Happy late afternoon(for an MIT student) guys.
So we finished our project and are presenting it tomorrow. Here's how it went:
Our lab hours to completely build the ROV from scratch were, as usual 1-4:45 and 7-10:30. We have never, ever, ever gotten back before midnight. Except this time, we were being "charged" for every hour we went over planned. So we were super determined to get it done before then. We organized, planned, and prepared, and at 7 we attacked our pile of materials(which we calculated carefully and "purchased") with great zeal.
And we actually did it too! I wired the control box myself, which was cool since on Monday it was driving me crazy and I didn't know anything about it.
At around 10:30, we were by far first to finish and fluttering around getting ready to present to Ms. Schroyer. The TAs and instructor don't actually instruct us at all except on the tools the first day. They just answer questions and most of the time they let you figure out the answer yourself.
When Ms. Schroyer started criticizing us, my heart started to sink. She(not literally) really started ragging at it XD. "You'd better submit the petition for extra lab time."
I was actually rather infuriated. XD The other groups were hours and hours of work behind us. We had really planned this out and she was being way too critical, I thought. Ms. Schroyer is super chill and sarcastic and funny, but she is EXTREMELY demanding and strict and unmerciful.
With all the changes she requested, we didn't get out until 2AM. That's a 10 and a half hour lab time and a 19 hour day overall. -_______-
Today we had the actual trial with the ping pong balls and rig and stuff. They made it so actual ping pong balls exploded out of the sides of the rig. We got a lot of attention at the pool(indoor, good thing cause it was pouring rain). Despite all the stress and everyone being frustrated, I believe ours was really effective. The visual team never got out at all, they were just overwhelmed with technical/design difficulties.
We have our presentation tomorrow. I can't believe it's the last day.
One thing this program has really done is break a lot of social and mental barriers. There are a lot of negative attitudes about minorities and affirmative action in our community and culture. I read a lot about AA but never understood the spirit of it until I met all this kids and talked to them and heard their stories and depended on them.
Their stories aren't stories designed to make you feel sorry for them. They're stories of victory and triumph. I can't imagine waking up to the obstacles they face and overcoming them with the vivacity they do. They're amazing smart, dedicated, hardworking kids with stories to tell and tough decisions that most people aren't faced with till much later in life. Compared to a lot of kids in my area that just live up to the expectations placed on them by my competitive community, extremely high test scores, SAT prep every summer, math team, music, sports, volunteering, so much of it is just contrived to get them into college, to help them become doctors or lawyers or engineers. Could they have stood up here where we stay up till 3AM figuring out problems and building things, or figuring out metal design problems? I look up to them in every way. Affirmative Action kids are striving for academic excellence when they're often the only ones for hundreds around to be doing so. They've overcome so many obstacles, but have the intellect to dream and the dedication to make it happen. Wouldn't you rather admit one of them, even with lower scores, than another cookie cutter, bright, talented, middle class kid with higher test scores who could afford the time and money to pay for a class or study books?
I can't believe our last day is already tomorrow. There is a lot I haven't got the chance to write down yet.