Not quite freezing, but at least very frigid. That's what the rain's been like all tonight, and we walked over two miles in it.

Let me back up. The Y Combinator Startup School is running in Cambridge this Saturday. On Friday night, they had a pre-SS event, and me and some other Olin students decide to take the T in, then walk the mile or so from the station to the stop. It begins to rain. We begin to run.

(On the way to the Alewife T stop, I went off on a spiel on how human communications is an inefficient protocol - why waste time with pleasantries when you can assume a default state of "How are you, yes I'm fine" and just say otherwise? We also missed the parking lot for the T station not once, but twice - and had to turn around both times.)

Aside from the freezing rain (which was, now that I'm warm and dry, entertaining - especially having to wring out my sodden jacket before stepping into Pho Pasteur), the night was good. There were more people in the Y Combinator headquarters than I'd expected. I'm an introvert (according to Myers-Briggs), am aware of this, and attempt to compensate by acting like an extrovert on social occasions - but tonight I was really tired, and it showed somewhat. It helped that a lot of other Olin kids were around. It didn't help that the place was crowded and noisy - on the up side, I was very grateful that I lipread. I'm not entirely sure what to make of all of it yet; I'll have to wait for Startup School tomorrow to see.

Other news: CompArch lab is not grinding our souls into the dust. It turns out that we were supposed to use a 32-bit bus for the registers we're building - Mark and I had been piecing together a clock to cycle through the bits in a selected register so it could read and write one bit at a time (we thought it was a one-bit wide data stream that sent each bit successively instead of PHOOMP, 32 bits all at once). Whoops. This makes Verilog much easier, and explains why other people actually finished their lab in less than 10 hours (as opposed to our last week of "Look, I'm going to work on this until I fall asleep at the table" nights).

Other other news: My Matsci soul is at peace. So is Becky's. (Not Duc's yet, but that's coming.) Becky and I went to talk to Rebecca (our professor) today about our last project, which... to put it mildly, failed miserably as a scientific study. Equipment broke around us, samples wouldn't cut or grind or - you name it, we couldn't test it. That plus our lack of background research plus the impending sense of despair that crept up as the semester wore on plus - in any case, we ended up with a terrible final project and a lot of good lessons from the school of hard knocks. Becky and I know what lessons we learned. We know why we messed up. I learned more from doing a horrible, unfocused, overambitious project than I would have from doing a functional one the first time around ("if you haven't failed yet, you're not aiming high enough" sort of principle). This means we'll do much better for our second lab. So we didn't do badly in the grand scheme of things, because we learned.

Fail as often as possible as early as possible. I keep telling other people this, but I haven't started letting myself fail until very, very recently. How to fail well is one of the hardest things I'll probably ever have to learn.