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MIT student blogger Anna H. '14

The little things by Anna H. '14

My last blog post as a teenager! See you when I'm 20.

Overheard at MIT (Fall 2012)

(complaining about the ratio of male to female bathrooms on MIT campus)

MIT female: Also, BUILDING THREE. Average number of men’s bathrooms per floor: two point eight. Average number of WOMEN’S bathrooms: ZERO POINT TWO FIVE!!!
MIT male: Uh…how did you get two point eight?
MIT female: It’s actually two point seven five. I rounded.

Last year, around finals period (I think it was around finals period? my sense of chronology is pretty terrible) every French House resident woke up to find a personalized sticky note on his or her door.

I still have mine:

During the same week, my friend Daniel (who was a senior and therefore finals-free) cooked me dinner so that I could study and not stress out about, you know, feeding myself.

A month ago, I got home the night before my first J-Lab oral exam and found a sweet note on my whiteboard – I’m an idiot and didn’t copy it down, but it read something like “Dear Anna, Good luck on your J-Lab presentation tomorrow! I know you’ll kick ass! Love, Sophie”. She had also taped a Snickers bar and three additoinal pieces of chocolate to the door. Again, I’m an idiot and didn’t take a picture before eating it all (it was One Of Those Nights) but still. You can imagine how therapeutic it was.

A week ago, I saw my name on the list of recipients for a carnation, from the sorority AXO’s Domestic Violence Awareness Week campaign. I got a pink rose from my friend Sumin, which now lives proudly on my windowsill –

– was reminded of last year’s campaign, when I got a carnation from a neurologist and two physicists:

“Oliver” is my hero Oliver Sacks, “Alan” is my advisor and cool dude Alan Guth, and “Alex van O.” is Alexander Van Oudenaarden, my 8.03 professor.

(Thanks for that, Sam.)

On Wednesday, I had a rough day. My 8.05 (Quantum II) exam went badly, and because I had taken so much time to study I faced doing an entire 18.06 (Linear Algebra) pset overnight. I was less than pleased. My friend Lucas bought two bags of chocolate chips while at Shaw’s, and invited me over to New House 3 to bake cookies. We made something on the order of 100 cookies, I think, and consumed something on the order of 5-10 each. It was a fabulous mood-lifter (seriously. chocolate chip cookies. BEST DESSERT.) Half of 18.06 got done that night, and the other half waited until the next afternoon. It was fine.

On Thursday, I was about to scan and e-mail in an application form for an astronomy outreach program I want to do, when I noticed that it required the signature of the head of the physics department: Ed Bertschinger. Um. AHHHH! I freaked, ran to his office, only to learn that he was in a meeting and that I should just leave the form with his secretary. Bummed, I left it there and went home. I got an e-mail from Professor Bertschinger after dinner, saying that he signed my form and was delighted to hear that I was applying for the program. More specifically: “I’m delighted to find a formalized way to get undergraduates involved in outreach. I hope you will share your activities with me, I myself love to do astronomy outreach.”

I thought that was really nice of him.

Anyway, this is a short but important post (SO MUCH J-LAB TO DO I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND AHHHHHHH WHAT DO I DO.) I feel like sometimes one feels pressure to wait until a big monumentous occasion to blog – when really, these little things are a much more accurate representation of everyday life here.

My friends are the best.