Sunday, January 20, 2013

New apartment!


This weekend, I finally moved into the new apartment here in Cambridge.  I've got my stuff into my room and am maybe 75% set-up, but the big things coming up will be actually doing things like getting groceries.

My bed here has proved to be an amalgam of sorts.  My previous apartment was furnished and so I did not own a bed.  The person moving out of this apartment was moving back to Europe and so was willing to sell some of their furniture.  So, I got an IKEA mattress from them (no box spring).  I already had a sheet of memory foam and a headboard from when I had previously lived in Michigan.  That's it.

Since I didn't want to sleep on just the mattress on the floor, I wanted to get a frame of some sort.  However, since I didn't have a box spring, I knew I needed to get a platform bed or something with slats on it that would support the mattress.

The cheapest thing I found on Craigslist was a simple bed frame and some slats to put on top.  I thought this would work fine, until I put it together.  I had been warned by the seller that the mattress was longer than the frame (which would be OK if you had a box spring).  But, since I didn't have a box spring, I hadn't put two and two together, that the mattress would be sagging at the end.

It was so bad that the mattress looked like it was on a hill or something, it was so slanted.
I couldn't sit on the end of the bed.
I couldn't tuck in my sheets.

However, with some planning, some angle "iron" from my parents' basement (they live right in MA, it's great), and <$10 in materials from Home Depot, this solution was hacked:

Simple and functional!
Thanks to the work around, my bed now has six legs.  It is an insect.  The last pair consists of an upside-down "U" shape of 2x4 connected to the rest of the frame with angle iron extends the frame and supports that slats.  The mattress sag and sheet tuck in have both been solved - yay!

Now that I'm back in Cambridge, as a break from moving, I took the initiative to walk down to campus and go to the open skate at MIT's athletic center.  It was nicely attended and actually had way more parents and kids than I expected.  Many of the kids knew how to skate pretty well which was even more impressive!  I put just over 45 min at the rink on the books and will consider it prep for spring IM Hockey games.

Look out '14s!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Since my internship was with GM...

I cannot help but be excited about the reveal of the newest generation of Corvette at a special pre-auto show presentation last night.  I was not there; I watched it broadcast on YouTube, but I have to say that the new Corvette Stingray not only looks fantastic (see below):
Image from:
Image from the Gallery section of:
But it is going to be full of all kinds of other high tech amazing-ness to make the experience of driving the car be even better - it's not just superficial.

Near the end of my internship, I went to talk with Diana Tramblay, former Cheif Manufacturing Officer at GM, now its head of Manufacturing for North America.  Both she and her husband work at GM.  In their garage currently are two company cars and a Pontiac Solstice.

The Pontiac Solstice, Image from:
After seeing this car, probably riding in it, too, Diana revealed to me that it was going to be fantastic and that she and her husband would have to add one to their set of vehicles.  The question will just be what to do about garage space!

Besides being an awesome, down-to-earth person, I also approve of her taste in cars.  Nice job GM!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wrapping Up and Starting All Over

I wanted to write something today saying that I look forward to meeting the prospective members of the class of 2015 who are now one step closer to acceptance!  Word has gotten around that interview invites are out and so I wish to share in the excitement of those of you who received an interview invitation via email and say that to those of you who did not make it this year, life has a strange way of working itself out.  One of the things that helped me find that LGO even existed was getting laid off, so you never know what will come your way next.

I am still in Pennsylvania and will be making my way back to Cambridge sometime around next weekend.  I have been able to do lots of things digitally from afar, but putting the finishing touches on moving and seeing everyone again certainly cannot be done without being there.

My January HQ in PA
Second year of LGO in some ways is crazier than the first, because you have the addition of the job hunt and the thesis.  However, I still think the first year of LGO was the busiest because, unless you go off-cycle (and do your internship Feb-Aug which it seems like many of the '14s are doing), You basically have 12 straight jam-packed months:

  • Summer Semester - June to August
  • Fall Semester - September to Dec
  • Domestic Plant Trek - two weeks of January is taken up
  • InternshipFest (when you're interviewing for and ranking projects) and Knowledge Review (when you're hearing what the class about you has done) take up another week of January...
  • Spring Semester - February to May (during which you might use spring break to go on International Plant Trek!)

First year just doesn't stop!  From June to June you have, at most 2.5 weeks off in a row.  I know 2.5 weeks off straight is a glorious extended vacation in the working world, but it's a pretty short time for 12 months of an academic calendar.  Definitely not what I was used to from undergrad at MIT!

During my internship, I enjoyed having more of a non-homework work schedule and, this January, I have also enjoyed being able to make whatever plans I like.  I hope this one last semester will prove to be relatively smooth sailing (though you never know), but either way, we made it past the Mayan Apocalypse and through the NHL lockout, so in the words of Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson - "How hard can it be?"

How hard you ask?  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year!

Since I last wrote, a lot has happened.  I finished my internship at GM, moved back to MA (via an incredibly stuffed car again) and, on the way back, stopped for a job interview.  I stayed with my parents outside of Boston for about a week and then moved again, right after Christmas, into my final LGO apartment, the one I will be working from this spring through graduation.

This time I'm rooming with another LGO.  Without grand plans that we HAD to pick something by the end of LGO recruiting week in November, we managed to tour a few apartments and make a final decision.  Having that all set for when I came back was SO handy and made the housing process much less stressful.  First years - I would recommend doing something like this - do not wait until you're almost back at MIT to find housing!  We'll be living just north of Central square in a 2-bed, 2-bath and I'm excited to see how things go.

Before Christmas, but to get in the spirit, I went to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra play at the TD Garden in Boston.  They were performing a new Christmas album and so the story that flowed through the first half of the concert was different than the one I had heard before.  As always their playing, as well as their lights and stage set-up, was fantastic!

Two of the players ran out along the audience in the floor seats and then were raised directly up, while two others were on these crane type pieces of the mainstage and were raised out over the audience!

Now that the holidays are over, besides enjoying the time off and the fact that I bid correctly to get all the classes I wanted this spring, it's time to get back to (or start) things again.  Things like thesis writing and preparing for knowledge review (when all the LGO 2nd years, now done with their internships, talk about what they've done and learned in that six month period).  All in all, January's schedule is more flexible than last year, though Domestic Plant Trek, was certainly a good time.

Finally, when visiting a friend in PA, I managed to make it onto a local TV station's report.  Check it out!
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