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MIT student blogger Anthony R. '09

A Visitor In My Own Hometown by Anthony R. '09

Yeah, so it was boring. But it's still where I spent the better portion of my eighteen years.

Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone

Yeah, so it was boring. But it’s still where I spent the better portion of my eighteen years.

I’m back at MIT now — got here the other night after a long day of travel and lugging. Good to be back, but I’m glad I had a time to see my parents, friends, and get a taste of home while newly a visitor. I spent a lot of time pre-MIT longing for my days in Cambridge, a new land of activity and opportunity, all the while discounting and dreading the place I’d lived in and known since I was a small boy. But over winter break, it really didn’t seem so bad. Now that I feel like a visitor, now that I no longer subconsciously know that I live there, I’m able to appreciate the positives.

I suppose this stems from the same principle of a resident versus a tourist. If you live in New York, you may have seen all of the tourist attractions once a long time ago, but you certainly don’t visit them on a regular basis. You live there and you do what you need to in the course of your daily routine. A bright-eyed tourist, however, is going to soak up all there is to see, singing praises all the way home. If you live somewhere, you’re not pressed to make the most of your surroundings all the time, because there’s this tacit notion of them “always being there.”

Perhaps I’m just restless, but it seems like as soon as I get somewhere, I’m already thinking about where to go next. This isn’t just in travel — this is in projects and in life, too. I guess getting there is really more than half the fun.

Today is the first day of IAP, and I attended my first French 1 class. The instructor, Laura Ceia-Minjares, seems to be a very knowledgeable, commanding lecturer, and the classroom was full at about twenty students. Even on the first day, a lot of interaction was involved as we went over basics such as the alphabet and numbers (up to 30), but we also paired up with partners and went over a French-language news update for le 9 janvier, reading about unrest in Haiti and about Ariel Sharon’s health condition, trying to pick out cognates and other familiar words. This is a daily class and it already looks like a lot of fun. I just have to get used to getting up for the 10am class!

I also had a UROP meeting — I’m developing a new Web project for the BE department with my friend (and fellow East Campus resident) Chris Varenhorst. With that and the French class, I’ll likely find myself busier this month than I was all of last term. :-) More on these daily events as they progress. Hope you had a pleasant winter break, and best of luck with your new semesters.

7 responses to “A Visitor In My Own Hometown”

  1. Catherine says:

    Haha. Well, sometimes it’s good to be busy, no? Good luck with French. =)

  2. angelina says:

    I’ve always wanted to learn French…hopefully I’ll be able to learn it at MIT…

  3. syzygy says:

    I can totally understand what you mean by always wanting to move on to the next place. I have that feeling all the time, where you really want to get somewhere but when you’re finally there you want to move on to somewhere bigger and better. The grass is greener on the other side, as they say. But I don’t know if I’ll ever be content with where I am in life. There’s so many other things to experience out there.

  4. Christina says:

    Have fun while I’m studying, bastard =P

  5. nhien says:

    quand etes-vous aller a la france? j’etudie francais aussi et je crois qu’elle soit facile… et vos experiences va finir un jour ou l’autre, ainsi est-ce que vous apprennez vivre en ce moment?
    bon chance

  6. dory says:

    I had a crush for Laura when I took classes at MIT, she’s hot !