Mid-October update: membership at the new Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design; further exploring the Law School; IKE!, and more

It’s the most busiest time, of the year

Midterms took place, and the MBA application were due last week, and those were only the biggest events: my week last week went from big game hunting a baby mouse in my house (photo of the DMZ around its entry point in the slideshow below) on Sunday night; to getting a series of lessons in “ouch” and “preventing ouch” and “limping the next day” from my time at Alpha Krav Maga; to getting my first web server up and running on the following Saturday, with a panoply of events in between.  This week has been less stressful and frantic, but still filled with further exciting developments and improvements.  Some of the biggest ones include:

Joining Yale’s brand-new Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID)

I am excited to say I am a member of Yale’s brand-new, ground-breaking Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID).  This is a space designed to bring engineers together with hobbyists and interested parties, all around the issue of innovating unexpectedly to solve problems and issues that the world faces, one prototype and whiteboard schematic at a time.  I have mentioned previously some of my intended projects here on my blog, but CEID is going to make sure that I have the support and gear I need to make them really polished (and safe!).  More on this as it develops, but I am quite excited and thankful for this opportunity!

Continuing to get to know the Law School

Working 19 hours per week at the Law School still certainly rounds out my already-full schedule, but I actually really love what I do there – my coworkers are all wonderful people, we have a good time, and we have that delightful mix of clear problems with clear outcomes that often gets lost in some of my other activities and interests.  More interesting photos snapped of the Law School’s more interesting stonework are included below, along with evidence of the unparalleled GIGANTOR wraps they make in their dining hall for folk like me, and the like.

Academic update; intended paper topics are afoot

Meanwhile, up at the Divinity School, classes grind inexorably onwards – in all cases, my intended paper topics are up for critique and shaping towards their final products.  In “Does God Exist” I am looking to do an explication of Rescher’s optimalism (a sort of atheist-friendly iteration of Leibniz’s old contention that this is the best possible world, not perfect, but the best possible) and then argue that optimalism is an excellent supplement to theism, rather than a compelling substitute.  In New Testament, I am very excited to continue my Old Testament coursework tradition of doing my exegetical papers on verses I have always found a mixture of compelling, difficult, and meaningful – for the NT paper, I am going to look at the reference to the sparrows in Matthew, itself the inspiration and title for one of my three favorite novels, The Sparrow.  For my course on the Lutheran Confessions, I decided on doing a fair amount of personal wrestling: I am going to look at the Book of Concord to see JUST how fully it would caution us against the typical implementations of international development today, both secular and Christian (given that my intended career is in that field, I will have to do a fair bit of soul-searching in writing this paper, methinks).  Finally, my Theology, Ethics, and Ecology paper will focus heavily on the works and thought of Wendell Berry, a thinker I only recently discovered and found I might have a deep interest in – not sure of the specific shape of that paper yet, but given that my other three courses are essentially locked down in this regard, I am alright with that!  All told – I have been blessed with my coursework this semester.

Ike

He continues to grow perceptibly, and he is up to eating between 14 and 20 crickets at a sitting (twice a day), which is a LOT of crickets when you consider how small he is.  There are some benefits, it seems, to being cold-blooded while dieting: no calories are spent keeping your body warm and so they all go into growth, and can work as quickly as your heat source allows them (and its 110 F on the hot side of his vivarium, usually).  Though it is assuredly still under construction, the simple webpage I am hosting from my new web server has a page about Ike that is slowly growing: it has his static statistics for now, and will soon (sooner, due to my being in CEID now) have live-updated weather conditions within the tank.  One day, it might end up having a night-vision capable web-cam on it, for people who are awake at 4 in the morning and wonder “how would most bearded dragons react to this late hour?”  Most exciting: bearded dragons are usually quite uncomfortable eating from their owner’s hand, but Ike has grown to absolutely LOVE golden delicious apples (who doesn’t, after all), and will go right for them as soon as I pick them up with my fingers and bring them near him – Ryan got a great shot of him munching on apple, included below, but it is astonishing, how frog-like his tongue is – it darts out so he only fractionally moves his head in pursuit of the AppleFoe.  One day, a video of that shall be uploaded.

Photos

Finally, photos of several of the biggest developments above:

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