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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Blogger Decisions Released by Ben Jones

Many thanks to all of this year's incredible applicants!

So we were a little more efficient this year in making decisions (i.e. none of this October business from last year!).

I’ve spent a ton of time over the last week reading blogs, blogs, and more blogs. No exaggeration: you guys are amazing. Every year when the call for new bloggers goes out, I am reminded of both the breadth and the depth of MIT students and of each unique MIT experience. Not to sound cheesy, but you guys are doing not only education, but life right – and you should be really proud of that.

Of course, all of the aforementioned makes blogger selection super difficult. The BSC, or Blogger Selection Committee (i.e. Matt, me, one senior and two blogger alums) met earlier today and had to deliberate for hours before reaching final decisions. In the end, we reached consensus without having to actually vote, which was a really nice conclusion to the selection process.

As with MIT admissions, I always leave selection committee feeling great about the successful applicants and miserable about all of the amazing applicants to whom we were unable to offer spots. To those of you in the latter camp: we really loved reading your applications and blogs, and we thank you so much for applying. Please remember that it’s really not personal if you weren’t selected – we had an 11% “admit rate” for blogging this year which is more competitive than MIT itself – and there are many other factors that we consider, including overlap with current bloggers of class year, residence, and activities.

With the sad stuff out of the way, let’s focus on the positive and introduce our new bloggers. In alphabetical order:

Paul Baranay ’11 lives in Simmons, and 20 is currently the front-runner for his major. He’s excited to find a UROP, join Assassin’s Guild, rock Mystery Hunt, try out for varsity fencing, take his friends’ money in Hold’Em, pursue training as both an EMT and a Medlink, and convince you to watch Notre Dame football with him on Saturdays.

Derrick Boone ’08 lives in MacGregor and is majoring in 10B and 8. His activities include Navy ROTC (he’s operations officer, responsible for planning all Boston ROTC events for 100+ midshipmen), a UROP at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, MacGregor House Government, and the National Society of Black Engineers. Derrick, who will be applying to grad schools this year, looks forward to going through the application process with this year’s MIT hopefuls.

Karen Figueroa ’11 lives in Senior House and plans to major in 11 (she writes, “I know that my major is the same as Anthony’s, but I won’t be studying trains, or transportation at all. I’ll be focusing more on international work and developing countries…”). Karen plans to join a variety of organizations related to international culture and issues (including Model UN, the Association of Taiwanese Students, MIT International Review, Societo Por Esperanto, and the Arab Students Organization) and focus part of her blogging on the work that MIT is doing globally.

Chris Su ’11 lives in MIT’s newest living-learning community, iHouse, and is trying to decide between 5, 7, and 20. He’s going to do Mission 2011 this year (which means that he gets to go to Iceland over spring break!) and he hopes to get involved in a variety of public service and volunteering activities at MIT. Although Chris is technically a US citizen, he has lived in Taiwan for most of his life, so he’ll be an especially great resource for those students applying to MIT from outside of the US.

Congrats to all four of you! I’ll be in touch soon to get you up and running.

(A bunch of ’11s have written to me advocating for Snively so I should address that here. Yes, we get it… we love Snively too. But unfortunately, Snively lives in Burton-Conner with Laura, Jess, and Evan. A long time ago when we were first creating the admissions blogging program, we made a rule that no more than three bloggers could live in the same dorm, regardless of the consequences. We debated this rule again today – for quite some time – and came to the conclusion that to break it, even once, would be a slippery slope. We have to protect the integrity of the program at all costs, even if it means passing on some incredible bloggers. You’ll recall that we extended an offer to Evan last year but made him wait until Sam and Mitra had graduated – we’ve extended the same offer to Snively. We’ll hire him when someone moves out of BC or when Laura graduates – whichever comes first. :-)

I’ve blabbed enough. Once again, thanks so much to everyone who applied, and keep blogging!

27 responses to “Blogger Decisions Released”

  1. Wings '11 says:

    Congrats to everyone!

  2. Anthony says:

    Welcome to the new bloggers! And welcome to another Course 11 major. An 11 ’11… smile

  3. Lotte says:

    Congrats to the new bloggers! I can’t wait to hear from them.

  4. milena '11 says:

    Congrats to the new bloggers! I’ve only read Paul’s blog, and it seems like he’ll so a great job. And someone else from Senior House yayyy but I don’t even know her :S I feel so isolated in my crappy shoebox of a room in 3WAR :(

  5. Grace '11 says:

    awww yay for the new bloggers

  6. Laura says:

    Hmm….looks like I’ve just changed to the 5 year plan…


  7. Paul says:

    Thanks everybody! I really appreciate all your support and I’m looking forward to starting soon!

  8. Lulu says:

    Congrats to everyone! Especially to Paul, for desiring it for so long.

  9. Anonymous says:

    what about someone who lives in New House 2? you never see that lol

  10. Christina says:

    Yay! Congrats new bloggers. (And Congratulations Kim!)

  11. Snively says:

    Woo-hoo! Blogging! Nice job everybody, I look forward to reading your blogs (and commenting too of course). I guess we’ll just have to wait a year or two for my snarky comments to be published officially wink

    Oh, and Laura, 5 years? *shakes head*

  12. Harrison says:

    Wait Laura shouldn’t you be practicing your field hockey domination instead of commenting on these blogs? For shame.

  13. Isshak says:

    Hm, I pretty much knows Paul’s blog, that’s all, so you better be as regular as before being a MIT blogger !!! Feel the pressure…

  14. Kate says:

    It’s good that blogger decisions were finally released! I was getting impatient to find out who the new blogging people were going to be. (Patience is obviously not one of my best virtues!)

    Anyway, it looks like the MIT selcom picked a great group. I’m looking forward to reading new perspectives on the MIT experience.

    Well done to Derrick, Karen, Chris, Paul, and Snively!

  15. Hawkins says:

    Hooray!! Good picks, great job selcom! Of the admits, I’ve only read Paul’s blog, and it’s wonderful of course. Paul, no slacking off – we know what to expect from you! =P

    lol@Laura! Looks like someone will have to move… poor Snively. Oh well, everyone reads his blog anyway. =)

  16. Nihar says:

    Congratulations to all the new Bloggers!

    I sincerely hope you dont get bugged too soon with the hordes of hopefuls who are armed and ready to post all kinds of quirky queries on your blogs this year… among them of course..hehe.
    Oh and Snively, dont worry…I think we have enough patience to wait for you…***waiting…waitingggg…..waitingggggggg…..AAARRGGHHH!!***…or maybe not.(But I assure you, we all read you anyways):-)

    Blog on!

  17. Omorx says:


    Your words:

    “With the sad stuff out of the way, let’s focus on the positive and introduce our new bloggers. In alphabetical order:”

    I think what you meant was numberical order of graduating class and not alphabetical order because you actually did the former.

    Oversight, I guess.

  18. milena '11 says:

    It was alphabetical order, they’re arranged by last name.

  19. Wings '11 says:

    They’re not in the order of graduating class, either, because Derrick is in the middle of the ’11ers =)

  20. Hawkins says:

    Oh, and it’s “numerical”.

  21. Isshak says:

    lol poor Omorx that was harsh…bad oversight by the way ! just kidding just kidding.

  22. Farhad says:

    Hey! Congratulations to all the new bloggers! and specially to you, Paul, for you have been very helpful in clearing some of my doubts about the admissions process! You’ll do great!

  23. Star says:

    Congratulations bloggers!
    I’ll admit Paul’s is the only blog of the new admits that I’ve read, but I look forward to “getting to know” the rest of you. And Paul, I expect you to continue with the frequent updates! I always look forward to them.
    And Snively, of course I will continue to read your current blog, so don’t you dare start neglecting it!