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Selam G. '18

Jun 13 2018

MIT Is My Home

Posted in: Best of the Blogs, Miscellaneous

Every time I look at the faces of younger MIT students, especially those that are just entering leadership positions in clubs or really starting to take on new and exciting coursework, I smile and think of all the things I would do if I could do MIT all over again.

In my four years at MIT, I've been the treasurer of Chinese Students Club, President of Ethiopian-Eritrean Students Association, and a founding member of my sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon (or as we like to call it, DPhiE). Within my sorority, I received a twin (Briana B. '17) rather than big or little, since we were founding members of the MIT chapter and were technically all the same class within the sorority--the founder class. We decided on an aspirational name for our family line--the Dynasty Family--that captured my hope that our chapter would thrive and grow after we left it (and reign for 1000 years).



Briana B. ‘17 (right) and I on the steps to Lobby 10

 

The current-day Dynasty family line. True to my... read the post »

Discussion

May 30 2018

[email protected]: Blockchain and the Niger Delta

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Hassan, Sela, and the Niger Delta
 


Hassan K. ‘17 is my friend and former classmate. He graduated last year (as the ‘17 suggests). When at MIT, Hassan (who is from the Ivory Coast) was always highly active in the Muslim and African communities on campus, and would also be a big part of student entrepreneurship clubs and organizations. In addition to taking on roles to revamp the African Students’ Association, he was one of the first students to participate in MIT’s Sandbox initiative. Working with Sandbox staff, Hassan founded a “Hacker House” in San Francisco during the summer of 2016, where he and other MIT students worked on interesting startup ideas and research. 

Hassan embodies the spirit of risk-taking and acting on bold ideas that I find MIT instills in students so well. His Hacker House ideas didn’t pan out, but Hassan’s sophomore summer, he interned at Facebook. Unlike many college students--which might take their intern savings to simply use for their next year... read the post »

Discussion

May 25 2018

Designing a Calculator with FSM Logic

Posted in: Miscellaneous

 

 

My friend Robert V. '20 is a Course 6-3 (Computer Science) sophomore, the MIT African Students' Association's webmaster, and has TA'd an interesting IAP class called 6.148, a web development class and competition. He's a really smart guy, and I found out about this cool post he put up on Medium and asked if I could reformat it and post it to the blogs. Robert is passionate about web design and development, and is also really great at teaching. He's always the first person that many of our Course 6 freshman friends reach out to for help in their introductory courses. Robert lives in Maseeh Hall, was born in Goma and grew up in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I hope you enjoy his post as much as I did! 


 

As far as I can tell, making a calculator is a classic first time programmer’s challenge. So, as I was helping some of my fellow underclassmen learn web dev, I suggested making a calculator! For best practice purposes, I also suggested starting off... read the post »

Discussion

May 14 2018

MIT Moms

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Today I wanted to thank a very special person in my life, someone who is still the smartest person I know, and who I wouldn’t be here without:

My Mom
 


mom and I in Shanghai!

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, so I thought this would be an especially good time to recognize my mom for her importance in my life and at MIT. We all talk about a lot of stuff happening around campus, but for many students, family is still a huge part of their lives, even if they live an ocean away. I call my mother at least once a week, and probably more frequently depending on how stressed out I am....

...and she has become intimately familiar with the different stresses, nuances, and vibrant culture of MIT life through my phone calls.

My mom has always been my strongest advocate, and pushed me to be a better version of myself. She helped me tremendously academically, and tutored my brother and I from preschool all the way through AP Physics C in high school (which I found to be one of few high... read the post »

Discussion

May 4 2018

it’s ok that it’s not ok

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Content Note: This post contains mentions of death, depression, and anxiety.  


 

In Infinite Jest, which I’ve been reading with a group of MIT students this fall, the characters talk about two types of depression. One is “anhedonia”, or the inability to feel anything, unable to feel happiness or pleasure. It is described as a type of numbness, a numb feeling where a person loses the ability to even understand what happiness is, or how to go about acquiring it.

The other type of depression is psychotic or clinical depression (at least in the ‘90s, when “anhedonia” was probably not considered “enough” to be clinical) in which a person feels actively bad all the time. They feel awful, no matter what they do--just standing, or sitting, or doing work. They don’t simply feel unable to feel happiness; they are in acute anguish in all the small tasks of daily life.

The more I read this description, which is provided by the narrator via a depressed character, Kate Gompert, in the... read the post »

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