Now that I’ve finally found access to the internet after 12 long hours of uncertainty whether I would survive, I’ve had a chance to post this little write-up I did while on the road yesterday morning.

Sit back and enjoy the ravings of a man who has just left home for a four-month visit to the land of calculus hell.


For the first time, I truly feel like a college kid, finally being cast for the role I was destined to eventually play. I’m at last past city limits, out on the open stretch of road with nothing but 15 hours of pavement and thrilling experiences ahead. It’s a beautiful day, blue skies and no clouds (the Earth must love me or something :D ).

While I’m slightly disappointed to not be flying, my dissatisfaction is partially overcome by my excitement to see Niagara Falls tonight. So if that doesn’t give away my travel plans (or you cheated and scrolled down :P), I am crashing the night in the city of Buffalo (from what I’ve been told by well-placed sources deep within the government, Buffalo isn’t much fun). Tomorrow, we’ll hit the road again and will finally arrive at Boston in the afternoon (naturally, the first item on my repulsively long to-do list is to all out sprint to the student center attempting to contain my desperate desire for my student ID and room key).

So how am I distracting my perceptive conscience away from thinking about the adventures that await me in Boston? I’m reminiscing about how spectacular this morning was. My friends practically surprised me by all gathering at my house to send me off (sorry guys for having to wake up so early, glad you all reached my abode safely). All six of us sat on a comfy patch of concrete on my driveway and sadly conversed for half an hour about everything, our plans for four years, how we’re going to change, and how in four months I’ll have unequivocally gained at least 25 pounds (pizza everyday ftw =) ). Perhaps, the oddest part about my relationship with this amazing circle of friends is how just four years ago I was an outsider, the newcomer who knew no one. Over the course of months, even years, I became seriously close to these people, forming life-long friends and memories to last me eternity. There’s something ineffable in my bonds to these friends, something I’ll be lucky to ever find again. I love you all. Thanks for making high school unforgettably legit.

This is my last post from Michigan for quite some time. As I sit in my dangerously overcrowded van…

…this tingle is slowly spreading through my body at the prospects of the next two weeks, the frenzy that will inevitably wear me down, the buzz of surrealism that will no doubt keep me afloat. Am I ready? At the risk of sounding cliché, I was born ready.


Because 7 hours is outrageously long for anyone to stay cooped up in a car, I had to find some outlet to keep my sanity intact. While continuously devouring bags of chips seemed like the best option, I opted out for something less taxing on my delicate body (plus, what fun would it be to put on all the pounds now?). So instead I offer you a rundown of my trip.

What follows is the uncut, lewd, and never-before-seen account of my journey to reach MIT. User discretion advised.

8:04 am – I groggily force myself to wake up for I have quite some packing to do still. Naturally, my mom gives me her “disappointed face” and gives me a mini-lecture on “responsibility.” Pssh, clearly she hasn’t learned the true art of packing.

8:20 am – Convincing myself that 20 minutes of TV is perfectly reasonable, I watch a bit of the my favorite new series Flashpoint. Don’t judge me. I may be a TV junkie, but I’m a junkie who can do differential calculus and derive Schrödinger’s equations. I promise I’ll stop at MIT. Can someone hold me to that?

8:30 am – I start fiddling with my iPhone, failing at syncing it with my new laptop. Why Apple must you make the simplest tasks so complex?

9:30 am – My bags are swollen, zippers nearly about to tear apart, and the van is littered with my stuff everywhere. A job well done.

9:33 am – A doorbell sounds. It’s so early. Who could it possible be? MY FRIENDS! Kindly scroll above for the juicy details behind this surprise visit.

10:04 am – My parents cruelly rip me away from my friends screaming and dragging. It was intense.

10:20 am – Staring out at the endless span of trees loses its enticing flare and so I decide to follow a more productive line of action. I pop in the SolidWorks DVD I received for free at the engineering expo I attended a while back.

10:40 am – SolidWorks finishes installing!

11:14 am – Following the tutorial for 3D Modeling newbs like me, I end up with this odd-looking pressure plate model. Seeing how pressure plates are dull and all, I start modeling something more interesting.

11:46 am – After hurdling over the considerable learning curve of this convoluted software (Adobe has got nothing on this), I end up with a Lego piece model sure to impress anyone. I was proud of myself to say the least.

11:30 am – Complaining that my stomach has been annoyingly grumbling, my dad finally pulls over at an Ohio rest stop. These aren’t the usual rundown truck stops you’d expect of highways, but instead impressive mini-malls filled with an eclectic mix of fast food restaurants. I immediately hurled myself toward the Sbarro line and bought a slice of pizza larger than my own head – and my head is humongous.

12:00 pm – Stuffed to the brim with delight (and pizza), I quickly succumb to a slumber for a couple hours. With a severe lack of sleep last night due to a wonderful last get-together with my friends, this opportunity for some shuteye was welcomed with joy.

2:02 pm – I awaken frustratingly to the noise of Arabic music blasting in the car. Thanks Dad.

2:20 pm – A terrible realization comes across my mind. Advanced standing exam are coming up and I’m not ready. With trepidation, I begin frantically reading my chemistry text book (they say barely anyone passes >.<).

4:01 pm – We hit construction and obviously traffic was backed up…for miles…and miles.

5:05 pm – Still caught up in traffic…

5:45 pm - Finally we pass through the one-lane close up and are able to resume cruising speed: 55 mph. Isn’t that sad? Highways in New York have speed limits of 55. You poor sheltered New Yorkers.

6:20 pm – Civilization at last! We survived 7 hours in a van together and made it to Buffalo.

7:30 pm – Being the master debater that I am, I persuade my dad sick from driving to go the extra mile – no pun intended ;-) – and venture out on the 30 minute drive to Niagara Falls.

8:20 pm – I walk up in wonder to the only thing in the world that can rival my power: the Falls. This is a gorgeous sight people, seriously.
An attempted side view picture that somewhat grabs the majesty of this landmark.

I discover this observation deck that essentially stretches out about halfway across the river. Gathering up the courage, we trek out onto it and saw some magnificent views. Nature rules.

So the night quickly descends upon the area, but no one leaves. I wonder to myself how exciting these Falls could possibly be in the darkness apart from listening to the rumbling sounds of water smashing down. To my astonishment though, there were lights that transform the Falls into something altogether more stunning.

Of course, what fun would the Falls be without Fireworks? As the time neared 10 pm, the crowd exponentially grew (I’d derive the function, but I’d figure you readers would enjoy doing that yourselves) and like clockwork fireworks went boom at 10.

These sure aren’t Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks, but what do you expect? They were shot from the Canadian side :p.

And so this brings me to this morning. We’re about to embark on the next 7-hour stretch of the journey that will land us at the heart of Cambridge. Scared? No. Giddy like a 7-year old school girl? Heck yes.