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Yan Z. '12

Biography

Back in the day, I hid in a trash can for 30 minutes in order to blog about it. Let it suffice to say that such an unsanitary act of desperation would never be necessary here at the enervatingly energetic, intimidatingly inimitable Institvte, at least until dumpster diving becomes an acceptable means of scoring free food (AKA, the base of the MIT freshman's hierarchy of needs).

I'm Yan, a 2012'er who enjoys stringing together sentences, sometimes backwards until reached the brink of incomprehensibility is. The path that brought me to MIT is analogous to the previous sentence: unconventional, slightly absurd, twisty, and full of surprise. I've always had this subversive tendency to question the validity of grades and test scores and to wonder about whether anyone can truly pinpoint the right factors in charting the course of his or her education. Frustrated by the constraints of a traditional public school education, I flirted with the idea of homeschooling for a few months and spontaneously applied to MIT in the fall of junior year. Upon learning of my acceptance, I had a nice dinner and dropped out of high school.

I was born in Beijing and have lived in Pasadena, St. Louis, and Irvine (5 weeks only), but home will always be whatever pops up when I open Firefox. Right now, I'm planning to major in mechanical or electrical engineering with a minor in musical composition, but check again in 3 hours. I reside and even do laundry in Random Hall, which is a random hall famous for its 13 year-old carton of milk and flavorful concoctions of liquid nitrogen ice cream (the former is not in any way contained in the latter).

I like photography, classical and jazz music (or anything, really), restaurant reviews, (parentheses), dissections of pop culture, self-reference loops, words with a high consonant density, and clever non-fiction. I don't like writing, but I like irony enough that this whole blogging thing works out splendidly. I once considered private journals a sappy waste of time, but somehow, a journal accessible to anyone with an Internet connection seemed like the coolest idea since special relativity, or even bread with raisins. Hence, the 3849284 hard-cover thread-bound journals I've received as presents over the years have remained overwhelmingly unfilled. Feel free to email me if you would like to give them a comfortable home.

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