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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

Post-engagement, pre-Bahamas by Mollie B. '06

An exciting week!

First, I want to thank everybody who left their good wishes with regard to our engagement. If you are a person who likes this sort of thing (which heaven knows I do!), feel free to check out my wedding folder — I’ve been saving pictures of things I like and sticking them in there for future reference.

A cool thing that I find amusing
We went over to the Museum of Science today to check out the reception site. Hanging in the space over the main entrance to the museum are the vehicles Daedalus (a human-powered plane) and Decavitator (a human-powered boat), which were both powered to world records (Daedalus and Decavitator) by MIT aero/astro professor Mark Drela. Professor Drela happens to be Adam’s academic advisor/friend/airplane-loving soulmate, and Adam’s planning to invite him to the wedding. Adam mentioned this to the MoS staff member responsible for renting the facilities, and she got really excited. We’re inviting celebrities to our wedding! Sort of!

Going on vaca
Adam and I are going to the Bahamas tomorrow and staying there until Monday evening. Vacation! I’m super-excited. I haven’t been to the beach since spring break of sophomore year (when I went to Jamaica with Rose ’05 and Swapna ’05), and I can’t wait to lie on the beach and read science books and drink fruity drinks all day. Adam can’t wait to visit the Nassau Pirate Museum. Eh, to each his own.


1. Anonymous asked,

You’d recommend taking chemistry rather than bio first term in general? If so, please explain.

Yup. Almost everybody takes chemistry (whether 3.091, 5.111, or 5.112) first term, which means that you’ll be able to find more people to join your pset group. Comparatively fewer people take chemistry in the spring (only about 1/4 the number of people who take it in the fall), and those people are overwhelmingly people who failed it in the fall. Some courses at MIT have “on” terms and “off” terms — intro chemistry is almost always taken in the fall, so the spring class is usually markedly less enjoyable, but intro biology is taken whenever it can be fit in, so the spring and fall classes are equally enjoyable. Furthermore, if you’re planning to take further chemistry courses, taking 5.111/5.112 in the fall frees you up to take 5.12 in the spring, then 5.13 the next fall — 5.13 is only offered in the fall, so if you want to take it your sophomore year, you’d better take 5.111/2 fall of your freshman year.

2. Betty asked,

Hey Mollie! Would you recommend taking 7.01x first year for premeds if there are other science GIRs to complete? Also, what are the differences between the intro bio courses? Thanks =]

I would take 7.01x during the freshman year if you’re planning to major in biology or in any other department which requires a lot of bio courses (such as BE or chemE with biotrack). Most biology-related majors take 7.03 in the fall of their sophomore years and 7.05 in the spring, so you’ll want to have 7.01x under your belt before taking those classes. I believe premeds generally want to finish the classes required for the MCAT by the end of sophomore year anyway.

As for differences between biology classes, I think 7.012 (offered in the fall) and 7.013 (spring) are really quite similar, though I believe 7.013 has more of an emphasis on human disease and genetics than 7.012. The major differences between 7.012 and 7.013 are with the professors — 7.012 is famously taught by Eric Lander and Bob Weinberg, while 7.013 is taught by Tyler Jacks (a very well-known cancer researcher) and Hazel Sive. I personally thought Jacks was wonderful and adorable, but everyone says Lander is outstanding too. More non-biology majors take 7.013 than 7.012, although I’m not sure why.

7.014 is different from 7.013 and 7.012, as it emphasizes microorganisms, as well as “big” things like ecology and evolution, which most other MIT biology classes don’t do.

3. anon asked,

when do we register for P.E. classes? I want to take ice dancing :P

The DAPER website says that registration will be August 30 to September 6 this year, and first quarter classes will run from September 11 to October 24. (PE classes last half a semester during term and all month during IAP.) Be sure to check this website between August 30 and September 6, as there is a PE lottery to enter to get your class. (Like most other MIT lotteries, it’s kind of just a suggestion — if you miss the lottery, you can go to the first meeting of a class you like and usually get in. But space is more limited in PE classes, so it’s best to get lotteried in.)

4. Kelly asked,

Hey Mollie, if it usually takes around five and a half years to get a PhD, do you know how MD/PhD programs work? Thanks.

Usually MD/PhD candidates go to medical school for the first two years, do their PhD in four years, and finish medical school. (I have a flowchart on my Degrees in Biology PDF!) The way this works out is that MD/PhD candidates are generally given thesis projects that are more of a sure thing — they’re not especially likely to get earth-shattering results from them, but they’re likely to be able to get through the PhD part with fewer snags than the average PhD-only candidate.

Some MD/PhD programs work differently — my friend Jen ’06, for example, is picking a lab for her thesis before she starts medical school (she’s up to her ears in zebrafish this summer!). But I think that just means she’ll hit the ground running on her thesis in two years when she starts the PhD part of her program.

19 responses to “Post-engagement, pre-Bahamas”

  1. JKim says:

    Is there any “typical” courseload that people take in the fall? I have kind of a vague idea what I’m planning on taking, but I was just wondering if there was something of a status quo.

  2. JKim says:

    By the way, the dresses in your wedding folder are GORGEOUS! I love the red with the white. Very classy :D

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is it recommended for biology/premed students to use the ap credit for 7.01x or take the class to have more of a solid foundation? If we use the credit, what upper level biology class should we take?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Should pre-med or biology majors use the ap credit for 7.01x or take the class to get more of a solid foundation? Also, if we do not take the class, what upper-level biology class should we take freshman year?

  5. Jared says:

    Just wanted to mention that the skyline picture in that wedding folder is absolutely b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l… what an amazing view!

  6. faye says:

    The dresses are gorgeous!! How on earth will you be able to choose one?

  7. l0ngL says:

    Hello Mollie!

    I want to get into the medical field, but not becoming a doctor, but more like building robots and machines that assist surgeries and things like that. What majors do you recommend me looking into?


  8. Rupa says:

    Nice pics you have got in your wedding folder.

    The dresses titled ‘candicemarie’ & ‘destin’ are most gorgeous.

    The skyline picture is awsome.

  9. Lena says:

    that dress under “maggie” is gorgeous! since you’re getting married next year not this year, will we get to see your dress???

  10. Ying Wei says:

    “Biology is my life” is the only blog i read when i log in to mymit portal

    u have really taught me many things abt undergraduates application

    thank you very much

    i wonder that if i manage to get into MIT one day, do u mind me paying u a visit?

  11. Anonymous says:

    oh! OH!! polka-dotted wedding cake! *unintelligible babbling*

    congratulations again!

  12. Linda Kahn says:

    Congratulations on your engagement. My daughter Monica 2010, has been reading your blog for well over a year and has hooked me. You have been a big help to both of us. Thank you.

    Linda Kahn

  13. Ajit says:


  14. Carol says:

    wow! congrats on your engagement! i’m so happy for you! for a while now, i’ve been reading your blog to get a better idea on what mit life is like (hopefully i’ll be able to experience it myself next year :]) your blog’s been really helpful! thanks a billion.

    weddings are awesome smile

    have fun in the bahamas

  15. nehalita says:

    I like the swirlcake and the first dress you have saved there (J192) — it’s absolutely gorgeous.

    Actually all of the dresses you have are nice – you have good taste.


  16. Joe says:

    If one is accepted to any dorm, each floor is said to have its own culture. Can you kind of give an overview of that in MacGregor? Thanks! Congrats on the engagement smile

  17. Christina says:

    I truly love each of those dresses a TON. You are going to look beautiful beautiful beautiful!

    Also: I think you might enjoy this site:

    I love it and I’m pretty far from getting married. raspberry

  18. Andrew says:

    I was just perusing some Macgregor related sites and found some conflicting information. You said that all the entries are co-ed, but on the F-entry homepage, it says that they are all-male (perhaps this is just old, and hasn’t been updated recently…). So, what’s the truth?

    P.S. Congrats on the engagement!

  19. thekeri says:

    Andrew: I’m pretty sure F-entry just went coed last year.