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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

Excitement by Jess K. '10

I'll take things that cause it for 800.

It’s pretty hard to live in Boston and not get swept away by Red Sox fever. You have an excuse if you’re like Brandon ’11, who’s from Colorado, but other than that your only other refuge is that you don’t like watching 230-lb guys (who can also throw a ball at 99 mph) Irish step dancing in their underwear. Who isn’t a fan of that?

Seeing as I fall into neither of these categories, I put off of grading 5.112 problem sets (which I was using to put off doing my own problem sets) and do a little jigging of my own. Things were pretty crazy around here last night, especially for my friends living in the fraternities (most MIT fraternities and sororities are directly in Boston, in Kenmore Square) – and so I bring you these epic pictures of the riots fresh from Corey ’10’s camera, outside of his fraternity and home, Chi Phi (thanks Corey!):

As Evan wrote, we had our own Burton-Conner-wide celebration last Sunday when the Red Sox beat the Indians. My floor, Burton 1, was just about the run up the stairs to celebrate with Burton 3rd when Burton 3rd burst through the door, at which point we all piled into the elevator and proceeded to cheer on every floor of the Burton side, followed by every floor of the Conner side (Burton-Conner used to be separate dorms, Burton and Conner, but were joined together and now peacefully co-exist as one happy hyphenated family).

So I’m excited by the Red Sox, especially the Red Sox winning the World Series. I’m also really excited about a lot of other things, too, like peanut m&m’s, the release of Leopard, dancing to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”, and organic chemistry. (Did you see that transition? How smooth am I?) There’s this scary stereotype about organic chemistry being crazy difficult, which I definitely get. 5.12 (Organic Chemistry I) and 5.13 (Organic Chemistry II) may be my favorite classes I’ve taken at MIT thus far, but that doesn’t mean they were easy – I’ve had my fair share of frustration along the way, including more late nights than I’m comfortable with studying the stereochemistry of Diels-Alder reactions. (And then I’ve woken up after these late nights drooling all over page 485, so whatever I tell you here, remember that even if organic chemistry can be fun, it’s not always pretty.)

A big part of orgo is trying to synthesize molecules using a smaller molecule and basic chemical reagents, which I sometimes have trouble visualizing. So why do I like it so much, even when I’m not very good at it? I was trying to explain this, if somewhat incoherently, to Matt earlier today, so let’s see if I can do a little bit better here: organic chemistry is like a puzzle. It’s like one of those logic puzzles where you’re trying to figure out who likes red trucks, and they give you all those rules like Lisa hates the color red, and David is scared of heights but only on Wednesdays – except you’ve got to remember all the rules, like you need to know beforehand that Lisa hates the color red. And you have to know it’s because Lisa is really allergic to ketchup. So you can only let Lisa have.. trucks without ketchup.

That was even more incoherent than when I was trying to explain it out loud, but you can take a couple things away from that (ironically) barely logical paragraph. One: college essays are just as open as blog entries to writing about whatever quirky hobbies make you happy, and why. So if you’re having trouble getting started, just start writing down what motivates you. Maybe you want to be the driving force behind the new age of space travel because of that one time you saw Mir when you were little. Maybe you really like sitting under trees and getting hit in the face by leaves, or maybe you like synthesizing molecules. (I like both.) The hardest part is beginning, so feel free to be as incoherent as you like, and don’t lose too much sleep over the fact that the deadlines are starting to pop up. (Save that for when you take organic chemistry.)

Two: I was you like two seconds ago. I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life – I’m barely starting to figure out what I enjoy. So don’t think that just because I’m going into my second year here, I’ve got it all figured out. I’ll be the first to admit that I definitely don’t.

I’m definitely REALLY excited about this last thing, though – and I promise this is THE VERY LAST TIME I will ever mention that blogging scholarship ever again. With your AMAZING number of votes, I won 3rd! You guys were so incredible, and I’m so stoked to have your support. I feel pretty badly about that last post, and for that whole month of spam I’ve put you guys through – for that, I apologize. But I’m still open to questions and possible blog topics, so propose away. Until then, get excited! Three days until November!

44 responses to “Excitement”

  1. Phillip Z. says:

    Congratulations on the win!

    go Red Sox

  2. Rose17 says:

    Haha. About those elevators, have you ever gotten stuck in them?
    I stayed at MIT during the summer with 17 other girls at a summer camp. After coming back from swimming, we all crowded in( not a good idea) and were stuck in a nice humid elevator for about an hour. smile
    Also, Congrats on your 3rd Place!

  3. A parent says:

    Congrats on your third place finish! I believe that is a record for all MIT + CalT + Stanford + ivies bloggers.

    And thanks for carrying Danni’s skating bag last Saturday, Jess. She had the best skating session of her life.

  4. Snively says:

    OMG the riots were SO fun! Nothing like a little excitement and rebellion to liven up a college freshman’s Sunday evening. If you’re interested in seeing more coverage of the riots, I posted some videos of what a bunch of Conner 2 people experienced (this includes Laura). Enjoy!

    We Hate Plastic. . .AND THE YANKEES!

  5. Solstice says:

    Jess, congrats! Do you get anything for third, I mean like money?

  6. Arkajit says:

    Congratulations on being third! smile

  7. Anonymous says:

    A flying shoe … or an actin filament. Because muscle contraction is totally the same thing as crowd surfing. (w00t 9.01!)

  8. Corey says:

    Congrats on third place! and I’m glad those pics came in handy! ^_^ GO RED SOX!

  9. Raina says:

    Congratulations on getting third place! And thank you so much for the funny and interesting post, haha. I just clicked the little submit button on Part 2, and naturally I was on the verge of hyperventilating. So I bounced my way over to the blogs, saw that you had a new post up, started reading, and promptly forgot about Part 2… for one blissful second anyway smile

    Why is December so far away?

  10. Anonymous says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    no, NOVEMBER ROOM!!!!!

  12. omg so excited for november!!! jess, we can finally be together!!!

  13. jkim fans says:

    how dare you claim her to yourself, real freshman admirer while you know that there are thousands of JKIM fans out there?

  14. SMC says:

    “[…]this is THE VERY LAST TIME I will ever mention that blogging scholarship ever again.”
    Until next year, of course, when you enter again. You ARE competing again next year, yes?…

  15. Hunter '11 says:

    The Sox are definitely worth losing a shoe. Or breaking a leg. Whatever happened to that guy.


    (Sorry, I get the random urge to shout that. No one can escape getting sucked in.)

    Yeah, I know that school’s only supposed to get harder, and I know next year will be tough – but somehow, I think it’ll be a lot better, too. I won’t have to take classes I don’t like (I’m not a physics person), and I’ll have more established friendships and such. I don’t know, even if the classes freshmen year are easier, I think the other years are going to be better.

    I love your writing style, by the way. Just the crazy examples (fearing heights on Wednesdays? ketchup trucks?) alone make it awesome.

    I also like the essay-being-a-blog thing. Both of my essays were very blog-like… and that’s better, isn’t it? It shows more of an applicant’s personality.

    Everyone should follow Jkim’s advice ^.^

  16. Jess says:

    SMC – If they don’t change the format of the competition, realistically, I probably won’t; it caused me a lot more trouble and strife than it was worth.

  17. alu says:

    hi…i got a 640 in math on reasoning in october n am givin my sat II math on november 3….i think i’ll make a 710-740 in satII..shud i retake sat I..??Its nt tht my overall app n all skul grades dnt prove tht im a good student..i ace calculus n chemistry n my school grades show any advice???

  18. alu says:

    hi…i got a 640 in math on reasoning in october n am givin my sat II math on november 3….i think i’ll make a 710-740 in satII..shud i retake sat I..??Its nt tht my overall app n all skul grades dnt prove tht im a good student..i ace calculus n chemistry n my school grades show any advice???

  19. Anonymous says:

    heyy…please help meeh out!!
    I got a 570 in critical reading nut a 108 out of 120 in teofl ibt…being a non native english speaker MIT gave me 2 options i.e. of either the toefl n satII’s or the satI n satII…as i have done well in toefl but not in sat I…do i need to retake the sat??

  20. Anonymous says:

    Ooh, I like the whole Jeopardy-Alex-Trebek-y title and intro on the front page to this post.

    *hums Jeopardy theme song*

    Oh, what was the point of my comment? Congrats on the blogging title! But why wouldn’t it be worth all the trouble to do again next year? Paperwork?

  21. Sanja says:

    I have 600 on CR and 620 on writing. Honestly, even if I retake the test, I won’t be able to raise my score for more than 30-40 and there is good chance to even lower it. If I were you I would realisticaly estimate chances of improving your score smile
    Btw, I got 800 of maths smile (sorry, I had to show off a little smile)

    P.S. Jess, good work with the 3rd place smile

  22. Hank R. says:

    I got 630 on my SAT I: Math, and 640 on my SAT II: Math Lv. 1, and they let me in. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

    Granted, I lost sleep over this last year when I got the scores back.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Dear Jess….it would be wonderful if you could write a blog on sat scores…cite some egs of MITiians who didnt get 2300+ or 2200+ but are still in MIT….that will soothe many applicants like me.. wink….BUT only if u have that time

  24. Hunter '11 says:

    @Jess – Congrats on the blogging!

    @Anon – I’m a current MIT freshman, and I did not get 2200+. I don’t really know other people’s scores, but I’m guessing a lot of people are the same way. There are statistics out there if you want to look at them (don’t), but blogging about SAT scores would give the impression MIT DOESN’T want to give – SATs are NOT the end all, be all of admissions here. Try to get 700ish, but put most of your energy into the other parts of your app – the passions, the fun, the dedication – that’s what’s going to get you into MIT.

  25. As everyone said, numbers aren’t everything. It’s good to retake the SAT if you can, try to improve those scores (I got 310 points better when I retook the SATs-I think I was sick the first time-it’s not like I did anything differently the second time) but don’t sweat over scores that aren’t ‘amazing.’
    on a different note…
    ooooh EA apps due in 12 hours 25 minutes! Good luck everyone! Click on my name for my own EA experience…raspberry

  26. Hunter '11 says:

    Oh, to add on to my other comment, NONE of my SAT IIs broke 700. I even *gasp* had 3s on AP tests.

  27. Snively says:

    Oo Ooo! I didn’t get 2200+

  28. Anonymous says:

    love your blogs
    thanks a lot and congratulations ! ! !

  29. iHitSubMIT says:

    I did it…..
    I hit the “s” button. It’s 1130 here but im wired. My heart is pounding obscene beats in my ears. Sleep is not going to come easily…

    Anyway, ya. Grats on 3rd Jess, hope to meet you (and vote for you)next year! :D


  30. Hunter '11 says:

    Yay for clickable names ^.^

    I, on the other hand, took the SAT three times and didn’t improve much at all. My overall score went up 70pts but that was it (and the last set of scores wasn’t in time for EA admission). I also never studied for SATs, but whatever floats your boat.

  31. milena '11 says:

    I’m sorry if this comes across as me being insensitive, but haven’t we talked before about how numbers don’t play that big of a role in admissions? Seriously people, go back and read old posts before coming here and posting your scores. You’ll always get the same response.

  32. milena '11 says:

    I’m sorry if this comes across as me being insensitive, but haven’t we talked before about how numbers don’t play that big of a role in admissions? Seriously people, go back and read old posts before coming here and posting your scores. You’ll always get the same response.

  33. Sanja says:

    Is there any statistics for international applicants? I guess reasoning scores are considerably lower than for domestic (or I’m just soothing myself wink).

  34. Star says:

    Congrats on coming in third Jess, so what does that mean money-wise? And what was so bad about it that you won’t apply again next year?

    Ok, so I see the pattern of everyone who’s already at MIT commenting on how SATs don’t mean anything, while everyone applying is freaking out. Although I do love patterns (that reminds me of an xkcd comic…you know the one with that messenger convo that their lines were all the same length?), anyways, I think I’ll break the trend smile I didn’t break 2200 on the SATs, and while I did freak out for a bit, every one gave me the same advice – it doesn’t matter! Scores WILL NOT make or break an application. People with 500s can get in, while people with the “magic” 2400 get rejected all the time. Sure, try your best and all, but don’t let it drive you crazy. MIT wants to see “the match” and passion in an applicant, not just a bunch of meaningless numbers on a test you took one Saturday in high school.

    And, much more importantly, GOOD LUCK to all EA applicants! How does it feel to be (hopefully) finally done the application? Now you just have to RELAX and wait till December, fun times.

  35. Snively says:


    I think the goal of all this score posting is to prove exactly that, Milena. Scores aren’t everything, meaning low-ish scores won’t sink you.

    And scores may not play a big role, but they do play an important role, meaning you should shoot for a 700, but admissions won’t think any better of you if you’ve got a 780 instead of 720.

  36. Anonymous says:

    @Star: It’s not relaxing at all! Now we all have to start gearing up to finish those applications we’ve neglected because we became so obsessed with MIT’s EA app, just in case we don’t get into MIT! =/ Oh, there’s nothing like first semester of senior year to melt your brain…

  37. Taylor says:

    ^ Heh. What are these other applications that you speak of? This is probably a bad idea, but I’m waiting until EA decisions come out before I work on the common app (the only other app. I need to fill out). I don’t want to waste my time if I don’t need to. Luckily I have a long winter break this year if I need to fill it out!

  38. Snively says:


    That’s what I did. The stanford app was due 6 days after the EA decision from MIT and I didn’t plan on starting it until EA decisions came out. Yay for efficiency and time management, we’re hardcore.

  39. Star says:

    Ooo, risky choice! I’m not applying anywhere EA (stupid international status), so I’ve got to finish all my applications :( If I was EA I’d probably also wait, but it would suck to be filling out the common app in such a bad mood if MIT deffered or rejected me.