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I’m Shipping Up to Boston by Jess K. '10

and I lost my leg! Whoah oh oh..

Tomorrow morning I fly back to MIT, and I’m writing to you with absolutely no feeling in the lower left-hand quadrant of my face. It’s as if all the feeling there decided to concurrently take a few hours off to siesta, and have left me to use only my eyebrows for expressions (I don’t have very expressive eyebrows; for the past half hour I’ve been mostly looking either surprised or confused). I just got back from the dentist, because even though there are dentists at MIT Medical that are covered by student insurance, I have not gone since last year, since there is little else I love more than lying there digging my nails into my palm trying not to scream. It’s not the drill – I have about as much tolerance for oral pain as the next guy – it’s my active imagination that really gets me in the dentist’s chair.

Inevitably after they’ve numbed one or both of the bottom quadrants of my face, the dentist leans over and does some stuff in my mouth that I can NO LONGER FEEL. It’s at this point that it occurs to me that Dentist and Nurse are probably involved in some kind of elaborate hoax in which they put tubes and drills and silver poking tools in my mouth, but aren’t actually doing anything.

(in my head)
DENTIST: (secretly communicating with Nurse by morse code) Hahah! She thinks she’s getting that cavity filled when all we’re doing is HOLDING THIS SUCTION TUBE AND MOVING IT AROUND!
NURSE: We’re BRILLIANT! Here, pass me that plastic purple gun that is actually used for ear piercings.
ME: Wow, I’m sure glad they’re fixing all my teeth and not actually creating a huge waste of time!

As of yet, this has not occurred (as far as I can tell). Inventing preposterous hypothetical situation amongst ordinary days, however, is just one of many things I have done in during my summer here in the beautiful Bay Area. (As well as chewing on my tongue, which I also cannot feel.)

This year, as opposed to last year when I was a freshman, my summer also consisted of:

Work.

I started out the summer working as a production assistant at Pixar. That means I was mostly at my desk every day, but got to deliver things whilst riding around the foyer and in between departments on a scooter. About a month into summer, shortly after the release of Ratatouille, I finished archiving film reels with the post-production department and headed off to instead both work at the Apple Store and volunteer at an emergency room in San Francisco. I had been at my other two jobs for about a week when one of the sound editors called my cell phone to ask if I had seen his scooter around anywhere, to which I answered shiftily, “…er… no.”

(I really didn’t steal his scooter. I did, however, take a really excellent Dory pinata from the free pile outside the animators’ offices.)

Celebrating Harry Potter.

I wouldn’t consider myself a serious Harry Potter fanatic – at least, not compared to some people – and I’d never gone to see the opening of the movies at midnight, or been to a book party, or even dressed up as a non-Muggle. I figured it was my last shot (for the book, anyway), so for the movie my buddies and I dressed up (we didn’t go as far as to wait in line – another friend of ours, a TRUE fan, saved our spots for 12 hours) and ended up winning the costume contest. When the book premiered, Praxy ’10 and I went to Barnes and Noble at midnight to see if we could get a copy just by being there after bypassing people who’d been there since 2 PM; after an hour of reading chemistry books, we decided to go home and sleep. (We ended up getting our copies from Costco the next morning, like civilized people.)

Reuiniting and reminiscing.

From watching the Perseid meteor shower go by from a moonlight boulder on top of a mountain, to making s’mores on a bonfire on the beach; from learning to wakesurf to rock climbing to celebrating the most epic birthday ever – it was amazing to see all my friends from high school again. The best parts were not in crashing and bruising on waves going 30 miles per hour on an inner tube, but in the quiet moments when we’d share our memories from schools all around the country. Also it’s weird how people you haven’t seen in months sometimes grow beards. (“I just had to. It’s one of those things you have to do. Like girls can have babies, and guys can grow beards. It’s kind of like makeup, except grosser.. and it’s free!” -my friend Nick, on his newly furry face)

Tomorrow, it’s back to numbers, p-sets, and late-night pasta dinners; tomorrow, my face will regain consciousness. (Hopefully. If I’m not smiling when you see me next, it’s not because I don’t like you, it’s because my nerves are deader than Harry Potter’s parents.)

32 responses to “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”

  1. Grace '11 says:

    omg a dory pinata! escape

  2. Monica '10 says:

    Actually, I used to be terrified that when the dentist asked me to close my mouth around the suction, it would completely suck me in, from the inside out. smile

  3. *cries* I want to see Ratatouille really badly, but I am a poor high school student with no money for movie tickets. Oh well. Your summer pictures look awesome, though!

    (I also find it amusing that the first suggestion my browser spell-check gives for “Ratatouille” is “Bouillabaisse”.)

  4. Kate says:

    Looks like you certainly had a fun-filled and crazy summer! (Tubing is amazing! Did you waterski too?)

    And it’s really disconcerting to come back to school (or see people you haven’t seen in a while) and discover that guys you know (who were once hairfree!) are now sprouting weird facial fuzz.

    On the subject of MIT, when do classes actually begin this year?

  5. They always find work to do with your teeth. I think my dentist irritated the nerves in my tooth by grinding too much off of the tooth, and then wanted to do a root canal a week later when I told her I had been on Motrin all the time. I told her to wait and 4 more weeks later the pain was gone!

    Looks like you had a reasonably fun summer. Now you’ve gotta pay for it with MIT coursework!

  6. your fans says:

    we are excited to have you back smile

  7. Paul '11 says:

    Those tricky dentists, they’re almost as bad as architects. (Simmons joke, sorry!) Anyway, looks like you had a blast this summer. I bow down to your l33t picture-captioning skillz. raspberry

    @ Kate: Classes begin next Wednesday, September 5th. Wish me luck, I’ll need it. :D

  8. Anonymous says:

    …to find my wooden leg!

  9. Anon says:

    How’d you get a job at Pixar ? I’m a little doubtful that they post wanted ads on Monster or Headhunter.com. =)

  10. Hawkins '12 says:

    Have you seen Conspiracy Theory?? (Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, that-guy-from-Star-Trek-Next-Generation…) Anyway, you are absolutely hardcore.

    In other news, I just got all seven books, so I can finally read the seventh one! (Um, yes. I do have OCD. Thanks for playing.)

  11. Snively says:

    @Paul

    l33t? *sigh*

    1337

    or, if you’re feeling particularly awesome

    1337xorz

  12. Hawkins '12 says:

    lol, ph34r my 1337 hax0rz ski11z… n00b.

    I feel like I just said, “FIRST POST!” or something….

  13. Wings '11 says:

    Ahh, dentists, the evil upon this Earth. Welcome back to MIT! I hope you get feeling in your face before you return!

    (And I went to the midnight for book 7. Le w00t.)

  14. Wow! u are a lucky girl jess. I had visited Pixar’s website and read about the internships there. I was so fascinated at that time. And here you are- a person who actually got to experience it! Cool!

  15. Constantin says:

    You should try the Harry Potter audio-books. I think they’re way better than the books themselves, especially the one read by Stephen Fry (British) are. [and they’re a great way to relax your eyes]

  16. Edgar says:

    Your blogs are definately amazing! numbers? p-sets?
    who needs those? haha :0

  17. “But what if the letter does not begin with the word “congratulations,” but instead with a polite sentence that tells you how competitive the application pool was this year? You then see the door to paradise and reads “we do not admit slackers” wishing it was the door you would pass through, but instead, you receive one wishing you good luck at another university”

    –According to the movie’s plot [Spoiler warning~!] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratatouille_(film)),
    Gusteau’s was closed down at the end of the story, so Remy couldn’t be a chef in his idol’s restaurant anymore. Yet, all was not lost. Together with Linguini and Colette, he set up a brand new bistro and became its chef, continuing to realize the incredulous dream of being a gourmet chef in a rodent-unfriendly world.

    Moral of the story: There are many doors to success. Why be singularly obsessed with one university?

  18. Star says:

    @ Paul, Snively, and Hawkins
    You guys are awesome. I just had to look up what “ph34r my 1337 hax0rz ski11z” means… I feel so un-geeky :(
    MIT is crazy, and you guys make me want to go so badly!

    And Jess, it sounds like your summer was amazing, have fun with school and homework now…

  19. Farhad says:

    I was just thinking if anyone can tell me… Are there any Fields Medallists teaching at MIT??

  20. And I think the message Ratatouille revolves around, “Anyone can cook”, is a very meaningful one. Like what the movie says, “talent can come from anyone”. With this in mind, do not be afraid to aim for MIT, even if no one from your school has ever been to MIT or even if no one from your family or your neighborhood has ever been to college. Aim high and your life will not be lived in vain.

  21. Replying to Amy’12 (^_^):

    “*cries* I want to see Ratatouille really badly, but I am a poor high school student with no money for movie tickets. Oh well. Your summer pictures look awesome, though!

    (I also find it amusing that the first suggestion my browser spell-check gives for “Ratatouille” is “Bouillabaisse”.)

    Posted by: Amy (Hopeful ’12) on August 31, 2007 04:27 PM”

    –Fret not, Amy, when the DVD is released, you can watch it with your friends in a friend’s house. Alternatively, like me, you can watch all the video clips on Ratatouille’s official website and read many lines from the movie on this webpage: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ratatouille

  22. Wait a bit, I might have gotten some of the words in the quote wrong (I read it from a blog). Wikiquote got it as, “a great artist can come from anywhere.” Anyway, the meaning is the same.

    “It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s”, let alone your origins.

  23. Isshak says:

    Wow looks like you had a busy summer Jess !
    What did you do to be able to work at Pixar, is it related to the major you’re planning on doing or it has nothing to do with it ? Looks like it was fun !

  24. Amy, I know how you must feel. What is sad is the fact that some of us really cannot afford even renting a movie, let alone paying for a summer math camp, taking advanced courses (or even bothering catching up) at a prestigious university while still in high school; buying those tools to put our passions, special talents, and imagination in action, such as making robots while being a six year old. We ascend each level of our lives wishing that at least one summer of our high school career is spent at a life-changing trip to Africa, a research project in x country, doing community service around the world that changes our conservative perspectives, or taking preparatory SAT classes. I agree that those, indeed, make a student more experienced, mature, and prepared, hence more likely to be admitted to an elite university. But to do that, you need to be able to afford transportation, gasoline, food, blankets, wait… never mind, you cannot afford a movie. Some have to walk miles to their jobs to be able to afford a book for their class and help their parents make the monthly house payment. Of course, either that, or you, at age twelve, had already made an elegant proof to an equation that you want to present at the Intel competition 5 years from now. We pass through the abyss of our journey to greatness taking advantage of what our schools have to offer. But what if the letter does not begin with the word “congratulations,” but instead with a polite sentence that tells you how competitive the application pool was this year? You then see the door to paradise and reads “we do not admit slackers” wishing it was the door you would pass through, but instead, you receive one wishing you good luck at another university…Dante’s inferno.

  25. Kate says:

    @Paul…Thanks. That’s good to know! I’m sure you don’t need luck (except with figuring out how to work out the HASS/FAS conundrum), but I’ll be thinking about all you MIT people on Wednesday, anyway.

    Also, the 1337-speak is making my head hurt.

  26. Grace '11 says:

    omg guess who i met outside bc saturday night

  27. Isshak says:

    Who did you meet ? Although can I remind I don’t think this is a chat…

  28. Aakriti says:

    I am not being able to submit my application online bcoz it again and again says that the credit card number is not valid.I even called the credit card ppl…No one seems to know what is going wrong.I am very upset now.Can anyone help me?

    If you are still in MIT when i get in…i’ll personally thank you…with a gift

  29. evan kulick says:

    i like the song you put in your heading. dropkick murphys are awesome. nice.

  30. javi says:

    i just read this blog and again jessica, i am amazed at your talents……late night pasta dinners….hummmm……that’s the reason i gained 7 pounds last semester…….ESG Thank YOU wink

  31. Aakriti says:

    Ur blogs are gr88888888888888888888888888888