It is four days into IAP and I have yet to sleep in my own bed. In fact, today was the first time I’ve been back in my dorm for more than half an hour since returning to MIT on Sunday, and I was only home for about an hour before leaving once again. It has been so long since I’ve really been home that I’m on the verge of emailing housing and telling them to cancel my room at Burton 1, since I’m not home day or night, and my room has started to smell faintly of mildew, and old people. And all of this because I’m committed to this long-term, very serious relationship – with MIT-EMS.
MIT-EMS (Emergency Medical Service) is a student-run volunteer ambulance service that provides basic life support to the MIT campus in Cambridge, as well as part of Boston, and runs 24/7 – which means a large number of greatly desired overnight shifts, many of which I have been taking lately because it’s IAP and THAT means FREE TIME (what IS that?? is that even REAL??). All of our student EMTs are certified in the state of Massachusetts, many via the class which is offered every IAP, from 9 AM to 5:30 PM four days a week (which I took last year). This means any free hours we have during shift are spent helping the new class get CPR certified, or learn to take blood pressures, or not pass out from eight grueling hours of training.
It’s awesome. Come and try it for yourself.
The service itself is a really cool thing – not only is it entirely run by unpaid students, but we’re probably the only service that runs its own ambulance itself in the New England area. And (here comes the cheesy – are you ready? I don’t think you are!) we do legitimately make a difference – our response times are significantly shorter than that of outside ambulances, since we’re students here and we know our way around the buildings; we’re also located right on campus rather than much farther away up on Mass Ave. We have a bunkroom where we can sleep, watch TV, check email on the Athena machine, use the restroom, and pretty much exist right in the basement of Stata. It’s a pretty sweet setup.
Just because you’re saving lives, though, doesn’t mean you have to give up your own. Here are the other things I have done three days into IAP:
1. On a whim, added French 1 (comment allez-vous?)
2. Bought enough groceries for a small vegetarian family
3. Snowboarding class (for credit!)
4. Breakdancing class (alright, not for credit)
5. Helped teach CPR at the IAP EMT class (which I took last year)
6. Finished rereading The Subtle Knife
7. Got a UROP (more on this later… dun dun dun)
8. Lost (by ONE CARD) at a highly competitive game of Cranium, freshmen vs. upperclassmen
In three days! Not bad, hm? So I haven’t been home for the past couple of days for a few reasons, but at least I’m still blogging. And according to Gawker and the New York Times, that’s a more noble feat than riding an ambulance anyways.