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oversharing first base by Jude H. '21

what have I been up to for the last 2+ years?

So, hey. I’m Jude – I was hired as a blogger in fall 2017, fell off the blog train for a bunch of reasons, and then never quite figured out how to get back on – with the end result that I haven’t blogged for over a year, and I’ve been living in comfortable silence for almost all of my time at M*T.

All this has been fine, until this week when I’ve been weirdly overcome with the impulse to overshare personal struggles into the void. But before I get into any juicy details, I think it would be good to get down the basic facts – oversharing first base, if you will. You don’t know who I am, and I don’t know who you are, but we’ll make it work. (Or I’ll try my best, and no hard feelings if it doesn’t.)

vital stats: who am I?

  1. Jude, 20 years old
  2. originally from New York
  3. majoring in anthropology and computer science (spicy combination, I know! ask me about it)
  4. I like: bug-collecting, complaining about capitalism, drawing & writing, the human proclivity for storytelling
  5. I hate: bad movie adaptations of good books, clothes that are the wrong size, the military academic prison industrial complex, the fundamentally flawed structure of America’s higher education systems

Great! Glad to get that over with. And now let’s move on to:

an informal curriculum vitae

(what I’ve been doing for the past two years)

year 1: fall 2017 – spring 2018

  • entered MIT as a naive freshman
  • experienced crushing social isolation due to not really knowing how to make friends (I came from a close knit friend group in high school and it was never something I particularly worried about)
  • sort of had ideas of studying chemistry at first, but then realized I wanted to pursue the social sciences
  • profoundly regretted coming to a tech school; hated the GIRs; hated being around only STEM people; hated the idea of being the only anthropology major in my year; pined after the liberal arts-y schools that rejected me
  • put up a few comics on the blogs that were nicely drawn but didn’t really express any stances on questions of life or uncertainty or being-at-MIT (hint, it was because I myself didn’t know)
  • freshman year sucked; truly, it absolutely sucked. I was alone, miserable and mentally at rock-bottom. I could go into more detail but suffice to say I’m glad it’s over.

year 2: summer 2018 – spring 2019

  • declared a major in anthropology and a minor(ish) in computer science
  • went to France and did an internship collecting anthropological data on the use of public gardens. became fluent in French, ran around and looked at plants all day, read a lot of books. basically I loved it
  • took good classes on the sociopolitical position of science, queer literature in France, and the anthropology of medicine (among other things)
  • took a sociological theory class. already talked about classes, but this deserves special mention because it’s still paying off in fall 2019. I really enjoy being able to bring up Marx in every single class discussion – apart from instantly establishing my brand as That One Nerd, I always love having the chance to make new enemies on campus
  • joined a racial-justice-oriented student advocacy group outside of MIT, organized some events for them, and witnessed a court case
  • had some excellent late night conversations
  • made a documentary about people’s experiences with online dating
  • made a Lisp interpreter in one of my CS classes (easily the most satisfying CS assignment of that year)
  • went to ring delivery, wore a well fitted suit and looked very cool
  • wrote some short stories

year 3 (summer 2019 – present)

  • did an internship at a policy think tank working on research for criminal justice reform
  • lived in DC; saw fireworks; made friends with strangers
  • submitted a story to magazines for the first time
  • attended Alpha, a writing workshop for speculative fiction. loved it; learned lots of things and met lots of cool people
  • entered a relationship :)
  • started pursuing treatment for a few long standing mental health issues, tremendously improving my quality of life
  • took good classes on artificial intelligence, Proust, LGBT history and the politics of food
  • saw lots of plays
  • made a trap remix of a 17th century lute song
  • experienced continued ambivalence on career stuff, academic stuff and being at MIT – but I’m at peace, for the time being, with being a work in progress; and with doing things without being totally sure of them.
  • I think that in many of the things I’ve been dealing with, the question to ask is not “should I do this?” or “will this make me happy?”; because really, you don’t know until you do it. rather, it’s more like: what are the consequences of this? and can I live with those consequences, and do I feel like I will be okay either way?
  • yeah. I’m glad that one01 oh, and if you suspect that you may be suffering from severe executive dysfunction, please get that checked out bit of graceful Life Advice came out of this 800 word dump, apparently

to be continued / see you soon / onwards and upwards / Best regards,

jh

  1. oh, and if you suspect that you may be suffering from severe executive dysfunction, please get that checked out back to text