May 14th 2007 Obligatory Summer Post

I guess now’s the time when every college student with a blog is supposed to make a post about how summer is here, what they’re up to, and so on and so forth. Well, my summer hasn’t been that exciting yet, so part of me is reluctant to bore you with those details…but I’m going to anyway.

I’m temporarily living at home until I move back to Bucknell on May 24th to begin research (which, as you’ll soon find out, I’ve already begun). To be honest, it’s been a bit dull. There’s just not much to do at my house. We don’t have Internet access or cable TV there. Ordinarily the cable TV wouldn’t be a problem—the only shows I watch on TV are 24 and The Office, and my friend Noah has cable so I never miss those anyway—except for that the fact that I also don’t have Internet access, which makes it a problem. I can do fine without one or the other, but both? That’s pushing it.

So I’ve been reading a lot. I “learned” Ruby over the weekend, and even managed to write a useful script for my research in the language. Fantastic language, by the way. Coming from a C/Objective-C/Java background, there are some things I don’t like about it, but it’s a very versatile language and I’m looking forward to using it more.

I’ve also started reading The Big U by my favorite author, Neal Stephenson. Very funny book. Stephenson is a great satirist, and what better place for satire than a fictional, but still satirically realistic, American university—especially for a seasoned, jaded college student such as myself? Definitely looking forward to finishing it (hopefully by May 30th, so I don’t have to renew it from the library).

I’ve also managed to get an early start on my summer research. As noted above, I wrote a Ruby script to parse keywords from the source code (if that didn’t make any sense, it probably won’t, but more information is available here). I’m working on another module right now, and might even have it (mostly) done by the time I return to campus.

I’ve also discovered the joys of the phone. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I almost never call people, except for necessary reasons like arranging dinner. My social contacts are also highly based on spatial locality, i.e., if you leave my immediate geographic area, the chances of my contacting you drop to almost 0. I’ve decided to try to reverse that trend by actually, uh, staying in contact with friends. A novel idea, I know. Furthermore, the fact that I have no Internet access at home means that the phone is my only method of outside communication. So I’ve actually called people, and have been moderately successful in keeping contact.

It really seems, though, that there’s just not much to do around here. The previous four summers, I would’ve been working (or still in school) at this time of the summer. For the first summer in a while, I’m free!…and now I have nothing to do, because all my friends are working during the day. (P.S. If you’re my friend and you’re not working, gimme a call.) I have found it’s quite fun to go outside, even walk into the park, and read for an afternoon, though. I plan on being outside a lot this summer, since this is the first summer in a while that I won’t be tethered to a desk. I’m hoping to go hiking and maybe even full-fledged canyoneering eventually, too.

So that’s it. I was lucky enough to get out of my dingy basement, so I’m making the most of the afternoon. Can’t wait to move back to Bucknell, though. Admittedly, I’m pretty lonely at home.