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MIT staff blogger Bryan G. Nance

Return of the Nance Effect by Bryan G. Nance

The Summer Update Edition!

(The Summer Update Edition!)

Greetings to all! Can you feel that? Summer is slipping away and the crisp New England weather is looming just around the corner. (Funny I say that even though Boston had a heat index of 106 degrees last week.)

As we get closer to September the class of 2010 prepares to take their place as matriculated students at MIT, and future classes, especially the class of 2011, are preparing to run the gauntlet known as the college application process. In some ways this entry represents the changing of the guard for The Nance Effect.

Many more of those reading and posting to this blog will be new or first time Bloggers. To you I say welcome! Come on in, the water is just fine. I hope that you will not hesitate to throw your two cents in to any and all conversations. This is, after all, a community designed for and about you. When I began to blog a little more than a year ago I wrote the following:

My blog will hopefully give you a backstage pass to the theater of the absurd, better known as College Admissions. Instead I will discuss real issues that affect minorities and the college application process. Does that mean that you have to be a minority to glean wisdom from, or participate in, this blog? Au contraire, mon frere! This is a place to recognize and support all diversity with particular sensitivity to the African American, Latina/o, and Native American communities. I can’t promise you the answers to all of your questions – remember, the only way out is to THINK your way out. Enough said. Let’s get down to business.

This blog is designed so that we all learn from each other. Remember: a sense of humor never hurts!

To those of you who are returning as veterans of The Nance Nance Revolution, welcome back! Please continue to do what you’ve always done – inform and entertain us with your experiences and tell us about your life in general.

I would be remiss if I did not also welcome parents to our little corner of cyberspace! As always, we have reserved a place at the table for you. Just remember, unlike Thanksgiving dinner, the priority goes to the ‘Kids Table’.

Let’s get this party started right! Remember Mrs. Brown’s second grade class? The first day was spent with each student in the class standing up in front telling everyone how he or she spent the summer. Well, I’m going old school on you. I’ll start Show & Tell with how I spent my summer solstice. (Unlike most of you, the admissions office is forced to work through the heat.)

Consider this your first assignment. Be sure to tell us how you spent your summer. If you are new, be sure to introduce yourself! Again, welcome to NNR!

Here are a few pix from my summer…

I had the pleasure of working with the MITES students this summer. Here are a few photos from their ice cream social:




I rubbed elbows with the Class of 2010 students who attended Project Interphase this summer. (Unfortunately, I don’t have any candid shots of the group, but I do have this really cool official-like photo:


In addition to working with students on the MIT campus I also attended several college fairs. The largest was held at Columbia University, in New York City on July 19th. Here are a few more pics:



I played in the backyard with my kids (Miles and McKinley)








Finally, I celebrated my 40th birthday. Ben will post photos of that here soon. :-)

46 responses to “Return of the Nance Effect”

  1. MIchael, Michael, Michael…..

    I miss you as well. (Don’t tell anyone that I wrote this… they’ll think I’ve gone soft) As for Resonance, you must be good given the fact that my name is in your group!

  2. Nur,

    No giving away trade secrets.

  3. thekeri says:

    Whoa, he updates! It’s a miracle!

    Okay, that’s enough making fun of you for the day. With that said, Miles has gotten so big already! Wasn’t he just born the other day? ^_^

    And behold, a clean office! Not to worry, for I will be dropping in on occasion to see just how long this lasts…

  4. Keri,

    You are authorized to make fun of me as much as you like. Yes, Miles is growing like a weed! Only 2 more weeks and you become one with the Institute. In the words of Locutus of Borg, “Resistance is Futile”

  5. Nur says:

    Yes! You’re finally back! Your desk looked messier when I stopped by ^_^


    I miss you, boy. Sorry I never dropped off the Resonance CD; I’ll grab you one as _soon_ as I’m back on campus. I pwomise.

  7. Sylvia says:

    weeee The Nance Effect is back :D :D

  8. Sam Jackson says:


    The other day I got a postcard from Cornell advertising a multicultural event later this fall. As a multiracial student interested in MIT, I feel compelled to mention this fact and ask the question: what exciting galas is MIT throwing of a similar nature? raspberry

    Love the blog, it’s a wonderful resource for any and all curious parties.

  9. Aziz '10 says:

    Hey Nance! Wow, your kids are looking cuter than ever wink I hope that I can stop by this fall…which isn’t too far away…international orientation is just a week away!!! (Damn now that I say’s almost here ;p)

    So i’m going to do my homework…hmm this summer i spent a couple of months in my country, Kuwait..relishing the 120 Degree heat ;p then in mid-july i flew to Irvine, California, where i’m staying right now for a month, exploring L.A. and the OC wink Due in Cambridge verryyy soon ;p

  10. JKim says:

    He’s BACK! I missed the kid’s table.

  11. Phil says:

    yay! ur kids are indeed growing fastt from last time’s pic! =D cya soon!

  12. Zaira says:

    MITES ’06!!! The best summer ever!

  13. Sam,

    How did you know that I used to work at Cornell? (Go BIG RED!)

    What a great University. I really enjoyed my time there. Now to your question…

    At this time MIT does not have a multicultural hosting event in the fall. We do, have one (CPW – Campus Preview Weekend) for admitted students in the Spring.

    If you are interested, we have a program known as Overnight Hosting. It allows you to visit MIT in the fall and to spend the night hosted by an MIT student.

    If you get the chance, you should go to Cornell to see what they have to offer. THe only way to know if MIT is really for you is to see what else is out there. If MIT is the place, it will always rise to top. If you do go to Cornell for MVP (Multicultural Hosting Weekend) please find Shawn Felton. He works for the Undergraduate Admissions Office… tell him I sent you! He’ll answer all of your questions about Cornell Engineering.

  14. JKIM

    What up!!!! Welcome to the Club!!!!!

  15. Thanks also to Phil and Sylvia for yor kind words

  16. Zaira,

    MITES 06 was a cool group. Where are the rest of the MITES 06 participants?

  17. Aziz,

    Dude, you could have come to MIT 2 weeks ago and got Kuwait-like weather! Do stop by when you arrive in the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

  18. Sam Jackson says:

    Creepy as it may seem, the statements in that comment were actually just coincidence! Though reading old blog posts would have told me about your past Cornell affiliation, I came to your blog with the single-minded purpose of making that one facetious remark–a multicultural visit program or lack thereof is no one deal breaker for me. smile

    I hit up Cornell in July, actually. We had the most wretched weather imaginable, sadly, but that didn’t stop me from quite liking the place. “Go Big Red” would get pretty old after three years of it at my HS, though… Anyhow, if I’m lucky I’ll go to one of the two (Cornell / MIT) for undergraduate and then have an affair for grad school, since I’m smitten with both!

    I haven’t been to Mary Chung’s in a while and I have chinese eggplants languishing in my refridgerator; I need to refresh my memory on the best way to do them sichuan style perhaps…

  19. Timur Sahin says:

    Okay, we totally need to start pressing shirts.

    “I survived the Nance Nance Revolution and all I got was this t-shirt.”

  20. Vu says:

    Ahh, good to see the new MITES class. From looking at the Information Sessions schedule I see that you’re coming to San Diego this year. It would have been great to see you last year after an interesting admissions dinner during MITES. Oh well, I’m sure we’ll see each other in the inifinite corridor some time.

  21. Aziz '10 says:

    Will do, man, will do wink Trust me at RSI I’ve experienced the oh-so-evil Cambridge weather machine, so I might know what you’re talking about wink

  22. Erik Chen says:


    I’m Erik!

    And I live in Sacramento!

    Enough with the exclamations now. Hey everybody! =P

    I am going to be a senior at Mira Loma HS next year. I spent my summer at a research program in UCDavis (YSP) and a week-long cruise to Alaska. I just got back from the latter and I have thoroughly decided that the former was far more fun. And that’s my summer in a nutshell.

  23. Amy Perez says:

    Ahhh, so that’s where you disappeared to, Bryan, during the college fair at Columbia–to take pictures! I’m in the first picture of the college fair in a maroon polo and beige pants, apparently doing all the work at the MIT booth while Bryan plays with the camera!

  24. Timur,

    Who says you survived?!?

  25. Eric,

    Welcome to the Nance Effect! It sounds as like you had a great summer! Are you planning to apply to MIT? Are you planning to attend the MIT Central Meeting in Sacramento? After all, the meeting is at your high school!

  26. Vu,

    I look forward to seeing you in just a few short weeks.

  27. Amy,

    Be nice! I have secret pixs from that event…. YOu wouldn’t want them to “find their way to the net”…

    Boooohoooohaaaaa (my most evil laugh)

  28. Christina says:

    hey!!! MITES 06 power right here…after leaving this summer, the good old sunshine here in california just doesn’t feel the same! MIT’s the place to be! Quick question: when will you be in the long beach area…I believe you said October, but not sure!! Thanks…and Zaira’s right…MITES 06 = best summer ever!!

  29. Christina says:

    I have another question for you! I’m a Venture Scholar and I was wondering if there are any benefits (scholarships, tutoring, internships) that MIT offers for Venture Scholars! Thanks again!

  30. Zaira says:

    Bryan, you said you were coming to Brownsville, TX for one of the information sessions. I checked the schedule, and the closest one to Brownsville is in Edinburg. I thought I was going to see you again.

  31. Erik Chen says:


    I am definetely applying to MIT, and early action at that. I’m also signed up for the Central Meeting. I don’t know how everyone else is feeling, but I’m roaring for senior year! It’s going to take some grueling work in the first couple of months, during the application process, but I’ve heard the rest of the year is the best one in high school!

  32. Chirag Tilva says:

    I am an International student from India. My SAT 1 scores are not good. I am going to take the SAT 2 tests. When the admission officer will see my SAT 2 scores on the report he wd definitely see my SAT 1 score also becoz we hav no provision of sending these scores separately. Will this hurt me in the process.

    Still i hav 4 to 5 months before applying to MIT…how do u suggest i shd use this time…aspiring for engineering…shd i indulge myself into social work or extra activities?

    what particular activities would especially impress the admission officers( eg. writing a paper in Calculus and presenting it at the Maths conference or being active in Sport) coz i hav less time now and prioritize to set.

  33. Dan says:

    Hi to Nance and all people from the blog, my name is Dan and I’m living far far away from MiT ,in Romania an old Eastern European country where I’m doing my high school. My high school is in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe ,more exactly in Brasov City (The Land Of Dracula : BOW!) a 900 years old city with ancient architecture ( and lots of tourists. This year I will apply at MiT (I must be crazy ,but I will) ,I love engineering and my activities are specific on my interest. So how did i spent my summer, well, I will tell what I did last week on my birthday. I mentioned above that I like engineering and my activities are as rocket builder (solid fuel rockets). So my team announced me on my birthday party that they build a rocket special for me with special performances and named after me with my age DAN-21 (the rocket had 3 meters in height and wired system) considered a gift from the rocket club and my girlfriend ( she was with the idea). So we agreed that the rocket should be launch at 11:00 pm outside the city under a clear sky full of stars and milky way. 40 people came with their cars to see the show and we started the necessary safety procedures (which are very very important) and after that the rocket was ready for departure towards the stars. There was a quite cold night for summer and dark to, but the sky was clean and I liked that. In 9..8..7..6..5…4…3..2..1..launch ,there was the rocket up in the sky with a tremendous speed and a great engine sound , we saw the rocket flying and the stars in background ,a great show. But something happened ,something was wrong ,we didn’t saw the rocket no more , I said : “I lost visual contact ,please check on radar”, my friend told me “I don’t see it on radar, it disappeared” , (the radar had only 2 miles range and only 4000 m height cover) so my friend is saying “Hey Dan we should start to find it “. I’m looking at the stars and say “It belongs to stars now” ,and he says ” Say what?!” ,me ” Nothing ,nothing….” and then after I look long at the stars i say “I like to believe that now the rocket belongs between the stars, let’s go home” , friend “But Dan that thing costs money, are you crazy” ,me “It’s my birthday, and that was my gift ,I’m right? friend “Yeah, but……” ,me “Let’s go home”. I’m sure like they are, that the rocket finally touched the ground but i guess the most important thing is the launch and impression and wish to remain unchanged ,an eternal dream.

    Before finish (I apologize for the BIG text but i didn’t know how to make it shorter ) i say ” NANCE your cool and happy to join your Blog”


  34. There’s another Christina posting here and it is unacceptable. This…I…am the real Christina, everyone. Okay? Okay.

    MILES HAS GOTTEN SO BIG. How could this have possibly happened? I remember when he was just a little…er, big…baby and you were calling Ben when your wife’s contractions were 2 hours apart or some such thing. Oh, the good old days.

    Anyway, see you on Monday!! :D

  35. Bianca says:


    My name is Bianca, I’m in I-LEAD, and met you during our college tour! I spent my summer at Carnegie Mellon University for the National High School Game Academy. So my summer was spent programming video games, designing video games, playing video games, and watching friends make rockets out of diet coke and mentos. Now, I’m starting the application process for both college and scholarships so I can get everything in order for September (and for when Angela and Becky ruthlessly analyze my applications…)

    Your blog and all of the other blogs on the MIT website are very interesting, by the way!

  36. Christina,

    We do have a relationship with Ventures Scholars. Primarily that entails Ventures identifing students who might be a good fit and match for MIT. Once identified, they allow us to contact you with MIT material. Additionally, Ventures keeps us abrest of your application status.

    Good question!

  37. Zaria,

    It seems that I was wrong! I will be in El Paso, Texas. I’m sorry! You are welcome to drive clear across the country of Texas. I’d love to see you again!

  38. Eric Chen,

    I L-O-V-E your attitude!

  39. Chirag

    You ask really good questions. Since your questions are fairly personal I am going to suggest that you drop me an email so that we can chat off-line.

    [email protected]

  40. Wow Dan!

    All I got for my birthday was a homemade card from my 2 year old. The most pecular thing about rockets is that they must go backwards to go forward! Figure that one out!

    Welcome to the nance effect!

  41. I see a clash of the Christina titans! Maybe we can get Timur to photo shop us a copy of what that might look like!

  42. Bianca,

    Nothing says fun like a 2 liter coke and the fresh ones! I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR APPLICATION! If you have questions about the process feel free to drop the nance effect a line!

  43. Dan says:

    Nance, i think that homemade card from your 2 year old worth much more than my rocket. But i think you alredy know this quite good. smile

  44. anothermom says:

    Welcome back Nance. It is nice to have you back. Miles is beautiful and growing up too fast. I enjoy reading your entries and all the wonderful comments from your diehard readers.

    And Timur the T-shirt should state “I survived the Nance Nance Revolution and all I got was my heart’s desire… MIT”

  45. Sarah says:

    This is my first time ever looking at blogs on MyMIT, and I have to say, it’s pretty freaking awesome. If it weren’t for your letter way back in the summer, Nance, i don’t think I’d have ANY idea what MIT was *seriously* all about. . . I have to say, my perception of MIT was completely twisted until I visited . . . so warm and personal, really like the environment so far, I only hope it looks like this in person! Looks like you had a fab time at the summer programs, you look like a great dad! Making kids from all over the world happy…very cute kids, my the boy’s grown! (I just saw your blog from january, the “big baby”..haha). He’s gonna grow up to be the star football player of his team or something! Best of luck with admissions duty this year, I’ll be an applying freshman smile

  46. Hey Nance!!

    Another Mites ’06er here. I was wondering if you reconsidered and decided to make a stop in Alabama. If you did, I can’t wait to see you again. Hope you have a great year!