Starting the Year Off Right

Monday, September 16, 2013 by Emma

Hey everyone!

I’ve never blogged before, so this will be an interesting experience! Bear with me as I get accustomed to the world of blogs. To start off, my name is Emma and I am just beginning my sophomore year at Mudd. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and am a computer science major living in East Dorm. My interests include skiing, swimming, reading, and anything involving logic puzzles. I also enjoy following a great many TV shows and webcomics, since I can always nerd out about them with other Mudders.

This is me:

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Disclaimer: This photo was not taken anywhere near Mudd

            Over the summer, I decided to go back home to Seattle and work remotely for a very small startup company called Jolly Venture. I got to learn about app development in C++, a programming language that one of my current courses is teaching. I also got to do a bit of remote work for one of the computer science professors here, Professor Lewis. She asked me to go through an introductory CS course taken by many Mudders and provide feedback on each assignment. I analyzed all of the problems and let her know about confusing questions, stumbling blocks, etc. One of the great things about Mudd is that all of the professors truly trust the students and value their feedback. It’s really exciting to think that my work will be used in such a popular course.

Being back at Mudd for the second year has been simultaneously hectic and awesome. The beginning of the school year is always filled with club fairs, meetings, fun events, and (of course) classes. It’s a lot for anyone to get used to, but it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new year. Some of the highlights from my last couple of weeks include:

  • Club Fair

Every year at the beginning of first semester, Mudd has a club fair right in the middle of campus. Most of the clubs on campus set up a table advertising what they do and how others can participate. It’s a really great opportunity for new freshmen (and older students!) to become aware of all the things that they can be involved in. Some of the clubs offered at Mudd include Math Team, FIRST Robotics Mentors, PRISM (the gay-straight alliance), Duck! (the improv group), and CheeseSHMC (devoted to tasting delicious types of cheese from around the world).

  • Dis-O

At the beginning of the year, my dorm throws a dance party called Disorientation at the end of the first week to help people relax. In addition to serving root beer floats and Italian sodas, we put together a playlist featuring a mix of popular music and nerdy meme songs. It’s always fun to dance to something like Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop,” closely followed by “Caramelldansen” and “They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengaard!”

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Here’s my best attempt at capturing a bunch of people trying (and succeeding) to start a conga line during one of the sillier songs of the night.
  • Classes!

What would the first few weeks of school be without classes? The classes here are a definite highlight, but I’ll save that topic for a later post. For now, have a few pictures of our shiny new building, the Shanahan Center, where the vast majority of Mudd classes are now located:

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On top of the building is the glass-walled classroom SkyCube, as well as an outdoor garden. Also note that Maria Klawe happened to be passing by as I was taking the picture, so she’s standing around the entrance to the building.
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The new building houses a Starbucks café, much to the joy of many coffee- loving Mudders.

More than anything, coming back to Mudd felt like coming home. Like many others, I say that I have found “my people” at Mudd, meaning that I enjoy how everyone is so academically motivated, collaborative, quirky, supportive, and about a million other things. It’s nice to be back among the people who are essentially my second family. All that’s left to do now is sit back and see what adventures the year will bring!