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MIT student blogger Cristen C. '10

A Characterization by Cristen C. '10

This might or might not enrage you.

There’ve been several times when I felt like I didn’t really fit in at MIT.

    • I nearly fell asleep during a Star Wars marathon. It wasn’t a result of sleep deprivation. I was bored out of my mind. The same thing will happen with Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or pretty much any other science fiction or fantasy movie or series of movies. Or books. I remember the night when I was assigned an excerpt from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in my reading textbook in elementary school and being convinced that it was the most boring thing I’ve ever had to read for school. For some reason, the whole sci-fi/fantasy world has never excited me.
    • I don’t like robots. Well, most of them are okay. The ones which for some reason look like people (vain creators perhaps?) creep me the heck out! But I’m sure if anyone is learning a lot from robots, it’s my (perhaps ‘geekier’) peers at MIT….
    • I don’t come from an academic family. “80s are good enough,” my grandma once said to me in high school. Back in the early 1930s in the mountains of Puerto Rico, my grandma stopped going to school after 8th grade, though she was an awesome speller and can still multiply and divide just fine in her almost-senile 90 year old age. My aunts graduated from high school and went the vocational route, eventually to secretarydom and cosmeticianland, while my mom dropped out of high school and earned a GED at 17. So I’m a first-generation college student, yay! But I feel like many of my friends have doctors, businesspeople, professors or scientists for parents (or aunts or uncles or siblings), and I find that I can’t really relate to that at all, and perhaps they can’t really relate to me either.I’m not used to having lofty career dreams because all I wanted is to have any job, and not live in the projects. Now that I’m going to graduate MIT in a year I feel like I should be aiming higher.. :P

 

Some ways I feel right at home here. :)

    • I want to study Urban Planning. I decided this relatively recently (too late for me to major in 11 now, but wish me luck on getting a minor!). I particularly think it’d be really cool if I could help transform the concept of public housing in the United States. (I have finally found the way I want to change the world!) :D But first I need to a Master’s degree, and others seem to consider MIT the best (#1) Planning school in the country. Do you think I could get into MIT.. again?
    • The hall I lived on has its own wiki. And an IRC channel. “MIT is the closest you can get to living in the Internet,” my hallmate once told me. And here, at least on 2E in East Campus but probably most other places too, IT IS SO TRUE. Love. It. So. Much.
    • MIT likes anime just as much as I do! XD In the fall, Prof. Ian Condry teaches a whole class about anime within the context of transnational media and culture (I highly recommend it to otaku and non-otaku alike!). It’s truly interesting taking on anime as a scholarly subject! Oh, and MIT’s anime club boasts one of the largest anime libraries in New England. Needless to say, this makes me really happy. ^_^
    • I know red tape (bureaucracy) won’t get in my way at MIT. This school is small enough and well-staffed enough that I can usually get things done and do what I need to do. Mostly I can speak for the Financial Aid Office, but I also feel at ease when it comes to contacting staff in my department/school, at Medical, at Student Support Services, and so on. Lack of long lines and waits are good! The hardest part is waking up before 5 (you’ll see what I mean once you get to college).

 

I am just one happy profile out of many different ones at MIT. All I want is for no one to be reluctant about attending MIT due to personality, because sometimes you can find unexpected things here. :)

32 responses to “A Characterization”

  1. Wang Wei says:

    Second!!

    Hey Cristen your blog entries are really inspiring!!

    makes you the feeling o “impossible is nothing!”
    which you have proven

    good luck!

  2. Jacobi says:

    Interesting to see that not everyone is the archtypical MIT nerd. smile BTW i use the last word of my first sentence in a positive manner as it is my favorite name for myself.

  3. Quiton says:

    “MIT is the closest you can get to living in the Internet” . I will be appropriating this phrase for my information sessions this fall. Thanks Cristen.

  4. Nicholas says:

    You make me want to be friends with you.

  5. Lauren says:

    I have to agree that I wasn’t very interested in Star Wars either, but I like other sci-fi/fantasy films and books. I can’t believe you don’t like robots… they’re just so… COOL!

    There’s an anime club? That. is. AWESOME!!!

    @Luka
    I have to agree. The anime club is definitely another +1 on the “Why should I go to MIT” list raspberry

  6. adcom says:

    @ Mohammed Talaat

    Pa-the-tic.

  7. MITmom says:

    Oh no! I can’t believe you don’t like robots.
    And you are such a nice person.
    Oh well, you are still welcome here anytime.

  8. dear Cristen :
    I AM VERY HAPPY TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU.
    MY NAME IS MOHAMMED TALAAT (MALE) . I AM EGYPTION .I AM A STUDENT IN Higher Technological Institute IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING . I WANT TO JOIN M I T BUT …….PLEASE HELP ME . I HOPE TO BE MY BEST FRIEND SO I INVENT YOU TO VISITE EGYPTE IN THE NEXT WINTER SEASON . THE SUN IS VERY BEUATFULL AT THIS TIME OF YEAR WHEN YOU COME I WILL MEET YOU TO SEE THE NILE , THE PYRAMIDS ,CIVILIZATHION OF INSHIANT EGYPTIONS(PHARANCOSE) AND YOU WILL SEE ALOT OF GOOD THINGS .
    IN THE END I WANT TO TELL YOU AN IMPORTANT THING WHO IS THAT I WANT TO BE ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS…OK

    W I T H M Y B E S T W I C H E S

  9. Oci says:

    Yeah, Cristen, I am just like you in so many ways, too. I hate robots and HATE fantasy or sci-fi movies and many serial movies, but I still love technology and fancy a place like MIT…But just doesn’t mean I want to go to school there.

    You sound very straightforward and honest and certainly have no “hang ups” at all.

  10. hey cristen:
    YOU ARE REALLY VERY INSPIRED PERSON. I LIKE YOUR CHOICE. ACTUALLY I AM FROM INDIA STUDYING JUST IN CLASS 12. MY DREAM IS TO BE LIKE YOU. I AM FOND OF STUDYING ONLY AND WANT TO SEARCH SOME DISTUINGUISH THINGS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN SEARCHED IN THIS INSPIRING WORLD. I THINK MY DREAM WILL COME TRUE ONLY WHEN I WILL BE IN MIT. SO PLEASE HELP ME
    good luck

  11. Liz ('14?) says:

    I did a mini double-take at your dislike of robots. raspberry But the ones that look like humans creep me out, too. I guess I dislike androids, but all other robots are awesome. :]

  12. Nicholas says:

    I, for one, think that robots that look like people are ultra-cool.

  13. bay says:

    I am an international student from a public school in a small town, where we did not have a principle for 2 years, and last year I were absent for half of the first semester and the entire second semester (my principle does not know me, nor my teachers), do I have a chance to get accepted? and if I wanted to apply how would I fill the school report form? (no teacher, and no principle ever wrote a recommendation or filled a form b4)

  14. somebody says:

    I agree with the human-like robots statement. They are creepy.

  15. Luka ('14?) says:

    Great blog entry!

    I didn’t know about the anime club. I would have never guessed that people at MIT are interested in anime. Oh well… +1 on my “Why should I go to MIT” list.

    @ Nicholas
    Same here!

  16. Yayy! This is the most encouraging post I’ve seen on MIT blogs in a while. I appreciate your frankness, even at the risk of having people question your aversion to robots.

    (…For the record, human-like robots creep me out too, though robotic fish are fairly awesome.)

  17. Anonymous says:

    @ Nicholas
    I second that.

  18. Anonymous says:

    HEY CRISTEN CAN YOU HELP ME TOO?

    THE CAPITALIZATION HELPS RIGHT?

  19. Gustavo says:

    I don’t mind robots….I am actually part of First Robotic in High School….Robotics is fun expecially when you start building it…..I didnt know that MIT had a Anime Club…That’s freaking awsome……..I watch Naruto and Bleach……I know there other good anime out there but I just don’t know where to find…..lol

  20. carmel '11 says:

    @ everyone laughing at the ignorant international students who capitalize nearly everything — cool it!

    first of all, a lot of places in the world have totally different cultural norms, including internet social norms. the tone that strikes us in english as n00bly and oblivious is meant to be humble and earnest in other places, especially the middle east. and there are plenty of languages, like arabic, presumably the guy from egypt’s native language, that do not have capitalization at all. how is he supposed to know his usage of it makes him seem super foreign and weird?

    if you’re going to attend mit you need to prepare yourself for an environment with many international students as well as people from all kinds of backgrounds… you will be expected to treat everyone with respect.

  21. Anonymous says:

    CAN I HAZZ ADMISSION??? I R CAPITALIZER TOO!!

  22. Shiv says:

    Interesting post, though the robot thing… oh well, its just the humanoids right?

    @ all the capitalizers: people quit it! its like shouting in the real world.

  23. @carmel: The voice of reason. smile Thank you.

  24. nathan '13 says:

    @carmel: Thanks. That’s certainly something I agree with wholeheartedly.

  25. adamonkey says:

    Great post! However, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is one of my favorite books. smile

    Also, the uncanny valley hypothesis seems to explain your phobia for robots who look like people.

  26. As Cristen points out, what makes a “good” college is in the eye of the beholder. It’s more than the curriculum or the school ranking that you should use as barometers for choosing a college. College life and whether or not you feel comfortable in your skin while attending a college is what it’s all about.

  27. Louis ('14?) says:

    First Generation College Students FTW!
    And agreed on the robots. They can do some neat things, but we’re coming up on that uncanny valley awfully fast.

  28. Nicholas says:

    @adamonkey
    I looked over that link about the uncanny valley hypothesis. That’s really interesting. It’s kind of creepy how well it predicts my own feelings about human-like creations, although I think I feel that way for different reasons. As they (robots) get more and more realistic I think they’re more and more cool. But then, when they get to a certain point, it just seems like they’re….made to show off. Like they were designed to show off how human-like they are when they aren’t really good enough to show off. It’s hard to explain. Like that japanese-lady-robot. It’s supposed to be a great achievment because it looks so much like a human, but wax sculptures that look just as human have been around for a very long time. It’s not difficult to make something look human, it’s difficult to make something act human. I think that the japanese-lady-robot does a horrible job of “acting” human. It’s movement is jerky and it looks sort of condescending. It’s as if calling it human-like is insulting to my humanity.

    Am I crazy, or does anyone else think about these things?…..or both?

  29. is there any place where I can get help for my application, probably get answers for some questions…….

  30. Dream says:

    Hello, I am a student from South Korea. I was really fascinated by MIT! It feels so warm and cozy!!! I earnestly want to be in MIT! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you this: your application essay was really great! I was deeply impressed with your vivid and candid narration! I really hope that I can meet you in MIT next year! If it is possible, I want to contact with you by e-mail.
    Thank you!

  31. Naraba says:

    The more I learn about MIT, the more it convinces me that this school is right for me. I so hope I will get in.

    I love Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and other Sci-fi stuff. I’m not all that much into robots, but I love anime.