Alexa J. '20
Mar 3 2017
In a public high school with about 700 people per class, there was barely enough room to walk in the hallways, let alone room for much creativity. Therefore, I was always diligently reading textbooks, writing down notes, taking tests, filling out worksheets, completing standardized tests, counting down seconds until the next class, and over and over again. I learned to shove facts into my head, regurgitate it on a test a week later, and erase it all immediately after.
Then I got here. I’ve quickly learned that even GIR classes want you to do more than use the equations. They want you to apply your knowledge to problems that take hours and several pieces of paper. This really hurt my brain at first. It took awhile, but slowly, I got over this fear I had from even approaching the problem. It was a fear of being wrong that came at the price of making progress on problems.
Hence, a semester of Pass/No Record acted as an adjustment period, full of trial and error, just as it was... read the post »
Jan 20 2017
What I'm pretty sure next semester will be like. No offense to the great and wonderful institutions that are Princeton and Yale. Without further ado, I present my expression of feelings for the first semester of MIT.
Ode to PNR
Pretty please Pass/No Record, how I wish you’d come back.
I’ll pray, beg, get on my knees, if you think it’s gratitude I lack.
Play hard, try really really hard, pressure just to pass.
Can’t slack off but can get away with occasionally skipping class,
I’m learning the hard way that it’s really not like high school.
Surrounded by the weirdos and nerds; it’s no longer uncool.
I joined anything and everything and tried miserably to do it all,
Getting new emails by the hundreds, on those I really dropped the ball.
I found friends to talk with until the wee hours of the night,
With my 13.01 class in Procrastination, scheduling was tight.
Along those lines, in class, in clubs, in rooms, I often felt like the dunce.
I got rejected from a... read the post »
Dec 6 2016
“Eco-chic.” -a freshman critic from Maseeh
“The prizes were awesome, and the designers worked super hard all semester, and the lighting was super cool, and I’m really glad it all came together so well.” -a sophomore on the Trashion committee
“It was all trash! Beautiful trash!” -another freshman critic
Three months. Twenty-four designers from MIT, Harvard, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. One semester to create an outfit out of––you guessed it––trash. From collecting vintage curtains from their grandparents in Poland to repurposing old mattresses, competitors showed their creative side even during the material collection. On Friday night, models walked the runway with their were judged by the other UA Sustainability committees, the audience, and a panel of judges on various criteria, including recyclability, wearability, and compostability.
The room had a purple glow and pulsed with upbeat music, with bright white spotlights shining... read the post »
Nov 7 2016
Posted in: Miscellaneous
Warning: cheesiness ahead!
Halfway through this chaotic semester filled with too many midterms for me and too many college applications for many of you, I’ve watched motivation jump off of a building, and with it, inspiration and optimism. I’ve searched high and low, from Facebook to Instagram to Reddit but to no avail. Motivation was nowhere to be found (a.k.a. I’ve been procrastinating). That is, until I found an exhaustive list of quotes from the lovely captain of the lightweight women’s crew team, Sharon. I’ve compiled the corniest collection of these quotes into power monologues that you can tell yourself the next time every bone and neuron in your body is saying, “Can we do this?? No, we can’t!!”
(Also quick throwback to childhood for some positive vibes)
If you ever feel like you just can’t do it…
As I'm sure you know by now, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” (Wayne Gretzky). But sometimes, you think about how you're finally going to take that shot and... read the post »
Oct 4 2016
Meet Dennis Hopper.
That was a portrait taken of him by Charles Giuliano, published in 2007. I first saw Dennis in a pile of four art pieces that had been left after the rest of the rejects of the art lottery that Krystal talked about had been picked through and claimed. I don’t like to think of him as a rejected reject though; instead, I think that he was just waiting for me to bring him home. He keeps a very watchful eye as I sleep and dares anybody who walks by to have a staring contest with him.
Dennis Hopper was an actor who was in a few James Dean films and believed very strongly in the 1960s culture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. He was almost more well known for the number of wives he had (five!) and how he banned the last one from attending his funeral.
I didn’t know all of this before I chose him, but given that the other options were a child bride, a wedding photo of a guy with some serious sideburns, or a girl scowling at the camera in a dress, I figured... read the post »