MIT Admissions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Jess K. '10

Jun 8, 2010

Things I Never Finished

Posted in: Miscellaneous

I graduated last Friday - such a simple statement to encapsulate so many emotions! - but I'm still not done. On the plane home I began writing the last and final entry I would write for MIT Admissions, but I realized there are a lot - and I mean a LOT - of entries I intended to write that I never had time to finish. In fact, I had a whole file of blog.txt files on my computer (blog2.txt, blog3.txt, blog4.txt…all the way to blogwhateva.txt, since I was so tired of numbering them) that never got finished, and unfortunately were usually never applicable months later, and thus never got posted.

So this entry is a tribute to those never-posted blog entries, whether they stemmed from ideas or were just introductions to things I intended to write at one point or another. Today, we pay tribute to those we lost along the way, those that were too tired or sickly or too weary to make it (meaning, I fell asleep while writing and never got back to them): the great, never-finished blog entries.

1. From September 5th, 2008:
"I've attended public schools all my life, public schools that never had a stricter dress code than "spaghetti straps should be the width of two fingers, and if you wear a skirt shorter than your thumb your mother didn't raise you correctly," and so it's come to my attention recently that I've started to fall into a particular dress code - dictated by my schedule. I have a heavy class schedule Monday through Wednesdays, so I'll usually make a little more effort on those days to wear something I might call a "normal" outfit; Wednesdays I have labs, so I'll always be wearing long pants and close-toed shoes (and if you see me in otherwise, feel free to send me home with a note to my mother). But Thursdays and Fridays I only have one hour of class, and so Thursdays and Fridays it is a miracle I remember to go outside at all. It follows, then, that Thursdays and Fridays are sweatpants days. "

*I don't want to brag, but there were definitely some semesters that were sweatpants semesters. Just sayin'.

2. From September 7th, 2008:
"I've been at home for almost two weeks now, and have spent about half of that time roadtripping along the west coast. Not like the fun cool kind, where you go with your friends from high school and do fun cool people things, like get really bad indigestion from eating Taco Bell six times a day (what, you didn't do that?), but the kind with 24/7 family time. This means every conversation starts and ends with one of these questions:

1) You're wearing that?
2) Have you eaten/drank/slept/gone to the bathroom today?
3) Has the dog eaten/drank/slept/gone to the bathroom today?
4) Really, you're wearing that? Didn't you wear that yesterday?
5) What is that smell?? Oh, it's just Jess, she's wearing the same thing she wore yesterday
5) What are you doing with your life??????????
6) Why haven't you blogged in the last TWO MONTHS?

In between breaths, take a few hundred family photos in front of a Las Vegas hotel Christmas tree, eat four times your weight in Korean food, and spend a couple days waiting for your mom in the car, and you've pretty much got my holiday experience right there. Also, I sneezed really loudly just now, so you can throw some snot in for extra flavor.

Anyway, about #6. New Year's resolution, Internet. For reals this time. Along with working more hours on the ambulance, learning the crap out of my classes, spending more time reading and doing creative projects, saving the planet, and losing those extra 400 pounds, NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION. You can hold me to that."

*Heh. Yeah. That one worked out real well.

3. From September 19th, 2008:
"So a couple weeks ago I got this couch from FAP (blog entry regarding Freshman Arts Program coming soon, I promise).* It's awkwardly shaped and doesn't really fit in my room - having it here means an entire corner cut off and my futon is rendered unaccessible, tucked away underneath my bed - but its presence has changed how I reside in my room entirely. I no longer sit at the hard wooden Institute-issued chair at my hard wooden Institute-issued desk, my head screwed on straight and ready for studying. Instead, I lounge slovenly and totally ungracefully across this green rounded sofa, one leg propped up on the former chair that housed my rear and the other strewn across the back.

I won't lie - it's a pretty good way to live."

*I never did write that entry about Freshman Arts Program, and so I'll say this - in 2009 I was a film counselor for FAP, and it was one of the most ridiculous and enjoyable weeks of my life. I not only taught an awesome group of freshman everything from how to hold a camera to how to edit in Final Cut, I also shot a ten-minute epic film noir, wore a garbage bag and sported a terrible British accent as the Black Night from Monty Python of the Holy Grail, and led a segment on interpretive dance.

Sometime during the summer you'll get information about signing up for Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (FPOPs), and I highly suggest you try FAP. Or for the less artistically minded, Discover Mechanical Engineering (DME) is a pretty good option, too. Or if none of the above sound good to you, there's also Freshman Outdoors Program, Freshman Leadership Program, Freshman Urban Program… you really can't go wrong with just about any FPOP. A lot of people I know meet people they're friends with all throughout MIT during this first week, and most all of them don't regret it. (Kidding!)Try it!

4. From December 31st, 2009:
"The MIT Externship Program matches MIT alums around the world with currently enrolled students in an effort to expose us to real world job situations for the month of January, with different degrees of involvement. Some are given actual projects to complete by the end of IAP, others are just there to observe. I fall mostly into the latter category - I'm shadowing radiation oncologist Dr. Anthony Abner, a member of the class of '83 with a degree in course 8, with Steph L. '11. For the most part the experience has been very educational, and sometimes very inspiring - the 89-year-old woman with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who, over five weeks of treatment, went from having very inflamed skin lesions that were weeping fluid all over her body to return almost completely to normal, all with a big smile on her face; the 72-year-old woman who'd outlived all her siblings battling breast cancer, Crohn's, and a bad case of psoriatic arthritis that caused her fingers and toes to become so deformed that she'd had to have surgery so that she could still wear shoes - and survived, claiming, "My other doctor said, 'The only way to kill you would be to shoot you!' And I said, 'You'd miss!'"

*This was one of the rare, more serious posts that I wrote and never finished, and I always really wished I did. Shadowing Dr. Abner during my last IAP was one of the most valuable experiences I had during my breaks at MIT, and I will never forget seeing my first surgery (a brachytherapy case, in which radioactive seeds are inserted into the prostate to help reduce the cancer), nor the 62-year-old woman with substance abuse problems, no insurance, and a bad tumor in her pitutary gland, nor the way the different radiation oncologists and medical oncologists and radiologists worked together to diagnose a particularly difficult case. And I'll definitely never forget holding a still-warm enlarged human kidney, moments after it was extracted from the body, after a six-hour laproscopic nephrectomy. These were all experiences that definitely contributed to my desire to go into medicine, and it was all because of connections through the MIT Alumni Association. Which I guess I'm now a part of. Man that's weird.

5. From March 31, 2010:
"Last week was my last spring break ever, a fact I was not fully aware of until I noticed my boyfriend, who graduated last year, was making plans for a mid-April vacation in which he and his friends would take two days off from their Jobs, capital J, to go to the Carribbean. "It's Adult Spring Break," he explained, and then it finally hit me that when you graduate you become an Adult, with Obligations, and Jobs. And no spring break. Which I was a little sad about, until I remembered that most of my spring breaks through 17 years of education (16? Do kindergarteners have spring break? Did anyone else just envision a bunch of toddlers sipping margaritas from sippy cups in high chairs on a beach in Cancun?) entailed me going home for a week, and my mom telling me to wait in the car while she bought six packs of toilet paper on sale at our neighborhood Safeway."

*This entry was, as you can probably tell, initially intended to be about my senior spring break. In between glorified photos of hiking up a volcano, scuba diving, and lounging on the beach, I intended for this entry to have a deeper purpose: to express gratitude for the people I consider to be my closest friends. Those who know me (or at least those who have been following along all these years) know that I moved dorms between freshman and sophomore year - to a place where I knew almost nobody - and ended up with some of the kindest, funniest, and good-looking people around me. So my advice to you is to never accept anything less if you know something doesn't feel right. Fortunately, MIT has a very flexible housing system, but I'm not just talking about that. Move around. Not just at MIT. There is always something better; it's just up to you to go get it.

And with that, I'm getting away from my laptop and heading outside! Stay tuned for my final entry..

Comments (Closed after 30 days to reduce spam)

At least you wrote these down smile I start diary entries in my mind all the time and never actually write them down

Posted by: Gina '14 on June 8, 2010

@ Jess:
There are always so many things that we hope we could do in the past. It is natural. But the important thing is we live like we don't have any 'I wish...' in the future, and that is just easy to say wink
I write a lot and one of the things I've found out is that I grow up so fast. when I read something I've written 6 months ago, I laugh at them and that means I'm still growing and developing personalities...

Posted by: Hopeful '15 on June 9, 2010

@Gina '14
Me too!
It is maybe because I'm just too lazy to reach out. It is so much easier just thinking. But after reading your entry, Jess, I feel I'll miss out on a lot of the little things in life if I keep on doing this(not writing down, I mean). Thanks for helping me take my my new mid-year resolution.

Posted by: Yetanotherhopeful'15 on June 9, 2010

hey ,
congrats for ur graduation ...:D

Posted by: zohair on June 9, 2010


Posted by: Banerjee on June 9, 2010

Your posts have been a delight to read and you are a wonderful writer. Best of Luck in your future endeavors

Posted by: Mike on June 9, 2010

congrats!! May God Bless You And Be With You Always smile

Posted by: 0 on June 10, 2010

Congrats on graduation!

Whatever you do from now on - wherever you go - dont forget to blog - and post the address (please *whines*) I need my daily / weekly / monthly dose of Jess Kim ... !

So good luck to you on all your ways!

Posted by: 山田 on June 14, 2010

Comments have been closed.