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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

Lots of questions today! by Mollie B. '06

Lots of answers, too.

Questions
1. Anonymous asked,

Did you go to Senior Ball? I think Mitra did.

I think Mitra definitely did. :) Adam and I actually didn’t go, because we have a standing agreement not to go to dances. We used to go during my sophomore year, but one time we were at a dorm formal and looked at each other, and both of us were like “You know, I really don’t like dancing.” Adam’s line of reasoning is that once you’re in a relationship, you have no need to hump somebody on the dance floor, because [fill in the blank here]. We’re considering having mini-golf at our wedding instead of dancing.

2. Another anonymous commenter asked,

Hi! I am thinking about living in Macgregor next year, but I have a question. I know everyone says that you can buy anything in the convenience store, but how do you actually get your meals everyday? Someone told me that they never go to the dining halls in other dorms, so do you cook every meal? Thanks!

I eat about 10 meals a week on campus — that is, breakfast and lunch every day. I actually do cook for myself almost every night, but I haven’t always done that. Actually, freshman year I ate pretty much every dinner from MacGregor Convenience (read: microwaveable meals), and although I wouldn’t suggest it, I survived. Actually, I lived an entire week on only white rice and peas one time that year. My friends who don’t cook often usually either get dinner on campus (that is, bring dinner home on their way home from class), or order food from campusfood.com. On the weekends, all of us pretty much eat lunch from MacGregor Convenience, but we’ll often go out to a restaurant for dinner. I haven’t been to one of the dining halls since sometime last spring.

I polled my friends to see what they’ve done food-wise in the past week.
Dave ’07: ordered 3 nights, bought food 3 nights, went out 1 night
Kate ’07: cooked 4 nights, bought food 2 nights, went out 1 night
Courtney ’09: cooked 2 nights, bought food 2 nights, went out 3 nights
Paul ’09: cooked 1 night, bought food 2 nights, ate at his fraternity 4 nights
Kjell ’09: ordered 2 nights, bought food 5 nights
Jay ’08: ordered 7 nights (Comment from Jay: “Hey, I like calzones!”)
Me ’06: cooked 5 nights, went out 2 nights

3. Nehalita asked,

Do you know if there’s an asian food store or an indian food store? I might need a few spices =)

Yup, there is! There’s an Indian spice shop called [I am completely blanking… Shalimar, maybe?] in Central Square — if you start walking north along Mass Ave from MIT’s campus, you’ll see it on the right side of the road after a few blocks. There are also quite a few Asian shops and markets in and around Chinatown, which is accessible by the Chinatown stop on the Orange Line.

4. thekeri (at mit dot edu) asked,

So I got a 5 on the AP English Language exam. I know that means I don’t have to take the FEE, but do I still get 9 unrestricted elective credits for that exam? Information about that can’t be found anywhere (to my knowledge), which makes me sad.

Yes, you get 9 units of unrestricted elective credit for a 5 on any humanities AP exam except Studio Art. Those elective units can be used either toward the 180 units outside the GIRs you need to graduate (which you likely won’t need) or toward the 270 units you’ll need outside the GIRs if you’re a double major (which you likely will need, or which at least will make your life significantly easier, if you’re planning to double). You can’t use the elective credits toward fulfilling the HASS requirement.

5. Anna (by email) and Omar both asked about what computer to buy for MIT. I swear, I was going to add that in the entry on stuff, and it somehow slipped my mind. (This is what happens when you get old.) It’s totally up to you — there are computers of all stripes at MIT, ranging from brand-spanking-new to home-built. If you’re planning to run something like MATLAB, you want something nice and fast, I suppose, but otherwise it’s really up to your personal preferences. MIT’s Information Systems and Technology people have a very helpful computer buying guide with links to purchase the computers shown at discounted MIT community prices.

6. Lea asked,

are all the other bloggers going to blog about their dorms? if yes, could you please bug them to post lots of pictures of their dorm:) anyway, how important is air conditioning and dining hall in a dorm? i’m from wisconsin and seeing that most of the dorms don’t have air conditioning kind of freaks me out. are the dorm dining halls open on saturdays and sundays? where do people usually eat over the weekends?

Yes, they’re going to blog about their dorms. I’ll bug them.

Actually, most buildings in Boston don’t have air conditioning — I guess people just don’t think it’s necessary around here. (I personally disagree entirely, but nobody asked me.) Don’t forget, though, that it doesn’t really get air-conditioning-worthy around here until after school lets out; usually the first really hot week of summer is the second week of June or so, and by that time school’s already long done for the year. If you plan to live here over the summer, I’d recommend buying a window AC unit like mine.

None of the residential dining halls are open over the weekends. On weekend nights, my friends and I usually either go out to dinner (preferably) or order in (if we’re being lazy). My entry has a tradition of going out to Fire & Ice, a restaurant in Harvard Square, because they have an all-you-can-eat buffet for Saturday lunch; we like to get there as late as possible and have a giant lunch-slash-dinner for $8.99. Other common college kid destinations include the North End, Faneuil Hall, and dim sum in Chinatown.

7. Melodie asked,

Is there anywhere close by for dry-cleaning?

Yes. The closest place is definitely the one in the basement of the Student Center, although “in the Student Center” has a tendency to mean “close but expensive”. There’s also one up in Kendall Square next to the post office. I can’t vouch for the price or reliability of anyone, as I don’t have anything that needs to be dry-cleaned.

8. An anonymous commenter asked,

what about ironing at dorms? Should i buy an iron?

I have an iron, and I’ve used it perhaps once in my four years. (Then again, I am the kind of person who would rather wear wrinkly clothes than use an iron.) If you use one frequently, by all means bring one — my friend Stephen ’05 would have died without his iron, for example. If you don’t bring one, I’m sure somebody will have, and you can shamelessly mooch off that person.

10 responses to “Lots of questions today!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mollie, I have no words. Just many-many thanks. smile

    Nehalita, I wonder what is “freshman 15/30/500”? i’m really curious.

  2. thekeri says:

    Anonymous, Nehalita’s being talking about the freshman 15 when she says “freshman 15/30/500.” She’s referring to the weight many college freshmen put on when they start college (15 pounds, or 30, or 500, or… ^_^)

    Yes, Mollie – I’m [email protected] now. I just couldn’t let it go.

  3. Helen says:

    Although I looked carefully through your sleeping statistics and you successfully convinced me of your enough sleep, I am still concerned about what a late bed time will bring to you (and almost everyone) Do you have any secrets dealing with the black rings or/and wrinkles around your eyes? (if you have none, ignore this) Don’t be mad, kind Mollie, I am just being active in the wide-ranged questions on your blog=)

  4. Anthony says:

    The dry cleaning place in the basement of Rebecca’s Cafe in Kendall is reasonable, from my experience.

  5. Lea says:

    another question, do most dorms have window screens? Even Simmons’ small windows?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Mollie. This question is regarding weather. I live in a place where we haved like 30 celsius degrees all over the year and I must admit I do not even know how does a heating machine works or even looks like. How do you survive in winters? Besides warm clothing to go out and those underground passages among buildings what do you do when you are in your dorm? Do you have to sleep with heavvy clothes or you have this machines that make weather warm? Would a long sleeve pijama be enough to protect you from cold in dorms?

    And one more question: you mentioned that we have to buy our own blankets. If it is too cold in winter, would we need also bedspread or something additional?

    Thanks.

  7. Thanks for the entry Mollie, and for answering my question smile

    I’m still waiting for the information package from MIT so I can open my @mit.edu e-mail account. :(

    But thanks for everything.

    PD: it’s cool to know that I will be able to survive at MIT with my VERY POOR dancing abilities smile

  8. Olga says:

    Hi Mollie! The question about how cold it gets is something I’ve been wondering as well, how many layers/how big a coat should I invest in? I have a nice pair of warm boots, but should I get UGGs for the extra warmth?

    BTW, Fire and Ice ROCKS! My team and I went there when we came for Head of the Charles, and it is AMAZING. I looove watching my food get cooked, and mixing all the sauces together. It’s hard to remember how small your stomach is when you see all that food!

  9. nehalita says:

    Anonymous, yea thekeri’s right. Basically, it used to be the freshman fifteen but due to increased obesity rates some have used “freshman thirty”… and i was joking about hte 500 but it’s possible. (or maybe not given that you can’t park at MIT as a freshman so you HAVE to walk…if you want to go to classes)