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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

Burning questions by Mollie B. '06

A lot of people had questions!

(This was originally going to be one entry with the grad school admissions stuff, but I got tired of typing and went to eat a piece of chocolate cake.)

Burning questions:
1. I floated the idea that there might be a pirate certificate for the completion of a certain set of PE classes, which both Robb Carr and Rhiannon Carr (not related) showed were probably mythical. Darn, there needs to be a Snopes for MIT urban legends. One day I’ll do an entry on MIT campus legends, if I can recognize enough of them.

2. Arturo asked about Mexican food on and near campus (also about more expansive issues like international students and funny/unusual MIT stories, which will take a lot more thought and I will get to at a later date). Anna’s Taqueria is the only Mexican restaurant on campus, but everybody loves it and it always has a long line. Anna’s even has its own Facebook group. Oh, and there’s a Mexican food truck on campus too (food trucks, <3). There are many Mexican restaurants in the surrounding area (actually this is kind of bothering me — in Spanish II one of the students gave a presentation on the best Mexican restaurants in Boston, and in my old age I cannot remember any of the restaurants he recommended). You actually might ask Ben this question — a few weeks ago he was trying to give Adam and me restaurant recommendations, although Adam and I are boring and went to CPK because that’s where we always go.

3. Sarah asked about dining, about which I conveniently wrote an entire entry this summer. I will quickly summarize that we have a declining balance meal plan linked to our MIT ID cards, and you can put as much or as little money as you wish on your card. I usually eat breakfast bought from one of the grocery/convenience stores on campus, lunch at one of the lunch dining halls, and, since my dorm has a kitchen in each suite, generally cook dinner using food bought from the off-campus grocery store (which isn’t on the card). I also buy a great quantity of snack food from the convenience store on the first floor of my dorm. I usually go through about $800 per semester on my card.

4. Kim asked if it’s possible or easy to get a single as a freshman at MIT, which I will editorially comment is not a weird question. I live in a single, as I have all four years, and I fully understand the “not psyched about roommates” thing. There are actually a lot of singles at MIT (one of the perks of MIT being a fairly small school), and in most dorms it’s possible to get a single as a sophomore, junior, or senior if you want one. At some dorms it’s even normal for freshmen to have singles (most notably mine, Macgregor, which is all singles, but I’ve heard of freshmen having singles in other dorms too). Many people still choose to have roommates as upperclassmen, since they’ve grown close to their roommates (whom you also generally get to pick), but singles are almost always available to upperclassmen who want them. I love my single. There’s nothing like being able to shut the door and get a good night of sleep. (Or, point in fact, being able to shut the door, turn up your silliest music, and dance around the room in your underwear. Not that I, um, know anybody who’s ever done that.) I did a photographic tour of my suite back in August, which should show you how big Macgregor singles are. (I think the EC singles are bigger.)

5. Tristan was concerned about the showers at MIT (hey, you and Timur should meet each other — he was worried about the showers a few months ago). That’s probably something that varies from dorm to dorm, but here in Macgregor I’ve always had good shower experiences — plenty of hot water (at least when the Cambridge water mains aren’t broken, something which happend twice last term and which did not make me a happy camper), and good water pressure. Actually, I like showering at MIT way better than showering in Ohio… we have well water at my house in Ohio, so sometimes it comes out yellow and cold. In my dorm, furthermore, you only share a bathroom with five other people, ensuring that you can find a shower timeslot convenient for you and everyone else — I’ve always taken, like, half-hour showers and no one’s ever complained. In my old suite, three of us (Ethan ’05, Hannah ’06, and Stephen ’05) always showered in the morning and three (Laura ’06, me ’06, and Evan ’07) always showered at night. It worked out very well.

6. s asked what the difference is between shampoo and conditioner. I have to say that I only understand the most basic parts — shampoos contain amphipathic compounds which grab the ooze off your hair, and conditioners contain ingredients which put ooze back on, but here’s one thing I do know: shampoo commericals make my eyes roll almost out of my head, they’re so stupid. One of them advertised that the shampoo in question contained “amino proteins”. Um… yeah? And precisely what other sort of protein exists?!?

7. Anonymous was impressed that I was at work at 7 AM and asked how much sleep I get. First, I definitely only go to work at 7 AM when I absolutely have to — although it’s nice to get in early, get everything done, and get home around 3 PM. And I usually get about 7 hours of sleep a night… I get really grumpy if I don’t get enough sleep, and nobody wants to hang out with a Mollie who is not all sweetness and light.

Whoa, okay, I need to get myself to bed. I have to get on the T tomorrow morning when it opens at 6 AM.

7 responses to “Burning questions”

  1. Victoria says:

    Maybe the advertisers are from another universe?

  2. Jessie says:

    The EC singles vary in size, ranging from smallish to large. It’s nice to have a big room, but many people on hall (including myself) put higher priority on the location (on 5E, Bemis is the desirable section, even though most of the rooms are smaller) and side of the building (rooms that face the courtyard are more popular than rooms that face Ames St.).

  3. Kim says:

    Thanks so much for all the information! (And for answering all these questions so quickly–wow!) That makes me feel better about actually *going* to MIT if I get in. smile

  4. Shikhar says:

    Hi mollie,

    Can you tell me about any summer research programs which also allow international students to participate in them. I know of RSI and SSP are there others too becuase the ones i mentioned are like anybody’s ballgame and I cant really predict whether I’ll get in or not.

  5. Mohan says:

    What is U R opinion on mechanical engineering major. I opted for it while writing an essay on the preffered major. But some one said that opting for a less frequent major will let u into MIT. is it true. I am very frightened

    Thank U