Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blogging My Day at Splash

When I saw the title, I thought this was a really epic water park. Even though I was hoping for swimming, this is just as cool. Maybe even cooler. *mind is blown* --Amar


"Splash" is a weekend program at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) that I went to this past weekend. It takes place on Saturday and Sunday, and you can go all day to take student-run classes. The classes can be on any topic from Theoretical Physics to How To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse. Basically, there's something there for everyone. Splash is open to anyone in grades 7-12, and it's a blast. This was my second year attending, and it was just as incredible as before. It's epic, exactly the sort of event you would expect Sparklers to go to.

Unfortunately, I was busy on Saturday and I could only go to the Sunday classes. There are almost a hundred (a complete guesstimate) classes running on Sunday, anywhere from one to eight hours long, so I still had plenty to choose from.

7:00 AM - Wake up. I'm confused, thinking it's a school day, because why on Earth would my alarm be going off on a weekend? Then remeber: Splahs today! Roll out of bed, put on my epic Pac-Man t-shirt. There are lots of epic people at Splash, so it will surely be appreciated.

7:30 AM - My sister, age 12, has a mental breakdown. This is her first time at Splash and she's scared that she'll get lost on the MIT campus. I comfort her and tell her not to worry, the monsters only live in the underground tunnels and only venture above-ground occasionally.

8:00 AM - Leave on the forty-minute drive to Boston. Classes start at 9, so we have plenty of time.

8:45 AM - Check in. They print me a schedule, showing my classes for the day. You pre-register for classes a few weeks before the actual event, online at the Splash website.

8:46 AM - What is this madness? I don't want to take "Learn to Read a Poem"! I have Sparknotes for that! I quickly switch into the "Samuri versus Ninja" class. Far more epic to meet my awesomeness standards.

8:52 AM - A random guy comes up to me and compliments my Pac-Man shirt.

8:57 AM - Race up six flights of stairs to the top of the building for my first class, "Making Chainmaille". I see that I'm at the top and climb the last flight to see if the door to the roof is unlocked. It isn't, and now my legs really hurt. I trudge back down and find the classroom.

9:02 AM - Whoa! The teacher is really good at making chainmaille. She made a chainmaille dress for her senior prom, and brought it to show us. I pick it up. It weighed at least fifty pounds.

9:20 AM - I've mastered the simple weave, and start making a little patch of chainmaille. My fingers are turning black from this, and these pliers are really small and hard to hold. Oh well. This is fun.

9:50 AM -  I expand on my little patch of chainmaille. It's taken forever to get a four-by-four inch square. I have no idea how she found time to make a whole prom dress.

10:10 AM - I make a chainmaille bracelet, complete with a clasp. I'll wear it to school tomorrow and my friends will think I'm either awesome or crazy.

10:40 AM - I start a new bracelet, this one with colored links. It's beautiful. I love chainmaille. I want to be a knight when I grow up.

10:55 AM - The class is just about over, so she gives us lots of extra rings so we can finish at home. My bag rips and they scatter all over inside my backpack. I'll pick them up later.

11:02 AM - Find the room for my next class, "Learn to Juggle".

11:06 AM - I wonder why there's no one else here yet.

11:09 AM - Yes, this is the right room. I wonder why...oh, wait, there's a sign on the door. What?! My class has been canceled? What is this madness?

11:11 AM - I have nothing to do for the next hour. I explore for a little while. They basically let you run free on MIT campus, so it's pretty awesome.

11:27 AM - I go back to chainmaille class. the teacher has another class, but she lets me stay. They're really lax about that stuff, so it's all good.

11:49 AM - Finish my second bracelet. I love it. I'm so proud.

11:56 AM - Replenish my supply of extra rings and go to my next class, "Candy Wrapper Art"

12:04 PM - We're going to be making bracelets out of Starburst wrappers! Wow, I'm going to have a lot of bracelets by the end of this.

12:10 PM - Not only do we get to make the bracelet, we get to eat the Starburst to get the wrappers! Could this get any better?

12:17 PM - Wow. This is really hard. Why are these so hard to fold?

12:40 PM - It's been forty minutes and my bracelet is two inches long. This is harder than it looks.

12:55 PM - Stuff twenty Starburst and my three-inch bracelet into my backpack. I'll finish it later.

1:03 PM - Call my sister. We're supposed to meet up for lunch.

1:07 PM - My sister shows me the way to lunch. What is this? She's supposed to be the noob who doesn't know her way around,a and I'm supposed to be the expert who can find a needle in this haystack of a school. This isn't how it's supposed to work.

1:12 PM - Okay, I probably would never have found this without her. Jeez. She's already eaten, so she abandons me. How will I find my way back?

1:15 PM - Pizza! Nomnomnom.

1:20 PM - I sit with some awesome girls, one from Canada and one from Maryland. They compliment my Pac-Man shirt.

1:23 PM - We discuss the Harry Potter movie and compare it to the books. I like these people.

1:33 PM - We discuss xkcd. I like these people.

1:41 PM - We bash Twilight. I like these people.

1:55 PM - Lunch is over, and I must part ways with the awesome people I met. I get their e-mails and forget to ask if they are Sparklers. They must be, because only a Sparkler could be that awesome.

2:04 PM - My "Samuri versus Ninja" class. I'm rooting for ninjas.

2:45 PM - Wow, Samuris have cool swords! I want to be a Samuri.

3:20 PM - Ninjas are epic! They can jump over walls and they can pretend to walk on water. I want to be a ninja.

3:40 PM - No, I want to be a Samuri! They have cool armor.

3:55 PM - No, I want to be a ninja. They have black outfits.

4:00 PM - Aww, it's over, and I don't know what I want to be!

4:05 PM - "Set" class. Set is an awesome card game. I know how to play, and I sit at the Pro table.

4:10 PM - These people are REALLY good. I've found two sets the whole game. I lost.

4:12 PM -I will not quit and go to the intermediate table. I will not quit and go to the intermediate table.

4:25 PM - YES! I won a game! I got seven sets, but I won!

4:26 PM - I win a Silly Band. It's a hippo. I add it to the collection on my wrists, which also includes my Starburst bracelet (I finished it during my ninja class).

4:55 PM - That was fun. I only won once, but it was really challenging. How are these people so good??

5:02 PM - "Things You Could Do In Ancient Rome but Not Today" Basically we learn about the crazy idiotic emperors.

5:15 PM - Apparently, Augustus Caesar wrote a laundry list of everything he did in his life. It includes lines like "I became the master of everything by the consent of all" but he still manages to sound completely modest while he brags about everything. That guy was a genius.

5:25 PM - We read Cicero's Phillipics against Marc Antony. Basically, it's a huge political speech bashing him in every way possible. I wish modern politics were this awesome.

5:45 PM - So Emperor Caligula dressed up some of his soldiers as enemies, and paraded them through Rome to prove that he could actually capture some enemies in battle. This guy was hilarious.

5:55 PM - Aww, it's over! I want to hear more about stupid Ancient Romans.

6:02 PM - "Make Things Out of Duct Tape" class! I already know how to do this, so I go over and show off my duct-tape-flower-amking skills.

6:07 PM - Three people admire my flower.

6:12 PM - A guy give me a scone in trade for me teaching him how to make a flower. I accept.

6:13 PM - He compliments my Pac-Man shirt.

6:15 PM - He has buttons on his backpack. I admire them. I tell the table about my one lonely button - It has a Tardis on it and says "Time And Relative Dimensions In Space".

6:16 PM - Everyone at the table knows what a Tardis is. I love these people.

6:22 PM - I try to trade a duct tape flower for one of his buttons, but he refuses.

6:31 PM - I show them my duct tape turtle that my brother gave me. They are jealous.

6:34 PM - I end up with about a dozen e-email addresses total

6:40 PM - A whole group of us leaves. We hang out by the entrance with a Free Hugs sign, and get about two dozen takers.

7:00 PM - We sit in two lines by the door, so that anyone who leaves has to go in between. We applaud anyone who passes through.

7:05 PM - Aww! Splash is over! It was so much fun, and I had a great time, I can't wait until Spark in the spring!

Who else thinks wants a chainmail bracelet? I know I do. Hmm...What can I bribe Flyergirl with?

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