Hello, everyone! I am back on campus for Wintersession, writing to you all from the comfort of my dorm room! Wintersession (formerly called “Optional Winter Activities Week” or “OWAW” — I actually like this better than what they renamed it to, just because I liked to pronounce it as “Oh, wow!”) is the week before spring classes start, filled with College and student-led programming everyday, all funded by the University. It’s supposed to be a time for fun and exploration, to do things that you can’t really do during the normal semester just because there’s such a focus on academics and other extracurriculars. For example, many students are going on a ski and tubing trip, as well as a Boston Celtics basketball game. There are also some cool classes that are being offered, including a music workshop, a DJ-ing class, among many others. Last year, I was on campus recording a charity song I wrote with two friends in a local recording studio. The song, called “Going Up”, was written in response to the tragic earthquake that hit Haiti in January of 2010. We wanted to raise relief funds and awareness through our project. With Harvard’s help, we ended up recording, releasing, and performing the song at the end of the week, and it was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had here. Check it out below:
Starting tomorrow, I’m participating in a special engineering course called “Sustainable Materials as Biomedical Materials” where we’ll be exploring different paths in biochemical and biomedical engineering, including industry and research. Here’s a glimpse at our schedule:
Tuesday, January 17, 2012: International Symposium on Bio-Inspired Engineering
Wednesday, January 18, 2012: Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, Biomaterials, and Drug Delivery; Biocompatibility Testing of Biomaterials
Thursday, January 19, 2012: Introduction to Biochemical Engineering and Metabolic Engineering
Friday, January 20, 2012: Biochemical Engineering meets Biomedical Engineering – Polysaccharide-Based Tissue Glues; Biochemical Engineering meets Biomedical Engineering – Clinical Trials
Today, I went to a book talk, jointly sponsored by the Undergraduate Council and Harvard Alumni Association. These two groups have come together to bring alumni and faculty authors to campus all week to speak about their books, experiences, etc. The awesome part about these book talk events is that not only do you hear from some interesting people, there’s a raffle that gives away 50 copies of the author’s book.
This afternoon’s guest was Joanne Chang ’91, a pastry chef who owns both Boston’s Flour bakery and Myers + Chang Asian cuisine restaurant. She was an Applied Mathematics/Economics concentrator (our word for major) here, but left a career in management consulting after two years to follow her passion of baking. She told us the entire story of how she got to where she is today. Her talk was very inspiring because she was super real and candid with us, and she’s found both success and happiness after following a very untraditional path. Joanne has even been on The Food Network’s Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. We had the opportunity to talk to her briefly afterwards, and she was extremely down to earth. She signed my book, and we even got a picture with her!
This evening, there was an ice skating event at the Bright Hockey Center, home to the Men’s and Women’s Varsity Hockey teams. Now, I’m not the best skater, and was a bit hesitant to go, but my friends convinced me and I’m really glad I did. It was definitely a lot of fun, and there were so many more people than I was expecting. I didn’t fall, either! Wintersession has been great thus far, and I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the week!