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MIT blogger Cami M. '23

quick thoughts by Cami M. '23

to keep up my new years resolution

In my New Year’s Resolutions post, I wanted to make a promise to blog every week. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. But I’ve also had weeks where I’ve blogged twice in a week so it basically makes up for it. I realize now that I’m a blog behind so enjoy this extra little blog.

I just wanted to update with some thoughts and things since the spring semester’s started.

1. I dropped 6.009.

So, after much deliberation and consideration and talking with people, I made the ultimate decision to drop 6.009. I have decided that taking five classes at MIT on top of a UROP and extracurriculars is hard. Don’t take five classes unless you a) know you can handle it or b) absolutely have to. But even with (b), I don’t recommend it. Ever since I’ve dropped it and returned back to four classes, I am much happier! I have a lot more time in the day, now. I can use the time to go to the gym (I now work out 4-6 times a week rather than just 4!!!) and spend time with friends.

2. I’m continuing my UROP at the MIT Education Arcade.

Also after much deliberation with this one, after getting a different UROP in the Media Lab, I decided to keep my UROP with the MIT Education Arcade. I just found that I really liked the environment of the Education Arcade a lot more, and working with Meredith (my supervisor) and Melat (another UROP) was something I wasn’t quite ready to give up yet. At my UROP, I’m currently in charge of researching effects of previous gaming experience on gaming performance, as our research has to do with the effects of VR on learning. It’s really interesting and I never really thought I’d be all that into edtech but now it’s a field I am considering to pursue in the future!

3. I really, really like 6.08.

6.08 is my Intro to EECS via Embedded Systems class. Every week, we’re given design exercises, which essentially are these mini-projects with some specifications but no directions on implementation. Design exercises have ranged from making our own digital watch interface to making a system that returns weather conditions to trivia games.

Here is one of the design exercises I made for the class:

Please don’t roast me for the bad wiring. I have never worked with a breadboard prior to this semester.

Anyway, the class is difficult, but I think it’s the perfect level of difficulty. It’s difficult enough where you’re going to struggle, but you know it’s not impossible. This class honestly is the class that has shown me that 6-2/6-3 is a field I can enjoy and explore. I’ve learned so, so much in the five weeks I’ve been in this class, and it’s improved my confidence in my coding abilities so much. Had you told high school senior year Cami that she would be doing this kind of stuff in only a year, she probably wouldn’t have believed you. Prior to MIT, I only had about a year of coding experience under my belt, but kind of like..half-assed coding experience. It was basically a lot of me complaining about code, saying that APCSA was stupid, and that I will never ever be a computer science major ever.

Well, look at here we are, stupid bitch. You’re a CS major, you can now code in C and Python, you know how breadboards work, you’ve done a bunch of fun labs and exercises, and you’re enjoying it a lot.

But in all seriousness, while it isn’t always fun and games (I have legitimately cried because of how frustrated I get when I don’t understand how to do an exercise, or when my design exercise code breaks), 6.08 has taught me so much.

Also, Joe Steinmeyer is an absolute god. His lectures are incredibly engaging, entertaining, and fun, and I look forward to them every week. I highly, highly recommend taking 6.08 if you’re looking to see if 6-2/6-3 is for you.

4. I’m making an effort to be more social.

This is something I really wanted to do a lot more in second semester! I’ve been rushing joining more groups (I joined DT this semester!) and going to more events (I’ve partied three weeks in a row. Perhaps this is not a good thing). It’s really nice to walk around and know people and see familiar faces.

5. DT showings are next week.

DT first showings are where everyone gets together and performs their dances to update the event coordinators on the progress of each group! It’s a good time and it’s exciting to see everyone come together and perform.

6. Holy shit, I need to cook. Please. Please someone scream at me to cook.

I…I haven’t cooked. We’re out of snacks. I’m going this Friday to buy groceries, but like. This is concerning. Someone please yell at me to cook. Thanks.

7. Have I mentioned I’m in fencing…?

I’m taking fencing. I hid the fact I was in a PE very briefly because I have this thing of when I tell people things, I never do it. So I made sure not to say anything until after I started actively going to the class (this also means that I…have a lot of blogposts in progress but I can’t really say anything because I’m scared I’m going to say something and then it ends up blowing up in my face. So. More posts on current things happening in my life probably in a month or so).

Fencing is so fun! I like it a lot. I hope to take pistol next quarter, so I guess I’m working my way to a pirate’s certificate. I’ll probably take sailing next Spring and I’m unsure for when I’ll find the time to take archery. You should actually check out some of MIT’s PE classes. They’re super cool.

Anyway, that’s really it from me. Hope this makes up for the fact I haven’t blogged in a bit! I really do miss it. It’s just really hard to figure out what to write about when I can’t really write about what I’m doing at the moment because that means I’ll flake on it. But some of the things I really, really want to blog about are going to be ending in about two weeks or so, so I should have some blogposts about those things up in a bit.

Meanwhile, it’s midterm season! I have 8.02 midterm this Friday and then 6.042 next Wednesday. I am nervous. 6.042 is going to be my first official midterm on grades. Exciting, but simultaneously terrifying.