Mel wrote a comment to the post “Cyberspace Good Samaritan: Part 1”: “Thanks for doing these interviews! As Bernie said, it’s important to recognize the doers like Aleksey – we need more of them. Are you planning on interviewing other contributors as well? I think this would make a great series.”
I wrote back: “Hi Mel, Thanks for your feedback and encouragement to continue my interviews. I also interviewed Adam Holt, but still need to work on the material I got (so much of interesting info!) Bernie, Mel and Adam, let me know who else you think I should interview next. That person could be a gangster, Sugar volunteer or someone else.
Mel answered: “Yifan Sun and Elsa Culler, who run the Olin student chapter – they’ve been working tirelessly in the background for over a year now. There are more – lots more – like them. –Mel”
So after several attempts to meet on IRC, we connected with Elsa on Skype:
Polyachka: hi there!
Elsa: hi, nice to meet you
Polyachka: I don’t know why IRC didn’t work for me
Elsa: it’s tricky like that sometimes
Polyachka: anyways, can you tell me about your chapter?
Polyachka: what is it?
Polyachka: I heard about it, but have no idea what it is
Elsa: the chapter is a group of students that try to do 2-3 XO or OLPC related projects per semester
Polyachka: you are a student too
Polyachka: so you organized it?
Elsa: Last semester, we built a robotics extension for the xo, and this semester we’re primarily running an after school program at a local elementary school
Elsa: Mel started the chapter, but I’m currently in charge of it
Polyachka: how many of you doing it?
Polyachka: all of you are students at Olin?
Elsa: right now there’s about 4 people heavily involved and 3-4 others that are less involved
Polyachka: when did you start it?
Elsa: Mel started it before I was at Olin, I think about 4 years ago
Elsa: I’ve only been involved for a year and a half
Polyachka: so what year are you in Olin?
Elsa: I’m a sophomore (2nd year)