Update from Cambridge 2.0

(I stole the title of this post from a conversation with David K., a fellow physics G1. We first met during the flurry of grad school visit weekends in spring 2014, and we both ended up studying at Churchill College; he was doing Part III Maths while I did my MPhil).

The "Bridge Between Theory and Experiment" connects the 3rd floors of Cruft (near the condensed-matter theory offices) and LISE (the Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering). Somebody clearly shares my sense of humor...
This connects the 3rd floors of Cruft (near the condensed-matter theory offices) and LISE (the Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering). Somebody clearly shares my sense of humor…

Things are pretty darn busy here in “new Cambridge” or “Cambridge 2.0” or “CambridgeMassachusetts,” which is my go-to clarifying statement to distinguish between the dinky English farming town with a world-class university plonked into the middle of it and the cute suburb of a big New England city with several world-class universities plonked around it. I’m definitely not going to keep up the (almost) once-weekly recipe and life-update posts I did in old/1.0/English Cambridge, but I’ll make an effort to do at least one post a month. Here’s a tiny slice of what I’ve been up to since my last post:

Day-before-Labor Day trip to Revere Beach with (mostly physics) G1s. Kristine and Ann soak up the sun.
Day-before-Labor Day trip to Revere Beach with (mostly physics) G1s. Abby and Ann soak up the sun.
...Insert comment on smartphones, "people my age," and the decline of civilization here.
…Insert comment on smartphones, “people my age,” and the decline of civilization here.
At least some people decided to play Frisbee for a while! Nobody wanted to build a sand castle with me, though :(
At least some people decided to play Frisbee for a while! Nobody wanted to build a sand castle with me, though šŸ˜¦
  • Outings: A group of physics G1s and a few other G1s went to Revere Beach on the hot and sunny Sunday before Labor Day. It was a great break from doing quantum mechanics problems, and definitely sent off the summer in style. There was also a meet-up of a subset of the surprisingly large number of people who were at Churchill College last year and moved to Cambridge 2.0 (generally Harvard or MIT) this year. We’re planning another dinner this Thursday!
    First half of the first Churchill College to new Cambridge meet-up: dinner at Penguin Pizza near Harvard's Longwood campus. We had the waiter take a commemorative photo with their not-so-Vicious Penguin. (The one at Churchill isn't allowed out from under its glass jar!)
    First half of the first Churchill College to new Cambridge meet-up: dinner at Penguin Pizza near Harvard’s Longwood campus. We had the waiter take a commemorative photo with their not-so-Vicious Penguin. (The one at Churchill isn’t allowed out from under its glass jar!)
    Second half of the night: a few more joined in for drinks at Charlie's in Harvard Square.
    Second half of the night: a few more joined in for drinks at Charlie’s in Harvard Square.

     

  • Harvard events: As you might expect from the start of a new school year, the last few weeks have been full of BBQs, informational dinner meetings, social hours, and meet-and-greets. I’m pretty sure somebody without a wheat allergy could have gotten through the last month purely on free/leftover pizza/Chinese/Thai/Mexican/BBQ food! Some highlights were the G1/G2 physics student mixer (for which the lovely Anne Hebert ordered a gluten-free pizza just for me!), the ongoing physics social hours, and the informational sessions for graduate student clubs through Dudley House. I’m excited about the upcoming lecture by Rebecca SklootĀ (if you haven’t read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, that’s your homework now), the first installment of the Dudley House book club (two works: SHERLOCK. HOLMES.), and apple picking on Columbus Day!
One of my favorite weekly events: the farmer's market on the plaza between Harvard Yard and the Science Center. I just might give in to the temptation to buy some local hot sauce today...
One of my favorite weekly events: the farmer’s market on the plaza between Harvard Yard and the Science Center. I just might give in to the temptation to buy some local hot sauce today…
  • Physics: Classes are off to a decent start. I’m definitely a bit rusty on my problem set skills, but I’m sure it will get better with time…or I’ll stop caring as much. (After all, I’m planning to be an experimentalist, so nobody cares about my grades!) Speaking of experiments, I’ve been working on finding a research group. The downside of being part of the largest incoming physics G1 class ever is that lots of groups are pretty full. The department’sĀ director of graduate studies keeps telling meĀ not to worry about it.Ā Given my propensity for indecision, maybe a more restricted set of choices is a good thing. Mainly what I’ve learned over the past month is Harvard (and MIT) faculty are doing a lot of really amazing research!
Last week's cooking adventure: Moosewood-inspired, "Greek style" stuffed eggplant with ground beef, quinoa, feta, onions, tomato, and parsley. Tasty and convenient!
Last week’s cooking adventure: Moosewood-inspired, “Greek style” stuffed eggplant with ground beef, quinoa, feta, onions, tomato, and parsley. Tasty and conveniently sized for reheating!

Well, that’s about all from me. The weather is gorgeous, everyone is friendly and welcoming (and, in the case of physicists, happy to collaborate during late-night quantum mechanics/stat mech homework sessions), and I’m surrounded by people who are curious, creative, intellectual, andĀ in love with what they do. Cambridge 2.0 is a chip off the old block!

It also matches or bests old Cambridge in terms of whimsy. This gem is next to some bike racks outside the Science Center.
It also matches or bests old Cambridge in terms of whimsy. This gem is just outside the Science Center.
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