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MIT student blogger Nisha D. '21

Last Lap by Nisha D. '21

and hoping to finish strong

I wasn’t actually planning on writing a start of semester post this time around, mostly because I feel like there are metaphysically bigger things to blog about. But, since it’s my last semester as an undergrad, and I’ve consistently done this type of post for almost01 going through the archives, it looks like I missed sophomore fall, which is fine, cause sophomore fall fucking sucked. good riddance to sophomore fall every semester till now, I figured that I’d do it for old times sake.

Classes:

nisha's senior fall schedule

yes, my friday is completely empty. please clap

CMS.701 (Current Debates in Media): This is the capstone class for the CMS major, which I’ve somehow managed to put off until my very last semester. We read and debate about various things happening in the media at the immediate moment, like a lot of the shit Trump is constantly trying to pull, whether photoshopping women’s bodies should be made illegal, and various other happenings in the world. I didn’t know that we actually had to debate each other, and I’m still traumatized from the very short period of time in which I tried out high school debate, so we’ll see how this goes.

6.805 (Foundations of Internet Policy): This is the first law class I have ever taken, and is probably the only one that I will ever take. It’s a long running class02 ~25 years according to the instructors that has been around since before people even used the Internet on a regular basis. We go over the interaction between law, policy, and technology that relate to all the rapidly evolving controversies over control of the Internet. The goal of the class is to learn to analyze the various precedents to different Internet legal cases, and write up our own policy recommendation by the end of the class. We go over famous cases and learn to be pseudo-law students by writing case briefs. A good friend of mine and I are taking this class together, and we’re super psyched to write a really great paper. We’re hoping to get it published somewhere if possible.

6.837 (Computer Graphics): I’m hesitant to even put this class on here because the likelihood of me dropping it is SO HIGH, even though I’ve been waiting to take it forever. It turns out that I don’t remember any math, and that taking 18.02 junior year of high school seemed really hardcore but actually was a bad idea, because four years later, I don’t remember a single bit of it. It took my brain a hot second to remember how to take a derivative, and hopefully I will not have to take an integral, because I don’t remember how to take any of the fancier ones. Also, I hate C++. I’ve worked with it twice in internships before, but maintain that it is an irredeemable language and nobody should be subjected to programming in it. At least I have it on PE/NE, so hopefully I won’t actually fail it.

6.UAT (…Oral Communication??)03 </strong>genuinely have no idea what this class's actual name is<strong> : This is the last Course 6 requirement I need to graduate. I originally was never planning on taking this, because I was going to do SuperUROP instead, but since I’m graduating early and SuperUROP is a full year program, I jebaited myself and have to take UAT instead. It’s sort of painful for me, because I really REALLY hate public speaking – as do most people – but honestly, I could afford to get better at it, and I know this class will be good for me. It just hurts me so much to have to give presentations and do improv exercises. I’m not good at them.

CMS.307 (Critical Worldbuilding): This is Junot Díaz’s class! He’s an amazing writer, and also an amazing professor. This class is quickly shaping up to be my favorite ever; the readings and movies are all amazing and are a great break from the pset slog, and also we get to build our own storyworlds and creatively write! It’s been so long since I creatively wrote; coming to college and not being able to write fanfiction literally every single day was definitely a change in pace for me, and it’s nice to go back to my roots, although I am super rusty and the first assignment – write a five page story – almost killed me. Thinking critically about works of fiction and picking them apart is something that I’ve always enjoyed, and I’m excited to do it under the guidance of a real professional^tm.

Other:

  • UROP: I’ve talked about my UROP so much on the blogs that honestly it doesn’t bear repeating. Suffice to say, I am continuing to put in way more hours into it than I should, and lowkey worked on the DL for the entire summer, so…
  • Running: I’m trying to get into shape for the socially distanced half marathon I’m doing with Petey, in which we drive separately to the middle of nowhere New Hampshire, run by ourselves on what would normally be an actual half marathon course, then drive back to Boston hopefully feeling proud of ourselves. Also, since sports got CANCELLED for the semester, I’ll have to wait to pick up my fencing gear until I’m out of college I guess ☹️
  • Deciding my future???: As has been foreshadowed on the blogs for a while, I’ve been feeling burned out lately and sort of want to…take a break. I don’t know if I could emotionally handle going to grad school at this current moment in my life, and am currently rethinking whether I actually want to apply to the Media Lab this year. I think that over the past few months, I’ve developed the confidence that I would have a chance of getting into grad schools that aren’t the Media Lab either, because I’ve been working on a lot of publications and will probably be on around half a dozen by the end of the year. For an undergrad, that’s pretty good, and I think that those will reflect better than my actual grades whenever I do decide to apply. Also, I really, REALLY want to go back to Seattle, and committing myself to many more years of grad school somewhere isn’t really doing it for me right now. So, we’ll see. I also totally might get pulled into my friend’s startup for a bit, so I really don’t know where the months after graduation will take me.
  • Being an adult(ish): I’m a resident peer mentor for East Campus this year, which means that I get to mentor the four very lovely freshmen who live here in person. After a summer of being mentored myself, it feels weird to finally be on the other side.

I’m really excited for this semester. I definitely think that the amount I’ve enjoyed each semester has definitely been on an upward trend ever since a literally garbage freshman spring/sophomore fall, and I’m hoping that I can finish strong. It would really be nice if, for my last semester, I could finally finish strong.

  1. going through the archives, it looks like I missed sophomore fall, which is fine, cause sophomore fall fucking sucked. good riddance to sophomore fall back to text
  2. ~25 years according to the instructors back to text
  3. genuinely have no idea what this class's actual name is back to text