Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Top ten from college

I figured I now have sufficient distance to write about college with some perspective and sufficient distance that I should write thing down before I forget. Below I list a heterogeneous collection:
  1. Third Eye Blind at Yardfest ('07): singing along to every song with Dara Blume and others! There was Boloco and some substances involved. (Was this when they first released Motorcycle Driveby?) A close second is Ben Folds at Yardfest ('06).
  2. Senior week: everyone's existential angst manifested itself into fervent desire to drink and be merry. Six flags, senior soiree, last chance dance, and the booze cruise were all great times.
  3. Senior spring in general: all of my roommates were done with our extracurriculars and we spent a lot of time bumming around the room together, talking about everything, asking if we can still order late-night takeout from the Hong Kong and eat on the floor when we're 40 (or maybe that was just me). We also had the massive ambulatory parties that migrated from restaurant to cafe to bar, sometimes stopping by Berry Line along the way (or again, maybe that was just me).
  4. Not sleeping very much junior spring. There was a combination of taking Principles of Programming Languages (thank you, Norman Ramsey!), working with Yao*, and being a teaching fellow for intro CS that led to little sleep and much fun. There was a lot of CS, a lot of Yao, and a lot of Boloco**.
  5. Freshman week: wandering around meeting people; wandering around being lost; wandering around looking for parties in the quad. What fun!
  6. Interning at Google Santa Monica, summer 2007. There was a lot of beach, a lot of food, and a lot of reading. (Also a lot of playing with cool Google infrastructure, but my lips are sealed!) This is when I became a foodie and a beach lover. Also when I developed an admiration for and fear of the social power of C++.
  7. Foreign Cultures 48: The Cultural Revolution with Roderick MacFarquhar. What a class (what a core!); what a man. Professor MacFarquhar was possibly the best lecturer I've ever had: he is this awesome ex-Parliament member who had been a journalist in China during the Cultural Revolution. I fell asleep in this class once per class but I absorbed all the material anyway. A great part was trading my semester's notes for sushi with a friend, only to have the friend discover that my notes were dominated by ellipses from where I fell asleep. :)
  8. Robocup World Cup '06 in Bremen, Germany. This is when I fell in love with the German food lifestyle: grease and beer, mmm. It was also a fun trip with Kristina, Jie, Andrew, Geneva, et. al.
  9. PRISE in Boston, summer 2006. This is when I first started appreciating Boston; it's also when I first started running a lot. <3
  10. Annenberg, our Harry Potter dining hall where all freshmen eat and where visitors are forbidden to enter. Dinner at 6 was such a fixture in my life that I refused to schedule anything else around it; so many of my friendships started with meals there. There was also a while freshman year when I made my friends sit on one side of the table facing the door so we could people-watch, since it was the last time we could potentially see everyone in our class in one place. :)
As you can tell from this list, freshman and senior years were the most social and there was a lot of random stuff in between. :) On the whole it was a postiive experience.

* Yao Yu, the most fun CS partner I've ever had. She was taking operating systems, programming languages, AI, and another class at the same time while being a teaching fellow for algorithms, so she slept very little. Despite this we had a lot of fun staying up until the milk trucks came out (approx. 4 am), spending some of this time watching videos of Yevgeny Pleshenko skating and Yevgeny Kissin playing Rachmaninoff. (Love Russians; love Yevgeny's.)
** Boloco is an "inspired burrito" place. Without exception I would order a chicken teriyaki burrito, light on the teriyaki sauce, with hot sauce. On days I was feeling particularly good I would also get a mango smoothie. That was the life.

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