Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bittersweet Goodbyes

Thursday was a very busy day. It was the last day of class, and the last full day of VSA. In our last few hours of Knot Theory, we talked about careers for math majors and mathematicians, and what companies are hiring them. Most are related to statistics, computer science, or engineering, but there's a huge variety. (There was also that one kid who suggested "starve" when asked what mathematicians do.) We also filled out evaluations of our teacher, TA, and proctor. After class was the closing ceremony, a bittersweet occasion for everyone. The directors and heads of Houses gave short speeches about some of the memorable events in the past three weeks, and there was a short slideshow at the end with pictures from throughout the program.

Open Mic at Coff-V House
A different kind of knot
Everyone was dismissed to their rooms to pack before dinner so that they wouldn't have to stay up later doing it. After dinner was the dance. Technically it was a masquerade ball, but since masks don't really work with glasses (and a lot people didn't want to wear masks anyway) for most people it was just a dance. Before the dance, Victoria (Hummd's proctor and the head of V House), braided my hair, and it turned out amazing. (Conner, who was in my Knot Theory class, remarked that it looked like a knot.) I'm not really a dancer, and when I twirl I tend to almost fall over, but it was fun anyway. (I'm not the only person who can't dance, so I had fun failing to dance with other people.)

After the dance was the last proctor group meeting, during which we talked about, instead of highs and lows of the day, our highs and lows of the whole program. My low was probably the dining hall food, but there were too many highs to pick one. Finding the egg with Miranda and Hummd, going to Jeni's ice cream, making friends in Knot Theory, the scavenger hunt, learning about graph theory, Coff-V House, dancing in the rain...

Soon enough it was Friday morning, and though it seemed as though we'd only arrived a few days ago, it was time to leave already. It was sad to leave all the new friends we'd made over the last two weeks, and I'm glad that, unlike most, I'll still be going to school with one--Hummd.

As our plane landed at Oakland, the first thing we all noticed was the fresh, cool, dry air flowing in from outside. We had all been sad to leave, but we were all happy to be home again, too.

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