my siblings, father, and grandmother at the wedding.

At the end of August after the wedding, my Dad and I drove out to Maine with Lexie to drop her off at Colby, and then Dad, Froy and I went canoeing in Maine for three days. We had perfect weather and Froy got to see some of the animals of the north woods -- moose, loons, herons, bald eagles. Here are some photos:

Froy and I

A color-enhanced sunset over Lobster Lake (digital cameras these days are something else)

Froy, Dad and I attempting to fit all three of us in a self-shot picture

Dad kayaking past one of the two moose we saw in three days.

Looking forward, something I am excited about it is an art event we are organizing for Family Weekend at MIT about food, climate, poverty. The MIT Global Poverty Initiative are challenging people to try to eat on $2 a day for a week to get a sense of what it is like for the 2.5 billion people in the world with a daily income of $2 a day or less. And unfortunately, Climate Change is going to make it even harder for subsistance farmers in some of the poorest parts of the world (check out this map). The idea is to spread awareness about these issues, and how our lifestyle choices here impact others around the world, through painting and collaging with people who come to the event.

On a final note, my medical school applications are in for the Latin America School of Medicine in Cuba, along with a bunch of US schools. I'll be doing interviews throughout the semester and hopefully wind up with a couple of offers to chose from. Meanwhile, I'm dreaming up ideas for what to do with my 8 months between graduation and September should I not end up starting medical school in Mexico or Cuba...