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Collections by Ella T. '25


I think I should be blogging about the relevant and interesting things I have been doing both inside and outside the confines of MIT. I’ve reached this strange turning point in my life where I want to do things more than I want to talk about them, which was not how I thought about things when I came here. Everything seems more simple now? If that even makes sense. I don’t feel as concerned about anything. I don’t feel the pressure I once did. I don’t think as deeply about the opinions of the people around me, or even the opinions I have of others.

I am currently taking 9.36 (Neurobiology of Self) which is a class that focuses on the neural mechanisms of the self, in an autonomic sense, and how we might begin to attempt to separate our physical forms from our thinking forms, if there is even a difference. The professor starts each class with deep breathing (4 BPM). At first, I wasn’t buying into it. I’ve always considered myself a very thoughtful person, not in the sense that I have good thoughts, but because I am full of thoughts. The professor tells us to think less. She tells us to be present. She tells us to consider how our body feels before we consider how our mind is thinking. I hated all of this. But now I’m starting to get it.

My life is getting infinitely more complex. I have to think about applications and a mEng, my GPA and the quality of my research, teaching others what I have learned,  and being a vaguely older young adult than I once was. I have to maintain the relationships that matter in my life. My schoolwork is increasingly difficult. I have people to mentor. But despite all of this complexity, I think so much more simply than I once did. It is nice. I wish I figured it out sooner.

I’m not saying all of this to encourage anyone to let go of everything. I’m doing more than I ever have, whatever that means. It just gets easier. I don’t know. To anyone reading this, it gets lighter.

I will give you a short synopsis of everything I haven’t blogged about. I spent a week in New York City and two weeks traveling around Spain. I interned in Boston over the summer and learned a lot. I read a lot of books. I became obsessed with crosswords. I started doing research at MIT’s SuperUROP program in modeling human speech perception. I started spending significantly more time with the first-ever friend I made at MIT, which I think we both needed. I’m taking cool neuroscience and linguistics classes. I’m trying to organize my thoughts about whether or not my Bachelor’s will be the end of my educational journey. I’m growing my hair out. I’m applying to a lot of things and getting rejected by a lot of things. I’ve been dating the same person for a year now, which, in MIT terms, is a significant amount of time. I’m taking an acting class. I bought an air fryer. My suite is filled with freshmen, which has helped me take a step back often.

I don’t even know what the point of this blog is. I’ve been thinking a lot about thinking simply, which has reminded me about myself. If you know me in real life, you know I enjoy having very few possessions. Like very few. I’ve always been like that. But recently, I decided to round up a few small collections I have. It is pretty uninteresting. But I think you should look through them.

After all, they are simple.


A collection of rocks. I used to tumble rocks before I came to MIT, and I even wrote one of my sample blogs about tumbling rocks when I applied to be a blogger. I think that blog had some strange religious underpinnings. I hope it never sees the light. These are some of my favorites. 


Acoustics and phonetics textbooks. Somewhat for 24.915 (Acoustic Phonetics) and somewhat for my current research. I love phonetics and speech perception so much. I am so thankful to MIT for letting me do something so niche for such a massive amount of time. 


Rings. Every sterling silver ring you see here, besides my brass rat, was gifted to me by my late maternal grandmother. I feel closer to her now that she’s gone than I ever did when she was alive or dying. I miss her so much. She lived an incredible life. Sometimes I think she is somewhere watching me. Maybe not though.  The acrylic rings are from a flea market in Nashville. They are scratched up from when I used to writhe my fingers together in stress and anxiety my freshman year. I don’t do that anymore. It was never that deep. 


Creatures. I got these little rubber things from Blick, an art store in Central Square, after walking in the pouring rain. They know a lot of things, I think. 

crib sheets

Crib sheets, and one graded exam. These are things that MIT lets you take into an exam, sometimes. Most of these were for 9.35 (Perception) and 6.036 (Machine Learning). Both were fantastic classes that taught me a lot about myself. I don’t know why I keep them. This isn’t even all of them, the other ones were helplessly crumpled. 


Crochet hooks. I have been crocheting for a long time now, which you think would warrant me better hooks, but the majority of these are from a cheap kit that a friend got me for Secret Santa two years back. I feel like I can’t part with them. I hope they hold up forever. 


Cards and coins from Spain. Easily one of the best two weeks of my life. I am so thankful I got to leave America for the first time. I am also so thankful I had a Spanish speaker to cling to for the entire duration of the trip. I am also thankful that I could convince my boss to let me take two weeks off in the middle of my internship. Thanks, Mike. 


I’m not editing any of this. There is probably weird stuff.