It’s the day! The day that we’re going to play our robot orchestra (or “roborchestra” as I like to call it) in front of the parents. My parents aren’t going to make it (as much as I would love for them to magically show up from the other side of the globe) and my dad jokes about me live streaming the whole presentation. I laugh and tell him that they can watch it afterwards and make my way to get breakfast before heading to the engineering building and making last adjustments. It feels just like another day, not as if it was our last day together.
We get a final rehearsal and then let the parents inside. After everyone is seated and a small introduction we play our song (The Sweetest Thing form U2, you can check out the song and our interpretation here!). At first the parents are all lost because most of them don’t recognize the song, but after hearing the song it finally clicks. We play the song several times and then pass to the part where we talk about our robots individually and play some solos. After thanking Professor Yim and Andrew once again, we give them a small thank you gift for their efforts and help throughout the course. After this, everyone gets a final photo and disassemble our robots. I give our robot to my partner Chris, who worked with me for the past 9 days and together we became a very good team! We get lunch afterwards, and quickly head to the graduation ceremony which is in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology.
Later on we listen to a wonderful speech from none other than the Dean of Engineering, Vijay Kumar, who also works on robotics (quad-rotors to be more specific) and even has a lab after himself, the Kumar Lab. Then, we watch a video of memorable moments from the past 3 weeks, which you can watch here, and get our certificates from Dean Kumar in alphabetical order. After heading outside for a delightful brunch, we get pictures (tons of them) then the scheduled part of the day is over! For the rest of the night, we pack, get dinner, pack some more, and spent time together until we’re all exhausted. Next morning we all say goodbye and it finally hits me that most of us are not going to see each other again. I hold back the tears as I hug everyone goodbye for the last time and wave goodbye. It’s been an unforgettable 3-weeks Penn, hope to see you again, and hopefully soon!