Overheard at MIT (Fall 2012)
(complaining about the ratio of male to female bathrooms on MIT campus)
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.