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MIT student blogger Laura N. '09

Advising Folders! by Laura N. '09

Lots of fun discoveries about advising and such. Also, how I managed to confuse MIT already.

So, Online Freshman Advising Folders became available on Monday, which means excited little prefrosh like yours truly got to find out several exciting little tidbits about our freshman year.

First, we found out our advising assignments. There are three advising options at MIT. First there’s traditional advising, where you are assigned an advisor and you meet with them every once in awhile to make sure things are going OK. Then there’s seminar advising, where your advisor leads a small group of students in a kind of mini-class on some random, fun topic. (You get a few credits, too!) Then there’s Residence Based Advising (RBA), but that’s just weird and I don’t know anything about it, except that it’s residence based. I was lucky enough to be assigned to my first choice advising seminar, MAS.A17 (Designing Technologies for Kids). Basically I get to play with toys. I anticipate some fun blog entries about that. So stay tuned. =P

We excited prefrosh also received the results of the HASS-D lottery. I was lucky enough to be assigned my first choice class here too- 21F.716 (Introduction to Contemporary Hispanic Literature). Let me just say that I really have no problem with this concept where everyone refers to classes by their numbers, I’ve even got some of them figured out already. But “21F.716” is way too much for me. How do you even say that out loud? Isn’t it just much easier to call it “Spanish Lit” or something? Really now. Anyway, I made a stop at Barnes and Noble yesterday and picked up a new Spanish-English dictionary and now I’m fully ready to take some Spanish at MIT. I’m not sure if I’ll have to meet with the professor to “prove” my proficiency at Spanish, so we’ll see how that goes. Maybe my AP Spanish score will count….

And speaking of AP scores…those are also posted in the Advising Folder. I had totally forgotten that I get 9 units of general elective credit for my score on the Spanish Language AP, so that was a pleasant sort-of surprise. I also get credit for 8.01 (Physics I) because of my AP Physics C scores. So all in all, I was very happy to see my advising folder! (The folder also contains FEE results so that everything is organized in one handy folder, but since I already bored you with that topic, I’ll leave it out of this entry.)

The last piece of information in my folder was the results of the Math Diagnostic. (The folder also contains IB scores, GCE A-level scores, Math transfer credit, and Mission 2009/Terrascope Acceptance, but none of these apply to me, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for information about them.) I did alright on the test overall, but with a noted weakness in logarithms and exponentials.

The text reads: “Your Diagnostic score, while generally acceptable, showed at least one area of weakness in Pre-Calculus. You might consider enrolling in 8.01L,” (which is a longer version of 8.01 designed for students “with little or no exposure to physics with calculus in high school.”)

So if you’ve been paying attention so far, you’ll notice that I was advised to consider taking the longer version of a class that I tested out of!

Hmmm. Math causes me so many problems. It’s a shame, really.

In other news, I leave for MIT on Saturday! That’s the day after tomorrow! That’s insane! I have packed exactly one box, so you can imagine that I have quite a lot of work to do over the next 36 hours. That means that the next time I update this blog, I will be doing so from MIT campus. Then I’ll actually have things to write about, which will also be exciting (and easier).

I’m a little sad about leaving- this excessively lame town has been my home my entire life, so I do feel slightly attached to it. But don’t worry, I’m definitely more happy than sad about starting college. I’m getting a little tired of every single person I run into at Bed, Bath and Beyond asking me if I’m excited about school. No offense to all the adults out there, but that one definitely ranks at the top of the list of “Lamest and Most Annoying Questions Ever.” Just a heads up.

Have a nice day. =)

3 responses to “Advising Folders!”

  1. Bryan says:

    On annoying questions, sometimes when I go home, and people are like, “Oh you go to MIT?” I respond yes, and then they say, “You know, I have this VCR that needs repairing.”

    Then I show them how “good” I am with a screwdriver, and then they take their VCRs back.

  2. Mariya says:

    Hey, I’ve not commented here before. This is because I’ve not looked at this blog before…

    but it so happened that I when I did see it, I realized that I was going to be in the same advising seminar as you.

    Yay, we get to play with toys!

    Nice to (sort of) meet you!

    See you in a few weeks or a few days or whatever,


  3. Sam says:

    Well, the classes-are-numbers thing only really applies to the lower-level classes and GIRs… most people, quite appropriately, refer to their HASS classes in words, unless it’s something fairly common like 14.02 or STS.001. And, of course, when you start taking classes like 10.213 or 7.20 for your major, it’s polite to call them “Thermo II” or “Physiology” in mixed company. I mean, don’t worry, it’s still going to be totally overwhelming when you get here, but there are indeed some classes with names at MIT.