In case you didn’t know, April is the National Month of Autism Awareness. Why is this relevant? Autism and its milder form Asperger’s, representing 80% of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), provide the basis for an important discussion on how we perceive other people, ourselves, and the world around us. Especially in regards to some here at Olin.
Everyone at Olin has come into the dorm lounges only to find themselves surrounded by piles of bread, post-Valentine’s day candy, pizza, and other miscellaneous foods. There exists a small group of Oliners who regularly collect these treasures from local stores that run low on shelf space, find packaging imperfections, or dispose of food nearing its sell-by date. However, there is much more to this practice than happily collecting a dumpster’s contents.
Take a bucket shower. Better yet, take a bucket shower in a small tub with no drain. Feel how much water is needed to cleanse your body as the weight of the bucket in your hand diminishes. Note how filthy you are capable of becoming without ever noticing, and wonder how the dirty water feels so refreshing on your feet, swollen from walking miles on uneven grounds. In this moment, this bucket of water is my most cherished treasure.
In an ever more technologically complex world, we struggle and strive to understand the vast supply chains and innovate. Not often enough to we step back and think about what we know that is simple and tangible. We are all teachers and we are all students.
Collectively, we have an incredible amount of life experiences and knowledge that has taught us and shaped us. On Saturday April 6th Olin will be hosting the Three-College Skill Share. It is a day of workshops, discussions and expos around the idea of learning and teaching practical skills to reduce our impact on the environment.
Last month, I presented you with three questions that form your world view: “How did we get here?” “What is wrong with the world?” and “How does it get fixed?” I argued that these questions are fundamental to how you understand the world, that your answers affect your very identity, and that we each have answers, even if unarticulated.
Now I would like to share the answers I have found in hopes that you might understand my world view better and consider whether it accurately explains the world in which we live.
In case you haven’t heard, Olin is ten years old now. With that, there has been a lot of self-reflection and discussion about where the institution has been, where it’s going, and how it’s going to get there. A few effects of that shift can already be seen with new faculty, a new dean of student life, new partnerships with outside institutions, and a push to redefine the E! curriculum.
A candid conversation with Lynn Stein about developing the semantic web, being one of Olin’s founding faculty members, and what it means to work with college students.
Olin’s professor of computer and cognitive science, Lynn Stein teaches Human Factors in Interface Design (HFID), Fundamentals of Computer Science (FOCS), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), among other classes. She has acclaim as a researcher, teacher, leader, and women’s advocate, and was one of Olin’s founding faculty members.
3/1 Eight South African policemen arrested on suspicion of murder after dragging a man behind their police van.
3/2 Following the sentencing of Abdul Quader Mollah to life imprisonment for committing genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, over 50 die in protests demanding his execution.
3/3 A female 2-year-old in Mississippi born with the HIV/ AIDS declared HIV negative following treatment.
3/4 At least nineteen people killed in attacks by gangs during the Kenyan presidential election in Kilifi and the outskirts of Mombas.
How Not To ________ (verb) Up a Meeting
Aries (March 21 – April 19): If you were a vegetable, you’d be a brussel sprout. Layered and hearty, but often overlooked and over-cooked.
Taurus (April 20 – June 20): Life is a bin. It’s up to you to choose whether it’s for trash or recylables.
Gemini (July 22 – May 21): Whew, it’s getting hot. Don’t fly too close to the sun, Icarus, or you’ll melt your wings clean off. Stick to the shade and chill the hell out.