Thursday, February 11, 2010

WBR Society Reception

I got my Translink pass in the mail yesterday. I really like this thing. Takes away the hassle of carrying around exact change and dealing with fare machines. This card is like a multi-transit pass. I'm going to be using it on Caltrain, BART, MUNI, and AC Transit. This basically covers getting in and out of Palo Alto, getting around SF and Oakland. You can even load monthly passes onto it. There are a still a few kinks in this thing (since it's still new) but I think it's pretty good overall.

I went out to San Francisco again earlier tonight for a William Barton Rogers reception. The WBR Society is for people who donate a certain amount to MIT. It's actually not a lot of money for current students and people fresh out of school. I had been debating whether or not to go since I have a midterm tomorrow (Friday) and didn't know anyone else who was going. But I think I've done all I can for the midterm tomorrow so I decided to go and see about networking. I thought the Translink card coming in the mail was a sign anyway.

Most people there were older but everyone was pretty social since the event is basically a social. There was some really good finger food. It was held at a common room in a really nice condo complex that looks out onto the Bay and the Bay Bridge. I chatted with some random people and then met Mitra '07, who was one of the MIT admissions bloggers. She remembered me from my high school send-away event. I was impressed. That was a long time ago.

There was a talk by the Smart Cities group who are working on these small cars, scooters, and motorized bikes. It's a group in the Media Lab who've developed these things and are looking to implement them in big cities like Zip Cars. Their ideas sound really awesome. I wish I have one of these motorized bicycles. You can pedal whenever and switch to the motor when you're going uphill. The guy was great and there were some good questions and discussion at the end.

The great thing about being a civil engineer is that you get to tell people things like, "oh yeah, I worked on the xxx project." Everyone thought it was so cool that I had worked on the BART project. And I talked to one guy who was really excited about the MUNI Central Subway project because he lives south of Market and this would let him go north into Chinatown really easily. I can't wait to work on Transbay. That would definitely be a great conversation starter.

Looking forward to finishing my midterm tomorrow. I think I'll go to the gym after that and then grocery shopping. Going home Saturday afternoon. My first day of work is next Tuesday! Now that I'm working in the city, I can go to even more of these events in SF. If they're on the right day, then I can just go after work and wouldn't be making a huge effort to get out of south bay just to attend something.

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