So for any of you guys who don’t know, I am working on campus this summer for around ten weeks working for the Colby Computer Science Department. My position is technically a “system administrator” which really just means I do a bunch of things – I think my primary job is to work with two other research assistants on programming robot soccer however I’ll be doing a ton of other things like installing software on the correct machines, etc. For now, I’ve just been working on the robot soccer end of things – learning C, learning the hardware and software, and just getting to know what I’m doing. In the end, I think it’ll be pretty cool – we’re kind of jumping off work people have already done for the department, so our robots are already able to walk and semi detect the soccer ball that they are supposed to both chase and kick. The whole thing is very independent, we don’t have any set hours – just show up and work 7 hours a day. Our “director” I guess you could call him is Professor Maxwell, who helps us out from time to time but for the most part it is just the three of us working pretty independently to get the project done.
I’m sure I’ll talk a lot more about what I’m doing in terms of work in later blog posts once we get a little further along (We’re here for 10 weeks? Wow. I can’t even imagine what things will be like 2 and a half months from now) But that reminds me, besides work there’s the whole kind of social aspect of being on campus for the summer. I guess I’ll start off by saying that my first day on campus I went to Pulver at four in the afternoon – and by god it was locked. I was a little blown away, to say the least. For the rest of that day, campus was like a ghost town – most kids hadn’t completely arrived yet and were still coming in. After work started, however, I started to see what campus was really like – it was empty but still very active. If anything, it was a lot nicer than during the school year. The 200 or so of us on campus have the place to ourselves, so while there’s still a lot of stuff going on, it’s a lot more free and relaxed.
So far as I can tell, the community is just awesome. Since there aren’t that many people, this first week has kind of been like our first week of freshman orientation: where everyone was meeting each other and hanging out. I’ve probably met more new people in the past week than during all of last semester. It’s very interesting to me to think what things will be like ten weeks down the road: not only is that the length of a regular semester, but because 1.) it’s summer and awesome and 2.) we don’t have any work to do outside of our jobs, we will actually get to know each other way better than a normal semester. Once things really start up (a few more kids are still arriving on campus, dining halls and other facilities don’t operate at their normal rate until June 9) I think things will be even better than they are now. Especially once the weather heats up and summer comes in full swing. I think I’ll talk a lot more about both my work and Colby during the summer in the future, but for now that’s kind of just a quick introduction to what I’ve seen so far!