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MIT student blogger Melis A. '08

First day of school by Melis A. '08

The first day of school

Remember what the first day of school was like in elementary school? At least for me, I would be so excited that I could barely sleep the night before. My clothes were laid out for me, my lunch would be packed, my backpack would be loaded with paper and colored pencils, and I’d just be so excited to be a (fill in the blank here) grader. Things have changed a bit, though not as much as you would think. In preparation for the new school year, I saw V for Vendetta last night at the LSC (MIT’s very own film series) and afterwards slept like a rock. This morning, I woke up with excitement about class, but by now I know the drill so I was free from anxiety.

This semester is pretty unique for me. I am studying Course 2A, which means that I am taking the core Mechanical Engineering classes (Course 2) and filling in the rest of my schedule with classes in my concentrations, which are Pre-medicine and Biomedical Engineering. For the first time, I’m not taking any Course 2 classes, except I guess Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems is listed as both a Biological Engineering (BE.110) and Mechanical Engineering (2.772) class. I’m hoping to have time to get involved with some new activities and continue some old ones.

So here’s what I’m taking so far:
BE.110: Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems
Taught by:
-Robert Field (a Chemistry professor that studies the motion of polyatomic molecules)
-Linda Griffith (a Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering professor who studies tissue engineering and happens to be Bryan’s UROP Supervisor), and
-Kim Hamad-Schifferli (also a Biological Engineering and Mechanical Engineering professor who studies controlling biological machines among other things, and also happens to be my advisor.)
The first half of the class meets with a Chemistry class called Thermodynamics and Kinetics and covers basic thermodynamic principles. Later in the course, we are going to study nonideal solutions, polymers, electrolyte solutions, thermodynamics of DNA hybridization, cooperativity, and self-assembly.

5.13: Organic Chemistry II
Taught by:
-Timothy Jamison (a Chemistry professor who studies new methods for organic synthesis)
-Kimberly Berkowski (a Chemistry professor who also taught 5.12 (Organic Chemistry I))
This class focuses on experimental techniques that allow a scientist to take a sample of a substance and figure out the structure of the organic molecule and also teaches more about advanced chemical concepts involved with organic reactions.

9.01: Intro to Neuroscience
Taught by:
-Mark Bear (a Neuroscience professor whose research on synapses in the hippocampus and visual cortex might help scientists to understand mental retardation, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease)
-Sebastian Seung (a professor of Computational Neuroscience who studies neural networks in the brain)
An introduction to the mammalian nervous system and neuroscience research at MIT. WeТƒфll be learning about the structure of neurons, how we see, hear, move, feel, sleep, pay attention, and remember things!

21W.778: Science Journalism
This class meets Tuesday nights, so I haven’t had it yet. Once I do, I’ll provide a description =)

Voila! That’s my schedule, unless I add one more class, which I am contemplating

In other news, I moved into a new dorm over the weekend. I am now a resident of Baker House and so far it’s very convenient and nice. Our room has a great river view again and I can’t complain about its proximity to campus. I will miss Next House, though I think it was time for a change.

Unfortunately, my computer does not agree with Baker’s wireless internet. I brought my laptop from home and kept getting the ominous Blue Screen of Death. For two days, I talked for hours with Dell representatives, but to no avail. On Tuesday, I took my computer to Information Services and Technology (the on-campus computer help desk), and of course my computer worked there. It’s just like when you go to the doctor and magically feel better, and consequently can’t tell the doctor what hurts! They ran a bunch of diagnostics and found that there was nothing wrong with my hard drive or my memory. Later, I deduced that the problem lies in the wireless internet, so now I just can’t use wireless in Baker. But, after all, Ethernet cables aren’t so bad, so I don’t mind.

Anyway, how did everyone’s first day of school go? (perhaps some of you are well into your first weeks of school)

(cartoon from here)

2 responses to “First day of school”

  1. Melis says:

    Baker!! You’re right next door :D

    PS. I saw you today. But I think you knew that already.

    PPS. I definitely missed the part when you said you were at Baker. I thought you were visiting. Ooops. Good one, Minh.

  2. Drew says:

    My first day got me sick. :——