Ahh!!! This blog is finally happening!
I think my bio page gives a good idea of who I am – random, likes artsy stuff, etc, etc.
But to round out the intro: I’m a freshman @ MIT, trudging through endless piles of work while juggling the crazy new power/responsibility that is FREEDOM! It’s been over a month since I arrived @ MIT and naturally, I have processed more than enough thoughts to fill five entries.
But let’s start in media res – I did pretty legit badly on my 18.01A exam yesterday.
18.01A, in MIT lingo, is “accelerated” Calculus I, meaning we get a whirlwind tour of the second half of Calculus I in six insane weeks. Now it’s the third week or so, which would make that test the “midterm”. I don’t like how the syllabus disguised the test worth 22 percent of the final grade as a harmless sounding “Exam 1”. I also don’t like how I borderline-passed/borderline-failed my first exam @ MIT.
What I dislike the most right now is the fact that I’m feeling awfully normal about it. Perhaps about the fact that I didn’t straight up bomb it and get that painful “fail-mail” in my inbox telling me to schedule a makeup exam. But it’s more like this is not exactly how I imagined my first test here. I know I’m really slow at math, and this is college, and this is MIT at that, and there are tons of smart people in the class, and it’s pass-no-record the first semester, and I should try out lots of other activities during first semester, and what not…But I never thought it would be so easy to practically fail.
Almost everyone who’s here was probably one of the most academically successful people at their high schools. And I’m pretty sure I brought along whatever brain and work ethic I had from high school. But, the fact of the matter is, MIT work is a lot less BS-able than HS work. The myth is true: few questions are straight from a textbook or test only one concept; everything is about application and integrating (harharr-the bane of my existence!!!) multiple ideas to solve a key problem.
Yeahhhhhhhhhh— I don’t like the fact that I’m feeling this okay after doing awful on that test (not a good prognosis for life post pass-no-record) – but I’m liking the crazy things MIT has been doing to me: I finally buckled down and memorized the most irritating trig identities – a precious success after trying half-heartedly many times before, for class, for SAT II’s, for AP’s; I finally understood the Shell Method beyond just the automatic integral-of- 2-pi-r-y-dx. I solved a partial fractions problem…I don’t think I’ve ever agreed more with the time-honored: “It’s not the destination, but the process of getting there that counts.” I haven’t gotten far yet, but it’s already tasting like a worthwhile trip.
OK – this all sounds very nerdy right now, but when I figure out how to work pictures onto this blog, life will suddenly be more colorful. :P