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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

I’m Kind of a Big Deal by Jess K. '10

Leaves and famous people alike think so.

I’m beginning to think the foliage is out to get me. I was hit by another leaf, on the foot, two days ago. It wasn’t a gentle smack, but it actually stuck to my foot since it was damp out (seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Okay, maybe you can, but I’m not, I swear). To make matters worse, I was wearing open heels, and had recently showered (it happens more often than you might think), as I was going to my house’s formal.

Brian speculates: All my buddies tell me MIT is for a bunch of nerds who have no life. Is that true? Can you have a stronger interest in your liberal art courses and still have a good chance of making it in MIT?

A NERD? Why, I’ve never been called a nerd in my life! Good heavens! (Affirmative.)

It’s really hard for me to explain the nerd stereotype; the best thing you could do would be to come here, stay with an MIT student, and see for yourself. I consider myself a nerd proudly, but at the same time, I go to the mall, wear makeup, and own way too many pairs of shoes. We play a ridiculous amount of intramural sports and have parties that don’t just involve problem sets; we work hard and we play hard too. If that’s not enough for you, I shower. Daily.

As for liberal arts, I’ve been a writer ever since I wrote my first “book” in fourth grade, I take pictures, I sing, I dance, I’m in a sketch comedy group. I took all the AP history and English courses I could get my hands on in high school, in conjunction with AP Computer Science and AP Calculus BC. Other examples: half of my friend Christina’s courses are humanities courses, and my buddy Matt Fisher is a political science major. We have an excellent creative writing program and art department.

So yes, MIT students are well-rounded human beings who don’t sit inside all day and look at people’s source codes (okay, I only do that a few times a week). We’re social, especially with those we live with – my hall won a bbq paid for by our house because we won the community service contest for Camp Kesem, a program for children whose parents have or had cancer.

Oh, and we go to formals.

This Friday my house rented a huge cruise that sailed around the harbor as we danced the night away; the only problem was that we had to take either the T (subway) or a taxi to get out there. I got back late because of MedLinks training, and since Next House is the very farthest you can get from the T station, we had to scoot across campus at high speeds in our suits and ties. It was all very classy, really.

You might remember Curtis ’10 from an old entry of Ben’s, or as the guy voted Most Likely to Cure Cancer; he’s been a good friend of mine since fourth grade. He’s also a genius. To be good at math is to catch a Curtis. We have a lot of those here at MIT, as you might guess, and it’s the coolest thing in the world be sharing a communal bathroom with intellectual giants.

Look at how our hair has grown. A metaphor, for our development as college freshmen, if you will. Isn’t life beautiful?

So I never imagined that writing an entry about being hit in the face by a leaf would cause such a stir, but the other day as I was walking back to my dorm, a stranger stopped me to ask how my face was doing. My mother called to tell me to be more alert (I believe this means I should be taking ninja classes or something of the sort to avoid leaf attacks). My father sent me an email later (cc’d to the rest of my family) beginning with this:

“Once I was walking on a sidewalk when suddenly a huge tree trunk on my face. I avoided cracking my head open by hitting the trunk only by a few seconds. That’s what happens when you don’t pay attention to your situation and surroundings. Don’t let a tree trunk hit your face. ”

My sister and I met up later that night (she’s a student at another university in Cambridge that I affectionately call “The Harv”), during which we had this conversation:

ELSA: Are you okay?
ME: Uh, yeah. Why?
ELSA: Dad told me a tree branch hit you in the face and knocked you unconscious.

I assure you I have been very much alive and kicking, even though I didn’t get to post an entry this week about how a rampant field of grass beat me at the knee.

(I’m just kidding, Dad.)

This questioning took place last night, during which I went with my sister to a stand-up comedy show called Comedy for a Cause, a benefit for the Deep Roots Scholarship Fund. It featured several nationally recognized comedians, including the hugging guy from the Dave Matthews video “Everyday”. So I went. I laughed. And I hugged the hugging guy.

Speaking of famous people I meet and entries on leaves in faces, L spoketh: “Someone besides me listens to Regina Spektor?! Wow.”

Indeed, L, all these people below (and a certain Mr. Jones) listen to Regina Spektor. All these people (not including Mr. Jones, because he had to do “work”, right) also met and talked to Regina Spektor. For everyone else who doesn’t, they should. She is amazing. She is my sweetest downfall; I loved her first.

I did write up answers to a bunch of your questions, but I’m going to wait a bit to post them since this one was a bit long and I don’t want to bore you, so feel free to ask me more! If you have a specific topic that you want me to write about, let me know that too. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t find out (dun dun dunn). I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I’ll do the best I can to cover all the bases from quantum mechanics to dating and dining food. And don’t stress too much – even here at MIT, we take time off to smell the fall air.

27 responses to “I’m Kind of a Big Deal”

  1. Keri says:

    Regina Spektor and Mr. Neha and the leaves changing colors and falling off (I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS) makes for an awesome post.

  2. Drew says:

    Does that picture constitute a mob?

  3. jasmine says:

    Hey Jess,

    I love reading your blogs!

    Right now, I am writing an essay for MIT. I am a bit worried because I am not sure if my essay really shows who I am. I am trying my best, but it is really hard.. Do you have any advice for me?



  4. Sam Jackson says:

    Get out and enjoy the head of the charles any?

    Fall is far and away my favorite season… fall in and around Boston is better than up in the Seacoast of NH, I’m finding, where the climate is just generally more boring. Subtle differences.

  5. Keri says:

    That David, he thinks so much of himself. ^_^

  6. Rose says:

    Hi Jess

    I am hoping to apply to MIT a year from now, and I was wondering whether or not I should take BC Calculus. At my school, they don’t offer the class, however I can take it as an independent study course with a teacher as an advisor. Is the class an important component in being academically able to succeed at MIT?

    Thanks, Rose

  7. Sanja says:

    Hey Jess! I got hit by a leaf today without any obvious reason. Looks like readers of your blog inherit your magnetic force for leaves wink Explain that, mitty girl wink

  8. Mason says:

    Might I say, that now that my picture (bottom left on the quad-photo blob) has been featured on JKim’s blog, I can safely say that I am officially famous, and therefore a superhero.

    That means I can fly.

    I’m gonna go try it now.

  9. lauraK says:

    hey Jess!!!
    I absolutely love you and your blog smile
    (Oh, and we share the same last name “Kim” and that’s coool ;P)
    I’m also having problems with writing whole bunch of essays for colleges, as jasmine said above.
    Could you talk a little about your experience on the application essays and how we should approach them??
    I think it would really help many people:)
    Thanks in advance and keep up the sweet entries!!

  10. Jeffery says:

    I don’t mean to say, but this is a bit crazier than I consider a girl can be…

  11. hello

    wow, great blog, so much great information.. I bet you can sale these stuff in an e-book of some sort.. anyways, I have a couple of blogs myself and I use to get free traffic. If I were you I would submit this blog to them so thousands of others can see it for free. well, I’m going to add your blog to my favorites and I look forward to all the updates. thanks again and keep up the good work.


  12. L says:

    To all the people who are freaking about essays:
    Although I really can’t talk, as I haven’t started mine yet, the essays aren’t really something you should sweat. Easy to say, yes, but not so easy to do. Instead of writing something that you think makes you look like a good prospect, just have fun and write about what a freak you are. And remeber, if you think you have something that doesn’t fit in your main essay, just write one of those ancillary mini-essay things. If you do the above, and maybe get evrything vetted by your english teacher, your essays should be fine. So if you don’t get in, you can have the satisfaction of knowing it wasn’t the essay that did it!
    (L’s POV: Don’t worry about trying to be unique. If you just relax and pursue your own interests, you’ll turn into an interesting freaky personage automatically. Try it.)

  13. David says:

    MY MY JKIM those leaf pictures seem to be taken by QUITE a skilled photographer indeed :D :D :D

  14. Tina says:

    Do MIT students drink? ON campus? At the off-campus party? Sharing a communal bathroom? You mean between male and femle? I don’t think my parents will like this idea. Most of your dorms have this kind of communal bathroom? My dad will like me to go to Wellesley then just because the communal bathroom matter.

  15. Jess says:

    Tina, my dorm (Next House) has co-ed bathrooms. If you come to MIT, Simmons, which is a particularly large dorm, has individual bathrooms for each room (although you have to clean it yourself as well) and Burton-Conner has suites that share a bathroom between a few rooms (although not everyone in the suite is necessarily the same gender). Since you’re considering Wellesley, you should know we have an all-girls dorm, McCormick, if you or your parents are uncomfortable with the bathroom situation of other dorms.

    I’ll try to answer your other question in another entry.

  16. anonymous says:

    I just laughed until I fell off my chair at Jeffrey’s comment.

  17. Dear Jess,

    I completely identify with your experience regarding leaves and their deviousness. Sometimes I wish that I were a leaf too so I could run into your pleasant face.

    Your biggest fan,
    Sanandler (andler for short)

  18. Willy says:

    Glad to know another fellow person showers daily as well. ^.^ haha Love this perspective of MIT. Thanks so much! Say hi to Vicki for me. The Vicki in that picture of you guys with the guy and his closed eyes. hahaha schweet.

  19. James says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your leaf incidents. If I kiss you where it’s sore, will you feel better? Will you feel anything at all?

  20. moo cow says:

    So, you really need more pictures of me up there. Yeah, that’s right. Me. The cow. Me your cow. Moo cow.

  21. Andrea says:

    haha… the 4th grade books in Mrs. Garrison’s classes
    those were the best

    and Jessica, your blogs are awesome – they’re really fun to read

  22. Josh says:

    Dude, I completely forgot the 4th grade writing stuff. It’s all coming back to me now. Like the time I got banned from the computers because I was having too much fun mashing the keyboard.

    And I remember you typed really fast.

  23. Jess says:

    I still type really fast. Something like 95 WPM, last time I checked. I’m really tempted to check again right now, but I’m supposed to be writing my HASS paper and I’m on page 1-ish.

    I could totally take Mavis Beacon any day, though.

  24. Brian says:

    Thanks for taking time to write your answer! It was really helpful!

  25. milena says:

    Judah Friedlander is God. I loved watching him on Best Week Ever, I don’t really see him on the show anymore… :(

    And Regina Spektor is great too, I woke up to “Fidelity” on VH1 this morning. So it was a good morning smile

  26. Berto says:

    I totally found you by accident looking for Anchorman quotes. So many props for that alone. However, then I find that you’re a Regina Spektor fan! Which makes you so much cooler than I thought possible. I saw her in concert last month in DC and she was beautiful and amazing. So…awesome job. smile

  27. Regina?! Gosh, I totally hate you for meeting her. Am I a total geeky stalker for having all her music and learning all her songs on piano? (Don’t answer that, my self image might be shattered forever).

    Ha, if you ever get into a mental breakdown from the course load:

    “I’m taking the knife to the books that I own and I’m chopping and chopping and boiling soup from stone”.

    -courtesy of Regina (don’t sue me :D)