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MIT student blogger Laura N. '09

Playing Doctor… by Laura N. '09

Are people REALLY impressed by big words? You be the judge.

Almost forgot…

In all the laziness surrounding my vacation, I almost forgot that I had pictures from the last few days of the semester to share with you guys. I had a bunch from Sadoway’s last 3.091 lecture and some from the Conner 2 holiday dinner. Unfortunately, I can’t find the files at the moment and I’m too lazy to really search for them, so I’ll share them next time, even if they’re already a few weeks late. No one minds, right? OK.

Yesterday was the first day of IAP.

What am I doing during IAP? I’m glad you asked that.

I made the incredibly intelligent decision to take the EMT class offerred through MIT Medical and MIT-EMS. This means I’ll be spending roughly about 8 hours a day, Monday through Thursday for all of IAP in a classroom. As long as I pass all of the tests and everything, I’ll be able to join MIT’s EMS squad for the spring semester. If I take the national registry exam, I will also be certified in New Jersey so I can join my local EMS during the summer. Plus, it’ll be pretty useful for my summer job as a lifeguard.

Yesterday’s class was long and, dare I say, interesting. It was a LOT of material to get through (most people take the class over the course of 3-4 months, we’re doing it in one), but there was a lot of legal discussion and things like that, which I found pretty interesting. We also did a 4 hour cram session of Anatomy and Physiology. I didn’t have that in high school, but I was surprised too find how much accurate knowledge about the human body I’ve randomly accumulated over the years.

Today, aside from being both mine AND Sam’s birthday, was a great day. Well, because of the double birthday, Alicia baked us a cake, which was served in the 224 suite kitchen because the floor lounge has mysteriously disappeared. (Some kind of renovation is going on in there, and it’s currently completely empty.) Then today in class we got to break away fromo background information to get some hands-on, practical experience.

I now know how to use a sphygmomanometer. The thing about sphygmomanometers is that they have an awfully long name for such a simple device, so people are either really unnecessarily impressed that you know what its called or think you’re just trying to show off for no reason. =) A sphygmomanometer is the device you use to take a patient’s blood pressure- you know, the velcro arm band that blows up and cuts off the circulation to your arm. By the end of the day, we all had nice tingly feelings in the tips of our fingers from all of the practice we did on each other…. :-/

Anyway, tomorrow is dedicated to CPR (which thankfully, I already know), but I still have plenty of reading to do. To everyone else at MIT who is using this month to sit on their butts or take one 5-credit class:


P.S. Break was nice but I’m glad to be back. Except more frequent posts. =)

Read on for responses to comments….

Responses to Comments:
Daniel Tecker: Hi my name is Dan Tecker, of and I was curious as to what was up with your blog name?
So I went to “High Tech High School,” and we all kind of unofficially called ourselves “techers,” you know, as in “one who goes to High Tech.” Actually, we were kind of known by that name. Anyway, I think the word “techer” looks like it should somehow be pronounced with the “ch” sound like in “beach,” and I think it looks kind of lame. So I spell it “tecker.” Don’t sue me please? =)

Shannon: hahahahahaha
I loved the gingerbread house story. The sad thing? I most likely would have done the exact same thing. I actually started telling my friend the other day when I was straightening her hair that I really didn’t like her proteins (she has really curly hair and it was taking forever). That took a little explaining…

Shannon. That is one of the greatest stories ever. =)

Jessica: That is an awesome story! haha I love the picture. I applied to MIT regular decision, so perhaps I don’t have to concern myself with supplements. But to those who did EA: best of luck!
Hi Laura: I’ve been reading your posts for a while but haven’t commented because I never really had a question and wanting to say “you’re cool” would just add up to all the comments you get.
But, since this post has very few (for now), here it goes…
I think you’re cool! hehe

Jessica, let me tell you something about bloggers. We LOVE comments. Like, we adore them. Seriously. So never worry about cluttering up space on the comments thread, especially if it’s just to say something nice.

Mira, “keko,” yo hablo español y no hay espacio aquí para el racísmo, ¿entiendes? Hay tantas ideas equivacadas en esta frase que no empezaré a responder.

An applicant who is sure of rejection: well , I have applied regular decision and have made myself quite comfortable that i would be rejected no stress now aon me. but anyway if the passion is needed to such extent to get selected i am already in.:P
my eassy can comnletely show my lifes picture and my passions . good luck all
-international( to be rejected)

=( To be fair, if domestic applications are super competitive, internationals are super duper competitive. While it’s probably a good idea to be cautious, don’t give up hope! No one knows the decisions until they’re in the mail.

Rhiannon Carr:: ‘Ello. I applied EA and was deferred, which was an interesting experience. Y’see, I expected that, if I wasn’t outright rejected, I’d be deferred, because I’m only outstanding at my own townie-laden high school. Not nice, I know, but if you’d school here, you’d understand. Anyway, even though I expected deferral, I was uber-stressed for about a week before my letter arrived (it got here about three business days after everyone else’s).
Enough babbling! On to the point. I didn’t plan on sending supplementary materials, as I don’t really anything impressive finished. I could theoretically write another essay about how I take things apart and am a complusive, incurable fidget, but the question is, would it really help? I think not, thus no supplement. I would like to know, however, after RA decisions are made, what percentage of those admitted after deferral sent in supplements.

First of all, anything that you think would add to your application and give the admissions officers a better idea of how well you “match” MIT would be a welcome supplement. Of course, if you’re satisfied with what you’ve already sent in, that’s fine too. That’s an interesting question you pose there. I do know that plenty of people who were deferred EA are accepted RD, but how many send in supplements is a different question all together.

Jess: Hi Laura! I’m Jess, potential member of 2010 and lover of all MIT blogs :) Definitely loved the hack post. And the gingerbread house – did you ever get around to actually decorating it, or did you leave it just with the straws? Did you end up eating it?
Anyway, I’m really excited to maybe be a part of all this, and a little scared, but I guess that’s to be expected. I also thought I was definitely going to be deferred. So trust me, when I saw the tube, I jumpeed around like a crazy woman.
So, just saying hi. And thank you for writing. It’s really nice to know that you guys are actual human beings :)

That’s what we’re here for- to show you the other side of MIT. There are lots of normal people. Sam may not be the best example, but hey… =P I love you, Sam!

As for the gingerbread house, it was decorated and eventually eaten, of course. What else is it for? Don’t waste your energy being scared. There will be plenty of that once you see your first calc pset. Just be excited for now. =)

To Jess and thekeri: thanks for the introductions! Everyone else should do the same. Comment or email me. Or PM me on collegeconfidential. Seriously, there are so many ways to get in touch with me it’s not even funny. You have no excuses. =P

12 responses to “Playing Doctor…”

  1. Aunt Donna says:

    Hey Laura,Glad to hear you are learning how to take care of your aunts and uncles in our old age. Just wanted to say Happy Birthday from all of us. We will be coming to visit in Feb. See you then.

  2. Curtis says:

    Hi, Happy Birthday Laura!

    I’m Curtis, from clear across the country in Northern California, and exhilarated at the prospect of going to MIT next year. (I visited in eighth grade when my sister was touring colleges and just fell madly in love with it. And these blogs make it so much more appealing.)

    I’ve been a long time reader of the blogs, and really, you should put a warning sign on the front page, because they’re just so addicting. Never actually commented though, ’cause I didn’t think I had anything more significant to say besides ‘Wow. That’s awesome,’ or something along those lines. But, no excuses, so now I’m just introducing myself. smile

    Though I actually have a few questions. How long does IAP last? And do you only get to do one activity during it?

    Thanks, and have a cheery CPR session!

  3. thekeri says:

    Happy birthday!

    Better we give introductions that post spam or multilingual displays of racism, I say.

  4. thekeri says:


    Better we post intros THAN spam or multilingual displays of racism.

    Curse those fingers, typing words I’m not making them type.

  5. Tom says:

    Laura, it would be great if you could get some photos of your EMT class and post them here. Andy has a camera that is gathering dust because he has yet to take ANY photos of ANYthing all year. Hope you’re having fun.

  6. Sanja says:

    How can I miss to say happy birthday to one of my faovurite bloggers? (actually, you guys, are all my favourites so…)

    Happy birthday!

  7. Emi says:

    Happy Birthday Laura!

  8. Daniel says:

    Hey, the EMT class sounds cool! I had no idea how to pronounce that medical device you were describing, so I checked Just wanted to let you know, it seems to be spelled “sphygmomanometer”… no worries, I suppose this is a mouthfull (or a keyboard full??).

    Anyway, have fun in the EMT class! I think that’s a great use of IAP. I’ll also highly recommend PE snowboarding, which is a great way to get pretty good on a snowboard in one quick month!

  9. me :=) says:

    I am the 124460th visitor of ur page grin

    isn’t this great ?

    I like you

    muah :*

  10. shen says:

    Happy birthday, Laura! Keep us updated about EMS during IAP.

  11. Sam says:

    Aww, I love you too Laura. Way to lay down the law. Hope you enjoyed your birthday as much as I did.

  12. Good luck at the exams!