Yuliya K. '18
Aug 21 2017
Posted in: Miscellaneous
DEW was nobody's first choice of FPOP, at least not for anyone who participated. That hurt for a couple of days—"If I can't get into an FPOP, what can I get into an MIT?” I figured DEW was worth trying anyway: best to get comfy on campus before the orientation stampede. And I didn't want to miss any MIT opportunities (helped that I got accepted as a blogger while packing).
The 3.5 days of DEW, also the first days of college, were intense. The East Campus Head of House warned frosh after dorm rush to not go at 90 mph from the start, but he was too late. On my first day in college, I talked to my roommate, from the Discover Aerospace FPOP, until 4 am. It was the latest I had stayed up in my life (with the exception of New Year’s Eve in Ukraine and maybe CPW). The DEW FPOP gave me new friends and skills. Made me appreciate the breadth of MIT offerings for athletes and beyond.
The main... read the post »
Aug 16 2017
Posted in: Miscellaneous
When I think of suburban Ohio, my family’s current home, I recall the time I danced down the street under the Big Dipper constellation. A dozen fireflies lit up the trees. There was no one around—a terrifying scenario in Cambridge, MA, but a soothing one in the suburbs. That was a night the cicadas came back, and I wished city sounds would drown out their mating snaps.
During the day, the sky here is a plain blue and the houses are beige. The white picket fences have no locks or latches. Sometimes a contractor showers the fences with a high-pressure hose, and it confuses me. Why clean the fences when they don’t even close?
Cars here slow down for a deer family of four. In Bambi times, animals feared humans. Now the mama deer stares at me. I should’ve Googled if deer attack humans. But at least the mother deer’s three babies are concentrated on grass.
At sunset, the runway pond burns. On the Ohio planes, you can see the full sky dome. There's periwinkle. Royal purple. A most... read the post »
Aug 4 2017
Working for Veterans Affairs
It’s 7am on a Tuesday, and I need to get up in 3 alarm snoozes. There’s a two-step strategy to this: first, say a really bad word to activate the limbic system of the brain (science!); second, smile, because the word “snoozed” looks funny on the phone screen.
The commute to the Bedford Veterans Affairs Medical Center, my UROP’s headquarters, takes over an hour. There is exactly one other person who gets that far with me—bus 62 is my giant UberPOOL. Except, no other public transport stops at the Bedford VA, so if I miss the right 62, it’s an hour-long wait until the next one.
The Medical Center is similar to MIT: its randomly-numbered buildings are connected by underground tunnels, and both campuses have their own police forces. MIT’s academic buildings fill 7.9 million sq. ft., and the VA’s facilities fill 7.8 million sq. ft. The biggest difference between the two: the VA is a place with mostly older men, so, at first, I felt like a trespasser... read the post »
Jul 10 2017
The Accidental Harvard Class
It is possible to miss a class. Not in the “sleep through it” way, but rather in the “harbor a feeling of longing for lessons past” way. I discovered 5 classes like that junior year (that’s 46.5% of the total class load!). The ones at MIT were: 17.801 Political Science Scope and Methods, 17.803 Political Science Laboratory (the sequel to 801), WGS.151 Gender, Health, and Society, and WGS.229 Race, Culture, & Gender in the U.S & Beyond: A Psychological Perspective. Two of these made me love social science. The rest got me two summer UROPs plus a summer job. All four were incredible.
The fifth class I loved was SOC-STD 98LH Education and American society at Harvard (note the letter-intensive name). I got into it through an embarrassing accident. Junior fall, I wanted to take a Harvard class. Philosophy of Education seemed ideal—an elective for my Philosophy (Course 24-1) major and the final class for my Education (Course 11) concentration. Just in... read the post »
Jul 3 2017
Posted in: Miscellaneous
To fully appreciate MIT’s location, venture to downtown Boston. The Institute campus combines the chillness of living Cambridge and the proximity to a big city. It only takes 10 minutes to get downtown from East Campus. From there, it’s an ~11-minute walk to Chinatown, State House, Boston Common, Public Garden etc. I travel Downtown almost every week: to shop, eat, see a movie, or simply take a walk down the Freedom Trail to the ocean. In the summer, there are even more reasons to leave the MIT bubble—the city features an array of events and performances. Below are the four I attended last year. I’ll keep you updated for more Boston activities this summer (and let me know what I missed in the comments below).
Faneuil Hall (incl. Street Performances)
Faneuil Hall is both a reminder of Boston’s glorious revolutionary past and an embodiment of modern consumerism and globalism. Here, you can go on a historical tour, then shop at places... read the post »