Some old writings of mine (that I and others?! read)

This evening I was clicking around various things on my computer and ended up reading some old writings for 11th and 12th grade English class. This eventually led to perusal of the two English “portfolio” sites I had to make in high school (or rather, I had to make something with foo-content on the web, and whereas most people just put up a pbwiki, I spent hours playing with HTML and CSS … because it was a good excuse to).

They are located at (11th grade “works in progress page”, updated in late 12th grade as part of portfolio project, collection of essays and such from 9th-12th grade with some self-analysis) and (12 grade portfolio site, contains mostly reflection on my high school experience, some select pieces from the above with commentary/rewrites, a few new pieces)

It is always interesting to peruse the writings of the person you once were, and this was no exception. I don’t really have much to say about them right now, other than … it’s just interesting. Since a lot of the writing (more on the second) had to be about myself… it’s interesting to look at both what I said and how I said it. There’s a certain arrogance certainly. And also a certain certainty of purpose that I wish I could recapture. Oh well. In any case, I invite you to look through both of them and make comments here about what is there, here or by email/zephyr/etc.

It’s also interesting to compare the two as websites beyond their content: looking at the quality and motivation of their design, layout, etc. And contrast that with a more recent web project of mine like the work I did on

I thought an interesting self-analytic pursuit for a Sunday evening.


Fun facts: For a reason I can’t, for the life of me, figure out, if you google Donald Guy, the fourth result is my 12th grade essay ostensibly on Merry Shelly’s Frankenstein titled “the Dangers of Passion” which somehow ends up being about nuclear proliferation and the danger of creation without oversight. … No, I don’t know either.

In general, gets a confusingly high amount of traffic. This year-to-date 8777 pages have been loaded off of it. Not mostly me, I assure you. Over its lifetime it has averaged 55 unique hits per day.

Looking at the referrer report of this months’ stats (something I assure you I don’t do normally, but was doing cause of this entry), I discovered that my analysis of lincoln’s second inaugural address is linked to from this (admittedly rather long) guide for 6th grade language arts teachers to “use the internet effectively”. Fuck if I know.

The internet is weird and so am I,

~Donald Guy

Interesting Social Movements I’d Like to Explore (Partial List)

Wooo! A  (longish) List:

  • Intentional Communities: This is what is now the name for the large group of communities including 60s hippy style communes, religious retreats, “eco-villages”, and even co-ops such as pika. I recently wrote a large-ish (12 page) paper about the evolution of these in recent American history for 21H.102 and read a lot about them. I think the notions of communalism are powerful and interesting. I hope to explore these living situations in my life. I am touching it a little with pika this summer, but it would be interesting to do something in my adult life. Perhaps try a year or two at one of the more radically communal 60s era communes such as Twin Oaks. I also am intrigued by the notion of “co-housing developments” which are basically like traditional neighborhoods but built and designed for communal structures to be an integral part of peoples lives (be it from sharing laundry facilities and recreational space to having meals as a large group in a communal building). For more info on these things see such sources as and among others.
  • Freeganism: Living a lifestyle based on anti-consumerism by using the (unnecessarily) disposed. I went “dumpster diving” with a group of pikan friends mid-last-week down in Harvard Square (at their suggestion) and was forced to really face the wastefulness of modern society. There were a lot of perfectly good things in even the 3 dumpsters we came across. While I am personally more squeamish about dumpstered (albeit found in sealed packages) food then some people I know, I was still intrigued by even the consumer goods that are needlessly discarded. I came away from the night with a nice heavy glass coffee table top that, once I wipe it down with some bleach and make it some legs, I expect to be a nice addition to my room next year. pika gained a sturdy, metal three-tiered plate stand that, once we ran it through our sterilizer a couple times, was a perfectly nice addition to our dining room. Here is an interesting NYT article about more radical practice of “Freeganism”:
  • Couch Surfing: Hospitality networks were also a topic of my history paper, with in the spotlight for its size and success. I have a number of friends who have both surfed and hosted all with positive experiences to share. I think that the “movement” here opens up tremendous opportunities both for meeting people and open-ended travel, both of which I think would be valuable experiences in today’s multi-national world
  • Digital Nomadism: Basically a lifestyle that exploits the fact that in the “modern, wired world” ones ability to be productive in many professions (especially for “information workers”) has very little to do with where you are when you do it. Rather than more traditional office models, or still-traditional “home office” models, these people have chosen to work from wherever they are and deliberately change that: from coffee shops, to hotels, to other people’s living rooms, to (temporarily or permanently operated) spaces around the world designed for people like them. There was an interesting Washington Post article a while back that introduced me to the term: There are also certainly more recent resources on the notion. I think it, and the greater notion of “location independence” has a certain allure

I am sure there are others … but that is all I can think of right this second. So … now to sleep, then to work at my 9-5 in one location. I may want to explore these things… but with limited exceptions … I ain’t there yer :-P


Summer plans: Theoretical and Actual

Hi Internet,

I sit here in the sunny (not actually that sunny cause its night) Cayman Islands on a couch and blog to avoid paying my $5 fee. I have decided to hold off on my 6.005 critique out of overarching laziness with the theoretical rationalization that I will wait until my grade is posted before writing and emailing it to the staff so that it cannot affect said grade (I don’t actually think there is danger of that happening … but its a nice rationalization). I still plan to write it… but I’m not sure when. Maybe this week, maybe next. We’ll see. Anyway, I didn’t want to punt again and sitting, as we do, at the precipice of the summer break I thought I would take advantage of this opportunity to escape originality and present yet another formulaic post. “What I am planning to do this summer”.

Assured Arrangements:

  • As I have previously indicated, I am living at the lovely pika in Cambridgeport. I look forward to the adventure of communal living, oft-vegan eating, and all that comes along with it.
  • I am working for the Bose corporation as a Software Engineering Intern in the Home Entertainment division. I gather that I am doing some embedded C /C++ dev: whether that means memory management in DVD players or music visualization or dynamic audio equalization I have absolutely no idea. Hopefully it will be awesome
  • But before we get there, this week I am staying at the Morritt’s Tortuga Club resort in the East End of Grand Cayman with my family, doing some (scuba) diving and such, but mostly just chilling and recuperating from a semester or two at MIT.

Probable Plans:

  • As detailed three posts ago, I will be undertaking a grand experiment in beef known as the Boston Burger Crawl
  • I will be maintaining my connection with my Fifth East brethren by frequent attendance of Friday evening soirees and perhaps hanging out other times
  • I will take advantage of my car-ly-ness by adventuring to places that require a car such as the boston-rare fast food establishments of Chick-fil-a and Sonic, as well as possible other locations such as Laser Quest and .. what else does one use a car for?

Lovely Learning:

  • Once again I would like to get involved in the Boston Ruby Users group, aka Boston.rb. Interestingly, the July meeting features a contingent from my hometown area code (aka 757.rb).
  • Relatedly, I would like to finally learn Rails so that I can be something like a complete-er rubyist.
  • I would also like to finish learning Haskell. I hear that some other summer-pikans (i.e. Andrew and Kyle) are also pursuing this. There has been some talk of getting a group project going for mutual development.

Fishily Forthcoming Fabrications:

  • A remake of the toons site to be called toonsware, a complete a cappella group management site with such things as repertoire tracking and gig availability checking  (similar to doodle). Conceived as a rails project.
  • I would still really like to develop a decent personal website at one of my many owned domains such as donaldguy.{com,net,org},, or There are various notions of “personal branding” I would like to explore… but I’m not convinced I am a good enough designer
  • I would like to post here or elsewhere some actually interesting blog entries. Basic ideas include:
    • A comparison of ruby and python mentalities and culture and why I prefer what I do
    • A reflection on wealth and distribution in society
    • The aforementioned 6.005 critique
    • A critique of the “new” course VI curriculum generally
    • Various reflections on philosophy, religions, etc. … I don’t know

I’m sure there are other plans I have theoretically formed and forgotten. I may be getting dragged into a fitness thing by Keith Yost… we’ll see. There are some people I would like to have some extended conversations with over the summer to get to know better. I’m really not sure. Regardless… it will be an interesting change of pace from MIT.



Forthcoming: 6.005 reflection

My plan for this week was an extended essay about the failings of 6.005 and how to fix them. I still intend to write this essay, I even have an outline, but right now I am too tired and need to sleep.

I will either replace this entry with that essay when it is done or use it as next week’s entry depending on how lame I feel at the time.

so … *punt*

Then and Now: A photo-comparison

So … this is a long overdue blog entry. Like… WAY overdue. So much overdue that it was supposed to be the next entry (that never came) on this blog (that I kept primarily in hopes of becoming an Admissions Blogger and that died shortly after that stopped being a likely possibility (shortly thereafter, it stopped being an appealing possibility)). In any case, better late then never. Thus, I present to you a photo comparison of my living situation (and appearance) with photos taken at roughly three points:

  1. The day I left for college (representing everything up and to that point)
  2. Early/middle of last year (representing freshman year)
  3. This morning or so… (representing … now)

I find it to be an interesting reflection on things. Maybe the lack of accompanying prose is a cop-out, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words. This blog-entry should therefore be worth tens of thousands. Enjoy.

The Yard


My house in Virginia Beach the day I left


EC Courtyard Early REX 08

EC Courtyard Mid-fall 2008 (but it looks pretty much the same now... with nicer grills)

The Lounge


"The Playroom" / Family room, morning I left for college


5E Goodale Lounge, Early Fall 2008 (Pic stolen from Karen)

5E Walcott lounge, set up for hall dinner Early Fall 2008. (also stolen from Karen)


5E Goodale Lounge, this morning.

5E Walcott Lounge, this morning)

My Room


My Room in VB, morning I left for college

My Desk, morning I left for college


I appear not to have bothered to take any pictures of B601 prior to last summer :-(

B601 shortly after I got my new bed.

B601 RIGHT before I moved out


Me in G510 shortly after finishing painting/moving

G510 right now. ... sorry,it's kind of a mess.

Me at Desk in G510, shortly after finishing moving in

My Self


At Busch Gardens Summer '07. I love this picture

Self-portrait. Morning I left for college


Dying my hair makes me a cool EC kid, right? (Also, the only picture in my temp room)

... almost the same color as now. for a very short while

Froshy Fawkes is Froshy


IAP or so.

Spring Break

So there you have it. What with living at pika this summer and moving into a new room on 5E next year, I may need to do an update in the future. I think it’s interesting to compare these things, and I’ll be curious to see what they end up looking like in the future.

The Boston Burger Crawl: 10 Weeks, 10 Burgers, ONE BEEFY SUMMER.

Summer is coming. And with summer comes changes. While the sun shines and Krotus slumbers, we students go temporarily from poor souls, paying through the nose to work our asses off, to temporarily productive members of society, instead receiving modest compensation for working our asses off. Additionally we find ourselves without psets, being nearly free of a need to be productive after work hours or on weekends. And this year, I say we celebrate that freedom, celebrate it in classical American style … by stuffing our faces feel of grease and fat!

Now, many of you are probably destined for other shores this summer. I respect this fact. I also envy the access that some of you will find you now have to In-N-Out Burgers. To you, I bid you order a Double-Double and think of those of us without, but you need read no further.

I, however, like many others of you, am remaining in Cambridge. I, like less many others of you, will be living and often eating at pika. In my time thus far interacting with pikan foodstuffs, I have gained a new appreciation for nutrition and the delicious taste possibilities of the vegetable. Sadly, I have often found unfulfilled my deep, instinctual need to reacquaint myself with an old friend… the burger. I suspect I will have this affliction this summer as well.

Being thus motivated and noting that my for once non-zero income will allow me to expand my horizons beyond the Pour House, I thus finally propose an idea long floating in the back of my mind:


The vision is simple: food-mobbing a different greater boston burger joint each week(end).

Details thereafter become fuzzy. Tentatively the idea looks something like this:
June 4 – Cambridge Brewing Company
June 11 – UBurger
June 18 – John Harvard’s Brew House
June 25 – Boston Burger Company
July 2 – Four Burgers
July 9 - Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage
July 16 – The Field
July 23 – Sullivan’s
July 30 – Eagle’s Deli (see also,’s+Deli)
August 6 – Flat Patties

With the time for each mob circa 7 or 8pm.

However, while this is my vision, I am open to suggestions:

  • Is Saturday better than Friday? Is some week night better still?
  • Is one of these places utterly not worth it? (With the exception of CBC, I have never been to any of them.)
  • Is there a burger place you’ve been dying to try or an old favorite you’d like to share? (I personally forwent some of my favorites like South Street or Charlie’s in favor of new unknown burgers)
  • Particular ideas about scheduling?
  • Think we should have t-shirts?

Let me know.

If you will be in town this summer and find yourself interested in joining in my celebration of all things burger or french fry, please blanche yourself onto LIST:burgers

I would also be interested in seeing if we could turn out some reviews for our friends over at HowToGAMIT.

Note: If you don’t share my fascination with the burger (or your burger’s come in less meat-full) you are still warmly invited to join in on the mob and order other things (where they exist).

TL;DR food-mobbing a different burger place in Cambridge/Boston every week this summer. Interested? blanche yourself onto burgers@


Lame punt: history paper from earlier this term

So… I am writing a 12 page paper about communes right now … I don’t have the time or energy to also blog. … so have a quasi-non-sensical paper about Reconstruction (the other paper for this class so far this year):

The Inevitable Failure of Reconstruction
by Donald Guy

Reconstruction is a poorly defined term. Approximately, it refers to the period of American History from roughly 1865 until 1877. It was a period which saw a lot of changes, a large cast of prominent figures, and a neigh uncountable number of noteworthy events, but above all, it was a period of poorly defined terms. It was a period when such diverse terms as “property”, “freedom”, “United States of America”, and even “person”, whose definitions had long been considered immutable, found their definitions challenged, changing, and above all, unclear. Due to these ambiguities, as well as the numerous and conflicting opinions held by the important peoples of the day, it is hard, if not impossible, to concretely define what exactly the goals of Reconstruction were and whether they were accomplished. In a sense, the real goal was simply to figure out what exactly terms like those listed above would mean in the future. By the very nature of this goal, the passage of history inevitably partially accomplished it. It did not, however, accomplish it completely, nor could it really have been expected to. In, thus, being an incomplete revolution, as well as because of the violence and injustice that marked the period, this author deems it a failure.
Reconstruction, the period, followed in the wake of the American Civil War. Reconstruction, the movement, was born of necessity to take up and continue resolving the essential issues over which that war was fought: namely, local autonomy and the rights of the individual. Coming out of the bloody conflict, the most concrete questions over which the war was fought were resolved: with the military surrender and subsequent political dissolution of the Confederate States of America, secession became distinctly not a right of a state; with the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, slavery was officially over in the US. What remained, after that war, was a country with a recently-decimated, newly-augmented population of free individuals, newly reunited in theory but with no clear path to move forward, in practice. In this relative chaos, two general schools of thought inevitably emerged: one which advocated a speedy return to the status quo antebellum and another which looked to build a “perfect” society from the ruins of the post-war nation. Along the way, the proponents of each view also needed to deal with the gritty details of putting a ruined nation back together, restoring its economy, and figuring out the particulars of the post-war government, starting with reunification of the states.
Shortly after Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson ascended to the oval office and Presidential Reconstruction began with a distinct leaning toward the speedy restoration of the status quo, particularly in the south. Johnson attempted to quickly restore statehood to the former Confederacy before congress came to session. This action and the governments set up to run the restored states were met with outcries from prominent northerners. Fredrick Douglass, for example proclaimed that “These pretended governments, which were never submitted to the people, and from participation in which four millions of the loyal people were excluded by Presidential order, should now be treated according to their true character, as shams and impositions.”1 And they largely were treated as such; when congress did come to session, it refused to seat the newly-elected southern delegates, many of whom were former Confederate officials.
It quickly became an issue what was now going to be the definition of “a state”, and at what point such a state could hope to regain representation in Congress. Many, like Johnson, advocated for a rapid reintegration, claiming that it was improper (indeed, unconstitutional) to make any decisions for the nation until it was done. Sounding vaguely similar to Douglass, Johnson claims (in vetoing the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill) that “There could be no objection urged that the States most interested had not been permitted to be heard… Great burdens are now to be borne by all the country, and we may best demand that they shall be borne without murmur when they are voted by a majority of representatives of all the people.”2 Others, however, saw the fact of the southern states’ disenfranchisement as a ripe opportunity to force reform on them while they could not prevent it. Over persistent presidential vetoes, a number of laws were enacted attempting chiefly to reform southern society (and American society at large). Chief among them was the Civil Rights act, which laid the foundation for the Fourteenth Amendment.
Disenfranchisement was, however, the least of the south’s problems. In addition to being war-torn and reeling from defeat, the former confederate states and their citizens found themselves in quite a pickle, economically. To put it simply, the south was poor. To put it more subtlety, the entire notion of value in the south had been undermined: land values had plummeted, slaves were now free and no longer considered assets, confederate paper money printed and invested in as an expedient during the war was rendered legally worthless, and in this situation those who had previously been able to afford slaves, hence did not have labor management as an issue, were now expected to follow a “free labor” paradigm and pay their workers, just as many of their life savings had evaporated into thin air. The only thing of which value was certain was crops and, in the wake of destroyed harvests followed by bad harvests, the raising of crops became itself a source of debt. To pay this debt, southerners needed loans, but the only assets against which they could get liens were futures on valuable crops–namely cotton. This created a huge drive to cotton farming, lowering the self-sufficiency of the region in abandoning food farming, while flooding the cotton marker and, along with fresh supplies competition Egyptian Cotton, undermining the market value. Meanwhile this growing dependency on cotton, along with the loss of slaves to emancipation led to a huge labor crisis as new arrangements needed to be made. Southern blacks, having not insubstantial bargaining power despite the laws in place to undermine their freedom, demanded more autonomy in the fields confounding southern planters who had grown up with the notion that their (now-former) slaves were subservient and that they could always control them. Indeed, what was occurring was largely that the southern people were, against their will, being made to reassess who was and was not “a person.”
Meanwhile, the freedmen themselves were also having to deal with their newly found “personhood.” Even where growing up in slavery had not embedded any notions of a man or woman’s limitations, he or she was still suddenly moved from being property, to being entitled to own property (at least once the 14th Amendment assured his or he right to not be deprived of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”). This fact was even more confused (especially in the earlier years) by the enactment of Black Codes that severely limited his or her rights and created various stations of ersatz slavery and in later years of Reconstruction by the fear of violent repercussions to being too opinionated or too vocal in their personhood. In the midst of this, each freedperson had to find a new place for himself in the social order (often being legally compelled to do so or face prosecution under “vagrancy” statutes). While most freedpeople wished little more than to own their own land and be a self-sufficient farmer, land which should have plentiful, was denied them (or in worst cases, granted and later revoked). From the planters’ need for labor and the freedmen’s need for work and desire for autonomy, the sharecropping system was developed. Though probably an improvement on most ex-slaves’ former station, this system along with persistent discrimination did little to help disambiguate the notion of what it meant to be “free.”
While all these social and economic confusions were going on in the south, there was a great degree of disagreement about it and its merits in the north and in Washington. Many northerners who strongly supported the freepeople’s plight (and many who followed a generally progressive mindset) saw a distinct need for the economic revitalization of the south in short order for the country to survive in some semblance of its former self. In this way, they admitted into their programs more than a little traditional thinking and goals, seeing the black work force as still that best suited for the cotton fields. Even the Freedman’s Bureau, ostensibly set-up to protect the interest of the freedpeople and generally pretty successful in doing so had a number of agents who spent a lot of their time arranging contract work for black’s and occasionally even forcing them into such contracts against their will. In the north, like the south the “freedom” and the “personhood” afforded to freedmen was a large issue. One specific issue that sparked a lot of interest from the northern community (Radical Republicans in particular) was black suffrage. After extended debate and political considerations on both sides of the aisle, universal male suffrage was eventually granted in the 15th Amendment. This did not really result, automatically, in the ability to vote (simply the right), sadly. As it turns out, while during Radical Reconstruction congress managed to pass several laws over presidential vetoes, they did not always have the power to enforce them.
Methods of enforcement of new social orders in the south was, from the beginning one of the biggest issues and one of the most futile pursuits of the period. It is the opinion of the author that Reconstruction was never capable of sufficiently defining the new nation because so many of the old opinions were so ingrained that there was never really hope of replacing them in a few years. In fact, the only effective way with any hope of truly changing the social order would have been to educate several generations in the new facts of the new social order before allowing the region returning to self-determinism. It is sometime stated that perhaps the most positive legacy of Reconstruction politics, and almost certainly the most positive legacy of the Freedman’s Bureau were the public educational systems and universities it managed to set-up for freedpeople’s children. Unfortunately, these never could have been sufficient. These schools mostly, if not only, taught black students. In order to effectively transform the region would have required teaching children of each race to think kindly upon their counterparts of the other. (possibly even in integrated schools). Unfortunately, such a system was never to come to pass. Some of the few public schools that did exist before the war (such as those in North Carolina or Tennessee) were actually dissolved to avoid the possibility of being “required to educate the negros in like manner”3 after emancipation. In general, the notion of keeping the southern states disenfranchised for a long time until they were deemed socially acceptable and ready to be readmitted was considered. On January 26, 1867 in a long speech given on the floor of the House of Representatives, George Washington Julian of Indiana suggested basically that, saying:

The withdrawal of federal intervention and the unchecked operation of local supremacy would as fatally hedge up the way of justice and equality as the rebel ascendency which now prevails. Why? Simply because no theory of government, no forms of administration, can be trusted, unless adequately supported by public opinion. The power of the great landed aristocracy in these regions, if unrestrained by power from without, would inevitably assert itself. Its political chemistry, obeying its own laws, would very soon crystallize itself into the same forms of treason and lawlessness which to-day hold their undisturbed empire over the existing loyal element. What these regions need, above all things, is not an easy and quick return to their forfeited rights in the Union, but government, the strong arm of power, outstretched from the central authority here in Washington, making it safe for the freedmen of the South, safe for her loyal white men, safe for emigrants from the Old World and from the Northern States to go and dwell there ; safe for Northern capital and labor, Northern energy and enterprise, and Northern ideas to set up their habitation in peace, and thus found a Christian civilization and a living democracy amid the ruins of the past. That, sir, is what the country demands and the rebel power needs. To talk about suddenly building up independent States where the material for such structures is fatally wanting, is nonsense. States must grow, and to that end their growth must be fostered and protected. The political and social regeneration of the country made desolate by treason is the prime necessity of the hour, and is preliminary to any reconstruction of States. Years of careful pupilage under the authority of the nation may be found necessary, and Congress alone must decide when and upon what conditions the tie rudely broken by treason shall be restored.4

Somewhat unfortunately, in my view, G.W. Julian’s strategy of longer martial rule was not adopted and though martial rule was temporarily put in place, relatively straightforward requirements for readmission to the union were put in place about the same time. Within a few years, all the former confederate states had successfully rejoined the union and returned to self-determination with the exception that under the 14th amendment, Confederate officials and veterans were not allowed to serve in political office (though to what extent this was followed is questionable at best). Along with this came the practical disenfranchisement of black voters through both the implementation of poll taxes and other measures as well as violence. As history would go on to show, racism was still deeply ingrained in the American mind and the southern mind, in particular. The mere fact of the need of the further Civil Rights movements of the late 1960s to the present are more than enough evidence to show that, in establishing who was truly “a person” with equal protection of the law, Reconstruction was a failure.
Reconstruction was a turbulent time. With the end of slavery and reorganization of labor the notions of ownership and freedom became much less clear than they had ever been before. Despite the inroads made by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, who is truly a full member of society in America has remained in doubt up through the present (e.g. the Gay Marriage debate). The Economic Panic of 1873 heralding in the Long Depression represented a failure to reestablish the economic well-being. While the country was reunited in name, the north and south are still culturally different, and while through the age of world wars and globalization a national identity has coalesced, the country remains far from unified with north and south being significantly (though far from the most significantly) split on opinions of national politics and other issues. In short, in failing to clearly define these things, Reconstruction was a failure, but realistically it had to be. Redefinition of a nation, of a culture takes generations. That redefinition remains ongoing to this day.

1Fredrick Douglass, “Reconstruction”, (accessed February 16, 2010)

2Andrew Johnson, “Veto of the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill”, Andrew Johnson, His Life and Speeches by Lillian Foster, New York: Richardson & Co., 1866, (accessed February 16, 2010)

3Gov. Jonathon Worth, quoted from: A Brief History of Reconstruction by Eric Foner, p.96 , New York: Harper Perennial. 1990.

4George Washington Julian, “Regeneration before Reconstruction”, Speeches on political questions [1850-1868]
pp. 352-3, Cambridge: Riverside. 1872. (Accessed Feb. 16, 2010)

“What I did with my Spring Break”

I lack originality, but there is no reason to throw away $5.

So … Let’s review. I theoretically was planning to:

  • Do research for my 21H.102 paper: partial check. I watched the documentary and read about half the book I was hoping to read
  • Read that book on rails: no.
  • Sleep: meh? I did … but probably not enough and my sleep schedule is kinda fucked now
  • Watch 30 Rock: totally did that. I am now up to Season 4, Episode 9, meaning I’m only a couple hours behind what’s been broadcast. This is more sad than an accomplishment.

Some other things I did include:

  • As I mentioned last week, did some packaging of meals for Haiti disaster relief.
  • As I also mentioned last week, watched too much (i.e. any) C-SPAN during the healthcare debate
  • Put an old personal project up on Github for the hell of it. It’s amusing to see how I programmed as a 16 year old. … I’ve written better software, I swear.
  • Read the first 4 chapters of Real World Hakell
  • Got some more internship applications out … with no results
  • Almost went on a date but then it got cancelled
  • Did a lot of thinking about who I am, what I want out of life, etc. … without reaching many conclusions.
  • May or may not managed to have picked up some sickness somewhere… not feeling so great.

Overall, not so productive a break. I’m not particularly happy that it’s over. Oh well, can’t do anything but move forward.



Theoretical Spring Break Plans

I am tired and it is Spring Break, so I don’t feel like writing anything in depth and feel reasonable in being lame. So … here’s a list of some things I plan to work on this week with my free time if/when I become less lazy:

  • Read a book, watch a documentary, do other research about communes from 1960 to the present for my 21H.102 paper.
  • Read some more of Agile Web Development with Rails because my lack of Rails knowledge makes me feel like a bad rubyist sometimes.
  • Catch up on the Debathena trainee meetings that I’ve missed thanks to conflicts
  • Sleep. Other times of resting.
  • Catch up on 6.002 LOL. JK. Dropped it.
  • Watch more 30 Rock.

By comparison, what I did today was none of these things. I instead:

  • Watched hours of C-SPAN coverage of the House healthcare debate.
  • Helped make a couple hundred of the 28,110 Haiti-bound meals at a Stop Hunger Now event at my parents church
  • Ate a cheeseburger.

Yea Spring Break!


MIT … in verse

This week was kinda hellish. I actually started this as part of my freewriting last weekend. (It borrows some of its imagery from the prose thereof). I finished it this morning while avoiding sleeping and to submit to Rune by the deadline of today (the 12th). I can’t decide if the poem is actually any good.


There’s a fire hose:
You drink it.

Well, you try to drink it.

You playfully examine it
For a few moments, then
You wrap your lips around the nozzle,
And pump up the pressure:

It blows you back
And pins you to a wall.

The spray stings your eyes,
But if it brings tears to them,
They are washed away by the flow,
Before you, or anyone else,
Can be sure they were there.

Your limbs ache,
You think that if only
You could rest them,
You could hold them stronger
But the time for rest rarely comes.

Some people, washed in despair
Or simply sanity, step out of the way
Never to look back and never to regret.

Some collapse or simply drown.

Others stand the force.
The mass of the waters accelerates,
But still they stand strong.
Wavering at times,
But never giving up.

And one day the flow slows
To a stream, to a trickle, to a drip
Then it stops.

You stand there:
Sudden and Sullen,
Dripping and Deflated,
Percolated, but Proud,
Wet, but Wise.

And you reach out,
Brass Rat rusted to your knuckle:
You grab a beaker and into it
You wring the waters of knowledge
From the clothes of your experience.

You take this drought and distill it.
You bottle it, you market it, or you give it away,
But, with luck, it takes the world by storm.

From the fire hose flow rises the rarefied results
Filtered through your hands,
Tested in your trials, Fortified in your failures,
Vivified in your victories.

You look back with mixed emotions:
Wondering if it was all really worth it.
Your prospective my grow,
It may never be clear,
But the fire hose flows on…

~D.B. Guy (March 6-12, 2010)