Friday November 22nd

Trip to Boston (for the first time)

The weekend before Thanksgiving

  • I made a trip to Boston because of an AI group I’m in. Specifically, they wanted me to take part in an interview for a group that encourages young women to study in areas like STEM. So I obliged, also deciding that it would be a good way for me to meet some AI researcher friends, and get some Caribbean food, since Vermont is lacking in the Caribbean food department.
  • It ended up being an adventure!

Made it to a few places

  • I made it to CSAIL, because I decided that that was one of the places I had to visit. But some dude was incredibly rude to me (Boston is not known for kindness!), and I asked someone where the nearest exit was so I could just get the heck out of CSAIL. So she apologized and showed me where I could go. I was frustrated because I did not look like someone who belonged there, so he started to interrogate me, which was awful. Then I spoke up, and he (the epitome of a geriatric academic) left me alone. But the damage had been done, and I was really angry about it. I just wanted out. I decided I was going to do the interview and just go straight back to my hotel. Academia is not welcoming to people like myself.
  • On the way out, I really had to use the restroom, because my next stop was about 15 minutes of walking. So I asked someone, and they pointed me in the direction of some stairs. As I was coming down the stairs, I saw Erik D., who I recognized from YouTube, and he humbly said “thanks for watching my videos”, and took a photo with me. So that made me feel a bit better. In the back of my mind, though, I thought that I would never go back to CSAIL ever again. People in my group had told me to apply when I was considering grad school, but there was no one who interested me at that lab, so I didn’t bother, and I felt vindicated in my decision today. But it needs to change.

I then walked over to my interview

  • It went really well, and I made a few friends from the Media Lab who had a robot named Jibo. They invited me to their lab for tea, so I finished up my interview, and then headed over to their lab. They were really wonderful and made everything worthwhile. I left their lab after getting a mini-tour, and having made a few friends. Of course, since it’s a research lab, I definitely can’t show anything from there. And I probably won’t say anything if you ask me, either.

Then I went for roti

  • I was told that there was roti and Caribbean food in general in Boston, so I decided to go find some. It did not disappoint. I bought a lot of Caribbean food, and left happy. I have to figure out how to pack all of it, but where there is a will…

I’m really grateful for today

  • It turned out much better than I anticipated, and I’m thankful for new friends, even though I am ready to head back to Vermont (with my food lol). I’m spending Thanksgiving week in the lab, and also going to a Faculty member’s house in the evening on the day of Thanksgiving. So we’ll see how that goes.

A Jibo

The origins of Hacking

An artpiece called Flow at CSAIL

A robot (Domo)

I ran into Erik!

He and his father made this

  • Yes, it’s based on topological Maths

Broad on the way to my interview

After my interview

And that’s it!

Written on November 22, 2019