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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

Lunch with Madam President by Mollie B. '06

Guess who I got to eat lunch with today?

Well, apparently I touched a nerve with my last entry — sounds like everybody has science/math teachers who are great big dorks. (Although hopefully none of my professors themselves will ever hit the blog when they’re googling themselves — hi professors, I really do like you!)

So my big news of the day is that I got to eat lunch with MIT President Hockfield today. Apparently she asks five or six students to eat lunch with her every Friday, and this week Bryan and I got lucky. Now, I happen to think this is very cool in and of itself — there are not too many schools in this country, especially Really Good Ones, where the president of the school cares so much about student life and opinions that she asks students to lunch every week.

I was particularly glad that President Hockfield is very interested in what sets MIT students apart from students at other schools she’s had experience with (she was at Yale for 20ish years before she came here). I think it’s a very positive thing for our community when our president recognizes and respects the qualities which set MIT apart from other schools.

A short list of the topics we discussed at lunch: the very collaborative nature of student work (surprising to her), what MIT’s role ought to be in national and global energy policy, the tremendous drive and productivity of MIT students (like the ad slogan — “Impossible is Nothing”), and the way we’re taught to think rather than memorizing tedious lists of facts. It was a very entertaining, intelligent, and philosophical discussion, and I’m grateful I had the oppportunity to participate.

Plus I got to meet Bryan in real life, and he promised he would organize a blogger outing to go get ice cream! Best day ever!

Argh, now I have to find Adam and drag him back to his computer — he got a two-day extension on a paper for 21A.100 that was supposed to be due yesterday, so I’m putting off seeing the new Harry Potter movie until tomorrow, which annoys me to no end. Plus, while he’s writing the paper, I’m doing his laundry. The things I do for that boy! You bet your bottom dollar he’s being required to take me out to a romantic dinner — perhaps in the North End — tomorrow night before the movie.

6 responses to “Lunch with Madam President”

  1. Dave says:

    You must really love him if you put off seeing the new Harry Potter movie. haha Although my girlfriend is important to me, it took a visit to *That OTHER University* to keep me from seeing it. I hope you like it once you are able to see it!

  2. Aww… isn’t that sweet? The things people in love do. wink

    It must be an honor to eat lunch with the President (of MIT, of course =D). It seems MIT’s focus is very strongly on Life Sciences and the BIG ENERGY CONSERVATION ISSUE. Actually, I remember thinking that if we destroyed a tenth of a million atoms and converted it all into energy, we’d probably have lots of energy enough to power USA (and Canada, for that matter). Pity free energy is tough to control.

  3. Christina says:

    Well, just don’t eat at Dom’s, if he takes you to the North End. It kind of sucks.

  4. moi says:

    “Impossible is nothing.”… i thought it came from an adidas ad on TV!

  5. Laura says:

    That’s pretty awesome. Actually, that’s really awesome.

    I really like MIT. =)

    And the movie is great. But if you can squeeze a romantic dinner out of the deal as well, go for it!!!

  6. Banedon says:

    She sure is good. I’ve been in my school for 6 years and never earned such a chance.