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MIT blogger Cami M. '23

incoming how i’ve been spending my iap by Cami M. '23

yes get ready for like 8 of these in a row

This past week and a half I’ve been slowly adjusting to life at MIT again. I spent the two whole weeks of break just complaining about California and practically begging my mother to send me back to the cold hellhole that is Massachusetts.

In this time, I’ve been trying to keep myself busy and attempt to be an actual college student.

I made a lot of promises in the beginning of the year that I have not kept. I said I would cook. Instead, I’ve been mooching off of Raymond and Aiden for their cooking and practically anyone else who is willing to give me pitiful scraps here and there, like the stray rodent of Loop kitchen that vacuums trash with her mouth.

I said I’d be more diligent and better at coding. This is false. 6.145 is singlehandedly destroying my self esteem, and, despite enjoying liking coding and writing it out and basking in the satisfaction of finally understanding something, it’s been relatively disheartening watching my friends easily get solutions to problems it takes me significantly much more time to figure out.

Regardless, I’ve been keeping busy with my two classes and three jobs. I realize I don’t really talk about my academics that much, so here’s some brief insight on how things have been going.

my iap schedule!

8.01L

8.01L is the bane of my existence. I’m pretty sure I’m ridiculously close to NR’ing it.

my 801L grade calculations

For the past semester and a half, I’ve been meticulously calculating each of my grades to see what I need on each assignment to make sure I get at least a 60% in the class. This is truly PNR in action. I suggest every incoming frosh do this with their PNR classes.

I am genuinely, wholly afraid that 8.01L is going to beat my ass and shred me into pieces. I am a fool who doesn’t understand physics. It is terrifying.

Luckily, my smart physics friends (see: Aidan and Mariia) have been helping me a lot with 8.01L. Please send me good vibes in the comments to make sure I actually pass 8.01L.

8.01L is the longer alternative to 8.01. Instead of being in TEAL format like 8.01 with teams and solving questions on the board, 8.01L features a traditional lecture style class and a slower pace. It’s actually very nice and I’ve learned a lot more physics in this class than I ever have in my life, I just am very bad at physics.

If I were to fail 8.01L, I’d have to take 8.011, a class designated for students who have taken some version of 8.01 in the past but have failed/NR’d it. I honestly wouldn’t mind taking it, but I’d really like to get physics out of the way this year. Thus, I need to pass 8.01L so I can take 8.02 in the spring so I never, ever have to touch another physics class ever again.

6.145

This is MIT’s expedited version of the ever-so-famous 6.0001, commonly referred to as “triple oh one”. In 6.0001, students typically spend half a semester learning the basics to Python. IAP, however, offers this three week course on Python held completely online. I’ve blocked out times on my schedule to dedicate time to it, however, this has not gone to plan.

I am a fool who procrastinates and doesn’t apportion time properly. 6.145 is fun, but also makes me Sad for reasons stated above. One day, hopefully, my smooth, small brain will develop bumps and I can evolve into the true Course 6 big brain I yearn to be.

The class is held entirely online via a website they give us. When we log in, we are given readings and coding assignments due every Monday and Thursday at 5pm. It’s reasonable, but I’ve just asked for a lot of help. Like, a lot of help.

Overall, very fun. Enjoying my time. Just struggling a tad bit.

UROP

I recently got a UROP at MIT’s Education Arcade! I think it’s actually the perfect combination of everything I’ve wanted in a UROP. It perfectly melds my interest in video games with comparative media studies and interest in education and psychology which is really, really cool. I’ve been working on doing research to help improve a study based on our VR game, Cellverse, which aims to help high school students learn the layout of a cell. This is one of the first times I’ve ever actually enjoyed research. I find myself genuinely intrigued by the articles I’m assigned and excited to go into my UROP every day to read.

This UROP also confirmed that I am most definitely a CMS major. I’d been contemplating for a bit if I wanted to do lab research for the longest time, but after getting a UROP in a lab setting, I realized that I really despised how cold it felt. There was such a distinct difference between the UROP I have now and the UROP I had before.

The UROP I had before felt very detached, hours of switching between an empty cubicle and an isolated lab. The first day of my new UROP in the MIT Education Arcade, I sat down for lunch in the common area and was greeted by practically every staff member that worked on that floor. Together they talked about raising kids, playing Pokemon Go, and traveling. There was such warmth and kindness in the air that it made me feel very safe and at home. Not to mention the fact that the kitchen is always fully stacked with snacks, my two favorites being m&ms and dried mango slices.

I love the work I’m doing and honestly it doesn’t even feel like work.

I’ve also been working on my other two jobs, a web-based research intern for the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair and, of course, this one.

I’ve been a bit blocked in terms of what to write. Right now I’m trying to assemble a pageant experience post to talk about my experience as an MIT student in a pageant setting since it definitely was an experience like any other, but for now, it’s pretty taxing to write about especially since I have to give so much background and context.

Anyway, update done. More to come~