Sep 30, 2010
Diary of an All-nighter
So…I'm not sure exactly where September went, but
in plain English: school got harder.
We're in rough terrain - first wave of exams, or in my case, reviews (as you will see...), etc. Apparently, there is a sophomore slump for college students i.e. performance drops compared to freshman year due to a lack of motivation…or something. But I don’t think it’s a motivation issue here. There’s just actually more work (especially courses in your major) – and more pressure to be uh, mature and serious.
(Also: I’ve had to accept the fact that at MIT, there’s only freshmen and upperclassmen. Well…I’m not freshman no mo’…so… TIME TO GROW UP.)
I’ve had a few late nights every week since school started, involving going to the architecture studio sometime during the day/evening and leaving somewhere between 1 and 3 AM. Weeeeee. But this past Wednesday was the first “final review” of the semester – which means everybody presents their design projects and the professor and TAs critique them…and which also means an all-nighter. Since I knew it was going to happen, I brought along my camera to document things…(brief preface: the first project is about using folding operations to construct a bridge) --
[Getting started] I've got a variety of beverage options:
(OJ, vanilla frapp, water, or Elmer’s???)
[~7PM] So I rushed to the art supply store to buy materials that I didn't end up using...oops. And it was raining...and the boards were almost my size...and I took the bus; that was interesting.
[1:43 AM] Emily and Justin debating "What is architecture, really..."
[2:07 AM] Xenia and Nicole testing their bridges on the site model. (Still in good spirits, apparently!)
[5:46 AM] A Shakira playlist starts blasting…Anyways, there's fatigue, but also anticipation to see everything come together.
[7:00 AM] Finally getting started on the drawings…
[9:08 AM] Bridge…done… drawing done… time to go home…yayyy. Note the skylight - it is actually morning! :) (Clearly, I did not attend the 9AM class.)
[Sidestory: I called my mom sometime after the review, because I’ve been neglecting certain parts of real (read: non-studio) life for a while…and she said something like, Why don’t you just manage your time better and make decisions quicker so you can finish quicker and go to sleep? and I’m just like, yo, mom, that’s not how it works…there’s always something to redesign/fix… but she just told me to drop everything and sleep.]
This type of architecture studio course, which demands some late nights every week, and some all-nighters every semester, is no doubt a requisite to Course 4. While I love having my little home away from home away from home, it is pretty isolating in a way. I’m always away from my dorm, where the spontaneous greatness happens. My suitemates have joked about, for instance, saying hi/bye to me for a week. At the same time, studio bonding is pretty amazing – I would definitely go crazy if I had to work till 9 AM, alone. So a goal of this year is definitely striking that magical balance – and NOT neglecting things/peoplelikemom.
In other news, I’m taking 4.75 classes. So that's, 3 architecture classes: 4.112 (the studio), 4.401(building technology, where you learn …you know, the practical sides of architecture like foundations and insulation and all that), 4.500 (design computing, where you learn digital fabrication and autoCAD – the ultimate time warp). I’m also taking 21F.107 Chinese I Streamlined, meaning Chinese for native speakers who can’t really read or write. To complete the repertoire, I’ve got 15.668 - People and Organizations, a 9-credit class in the lovely new MIT Sloan School of Management building. (Fun fact: we have a food fund for this class – yay healthy snacks.)
Oh yea, also!! I’m taking P.E. Stress Management. HAHA. Best class ever. We discuss how much sleep we’re getting/not getting/how there seems to be a competitive energy at MIT to be the most hardcore and not sleep (Which I do believe is true...as evidenced by this post...x_x). But the best part! We almost always end with a 6-minute “relaxation/yoga” segment, during which I essentially take one nap and dream two dreams.
Yay lifeeeeeeeeee. How is everyone else doing this autumnnn.