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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

Extracurricular Information by Jess K. '10

We discuss life over lunch.

So this morning I went to lunch with three of my friends from high school, Curtis ’10, and Adam and Lia, who go to another school in Cambridge. They haven’t actually started classes yet – they have something called a “shopping period”, in which they get to sit in on classes and decide if they want to take them. MIT is similar in that our drop date is in November, so we get a long time to decide our final schedules. I’ve been exercising this quite a bit with my switch to 5.112, adding my HASS – Disease and Society in America (which I really love) – and thinking about switching into 18.023, calculus with applications. Especially when I’m tired.

We talked a lot mostly about what we’ve been doing outside of school, though, and I started to realize that maybe I’m doing a little too much. I’ve always been an extracurricular fiend (Amnesty International, school webmaster, Odyssey of the Mind, marching band, writing awkward blog posts about my family…), but on top of an MIT courseload, I’m not sure how this is going to work out. Here’s how the schedule goes right now:

Concert Choir, five hours a week. We’re singing Carmina Burana, which you’ve probably heard in every other commercial on television if you don’t know it by name. (Dah dah, dah dahhh… dah dah, dah dah… dah dah, dah dahhh, dahhhh, dahh dahhhh… anyone? No?) It’s pretty exciting because I recently switched to soprano, and have been singing at pitches only heard by canines in China.

Dance Troupe, currently only Saturdays 1-2, but will have more hours during the week later on. I’m learning popping. I’ve never really taken any official hip hop in my life. College is a great time to start.

MedLinks, which I just applied and was accepted to, so I’m not sure about the hours, but there are several CPR/First Aid training sessions that I’ll be going to over the next month, and then I get to take care of sick students in my hall and at MIT in general, which I’m really excited about.

– One of my close friends just pledged to Phi Delta Theta last night, which is hilarious to me because he’s very much the artsy, pianist, feelings-book kind of guy, and not at all your typical frat brother. This really has nothing to do with my extracurriculars, I just wanted to make the point that MIT fraternities are really different from the one in Old School – especially during rush week, which just ended. It starts with the Greek Griller – free bbq for everyone, and you can go around and meet the guys from each frat and get information about the events they’re hosting, which included paintballing, go-kart racing, and trips to the North End/George’s Island/other sweet places to go outside of MIT. Guys go to find out more about frats, girls go for fun. Oh, and the food. Steak and lobster almost every night (which I didn’t partake in, but I heard was ridiculous), ribs and chowder (made by a former chef from Legal Seafood), Korean bbq, regular bbq, chocolate chip pancakes (made not by the chefs but the brothers, and the PANCAKES were fluffy and incredible), Thanksgiving dinner, and SO MUCH MORE. Which brings me to my other point – I’m going to be very well-fed.

I’d like to participate in, but not sure if I have time for…

– being a social member of French House, a cultural hall in New House, which basically means I get to help cook dinner once a week. And I love to cook. But there are other aspects to being a social member as well (learning French?) that I might not have time for (Je suis toujours un anana), so I may have to give it up.

Pungmul practice, to re-learn how to play janggoo, a Korean drum. It’s a pretty great stress reliever, and there was a cute Korean family that came to play with us, and they gave us kimchee chigae and patbingsu (Korean fermented cabbage stew and a red bean shaved ice dessert), and it would make my mom happy, but it’s a three-hour practice every week, so we’ll see how it fits into my schedule.

Children of Eden, because I have a secret passion for musical theater and Stranger to the Rain is one of my favorite songs to sing ever, but on top of everything else I’m already doing, I don’t know how it’s going to fit in. It’ll still be fun to try out, though.

Anyway, as we left the restaurant (California Pizza Kitchen at CambridgeSide Galleria), we were getting on the shuttle (it’s free from the mall to Kendall T station, which is right near the Stata Center, so it’s pretty convenient for all those dorm essentials and lunches with people from high school) as my mom was leaving. My mom came all the way to Boston to help my sister (who also goes to that other school in Cambridge) move in, and she was leaving today. I won’t be seeing her until October, so I hugged her and kissed her and told her I loved her and I hoped she had a safe trip. It was a very lovely, touching, Lifetime television-esque moment.

We got on the shuttle and I looked out the window wistfully, thinking of how much I’d miss my mother in the coming month. Suddenly, my cell phone started buzzing. It was my mom! I picked it up excitedly.

Me: Hello?
Mom: I’m just calling to tell you that you have something green in your bottom teeth.

You know how it goes.

20 responses to “Extracurricular Information”

  1. Phillippe says:

    Wow, French house seems pretty cool. My entire family speaks French and I speak it half as well as I used to; I’d love to have an opportunity to be immersed in the language. When do freshman get to see the different dorms and decide which one they want?

  2. l0ngL says:

    california pizza kitchen? like the one they have in california? hahah sweet! I love their pizzas!

  3. Alex says:

    You did OM? That’s awesome! I do OM! And here I was thinking that nobody did Odyssey of the Mind…

  4. Jon says:

    “secret passion for musical theater”?……um yep, we’re definitely friends then.

    (thanks for linking to the website btw, I forgot MIT had a theater guild)….I’m a little upset they’re doing Reefer Madness or Little Shop during IAP this year….because both are shows I’ve vowed to be in before I die, and they are being put on a year before I potentially could be an MIT student…..grrr

  5. Colin says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t even talk about how awesome it is listening to the Shins with me on almost-full volume.

    Your mom is so great. :D

  6. Colin says:

    ToUjours, by the way. <3

  7. lupine says:

    “chocolate chip pancakes (made not by the chefs but the brothers, which were fluffy and incredible)”

    Yes, but how were the pancakes?
    Jess, your blog entries are wonderful—creative, spirited, and fun! Thanks, and keep writing!

  8. JKim says:

    lupine and Colly: mistakes corrected. :X Good calls!

    Alex: I was a member of Odyssey of the Mind for ten years and a world finalist for half of them. Best times of my life, when my team wasn’t trying to beat each other up smile

  9. Sanja says:

    No need to say this entry was great as always wink

    One quick question… What colleges beside MIT do you suggest for one probable CS/math major?
    I really don’t know what got into me, I’m applying next year… but still wink

  10. Shanette says:

    WHoo Colin! Whoo Phi Delts! Whoooo Jess!! :D

    And Sanja – Carnegie Mellon is known for it’s CS program as well. But I’d definitely check the web for rankings/lists..not that I’d base any decisions on those old things if you know what I mean..

  11. Amrita says:


  12. Josh says:

    Sounds like fun, especially Carmina Burana. Too bad it’s 2 piano accompaniment, or else I would be running through walls like the juggernaut to get a spot on the orchestra. O Fortuna, vellut luna, statu variabilis…

    I myself have resolved to at least do pit orchestra for MTG this IAP. I might still be doing Children of Eden. I’m not sure if I have time for MTG yet this semester, but you never know. Too bad they’ve already done Chicago :'(

  13. Sanja says:

    Tnx Shanette.
    What about Princeton, Stanford, Caltech, Yale and maybe even Harvard? Are they worth trying?

  14. I sang the Carmina Burana in HS. I may be joining concert choir this term wink

    Good times.

  15. Sean Liu says:

    Wow, you’re getting involved in a ton of stuff!!! I think that’s way cool grin. Gotta do something to get out of the psets. Speaking of which…i have to do my psets :'(.

  16. christie says:

    ahha aw your mom is cool.

    (I’m catching up on your blogs since you dont tell us on lj when you update!! and NEVARRR will i get an rss feed thing)

    also TYPOOOOO: couseload 2nd paragraph. christie’s got yo back.

  17. christie says:

    hahahahh i just realized why you put “PANCAKES” ahha. yes. frat brothers are fluffy!

  18. Sarah says:

    I asked this in sam’s blog but since this is under “extracirruculars”, i’m going to ask here to try and stay a bit on topic:

    If one wanted to start playing an instrument freshman year and march in the band or just wanted to start something completely new and make a deal of it, is that possible at MIT? Or does the marching band, for example, only consist of experienced “been marching my whole life ever since it started in 7th grade” high schoolers?

    I think the answer is yes, but just wanted to make sure.

  19. Guyomar says:

    French House…c`est magnifique ca! Ideal pour moi qui parles francais presque tout le temps et qui adore la culture francaise…

  20. Michael says:

    Um… Jess- Your blogs are amazing. They make me want to go to MIT even though I have a strong aversion not to go. haha