Emad T. '14
Jan 29 2013
Before committing to any major choice, I think you have to be ready and willing. As regards me and my decision to be premed, I had few doubts that I was willing. That decision had stayed alive from at least sophomore year of high school. Even with me diving head-first into studying for the MCAT (which demands quite a lot of time), I'm still willing.
But I didn't want to be the guy who was estimating my position in the class, relative to how other friends were doing on exams and p-sets. I didn't want to be the guy who inquired about GPAs, or put my resume or future application and someone else's on balancing scales. The cynical, numbers and one-upmanship equivalent of the "Not necessarily being the fastest guy when a bear is chasing you, but only faster than whoever's in last place" kind of deal didn't jibe with me. And I guess it didn't jibe with many other premeds that I know, because that preconceived notion of how my academic life would be like died out within maybe 3 semesters... read the post »
Nov 25 2012
Posted in: Miscellaneous
Since I last posted, I got one year older (waaaaay back in October). Also during that time, presumably because I've gotten older and wiser, I've learned a number of things:
At MIT, the week of my birthday has always been busy, because it's always right around midterms.
Those not-quite-fun pset parties I've typically blogged about in the middle of October? And the exams I've had to study for? It wasn't to make my birthday not fun; it was because that's just how the cookie crumbled. That realization helped me beat myself up less over the idea of always doing at least a fair amount of work on my birthday, because now I know that it's a sense of responsibility, not a crippling imbalance in work-life matters and how I deal with them, that's at the root of it.
For what it's worth, I enjoyed some Mediterranean for a birthday lunch at Vlora, right over in Copley Square. As it's couched underneath a few other stores in the area, it's hard to find, but very delicious! I'd recommend... read the post »
Oct 15 2012
Posted in: Life & Culture
It's not very often that you see someone like Tenzin Gyatso, better known as His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.
Not just because he's a Nobel laureate, a spiritual leader, and one of the foremost advocates for peace and compassion, but because he has an uncommon way of both disarming and inspiring people. Thankfully for me, I was able to see him in the first of three events for this week, all of which were made possible by the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values.
Within 10 minutes of seeing him on stage, it became clear that, even for all the reverence he inspires, he's also very personable. Before the talk began, he checked out the robes of Brother David Steindl-Rast and Father Thomas Keating, two of his fellow panelists, by playfully pulling up their hoods. The people on stage couldn't help but laugh and smile. Neither could I - or a number of audience members, for that matter.
The Dalai Lama's talk covered his vision of secular ethics, a... read the post »
Sep 24 2012
I'm a small-time, not very experienced foodie - but I'd like to think I'm enthusiastic about food nonetheless. On a scale from 1-10, where 1 is "someone who just eats to not starve," and 10 is "Phantom Gourmet-caliber fastidiousness and acclaim," I think I'm a 6. Maybe a 6.5?
I don't really know. I just like good noms.
There's a few eateries in the Cambridge/Boston that, to me, have either gastronomical or sentimental value: Hsin Hsin (Chinese and Japanese food) over on Beacon Street, Trident (a smorgasbord of sandwiches and breakfast stuff) on Newbury Street, Flour (a bakery and cafe) on Mass Ave, and of course, nearly every Chipotle (burritos!) located a decent distance away from major T stops or MIT. This being MIT, a campus situated close to the Cambridge / Boston divide, there's also a number of other places to drop some dough for a bite to eat. I'll leave the fun of finding other good places to eat to you, the readers!
But I do have to (partially) spoil one surprise:... read the post »
Sep 16 2012
Posted in: Academics & Research
In just the past few hours, I've realized a few things, mostly about myself:
I'm being really ambitious about all the writing I have to do this semester. 9.12, 24.900, and WGS.271 are all writing intensive classes. Two (9.12 and 24.900) are officially known to be communication-intensive, and thus require a set amount of writing. MIT makes taking four of these classes a graduation requirement; that way, instead of just being good at running experiments or doing work, you're also good at expressing the results, findings, and analysis. Not to mention I'm staying gainfully employed by writing new blog posts, and I hope to do about one a week from now on. (Restrictions apply.)
I can be pretty hard on myself. Sometimes I'll consider a personal project I'm not attending to, or even a mistake on an assignment, and magnify it a ton. That's when the "I'm not doing well enough" sentiments kick in. However...
- ...I learned about a different way to look at it. One of my... read the post »