Oh man – considering the fact that JKim has posted not one, not two, not three, but FOUR times since I last did, it is clearly time for me to start spending less time on p-sets and more time blogging…
But not about the Red Sox. Because had it not been for the MIT Blogs, I’m not entirely sure I would have even been aware they won the World Series. Because I don’t actually care whether the Red Sox win or lose. (Uh oh. Am I allowed to say that on here?)
I do, however, care whether YOU win or lose, and that’s why I’d like to devote the few following sentences to help you WIN senior year.
Take it easy, guys! I know it’s much easier said than done, but try to remain a semi-reasonable human being. Don’t hole yourself up in your room trying to get a 100% in every one of the 16 AP classes you’re taking – don’t surrender to senioritis and stop doing homework entirely. Just, you know, chill. When you think about it, you’re way beyond capable of accomplishing what high school is throwing at you. So if you feel stressed out, just take a step back and think about how hard things actually are. Because chances are, you’re looking at them under the Last Year of High School Magnifying Glass, which always makes things look harder and more important than they actually are. Believe in yourself, take some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what you haven’t accomplished – anything you wish you would’ve done? Regrets?
No! It’s only November. You still have time to live whatever dreams you’ve been dreaming these past three years – to start up a high school chapter of Amnesty International or to make friends with that one kid you’ve had Spanish with all four years but never actually talked to except when the teacher made you practice your conversational skills by telling you to describing your family to eachother and the only vocabulary you knew at the time didn’t even come close to describing your family, so both of you just ended up describing your cute little sister, intelligent older brother and tall father. Or if you’ve been dreaming about doing nothing at all, do that! (But I don’t actually mean nothing at all. Everything is relative, right? You should still eat and breathe and sleep.)
Anyway, now that I’ve preached you into living an accomplished, bilingual and happy life, I’ll discuss the application season a little, of which I was actually nearly completely unaware. So I kind of missed the deadline to wish you guys good luck with your essay-writing and such. No worries! Deadlines are more morbidly named than they should be. I’m sure there are still plenty of people to wish good luck and tell to try not to worry TOO much because it really doesn’t help.
Right. Application season. Oh, application season…It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your spot and-
Wait a second. It actually was long time ago. You know why? ‘Cause I took a gap year! And I’m so far, mentally and emotionally and scholastically, from what I was senior year because that year was so life-changing that it feels like a lifetime ago that I was filling out my application. Just something to think about while you still have the time…
Anyway – I suppose I’ll talk about my classes now, too, since I promised I would at some point, and at this rate the next time I post will be next semester….Just kidding, I’ll post before then, but if I’m going to tell you about my classes, I should seize the day! What if something happens tomorrow and the internets break? You’ll never know what that one girl whose blog you sometimes read spends her time doing!
(Incidentally, you know how sometimes you find something really silly absolutely hilarious? Even years after you’ve heard it, you want to laugh and laugh and laugh everytime you hear it because it’s so funny, even though no one else thinks it is? “Carpe carp: Seize the Fish” never fails to make me laugh. Just thought I’d share….)
Right. Moving onto relevant things….like my classes.
As you may have guessed (or I may have told you – I don’t remember), I’m not taking the typical freshman course load. Why not? Let’s review: I realized physics was an unnecessary evil at some point this term, so I dropped it. Also because my intended major doesn’t actually require most (any?) of these classes. Also because I’d rather take classes I’m interested in rather than a whole bunch of classes I’m forced to. Basically, it doesn’t seem worth it to me to pay to come to MIT just to be miserable. So I’m taking classes that make me happy. :)
So what am I taking? (Man, do I know how to get off track or what? You should see my notes. I end up writing Chinese characters all over my calculus notes and the arabic alphabet during Chinese class and solving calculus problems on my French reading…)
Wow! I’m sneaky! I just told you all four classes I”m taking! I guess that makes this entry a wrap, then.
Right, I guess a little more detail wouldn’t kill me. Well, to turn a lot of boring paperwork into a slightly interesting story, these are the classes I ended up with after filling out a small tree’s worth of paperwork and a lot of indecision:
1. 18.01, known to the rest of the world as “calculus.” MIT requires two semesters of calculus to graduate. It’s just a standard math class, not too different from high school except that that homework is a little harder. Three days a week I have lecture and two days a week I have recitation, which is about fifteen people and a TA to go over stuff with us.
2. Introduction to French Culture. I took four years of French in high school (kind of…) so I didn’t want to take just another language class because it gets kind of old. Intro to French Culture is like a history class taught in French. It’s only three hours a week – we get tons of reading and spend classtime discussing things which may or may not be relevant to what we read. It’s a nice class, I usually have fun.
3. Chinese III – this is the class I picked up when I dropped physics. Someone asked how it was possible to pick up a class so late in the semester and didn’t I have a lot of work to make up. Yes, I did (do…) have a lot to make up, but it’s not too bad because I already know a lot of what was taught, so it wasn’t impossible. That’s part of the reason I chose this class – I knew that for any other class I would have missed too much to make up. Anyway, Chinese class is really fun because our teacher is really amusing and says crazy things, and because, well, I like to speak Chinese.
4. Beginning Arabic. (“But Karen, I’ve studied MIT’s course offerings extensively – multiple times! – while planning out my four years of college even though I haven’t even finished first semester of senior year, and I don’t remember seeing arabic on any of the programs!”)
Well my eager little beavers, you would be right. Much to my language-loving little heart’s dismay, MIT doesn’t offer Arabic. Luckily, that one school down the river does, and MIT students can cross-register for classes there. See? That’s why we keep Harvard around ;)
Anyway – so yes, I ride my bike every day to that lovely brick campus and study this absurdly hard language and have a great time doing it. It’s really challenging (especially at ten in the morning!) and not quite as relaxed as my MIT language classes – in fact, Arabic is the only emotionally taxing class I have. I’m on my toes and slightly nervous through out the hour because our teacher is awesomely hardcore, but it’s easily my favorite class. I guess this is what they mean when they say MIT students are academic masochists…
Well, I hope you guys that have submitted the application can finally get a good night’s sleep! And for those of you that haven’t, well, I hope you do too :)