MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Rachel F. '12

Aug 9 2014

Imbibing the Nostalgia Punch

Posted in: Miscellaneous

College is generally held to be the last enchanted shore of youth. My decrepit 24-year-old body agrees, its ailing joints creaking their own dirge. I haven't revisited these blogs in some time; the public ramblings of some-years-past Rachel are an unintentional time capsule fired naively into the present and, lest MIT spontaneously implode, many more strange and distant future presents. Her energy is unfamiliar (if I got only four hours of sleep tonight I'd be out of it for days), her idealism tinged with a deceptive dearth of day to day drudgery (how do you get a washing machine up stairs? why doesn't my apartment have a pot rack?), her undergraduate priorities misaligned with their evolutionary derivatives (improving the resume --> improving the self).

Occasionally, then-me punches now-me in the heart with a blast of nostalgia or inspiration that stings strangely true. Going even further back, posts by bloggers of yore recall prefroshly days, when I shuddered with anxiety over... read the post »


Mar 10 2014

Pi(e) Day: The Baking Of

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Even though MIT decisions are released on the same day every single year, it's been announced with more and more fanfare every year. This year, Chris Peterson summoned me back from my alumna grave to apply my treasury of comedic novelty photoshoot experience to pieing the bloggers in the face.

The initial (terrible) script I spat out was heavily influenced by action-spy-thriller-heist-explosion movies. Tim the Beaver flips on the harsh overhead lights of an interrogation room, illuminating a lone blogger; perhaps a meat hook swings out of focus as we pan across the tense scene. In slow motion, Tim waddles over to a table full of pies and heaves one at the blogger. In even more gratuitiously slow bullet-time, the pie makes impact, rippling the victim's face cartilage in a scene reminiscent of most episodes of Mythbusters. We flip the camera around to show Tim's MIT shirt as everyone runs into a pie-covered group hug. At some point, Chris, his wide eyes filled with nefarious joy,... read the post »


Jul 5 2013

A Postcard From The Green Building

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Visit

Yesterday I took photos from the top of the Green Building.

MIT sprawled far below us, the lines of its normally inscrutable architecture recognizable for once as the Hacker's Map.

Even Stata finally made visual sense.

As the sun set and Cambridge's night lights winked on, every photo we took looked like HDR.

As night fell, the apocalypse began. Mysterious, glowing alien jellyfish floated menacingly toward the world's major metropolises, bent on wreaking destruction.

By which I mean fireworks.

Hope you spent yesterday in great company!

Wishing you a long summer.


Sep 3 2012

Life After: A Collage

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Life & Culture

Hello from the other side! Like the wizened, immortal Jess Kim, I am finally An Old Person, relatively speaking.


As mentioned in my graduation entry, I work at Bluefin Labs, a startup of roughly 20 engineers and data scientists (although we are ~50 people in total) based in Kendall Square, just a few blocks from MIT. I’m the youngest employee and the only new grad they’ve ever hired, so when I found out they were going to have interns for the summer, I was all like, “yay! I will not be the least experienced person there!”

...all of the interns were Ph.D students. “Rachel, are you even old enough to go to a bar?” (“Of course! barely.”)

My first month-and-a-bit was spent building a custom charting package to analyze social media commentary relevant to brands and topics. Only two weeks in, we released the first iteration of the software as a tool to compare stats on some of the most popular Olympics topics (who the heck is this Ryan Lochte guy and why are his fans... read the post »


Jun 13 2012

The Last All-Nighter

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The night before graduation, I was about to turn in for a good night's sleep so that I could wake up early the next day to figure out how to pack for the event under my regalia. But a fateful gchat with Chris '09, cofounder of Lingt and inventor of the iDoor, which I lived behind one summer and used to let my cat in and out when I was away, tumbled all these plans, only to build loftier ones in their place. As we reminisced over our shared ambitions of livestreaming graduation from our hats, I realized I didn't have to reminisce just yet, and pranced off to a machine shop in the A.M. after finding out about Justin.TV's livestreaming app, which sadly did not exist during Chris's graduation.

Lesson 1: Unless you've strategically exploited the UROP system for machine shop access (I did this freshman year), none of the good shops are available after midnight. My dreams of a sleek, servo-mounted, milled phone dock with an integrated charging cable were shattered.

Eventually, I... read the post »