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MIT student blogger Jenny X. '13

Impulsive Decisions by Jenny X. '13

as expected, have consequences

Happy Holidays everyone! I can’t believe another semester’s done and over with – pushing me officially past the halfway point at MIT. (AHHH). I’m now sitting at home, trying to relax but not quite, because there is a LOT of work to be done. But how could this be! It’s Christmas! Well, let’s back up a little bit…

For one reason or other that I cannot fully explicate, this semester has been a blur, passing by faster than I could process. While one always needs a certain level of conscious judgment to go to classes, carry on coursework, etc., I feel like this semester, I’ve been putting school on cruise control. This functionality might come from having been at MIT for a while already – from becoming an “upperclassman” and developing a programmed rhythm for handling a semester, all the way from pre-registering classes to finals…

A parallel (or antithesis?) to this apparent cruise control on the school side is a burgeoning urge to just LET. LOOSE. and jump on everything not class related. I’m not sure if this makes sense, but basically this has been an impulsive semester.

Early in the school year, I kept getting emails about spending IAP  all-expenses paid in Korea, teaching kids science/English. I never gave it a second thought, because it’s just not something I imagined doing during IAP. But one night in September, I was checking my emails, writing down my French Word of the Day and then Korean Word of the Day, and then a lightbulb literally went off in my head. I could be learning Korean from these emails…or I could be learning Korean in Korea… !? I mean, why CAN’T I be on the other side of the world during IAP? Why MUST I do something completely career-related (the career part of which I’m not totally sure about yet anyway)? So I just grabbed a notebook, jumped on my bed, wrote down ideas, and sent in an application.

So here I am on Christmas Day, putting together several weeks’ of teaching materials for this Jeju Global Initiative, which is a very new project aiming to connect MIT students with talented young students in Korea who already have some experience in English. The bigger goal here then is to inspire an interest in science, technology, debate, and thinking-out-of-the-box in general. Twenty-two students, myself included, will be heading to Jeju Island, Korea and teaching courses on site at Jeju National University. Over the month of January, I will be teaching a three-week class on the impact of design and a one-week class on the power of modern media. We’re also doing night-time lectures on random, fun topics. Some of my topics are: typography, American slang, hip-hop, and rapid prototyping.

And Jeju Island itself isn’t too shabby :P

But we’ll be going in January…so maybe it’ll be more like this.

Anyways, side story –

This semester, I also got my ears pierced for the first time. You know, if you’re a girl and you didn’t get your ears pierced by your parents when you were a baby, or before 7 years old, or during that preteen phase when everyone did it – it’s going to take some convincing. Or maybe I just think too much. Anyway, I’ve been considering getting my ears pierced for several years now, but  just couldn’t go through with it.

The first phase of doubt was simply pain. (But I didn’t want to admit to being a baby and got over that.)
Then it was the practical concern of too much maintenance and inconvenience. (Again, this seemed lame.)
And most recently, I preoccupied myself with a more high-brow excuse: I don’t want any part of my body altered from the way it originally was. (Yeah….ok.)

Despite this towering pyramid of the stages of psychological defense, I went to a piercing parlor with my good friend Juhee on a random Wednesday and got it done. (Shoutout to the Juhee who got the industrial piercing that day and made sure I did not back out).  At the turn of November, I haven’t really gotten over all those previous concerns but getting my ears pierced suddenly felt like somethingIjusthavetodonow. Inexplicable, but I did it! And it’s done! And there’s no going back! And I’m very happy about it :)

I was chatting with a friend in studio in the middle of the night about one thing we’ve both learned this semester – so much can change in just one week. It took just a minute or two for me to decide I want to do the Jeju program, and another to decide on pierced ears. Live anticipating nothing but surprise, often from yourself. :)

On that note, I am leaving on Wednesday and will update from Korea!

Have good winter breaks everybody ~

9 responses to “Impulsive Decisions”

  1. Yun '12 says:

    Please get scouted and cast in a Korean drama while you’re there smile

  2. poopypants says:

    I’m so glad you’re going to Jejudo! Stay safe smile

  3. Muna says:


    I’m sure it’s gonna be AWESOME!!!

    and it’s absolutely true that SO MUCH CAN CHANGE IN ONE WEEK

    ok that may be too much.. but…hey you never know! raspberry


    anyway, I hope you enjoy Korea

  4. LZ says:

    This is my first comment on any of the MIT blogs I’ve read so far, but I couldn’t help it after reading that you’ll be off to Jejudo! Though I’ve never been there, I’m excited to see that MIT students will stay close to and even meet my close friends who live there (and might participate in the project). Please keep us updated!
    PS: I never knew you were learning Korean! What a pleasant surprise :D

  5. raghav says:

    Jeju is more, you should try the abalone porridge when in korea

  6. raghav says:

    *jeju is beautiful, you should try abalone porridge in korea

  7. Hafiz Aina says:

    Sweet post! Have a very exciting and safe time in Korea!

  8. AngelaW.'13 says:

    wait you got your ear pierced?

    and I agree with you that you really don’t have to do anything career related. I guess that’s why I stay in Boston for IAP …… HAVE FUN!!!!

  9. Korea! My favorite and peaceful country!!!