I am now broadcasting live from Jacob's Pillow in Massachusetts! The trip here, despite being composed of a plane ride, followed by a bus ride from the airport to the regional bus depot, followed by a three-hour layover, followed by another bus ride, followed by a car ride to the actual site, was pretty stress-free.
I arrived by about 4:30, and I met a bunch of the staff, who all seem to be really friendly, including the tech folks, who have that same combination of laid-back joviality and quirkiness that I have come to associate with tech people everywhere.
The housing is one step above Interlochen (they have heat!), for those of you who have lived there, but it's not a hotel or anything. I'm in a double room, in a cabin with four double rooms. I count five intern cabins total, but there are only six or seven male interns (out of 31 total), so it's possible I may not have a roommate, assuming they don't have co-ed cabins.
My big observation so far is that the East Coast is nothing like the Midwest. Everything is much more compact here. There seems to be a much sharper boundary between civilization and wilderness. In the Midwest, you have to drive through innumerable ultra-generic middle-class subdivisions with meaningless names like "Marmoset Valley Heights" before you can get away from the urban sprawl, and even once you manage that, you're really in farmland, not wilderness.
Here in the Berkshires, on the other hand, there are only buildings where there are roads, and there are only roads a) in towns and b) connecting towns. Everything else appears to be nothing but trees. Despite that, I'd be willing to bet that they have about the same overall population density on a statewide level that we have in the Midwest, because they cram more people into smaller areas. I kind of like it--urban sprawl bugs the heck out of me, and trees are pretty. I hope I'll have time for hiking.
I'm one of only two or three interns who arrived today--the rest are showing up tomorrow. Everyone has told me to get settled in and enjoy what they say will be my one and only quiet evening of the summer. I just read the orientation packet they gave me, and the last page was a list of tips for surviving the summer. The number 7 tip?
"Breath. Often. Deeply."