GLP – Arrival in Boston and pre-Leadershape experience (03-06-2013)

8 Jun

On Sunday, 2 June 2013, at 6 in the morning, a group of students from the SUTD Global Leadership Programme boarded a flight headed halfway across the world.

The SUTD GLP Team

The SUTD GLP Team

After a day of flying, we arrived in Boston at 8pm (8am Singapore time). Fighting off the effects of jet lag, we were sent by bus to the Lenox Hotel, where we rested for the night. The next day, we travelled by subway across the Charles River to Cambridge, where we were given a brief tour of the MIT Campus.

The main MIT building. Regal and beautiful in stature, it's truly something to admire.

The main MIT building. Regal and beautiful in stature, it’s truly something to admire.

We visited many of MIT’s buildings during the orientation. We saw recruitment posters for all sorts of clubs as we passed through the infinite corridor. We got glimpses into the many laboratories around the campus, ranging from Engineering to Biomedical.

A quick introduction to 'hacking' in MIT.

A quick introduction to ‘hacking’ in MIT.

We also learned a great deal about the history of MIT’s ‘hacks’: the ingenious pranks pulled off by MIT students in the past. Hacks represent a quirky, amusing form of an engineering challenge – be they putting a police car on the top of the dome, or attaching furniture to ceilings to create ‘upside-down’ rooms. And yet, throughout the process, the students maintain a strict adherence to an ethical code, resulting in pranks both amusing and impressive.

The huge sports centre at W35. Yeah, all the buildings here are addressed by number.

The huge sports centre at W35. Yeah, all the buildings here are addressed by number.

We were then issued our MIT cards, which granted us access to their multitude of facilities. There were many beautiful libraries and impressive sports complexes which were now open to us, and we made note of their locations excitedly as we proceeded with our tour.

View of the Charles River from Cambridge. Excellent weather for running too.

View of the Charles River from Cambridge. Excellent weather for running too.

After the tour of the campus, some of us chose to walk back to the hotel, soaking up the sights and sounds of Boston along the way. The first step was to cross back over the Charles River, and thus we proceeded to the bridge.

You could certainly say these students left their mark on Boston.

You could certainly say these students left their mark on Boston.

As any visitor crossing the bridge would notice, there are evenly spaced markings left all along the walkway, measuring ‘100 Smoots’, ‘200 Smoots’ and so on. This relates to the rather interesting story of how a group of MIT students once decided to measure the length of the bridge in the height of their shortest member, Oliver R. Smoot. This quirky prank became well accepted by the public, and the markings are maintained each year.

The Boston Library. Might not look like much on the outside, but as the saying goes, one shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

The Boston Library. Might not look like much on the outside, but as the saying goes, one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Exploring Boston, we stopped by the huge Boston Library. An old building with rich history, it still yet retains its historic function as a stockpile of information. People could be seen streaming in and out of the building on a Tuesday morning. Engraved along the other side of the building is ‘The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of Order and Liberty’, reminding visitors of the principles the nation was built on.

Beautiful paintings adorn marble walls within the library.

Beautiful paintings adorn marble walls within the library.

The lamps and tables here evoke the image of times long past, though musty tomes on desks have been replaced by laptops and iPads in recent years.

The lamps and tables here evoke the image of times long past, though musty tomes on desks have been replaced by laptops and iPads in recent years.

The interior of the building presents a vast and grand construction, reflecting both the history of the building and the solemnity of its purpose.

And it was thus after our brief initial exploration of Boston that we boarded a bus and left for Leadershape, a 6 day long programme held in Sharon.

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