2003-06-01, Sun (Day 887, temperature at 08:02: 24.0°C, difference: +0.4°C, Commencement): I got up at 08:00, ate breakfast for the last time in Sharples and got ready for commencement. It wasn’t raining when we lined up in front of Parrish starting at 09:40 but it was pretty windy. The Scott Arboretum staff placed a rose from the Rose Garden on my gown and many other graduates also were wearing roses.
At 10:00 the procession into the Scott Amphitheater started. It started drizzling at the beginning of graduation and the rain steadily increased during the ceremony. It stopped raining near the end but by then the amphitheater seating area was very muddy. Al Bloom, president of Swarthmore College, gave a good speech about the need to be aware that the United States is not always right. Christopher Chyba ’82, an honorary degree recipient, also gave a good talk about the impending challenge to society due to biotechnology.
Margaret Lawrence also received an honorary degree. Honorary degree recipient Jed Rakoff ’64, who is a federal district judge, brought to light a Swarthmore alum who acted like he was not from Swarthmore. A. Mitchell Palmer, Class of 1891, as Attorney General under the Wilson administration led “Palmer Raids,” which led to the arrest of thousands of Americans without warrants. Rakoff said that we need to watch out for these things now with the arrests of people that allegedly are linked to terrorism.
Commencement ended at about 12:30. After I found my parents I got some refreshments in Upper Tarble and went to my room to eat them. Now I needed to move out. Due to graduation, general parking outside of Wharton was prohibited until 15:00, but once that time came around cars were parked all over the place for seniors moving out. Since the center section of Wharton is concentrated with seniors and everyone needs to leave by tomorrow morning the dorm and the area immediately outside of it became hectic.
I moved some of my stuff out around dinner and threw stuff out in the later afternoon and evening. I went to bed to wake up early tomorrow, pack, and move out later Monday morning. Today’s journal entry is the last one I am going to write.
2003-05-31, Sat (Day 886, temperature at 07:59: 23.6°C, difference: -0.5°C): It took a few minutes to fully wake up but I went to breakfast and graduation rehearsal at 08:45 without having to rush too much.
Graduation rehearsal in the Scott Amphitheater lasted until 10:30 largely due to the run-through of reading 360 graduating seniors names. Each one of us walked across the stage like we would in the ceremony tomorrow. We also spoke our names into a tape recorder at the end of the stage so our names could be pronounced correctly.
While the weather was dry but cloudy for graduation rehearsal, a steady light drizzle came down for baccalaureate at 11:00. If it was raining before baccalaureate started it likely would have been held in LPAC. So we sat in the amphitheater to hear retiring philosophy prof Hugh Lacey give a speech about ethical intelligence.
Baccalaureate ended by 12:00, when the baccalaureate luncheon in Sharples started. Despite the weather some people were sitting outside but it was still crowded in Sharples. I didn’t have much trouble finding a table of six seats in the Sharples big room for my family.
In the afternoon I did some final checking of the publications office before going to last collection in LPAC at 16:15. Even though it wasn’t raining before the event started, it was raining heavily by the end of the meeting. If it wasn’t going to rain, last collection would have been held in the amphitheater. Andrew Ward was the speaker for the event.
Dinner wasn’t being served in Sharples tonight so I went out to dinner with Caroline, Norense, Jeremy and his family. We drove into Philadelphia to eat at Passage to India, an Indian restaurant in Center City. My main course consisted of chicken mixed with spinach and I had rice pudding for dessert.
When we got back to Swarthmore at 23:30 I went to Parrish for senior green bottle.
2003-05-30, Fri (Day 885, temperature at 11:31: 24.1°C, difference: +0.8°C): I actually got up at about 12:20 to hurry to lunch. This afternoon and evening I did some closing out work on The Phoenix Online. I took a break at 21:30 to go to the Crum Meadow for a senior class bonfire. The smores I made were quite good although the fire was too hot to stand near for any length of time. The fire also got smoky at one point, which was problematic to those sitting around it.
2003-05-29, Thu (Day 884, temperature at 11:26: 23.3°C, difference: +0.2°C): I slept until lunch since I didn’t have to get up early to go on a trip this morning. The Dean’s luncheon was held starting at 12:00 in Sharples. Bob Gross, Dean of the College, announced the recipients of the Dean’s Award.
I went to the Rose Garden circle at 14:00 to meet a group of about 12 for cooking at Bob Gross’ house. In his kitchen he showed us survival cooking for the recent graduate. We made and ate a salmon and cracker appetizer followed by burritos, chicken, and pasta. Bob also had a number of cooking books to peruse and he gave us individual copies of today’s notes, including recipes.
I got back to campus at 18:00, changed clothes, and walked to the Sharples patio for the zeroth Class of 2003 reunion. Plenty of good food and live music was available.
I took the 22:30 shuttle to Polly Esthers, which is across the street on the north side of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The music mix and transitions at this 1970s and 1980s club were really good. The last shuttle back to campus was actually at 01:00, which helped cause the bus to be overly crowded. Leaving the club a half-hour earlier than expected did have the positive effect of getting back before 02:00.
I spent some time trying to catch my journal up by writing the draft to yesterday’s entry and proofing the past two entries but I got too tired to finish the first thing so I wrote an outline of what I was thinking and went to bed. My lack of free time to work on my journal for the rest of my days at Swat means I need to write a number of entries once I get home.
2003-05-28, Wed (Day 883, temperature at 08:04: 23.1°C, difference: +0.4°C): I got up at 08:00 and made my way to Tarble to eat breakfast. I didn’t have much time after then before I needed to catch the bus at 10:00 to Six Flags Great Adventure. A number of seniors drove their own cars, so we didn’t fill three buses.
The route we took to the amusement park wasn’t entirely highway driving. The bus driver took the Ben Franklin bridge and got to the New Jersey Turnpike via Route 38, on the south side of the Cherry Hill Mall.
We got to the park amidst a cloudy sky and few cars and buses in the lot. The group of six I started with entered the park and headed for Batman and Robin: The Chiller, which is a fast and wild coaster. We entered the line for the ride and fortunately we had to walk pretty far along the winding railings before we reached the back of the line. I was impressed by how short the line was and this low wait time held up for all of the rides today.
After we rode The Chiller we went to Batman The Ride. The line was practically non-existent, which was incredible. After we got off the ride the first time we rode it again. NITRO was nearby so we got in line for this very tall coaster. From the ground the drop after the initial incline looked ridiculous, equivalent to a steep cliff. On the ride itself, there were signs at points along the initial incline that gave the heights of world places. Before the top of the rise was a sign for Niagara Falls, meaning this coaster went higher than the waterfall.
By this point in the day the clouds were lifting and the sun was heating things up. Some of us thought it would be good to go on a water ride then so we could dry off during the warmest part of the day. The rest of us were more concerned about getting wet but we all got on anyway.
On the Congo Rapids water rafting ride the course seemed reasonable at first but it got a little wild, making select people on our raft get wet. However, just the right side of my right leg and my right shoe got wet. I wore my rain jacket all day so this kept my top from getting wet at all. Overall this ride was not as drenching as anticipated.
We stopped to eat at about 14:30. To reduce the likelihood of me throwing up after eating I just got a pretzel and soda. My pretzel cost $3.69 but was quite big and too much for me to finish.
While waiting for someone to ride Batman The Ride again some of us played skeeball in the Studio 28 Arcade. When everyone met up we planned on our next series of rides to go on. We walked to the other side of the park to ride the Great American Scream Machine. When we got there though someone near the entrance to the ride told us it wasn’t working at the moment, so we got in line for Superman — Ultimate Flight.
A reasonable line had formed since the Superman ride is new for the season and it was the late afternoon. Still, it didn’t take that long to get on. The Superman roller coaster was unique in that you get in the ride sitting down but the ride took off with you oriented horizontally like flying. The ride also had an announcer that talked in this odd form of monotone to start the ride, “3-2-1, fly.” He did mix up his starting dialogue but the variations made things even more amusing.
When the ride started going up the incline you sort of had to look down since your head pointed towards the ground, which was open to below. Of all the rides I got on today I liked this one the best since it was an atypical way of riding a roller coaster with surprise thrills.
After getting off Superman the first time, most of us including me got in line to ride it again. Following that we rode the Great American Scream Machine, which was working by then. We sat near the front the first time we rode the ride and went to the back car for the second time. The ride was significantly more rough sitting in the back.
We then walked to the Frontier Adventures section of the park to ride Medusa. Some of us in our group rode this suspended coaster three times in a row; I rode it twice. Once all of us were ready we got one more coaster in before leaving. After riding the VIPER, I had rode on all seven operating non-child roller coasters today. Runaway Mine Train and Rolling Thunder appeared to not be working today.
The rides I rode today were Batman and Robin: The Chiller, Batman The Ride, NITRO, Congo Rapids, Superman — Ultimate Flight, Great American Scream Machine, Medusa, and VIPER. Counting the number of times I rode each coaster, I went up the incline 12 times today. It seemed odd to ride almost all roller coasters but these sort of rides don’t exist at most carnivals. Despite the unbalance I had a feeling of good value from riding lots of coasters at the amusement park. The short lines also helped tremendously.
We needed to get back on the bus at 18:00 so we walked quickly towards the park entrance. A few minutes after boarding the bus it started to thunderstorm, which I anticipated happening earlier today when it got warm pretty fast. I took a shower when I got back to Wharton and later tonight I put on my formal attire to go to a cocktail party in the Cosby courtyard outside of Kohlberg.
2003-05-27, Tue (Day 882, temperature at 11:31: 22.7°C, difference: -0.3°C): Sharples was closed for lunch so I ate at the Parrish carnival. After 13:00 I stopped by my room to pick up binoculars since the bell tower and Parrish ballroom were open. I went up the bell tower first, which was much different than I expected. I knew there was a spiral staircase up to the top but it turned out to be a very narrow staircase. The set of stairs close to ground level which also spiraled were inside this extremely narrow shaft that looked like the inside of a lighthouse. This first set of stairs got our group up to the midlevel of the bell tower, which didn’t have a direct horizontal view outside unless you climbed a ladder. Still this level did look neat since you could see the stairs leading all the way up to the top of the bell tower.
We then climbed the second set of spiral stairs to the top of the bell tower. It felt more treacherous climbing these open air stairs due to their height. The view from the top was pretty good. There was a haze over the area so I couldn’t see very far but I was able to discern as far as the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Besides being able to see the Philadelphia skyline I could also observe the Delaware River, Phil Marion Field at Ridley High School, and Ridley Middle School. I could also see various buildings in Delaware County that I didn’t recognize but were in visible locations from my elevated viewpoint.
After going back down the bell tower, I went up to the Parrish ballroom. I have been in the ballroom once before on 2003-03-26 but today the Parrish roof above the ballroom was also open. To get to the roof today I needed to climb two ladders from the ballroom. One of the ladders was somewhat daunting to climb since it was positioned in the middle of the room and went from the floor to the top of the high ceiling.
On the roof, I was surprised that the top of Parrish was slanted instead of being flat. There also were some skylights on this part of the roof. Another unexpected thing about the top of Parrish was that the flagpole was close to the edge of the top platform instead of near the center like the wind vane pole. While the bell tower was slightly higher than the height of Parrish, the vantage point of the skyline from Parrish was not obscured like the bell tower walls. From Parrish I could see a small portion of the Blue Route highway surface.
Following dinner I boarded the first shuttle for the next senior week event, the Philly pub crawl. In Old City we were given directions to the three bars that had drink specials for us. I went with some fellow seniors to the Drinker’s tavern on Market Street. At the place we joined more seniors for a margarita pitcher. Our group left the first bar to go to SoMa, which is on 3rd Street between Market and Chestnut Streets. We had a hard time finding the bar at first since on our map it was placed on the wrong side of the street and it was in the basement. At SoMa our group got apple martinis.
After leaving SoMa, we walked back to Market Street to Lucy’s Hat Shop, a restaurant and lounge. One of us got a pitcher of Yuengling, which most of us drank from. When we left Lucy’s Hat Shop and sat outside, in a few minutes our bus stopped on the other side of the street, which we got on to return to campus.
2003-05-26, Mon (Day 881, temperature at 09:00: 23.0°C, difference: +0.1°C): Sharples will be closed for breakfast until Saturday so I went to Tarble instead. I was less confused than other times I ordered something from Tarble but I needed to look around for straws until I concluded that they were in another room. I also forgot to put jelly on my toast until I sat down with my food.
The heavy rain overnight stopped by late morning. I walked to Ben West to take a 11:00 bus to Atlantic City for the senior class trip. The bus I was in watched the movie “Matrix.” Our group got to the Sands casino and we started gambling. I also went to the Trump Taj Mahal, Bally’s, and Caesars. On the bus ride back our smaller group watched the fourth episode of “Star Wars” in progress.
Back on campus, I went to the electronica party in the Clothier fragrance garden. After 00:00 the party needed to be moved inside to Paces due to noise ordinances.
2003-05-25, Sun (Day 880, temperature at 11:00: 22.9°C, difference: +0.9°C): After getting up at 11:00, I ate lunch and then went to Ben West to meet a bus for the first senior week trip to a Wilmington Blue Rocks game. The Blue Rocks, a Class A minor league baseball team in Delaware, were playing the Lynchburg Hillcats.
It started to drizzle when the game started at 13:35 but the rain became steadier and remained that way until the umpire called a rain delay during the third inning at 14:30. Our group waited a bit to see if the rain was going to stop but it just continued, so we got in contact with our bus driver so he could take us home early. The game ended up being suspended.
I worked some more in the publications office this evening on The Phoenix Online archives project. Instead of working on the AppleScript, I focused on the mod_rewrite rules to get requests that contain a year as a directory to redirect to a request that starts with the issue date. This normally would not be difficult but the problem is the redirect target doesn’t exist in the file system so for the internal request I always need the year as a directory to load the article.
I previously tried to get this redirection to work the week I first rolled out the XML for The Phoenix Online but I didn’t figure it out quickly enough. I worked on this part until about 21:25 when I went to Mertz to watch “Journeys With George” on the second floor lounge with nine other people.
Back in my room I continued futzing with mod_rewrite while I thought more about abandoning the project. I started entertaining this idea earlier tonight when I ran into the mod_rewrite trouble. If I couldn’t get this rule definition going the XML archives project would still work but I have so many other things to finish that it would not be realistically possible to be done in a week. I saw that mod_rewrite wasn’t playing nice with rules spread over multiple .htaccess files and having them all work at the same time, which was the last problem that made my final reason to stop working on the project.
2003-05-24, Sat (Day 879, temperature at 09:15: 22.0°C, difference: 0.0°C): Sharples was closed for dinner today but a picnic style meal was available at 17:00 from the bag lunch counter in Tarble. The dinner consisted of a selection of hoagies, pasta salad, and snacks. In the evening I continued working in the publications office. I found out that the bug with AppleScript file corruption was more involved than I originally thought. Even after putting in the variable setting on function call returns the script still corrupted non-XML files in section directories. It seemed that those changes did fix the problem with non-XML pages outside of section directories though.
One thing that I noticed more now is that the script corrupts files when the size of the script file itself is larger than when first saved. Running the script application once after saving increases the file size. This extra data apparently leads the script to produce corrupted files; locking the script application seemed to stop the corruption.
I got the 2003 and 1996 issues to process properly but the tag balancing in the 1996 articles appeared horrid, meaning I will have a fair amount of manual cleanup to do later. I left the office later this evening to go to the 1980s party in Paces.
2003-05-23, Fri (Day 878, temperature at 08:31: 22.0°C, difference: -0.3°C): I had some time before dinner to continue working on The Phoenix Online archives conversion project. It was too close to dinner to justify going to the publications office for only an hour so I worked from my room. I worked on getting <br> and other open-only tags to display properly in the browser. I then went to dinner.
The big room was closed since it was setup for a formal dinner to take place at some later point. After dinner I worked in my room a bit more to check the xml.php script for the open-only tag changes. After getting that part done I went up to the office to fix more problems with subheads in the XML files. It didn’t take much longer to get one 2003 issue tested so I could run the script on that entire year’s worth of issues. The first two issues from that year needed a different template but getting this to work was not that difficult.
The first time I ran the AppleScript on the 2003 folder it took a long time to run and later ran out of memory, so I increased the memory allocation and ran it again. The script finished this time within two hours. For the most part it looked like it worked fine but there was a bug with paragraph tags that were capitalized that I need to fix tomorrow.
It was getting late when I saw an odd result from one issue. Even though the XML files are smaller than their original counterparts in part due to less repeated text but also due to no syntax coloring, the processed 2003-04-10 issue was actually slightly greater in size. It took some time to see the cause and it was a cover.php file that was over 300 K in size. The file started off looking correct but the rest of it was the expected file repeated several times. The script code was also partially included towards the end of the file.
I got this error to repeat on another file in the issue when I tested it again. Surprised, I found a few more files that were processed in the past few hours that also had this problem. The increased file sizes varied from about 160 to 320 K and all of them were pages that were not intended to be converted to XML. I determined the exact conditions needed to get the AppleScript bug to reproduce, which were running the script as an application only the first time after saving the script from the Script Editor. Running the application again after it had run once did not cause the problem.
The call that writes the XML and non-XML files was the same and the XML files undergo more steps between reading the file and writing it than the other files. One would think more XML files would be corrupted since there are many more of them and the script does more to their text before writing the output. I did see that I had a return statement in my function part where I was working on non-XML files but not one in the XML section.
I thought of a message on the MACSCRPT mailing list about needing to set a return variable to function calls if the function returned something. I thought it wouldn’t apply in my case since I wasn’t really returning anything but just a simple return statement. Still, I set a variable to the function call that was involved and the problem seemed to go away.
I tested the script a few more times to see clear cases of it corrupting the file without the variable set and it working properly with the variable set. For each test I saved the script from the Script Editor and ran it as an application so it actually was able to produce the bug if the variable setting was not the fix for this AppleScript problem. I didn’t commit the fixes to my script yet since that would have taken too long; instead I would do that tomorrow.
2003-05-22, Thu (Day 877, temperature at 08:35: 22.3°C, difference: -1.0°C): I got in the afternoon, went to dinner, and then worked in the publications office for the evening.
For the archives project it turned out that converting the latest non-XML issue (2003-04-10) was more difficult than doing the first Phoenix issue from 1995. The documents had more formatting characteristics that I needed to account for. The size of the AppleScript grew past the 30,000 character Script Editor limit so I had to split the file in two.
2003-05-21, Wed (Day 876, temperature at 12:00: 23.3°C, difference: +1.3°C): After eating lunch I went up to the publications office to start working on The Phoenix Online archives conversion project. I made good progress writing AppleScript in the later afternoon and when I went to dinner I had a partial conversion of one article from 1995. The annual spring fling was during Sharples dinner, where staff and class seniors enjoy catered food and fun fair like events. Since it was raining outside, the entire event was indoors which made Sharples incredibly crowded and humid.
I had a hard time finding a seat since no one could eat outside and only the big dining room was completely available for seating. The fun fair stations were in the middle room. For the food, the roast beef served was particularly good.
After leaving Sharples I stopped by my room briefly and returned to the publications office. My progress rate this evening was not as good as in the afternoon since I needed energy to digest my food. I went to a party in the lounge near the publications office for a few minutes after 00:00.
I continued working in the publications office into the late evening. I got the archives conversion script to work properly for the 1995 issues without producing any diff files but I need to work on the other Phoenix issues, which have varying document formats.
2003-05-20, Tue (Day 875, temperature at 08:13: 22.0°C, difference: +1.5°C): I got up this afternoon and went to dinner at 17:30. In the evening I ranked the readings for environmental studies via a web form.
In the later evening I did a lot of prep work for The Phoenix Online and my site. I also started writing some sample code to read very large files in AppleScript. Instead of trying to work with the data all at once I will need to chunk it into smaller pieces and work with them. I also started thinking about how I would convert The Phoenix Online archives into XML via an AppleScript. It seems that I need to read a file by character, match it against a base file, discard common data, place article content into the XML, and write the extras to a diff file.
2003-05-19, Mon (Day 874, temperature at 08:22: 20.5°C, difference: -0.8°C): I got up this afternoon and went to dinner at 17:30. The seniors at Sharples sat at tables together throughout the big room, leaving large gaps of empty tables between some of us. Into the evening I sorted through some boxes to throw stuff out.
2003-05-18, Sun (Day 873, temperature at 12:00: 21.3°C, difference: -0.6°C): Starting today until graduation, Sharples is no longer open door and lunch and dinner are limited to one hour each for most days. Even with this compression hardly anyone was at Sharples since many people have left. All non-seniors must leave their rooms by 08:00 tomorrow morning.
I did the laundry this afternoon and started my journal entries for the past two days. I continued writing my blog this evening, taking a break at 22:00 to walk over to Mertz to watch “Rat Race” and “Mr. Show” in the first floor lounge. We first tried to watch “Rat Race” in the second floor lounge but it didn’t work so we went downstairs where it did work but only after some difficulty. After that movie ended some of us watched “Mr. Show.” I got back to my room and finished my journal entries.
2003-05-17, Sat (Day 872, temperature at 07:36: 21.9°C, difference: -0.9°C): I got up early again today to continue working on my CS project. I reached another milestone this morning once I cleaned up the code following yesterday’s implementation of the HTML report command. Into the afternoon I loaded the temperature data and associated it with regions. I then added the command to display all temperatures and specific ones. The single temperature command also displayed what regions a temperature was in.
While matching regions to temperatures was fairly easy, I had more problems matching temperatures to regions, which were displayed in the HTML report. I eventually got this part working so at about 15:55 I started the last feature I would add today. Most of my code was in the region.c module but the statcomp.c module was thin until I added a function to compute the average temperature for a region.
As it got closer to 17:00, I felt more rushed since I should have been cleaning the code up but I was still working on the average function. It was fairly trivial to compute the average but I was having variable scope and compilation problems working with the second module. I made some hacks to get things working but occasionally the compile would still fail with redeclaration errors. The solution was to temporarily remove include file references, recompile from certain files only, and then put back the include statement.
At 17:00 I clearly was not done or even able to stop working on what I had. This wasn’t that big of a problem in of itself since other people in my class were still working in the lab after 17:00. However, I said to some people earlier today that I would be going with them into Philly for dinner. One of the people I told was already in Philly by 17:00 but I was to meet the other person for a 17:31 train. I called him from the Sun lab to tell him that I wasn’t done and couldn’t go with him.
I continued working in the lab after then and went to dinner at about 18:00. Following dinner I cleaned up the code for the CS project. By then I had improved the problems with the include files by making a common header file that both modules called. It took several more hours to fully clean up, comment, review, and test the code.
I left Sproul at about 22:40 with the expectation that I was going to bed soon. However, Green Bottle was tonight in the Wharton courtyard, which effectively prevented anyone from sleeping in Wharton until about 03:00. Green Bottle is the end of the year party where wild stuff happens. Facilities put out several large trash barrels for people to throw their bottles in and public safety locked out the C basement for the weekend so that space wouldn’t get trashed. My RA sent out an e-mail about the latter item on Friday and while I found that kind of odd for the college to be proactive, once the party started tonight I understood why that was done.
Kai talked in my room for a bit when I still thought I could go to sleep since the loud music had not started yet in the courtyard. However as it got closer to 00:00 more loud drunken people were in the hall. I couldn’t hear the music that much from my room but I thought that even though I was really tired, if there wasn’t anything social going on over the next few days it made sense to go the party now. I checked both the Swarthmore schedule of events and the Daily Jolt and all I found until Tuesday was a dog show on the baseball field tomorrow afternoon. I decided then to go outside with Kai to the courtyard.
I wanted to do something fun after I finished my work anyway and I wanted it to be new and not be costly. It essentially needed to stand for all of the work I had done at Swarthmore. Even though I may still need to work on my CS project, I soon realized that Green Bottle was the event I was looking for and it was happening right outside my room.
Besides Kai, I spent a fair amount of time at the party hanging out with Norense. Norense and I were also in Kai’s room for a bit. Norense wanted to use Kai’s computer so Kai logged off. Both Norense and I had login problems, mine being more dramatic. I wanted to see if I could login to the Windows domain as it didn’t work in Hicks on 2003-04-17 but it did work downstairs in Wharton about a week ago. When I tried logging in tonight I crashed Kai’s computer so I just left things alone.
There were a number of events during the party that I found quite interesting. The music was playing from a sound system setup right outside Jeremy’s window. Jeremy left to go study elsewhere. Women were kissing each other near the beginning of the party. A beer pong board was setup near where the grill was located. The board functioned as a table since a number of trashcans held it up. I spent a fair amount of time near there since there was action. The only negative of standing around there was that it was pretty bright near the light, so moving from there to elsewhere in the courtyard was annoying.
The music came from a laptop with some odd pauses during the night. It didn’t seem as bad as the party on 2003-05-02 since people for the most part were not dancing tonight and so didn’t need a continuous stream of music. For one extended music pause I joined the group of three or so clustered around the laptop to see what was going on. The MP3 player being used gave errors for many of the songs saying that it was “impossible to open the file.” After trying a number of songs it finally got going again.
At some point in the party when I was standing with Kai near the pong table naked guys ran through the courtyard carrying another naked guy on their shoulders. It happened so quickly it took a few seconds and a head turn to realize what happened.
I also saw later tonight men caressing each other and a drunken person throwing up whom later was falling over stuff. He had a hard time standing up and also ended up in the garden area in the middle of the courtyard. A friend was there to help him not seriously injure himself.
After the music stopped at about 03:00 it was clear that party pooper Wharton residents were intermittently egging those still left in the courtyard. There were only about seven people outside then and when it got to this point we started leaving.
I got back to my room feeling incredibly good. Tonight was better than any pub night because it was very ad hoc and also quite fun.
2003-05-16, Fri (Day 871, temperature at 07:36: 22.8°C, difference: +0.6°C): I got up early today to continue working on my CS project. By late morning my project reached a milestone with a functional regions command, which displayed all of the regions with the turnout and corner data. In the afternoon I made the HTML output page, which involved placing the region data into HTML format and producing JPEGs of the regions. By dinner I had this part operational but the code was not at a milestone point since the extra lines were still in the program.
After eating dinner in the middle room I walked out onto the Sharples patio to hear loud singing and music over Parrish beach. It was raining and windy at the time so I found it odd that someone near Parrish would be playing recorded music like it was a nice day. As I listened more I could tell the song was live since it sounded different than the recorded studio version.
I got to Parrish porch to see the band Collar Ups playing. About 15 people were on the other side of the porch to listen. I thought it was kind of odd that the band was playing during a finals period, considering they were quite loud, outside, and right near the Parrish building.
After a half-hour, near 20:30, a pubic safety officer arrives to tell the band to turn it down. They try to but end up making more feedback. The officer then leaves and one of the band members went into Parrish to find him. The band member comes back a few minutes later and said it would be the band’s last song.
In the evening I wrote my presentation essay for environmental studies in Beardsley computer lab. I added images to the online output, which was how all of the essays for this class were turned in.
Writing the environmental studies paper was the last academic assignment that I would do in Beardsley computer lab. Known as Beardsley public area before, I wrote many of my papers here when I didn’t need to use what materials were limited to McCabe. While I had more problem sets than papers my first year at Swarthmore, I still used the Beardsley print dispatch room then for my printouts. Going back in my journal entries, it looked like the first assignment I did in Beardsley was an E5 MATLAB project on 1999-09-26.
The computer lab in Beardsley has changed over the past four years besides standard machine upgrades. In my freshman and sophomore years the lab was almost all bondi blue iMacs with two PCs. The lab became half indigo iMacs and half Dell PCs my junior year. The Macs were in the inner ring of computers and the Dells were on the outer ring.
This academic year the Beardsley computer lab was reduced to about half its floor space, received nicer chairs, and a new carpet. More dorm computing clusters and the corresponding decline in Beardsley usage brought about this lab size reduction. The Macs and PCs are interspersed throughout the Beardsley lab at about a 2 to 1 ratio. The room layout turned from a ring to a horseshoe by retaining the computer counters from before.
The print dispatch room was converted into a video editing room my sophomore year and became Bob Velez’s office my senior year. In mid-summer of 2000 the printers were changed from Apple LaserWriter 8500s to two HP 8100 DN models. ITS placed the new printers inside the computer lab and eliminated the dedicated dispatcher position by making the printers self-serve. The on-duty lab consultants sort printouts that are not picked up after a period of time. When the size of the computer lab was reduced in the summer of 2002, ITS moved one of the HP printers elsewhere.
2003-05-15, Thu (Day 870, temperature at 10:13: 22.2°C, difference: +0.2°C): After lunch I went to the Sproul Sun lab to work on my CS final project. The project is to find the correlation between voting turnout and temperature among regions. I continued working on it late into the evening.
2003-05-14, Wed (Day 869, temperature at 12:54: 22.0°C, difference: +1.5°C): I went to Beardsley computer lab beginning in the middle afternoon to continue working on my art history take home final.
2003-05-13, Tue (Day 868, temperature at 08:00: 20.5°C, difference: -2.7°C): I got up and quickly went to breakfast at Sharples. I finished eating and walked back to my room at the time I normally would be walking to Sharples to begin eating. As a result I got to Kohlberg for my psych exam reasonably early. I went to Beardsley computer lab in the evening to revise my astronomy paper and work on my art history take-home final.
2003-05-12, Mon (Day 867, temperature at 08:00: 23.2°C, difference: 0.0°C): I rotated the web request logs this morning, ate lunch, and went to Cornell to continue studying for my astronomy final. The final started at 14:00 in DuPont.
After leaving the final at 17:00 I went to Tom’s room in Pittenger for a barbecue. Jesse and John were also there. Tom cooked some good food including cheeseburgers, corn, chicken, and steak. We also played World Series Baseball 2K3 on the Xbox. I then went to McCabe to study for my psych final tomorrow but I had a hard time finding a seat in the places I checked on Saturday, when it was also crowded but not as much as it was tonight. I went to bed sometime after 23:00.
2003-05-11, Sun (Day 866, temperature at 08:07: 23.2°C, difference: +0.6°C): This afternoon I went to Cornell to study for my astronomy final tomorrow. The lower level of the library was pretty full so I didn’t have many seats to choose from. I continued studying in Cornell in the early evening. I went to an astronomy review session in DuPont at 20:30, which lasted until almost 22:00. I went to bed soon after then.
2003-05-10, Sat (Day 865, temperature at 12:31: 22.6°C, difference: -1.3°C): After eating lunch I did the laundry in the afternoon. In the evening I went to McCabe to study for my psych final on Tuesday.
2003-05-09, Fri (Day 864, temperature at 10:52: 23.9°C, difference: -1.3°C): In the afternoon I sorted through the pile of stuff under my chair. I went to Cornell in the first half of the evening to study for my astronomy final on Monday. I then went to McCabe after 21:00 to do work for my psych class.
2003-05-08, Thu (Day 863, temperature at 12:01: 25.2°C, difference: +1.5°C): After eating lunch I went to Hicks for an optional class meeting for environmental studies. Two in my class still needed to give their presentations today. I left for the psych picnic in front of Papazian after 16:45. The two hamburgers I had were quite good, despite being without cheese.
2003-05-07, Wed (Day 862, temperature at 11:12: 23.7°C, difference: +0.3°C): I read Swatmail in the afternoon and processed the past two week’s worth of web request logs. After dinner I continued reading e-mail. I also got inline tags working within Phoenix XML files.
2003-05-06, Tue (Day 861, temperature at 07:41: 23.4°C, difference: +0.2°C): I went to breakfast, stopped by Wharton briefly, and then went to Hicks for the continuation of the E90 presentations. After eating lunch, I returned to Hicks for the afternoon session of the presentations. I went to bed early tonight since I was tired.
2003-05-05, Mon (Day 860, temperature at 11:35: 23.2°C, difference: +0.5°C): In the late afternoon I went to the Hicks mural room for the E90 presentations, which started this morning. These presentations were the culminating project for engineering seniors. In the evening I got my journal fully up to date.
2003-05-04, Sun (Day 859, temperature at 12:01: 22.7°C, difference: -0.5°C): In the late afternoon I got a ride to the McCabe dinner. I got back to campus at about 20:00 and went to Olde Club for the last show of the semester. The Perfectionists, Pattern is Movement, The Vexers, and Cobra Verde played tonight.
2003-05-03, Sat (Day 858, temperature at 08:55: 23.2°C, difference: -2.5°C): I got up at 14:00 and went to the Delta Upsilon lodge for the Margaritaville barbecue. The lines for food were quite short but there still were a number of people there.
After 15:00 I picked up a blanket in my room for Worthstock and then went to the music festival outside Olde Club, which started at 12:15. Performing today were the Swarthmore Bata Drum Trio, African Drumming featuring Charles Abacus and Corey Mark ’02, Gary Lucas, Corey Harris, Frank Bambara Y Sus Salseros, and the King Django Roots and Culture Band. The stage was setup in front of the Women’s Resource Center. The festival ended sometime before 21:30.
I did the laundry in about two hours after then. Following that I went to the DU Margaritaville party for about an hour.
2003-05-02, Fri (Day 857, temperature at 08:40: 25.7°C, difference: +2.6°C, last day of classes): I got to my art history class right at 09:30. The last presentation group went today and class ended a few minutes early. I took those few extra minutes to walk through the science commons, which opened this week. The beverage lab is not open yet though.
I got to Sproul right before 11:30 to take the CS test. I went to the science commons in the afternoon to do my last astronomy problem set. This space had more seats for doing work than for lounging. Part of the science commons closer to the elevator was still under construction so I had to ignore that noise.
A chemistry poster session was at 15:30 in the commons today so even though the space was almost empty when I started working, more people arrived as the afternoon progressed. About thirty people arrived for the poster session after 15:30. I finished writing up my problem set soon after 16:30, which I then turned in. I went to Paces for about an hour after 00:00 for the Student Council party following the movie on Parrish beach.
2003-05-01, Thu (Day 856, temperature at 08:16: 23.1°C, difference: +2.5°C): Barry Schwartz, who also taught my first psychology class in 2000, today taught my last psychology class. I wrote my art history presentation paper this evening in Beardsley before going to pub night. I returned to Beardsley before 00:00 to revise my third art history paper.
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