Jessi is living one of my childhood (adolescent? teenagehood?) dreams: studying art in Italy. Ellen is living another one, using a gap year to do research and take classes at MIT. And then Will is off in India for a year, and Liz is learning SparkE stuff while interning in Germany, and Andrew is becoming insanely good at dancing out in Tennessee, and Eric goes on boats to islands off the coast of California and Other More Different Eric builds things of Awesome in NH and Sa'am sells produce at a farmers' market and Chris is traveling the world for Appropedia.

And Smari is getting a FabLab off the ground and Joe and Sylvie entered a design competition in Japan. Apparently Brian is also going to Rwanda next week and Dan is off to Ethiopia (and I wonder when I'll get to see an XO deployment too). And then there's everyone working back at Olin or IMSA, who I am of course thoroughly jealous of because I miss those two communities of learning awesomeness tremendously (though I also appreciate my newfound ability to Wander City Randomly At Will, which is incompatible with going to an intensely immersive school out in the suburbs).

I'm really lucky to have friends that go off and do cool things and come back and tell me stories about them. I learn a lot that way. I still want to do everything, so hearing what it's like to do things from my friends is the next best thing, and better in some ways; for one, they see things differently than I would have.

A few years back I thought (and still think) it would be cool to spend a semester each at different engineering colleges comparing and contrasting how they taught the exact same class. From the perspective of a TA, even. Travel the world while helping out with, say, SigSys at 5 or 6 different places. Happy side effect: I get ridiculously good at whatever class I help with half a dozen times. I wonder if this could be finagled into some sort of educational sociology graduate work.

Ah, yes. I'm back in Boston now. I have much shorter hair, a MA license (sweet!) and a Boston library card (more sweetness!) and a blender (much gratitude to parents!) and we have used it to make smoothies, soups, and/or fondues every day since it has arrived so far. Blender, rice cooker, wok, small soup-pot thing - my adult life is basically set in terms of food. Note to self: peel bananas before freezing them. They're easier to peel when they're not blocks of ice.

Speaking of interesting things to do, the Dance Complex has an afternoon of free classes this Sunday, and then on Saturday the 27th there's the Beantown Jazz festival with oodles of free concerts. Mmm, free! I'm going to both, so if you're coming drop me a line. (Rock climbing with Chandra and Gallimore may happen the morning before the jazz festival; more people super-welcome to this.)