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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

Bored at work by Mollie B. '06

My weekend, a favor to all of you, and some questions to answer

It is currently 10:53 AM. I have been at work for three hours and fifty-three minutes, and I want to take a nap. Since that is not really an option… well, here I am on the lab’s computer.

Science, while a wonderful and rewarding career, is not really a nine-to-five type of job — since I didn’t come in yesterday (I was up in Maine at Adam’s ski condo watching a History Channel special on the Kennedys), I had to come in at 7 this morning to harvest my cells. The good news is that I’ll be doing two days of work in one day. That is also the bad news… particularly since I have to cheer at a basketball game again tonight. Go Tech and whatnot.

This weekend in Maine was fun, even though the weather wasn’t good for skiing, which I don’t mind, since I’m not big on low-friction activities. I think Dave Barry says it best here:

Skiing is an exciting winter sport, but it is not for everybody. For example, it is not for sane people. Sane people look at skiing, and they say: ‘Wait a minute. I’m supposed to attach slippery objects to my feet and get on a frozen chair dangling from a scary-looking wire, then get dumped off on a snow-covered slope so steep that the mountain goats are wearing seat belts, and then, if by some miracle I am able to get back down without killing myself, I’m supposed to do this again?’

But I digress. The indomitable Adam won third place in the duals portion of his competition, and would have won first in the singles portion, had he not catastrophically fallen head over feet six moguls before the finish line due to a nasty patch of ice. He won a very shiny medal, which he forced me to wear the rest of the weekend (does this mean I’m a literal trophy wife?).

A favor to ask:
Could you please leave your most burning question about MIT life in the comments? It can be related to school, social life, the dorms, food (have you ever noticed how everything is about food with me? I swear, I really don’t eat that much)… maybe if you get your questions in fast enough, I’ll even edit this entry to answer them! (Read: I am bored, and I anticipate boredom with occasional bursts of hectic labwork for the rest of the afternoon, and I really would like something to amuse me.)

Previous burning questions:
1. Dan was puzzled by my comment “Mens et manus in corpore sano”, which was intended to be witty but apparently was merely obscure. “Mens et manus”, Latin for “mind and hand”, is the motto on the MIT seal. “Mens sana in corpore sano” is, as Dan noted, “a sound mind in a sound body”. I did understand what I wrote — although you wouldn’t know it most of the time, I did take four years of Latin in high school — but clearly I am not as witty as I’d like to be.

2. Chris H asked several questions about sports at MIT. I have heard many times that MIT has more NCAA-recognized sports programs (41) than any school other than Harvard, but I can’t seem to find anything to back up that assertation, so take it with a grain of salt. It’s true that the bloggers don’t often talk about sports, but don’t forget that we’re a small, nonrandom sample of MIT students. I’m psyched that Chris classifies himself as a nerdlete — “the guy helping everyone with their homework in the lockeroom” — that definitely clicks with the experience of many MIT athletes. (In high school, I personally was always the one helping people with their homework backstage during play practice, but I know what Chris means.)

3. Thanks everybody for their congratulations on my interviews! I’m excited. And nervous. But mostly excited. I’m basically going to be out of the state every weekend between now and mid-March… rest assured you’ll be kept updated on my cross-country wanderings

4. Shen asked about the swim test (which I really need to get around to taking…) — according to the website, “The swim test requires that you swim 100 yards on your front.” Not anything too scary. And if you really can’t swim, you can take a beginner swim class as one of your PE classes. (Sidenote: I’ve heard that if you take some combination of PE classes — sailing, fencing, and something else maybe — you get a “Pirate’s License”. Hee.)

Oookay, back to work.

16 responses to “Bored at work”

  1. Mom08 says:

    Found this on Mitra’s blog:

    Something meaningful to add: there’s something called the “Pirate’s Badge.” It’s not a physical badge, as much as something you can say you did while at MIT. It entails taking the four classes nessecary to becoming a pirate – pistol, archery, fencing, and sailing. I can’t swim well, but think that rugby is infinitely harder core than swash buckling any day.

  2. Arturo says:

    Hi! Um… You could maybe talk about international students! Or maybe tell stories about weird/strange/unusual/surprising/fun things that have happened at the MIT or in your classes… or maybe about Mexican food on and near campus (maybe I’m being a bit selfish here, but it might be of help someday).

  3. Robb Carr says:

    Err…that was me, sorry

  4. Sarah says:

    Could you elaborate on the dining at MIT… It seems to be very different from other colleges. What did you do about dining, and what do you recommend? Thanks!

  5. Kim says:

    Okay, this may sound like a weird question, but I swear I have my (perhaps introverted, but not antisocial!) reasons: how hard is it to get a single at MIT? as a freshman? Do some dorms have more singles than others?

  6. Tristan says:

    Nice blog, i particularly like the title, it’s true in so many aspects.

    Since you seem to be particularly open to questions currently I

  7. Anonymous says:

    You’re at work by 7 AM? Wow, thats rather impressive, what time do you usually go to sleep?

  8. Kim says:

    To clarify… I mean a dorm room meant for one person to live in. But yeah. You probably figured that out smile

  9. One of the first questions my son asked in a public forum after he was accepted to MIT last year was how high the showerheads were. (He’s very tall and gets tired of bending down to get under low showerheads in hotels, for instance.) That factor doesn’t seem to matter to him anymore now that he’s actually a student there. I think it’s more a matter of how quickly he can get out of the shower and on to other things. wink

    Congrats on all the interviews, Mollie! Something really good is going to come your way, no doubt about it!

  10. Joanie says:

    Could you write an entry all about grad school admissions? Like what grad schools are looking at, and how much they give consideration to grades, research, recommendations, extracurriculars, etc. In particular how much are exemplary grades important–do you need to have a 4.0 to get into a grad school? Thanks, Joanie

  11. GP says:

    Mollie, what graduate schools did you apply to? And good luck with everything!

  12. Robb Carr says:

    Haha, oddly enough I do not think I have ever met someone else with the last name Carr before, heard of certainlly. Anyway the articles are actually merged at this point.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hidden_pirate_degree&diff=35789760&oldid=26447818

    would be the record.

  13. s says:

    Dear Unsinkable Mollie B.,

    What is the difference between a shampoo and a hair conditioner?

    I need to answer to the head of this huge govt lab I went to (btw, he doesn’t have any hair himself). This has to be scientifically answered with biochemical emphasis.

  14. Chris says:

    I second what Joanie said!