GLP – The Dexter Annals

28 Jul

By Dexter Chew Xuan Han

Psst! It’s been about a month now; I’m here reporting what had happened the last week.

Wo, you can’t imagine how the week’s like. Seems like no one had share with you about our New York trip huh? Let me summarize in a sentence: It was a vibrant, bustling, talented and uniquely different city.  Let the pictures do the talking. I must say, we see a lot, played a lot and burnt a lot of holes in our pockets. Hmm… What can I say, YOLO! (Self-consoling mechanism)

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Okay, back to last week. We started our week with a lazy start as some of us arrived back from New York City at about 2am in the morning. Despite the fatigue, I look forward to ceramics lesson. It’s our third lesson on ceramics in Cambridge. It was really interesting is that in all lessons, our mentor would usually teach us new knowledge like adding handles and doing trimming, most of us are still working on our first techniques that were throwing and centering of the clay itself. We learnt about glazing today, something related to having a thin layer of glass over your clay that makes that “cling cling” sound when you tap on some ceramics. Basically, it protects the clay and gives it the colour. Something interesting about color mixing was that blue and yellow doesn’t really gives green. Probably, grey would turn out more appropriately. Why? These are colours from chemicals that will react with each other at high temperatures much like some Chemistry stuff.

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Hmm…Day 2. We had our electric vehicle production factory working (finally). Most of us start to feel the pinch and motivation on getting into the details of designing an electric vehicle. I believe everyone was especially productive today. Some of the interesting designs and prototypes could be seen already! Check them out! (These will go on for the next few days I guess, until then; we can only show you guys our design processes! Keep a look out for it!) Some of us ended our day with a cool night jog around Charles River. BEA-U-tiful!

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Ah yes, in Day 3, we went to a very interesting museum, Boston Museum of Science. I must say, it was an eye opener. Kate and Jon, our coordinators, had kindly provided us an opportunity to visit the museum for free as well as 2 selected documentaries! I must say, the IMAX theatre was really awesome. Loved the sound system. I’d be glad to share with you the experience, but no photos were allowed. Haha. One particular documentary was really interesting. The film was regarding planets and stars and as Edward nicely puts it, “Great show! First you see stars, then you enter the Black-hole and see its details. It was so life like. The next thing you knew, you hit the credits” (i.e. some of us slept).  Putting jokes aside, the entire experience was like a time-machine. We seem to be reliving our childhoods as we walk about the exhibits, touching and pushing buttons. For a moment, this reminds me of our 2.007 module. (Mm… let’s not go there in this post)

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Day 4 was cool, 4th of July! For those in Singapore, its America’s Independence Day! In Boston, we have the Boston Pops, one of the most amazing fireworks I’ve seen and it spans over the Charles River. The Prudential Building was literally glowing with a myriad of colors. Guess what, my room has the best view and Terence is camping there with his camera and his ‘special laptop’.  This brings me to Kate Perry’s ‘Fireworks’, now I know why the ‘4th of July’ phrase was inside. Ok, that was another random. Don’t judge. (Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGJuMBdaqIw)

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On Friday, we had our game design workshop where we are tasked to design board/card games. We were honored to be exposed to so many skills and methods of innovation. To me, I did not expect myself to create such games because these weren’t my cup of tea. However, I realize that there was so much joy in creating games for others, especially during our innovation process. All of us had fun poking fun of games that we design.  My team had a rather interesting name for our game, “CHUA SAI” (i.e. hokkien expression that is used when one is fitted in an uncomfortable and shocking situation). More details to be released later in the programme.

And YES! We ended our week with a trip to Wrentham! And some went to Maceys for shopping! Heard they had relatively cheap apparels over in those retail outlets. Fortunately, or unfortunately, for some of us we have other personal activities. For me and Jin Kai, we had solar vehicle meetings to attend. Hey, we do cool stuff too. Haha. We got to innovate on the ferring of MIT’s Solar EV Team’s solar car! Although most of the design were made by the coordinator, we exposed to interesting knowledge on carbon fiber application, molding and working about constraints in achieving the best out of the given materials and costs. The working styles of participating students in clubs were very similar to that in SUTD. One thing admirable was that the MIT Solar EV Team had most of their clubs’ budget outsourced and sponsored and they worked about these constraints with wits.

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Ok, it’s about 11am, Monday here. Time to throw some ceramics, see you again!

*Photos from Khor Zi Jian, Yiyang, Dexter Chew

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