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MIT student blogger Mitra L. '07

Grind Time by Mitra L. '07

It = late. Coffee = love. You = intrigued.

It all started on Monday night. I had a big French III essay due Tuesday morning, and Sam ’07 also had quite a bit of work to do, but since we’re both seniors, rather than get down to business, we goofed off in our suite lounge. Once Sam finally went to bed around 3:00, I was able to start working, andI stayed up until 5:00 to finish my essay.

Shockingly, I was pretty tired for my 9:00 AM lecture on Tuesday morning. (… but I still went to it!) As a preventative measure, I purchased a medium cup of coffee from Au Bon Pain in Kendall Square and drank it during the beginning of class.

I am not a coffee person. I rarely drink coffee. I do not like the taste of coffee. I oftentimes burn myself when pouring coffee. When I make appointments to “get coffee” with someone, I do not actually get coffee. Coffee = bad!

Here is my first page of 14.05 notes.

Notice that my handwriting is not that bad.

Here are pages two and three,

four and five,

six and seven,

and eight and nine. Nine pages! I have never before been this prolific in a 9:00 AM lecture. Maybe I should start drinking coffee every single morning…

…except I have no idea what I wrote towards the end of class. Something about capital mobility, I think. Can YOU figure out what I wrote??

Maybe I’m better off drinking less coffee and getting more hours of sleep.

This reminds me of the Undergraduate Mathematics Association (UMA) shirts

“A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.” — Erdos

I would have liked to make up for lost sleep on Tuesday or Wednesday night, but as luck would have it, my gigantic CI-M paper for 14.05 is due tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

“In their junior and senior years, generally, students take subjects that are Communication Intensive in the Major (CI-M). These subjects are integral to each student’s major program. CI-Ms involve instruction and practice in the forms of communication specific to the professional and academic culture of the discipline.”

Sounds like it’s time for more coffee!!

This time, I went to nearby Toscanini’s to work on my paper. I ordered a latte (partially because I need caffeine, and partially I wanted the free wireless), and the guy who was working there made a heart on the top =)

It was really “awww” at the time…

… but now it is nearly 4:00 AM, I just finished formatting my footnotes, and I’m ready to sleep for the next 12 hours. Except I have 14.05 lecture again at 9:00 AM! How on earth will I stay awake in class?!?! I have an idea….

26 responses to “Grind Time”

  1. Mitra says:

    Anonymous — I am still not a coffee person, so yes

    Thuita — In his entry here (http://www.mitadmissions.org/topics/qanda/questions_and_answers/august_questions_omnibus_1_1.shtml) Matt McGann wrote, “We don’t make decisions based on test scores, and that we have no minimum SAT scores. Also, you can check out the SAT score ranges in this previous entry: http://www.mitadmissions.org/topics/apply/admissions_statistics/2006_mit_admissions_statistics.shtml

    Robert Carr — Your Uncle Raymond is my hero. The author Raymond Carr wrote the book “Spain: Dictatorship to Democracy” that I cited several times in my 14.05 paper. See http://www.nybooks.com/authors/682 for more of his work.

  2. Sarab says:

    Same problem with me. I’ve graduated to three cups a day and i get 4-5 hours of sleep daily.
    Anyhow, enjoy your latte!

  3. Sam says:

    I totally saved coffee for MIT. I was like, “No, I don’t want to build up a tolerance, so I can use it to wake myself up whenever I need to.” I remember the first time I had a Starbucks venti white chocolate mocha. I almost died. But by sophomore year I was totally addicted.

    Then I gave up coffee for Lent last year. I also almost died.

    I almost die a lot.

    Sleep well! Coffee heart.

  4. TKD says:

    Koffee killz…

    Whatever will you do come June?

  5. Neha says:

    Hey Mitra,Wanna ask you something,
    I read about various firms visiting MIT for campus recuitment in Matt’s blog.Do they recruit graduate students too?

  6. Estefi says:

    i love coffee. except it never manages to keep me awake. oh well, i hope you get some sleep soon

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is there anyone who MIT won’t make a coffee person our of at some point or another?

  8. Thuita Maina says:

    Mitra,

    I got my SAT scores and am frustrated coz I didn’t manage a 700 in any of the sections. Should I resit the exam for January exam. My high school profile is excellent but the SATs are worrying me. Can a 650 in Maths jeopardize my chances of admission?

  9. Robert Carr says:

    Paul Erdos is my hero

  10. Justin Kim says:

    Erdos rocks! Ever read The Man Who Loved Only Numbers ? I found it pretty cool. It’d be cool to have an Erdos number [unfortunately nobody can get a 1 anymore :(]

  11. Eileen says:

    how? w/imperfect cap mobility, imonet poting will depress domestic economy but will pressue E
    w/perf cap mob, CB can`t do anything
    c/imp: does it let it happen or contract?
    uhoize how? w/imperfect cap mobility, imonet poting will depress domestic economy but will pressue E
    w/perf cap mob, CB can`t do anything
    c/imp: does it let it happen or contract?
    uhoize < depress domestic economy amid crisis

    is what you wrote (:

  12. Mollie says:

    MIT did not turn me into a coffee person. Still won’t touch the stuff.

    It did turn me into a Mountain Dew person, though.

  13. Sam says:

    oh, BY THE WAY, you forgot to mention that you would have totally been up until 3 AM playing freecell even if I hadn’t been there.

  14. J says:

    Not to be a smart alec or anything, but that quote apparently doesn’t come from Erdos (says the Wikipedia article anyway):

    “As his colleague Alfréd Rényi said, “a mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems”, and Erdős drank copious quantities. (This quote is often attributed to Erdős, but does seem to originate with Rényi.)” (Wikipedia: Paul Erdos)

    I dunno, just for future reference or something.

  15. Anthony says:

    wasn’t that french essay assignment great =(

  16. says:

    Hi,i am a chinese student.i think we can be good penfriends.i can tell you the life of the chinese university.my e-mail address :[email protected]
    i am waiting for your letter.Thanks!

  17. Anonymous says:

    the best thing to do is to get a cream based frappachino with no coffee. They keep you awake and don’t taste as bad as coffee. p.s. i don’t like coffee either, i learned to survive with the frapps or before my ap tests//finals i drink milk with lots of chocolate powder and like 1/2 teaspoon of coffee smile

  18. hi… lol pretty scary post as i’m a chronic procrastinator. i live in england and i’m constantly doing assignments that count towards a-level (british national school-leaving exams) grades on the morning that they’re due smile
    eileen’s decipherment was pretty good but there were a few mistakes (i include my own additions, to clarify abbreviations etc, in square brackets):

    how? w/ imperfect cap[ital] mobility,
    monet[ary] policy will depress domestic economy
    but will preserve E [perhaps exchange rate or external balance. exchange rate seems to make more sense.]
    w/perf[ect] cap mob, CB can’t do anything

    w/imp: does it let it happen or contract?

    choice [i think] {depress domestic economy
    _______________________________avoid crisis

    anyways i was having a look at the courses available and trying to work out a course of study (planning to major in mathematics and maybe computer science, as lately it looks awesome). i noticed a lot of the courses i wanted to do were graduate courses. does that mean that undergrads actually aren’t allowed to do them or is it just an indicator of difficulty level? also, if undergrads are allowed to do them, if the course is labelled “graduate course credit” or somethin, does that mean if i do it as an undergrad it can count towards the undergrad as well as the relevant graduate course i decide to pursue? or does it mean i can move on to harder courses that have these courses as prerequisites, sort of post-grad advanced placement?
    if you’re not sure, i’d be incredibly grateful if you could point me in the direction of someone who could answer my question.
    thanks a lot
    Noor

  19. hey sorry i just realised i used the word “course” for several different meanings. here’s what i meant to ask:

    anyways i was having a look at the courses available and trying to work out a program of study for the four years (planning to major in mathematics and maybe computer science, as lately it looks awesome). i noticed a lot of the courses i wanted to do were graduate courses. does that mean that undergrads actually aren’t allowed to do them or is it just an indicator of difficulty level? also, if undergrads are allowed to do them, if the course is labelled “graduate course credit” or somethin, does that mean if i do it as an undergrad it can count towards the undergrad degree as well as the relevant graduate degree i decide to pursue? or does it mean i can move on to harder courses during my graduate degree that have these courses as prerequisites, sort of post-grad advanced placement?
    if you’re not sure, i’d be incredibly grateful if you could point me in the direction of someone who could answer my question.
    thanks a lot
    Noor

  20. Robert Carr says:

    I am not sure, I believe “The Man who Loved only Numbers” a biography of Erdos attributes the quote to him; but the WP article does cite a seemingly valid source.

  21. Sanup Das says:

    please call me there we’ll take coffee together.
    company is better than being alone. think…

  22. Mike says:

    How exactly do you pronounce your name…I hope it’s the way I’ve been saying it…

  23. Hi MITRA..

    I am iranian but living in the UAE. I wanted to know how life is in MIT and how is the bussiness school(SLOAN)?

    MERCI>>THANK YOU

  24. Mikey Yang says:

    Anonymous (OP): I went for 4 whole years of MIT without drinking one cup of coffee. At least I don’t think I did. (Except for at the end of formal dinners like at Senior Ball) I did drink my fair share of Coke, Mtn Dew, and orange juice (you’d be amazed at how good fruit juice can be at keeping you decently energized over longer periods of time).

    Mike: Mitra’s name is pronounced “Mee-trah” (basically the “i” is pronounced like a long “e” sound).

    Mitra: Even working at MIT hasn’t made me into a coffee person (yet) though I drink my fair share of tea and hot cocoa now that there’s a free supply of it approx. 10 feet from my desk. Hehe : P

  25. Yuki says:

    I can’t tell if that cup is SUPPOSED to be that conical, or it’s a trick of the camera angle. Either way, they should make coffee cups like that if they don’t already, and if they do, I want some.

  26. hi mitra,
    what is signification of the suffix in mail address of mit student (@ mit.edu) .edu) . does it signify campous student studying at mit or prospective student?

    thanks,
    Abhinav Kumar,
    india.
    contact number; +919934961175