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Senior Spring! by Alina G. '11

What I did (and didn't) do over IAP...and plans for my last semester!

I’ve never really understood the appeal of beach vacations. I spend a day relaxing and then have to recover from the effort of recuperation with hiking or museum visits or at least some shopping. But this vacation and IAP, I did my best to take it easy. That’s the wonderful thing about IAP-you operate at your own level. Want to go abroad or do an externship or be on campus and take classes and do a million things? You can. Or, you can stay home. It’s whatever you need to be ready for another semester. After three and a half jam-packed years at MIT (including IAPs), I came back to campus for track practice with no other plans except to read and bake and watch TV and enjoy Boston.

I did however, accomplish at least three things during IAP:

1.) Lots and lots of running. Indoor track season is in full swing and I’ve been kept passably sane by practice and meets and hanging out with the team. (Seriously, it’s no wonder the “Yellow Wallpaper” woman went mad. The line between relaxation and soul-crushing boredom is shakier than you’d expect).

2.) Watched the entire series of Veronica Mars and a couple seasons of Buffy . Gotta love shows with witty butt-kicking blondes, right? Also, big question for Buffy fans re: Faith’s accent. Where is she supposed to be from? She sounds like she’s trying for Canadian but got lost somewhere around theater-class New Yorker.

3.) Had a cliche rom-com revelation with…a blondie recipe? Stay with me here: hard-working girl is happy with her life but has been so focused on her career (or you know, school) she doesn’t realize what she’s missing(love, or baked goods) until she meets a guy (or a recipe) who opens her eyes (to the miracle powers of browned butter). Click here for the recipe. (Substitute white chocolate chips for toffee and your life will be changed forever). Also the previous only works if you say it in one of those movie-trailer voices.

I also inadvertently stumbled upon the hummus taste-off (link!) . If you didn’t think hummus could get any better, I present unexpected, free, hummus, in large quantities. It was pretty neat-three different companies came and had samples and there was a huge taste-off where people could make their own or just come and vote on their favorites. To me it was the epitome of IAP-random, awesome, and delicious.

But now it’s Registration Day eve and all of a sudden I have to go to school again! Weird (in an exciting, good kind of way). Here’s what I’ve got in my final (!) semester at MIT:

20.380- Biological Engineering Design. This is Course 20’s senior design class-in lieu of a thesis we work in groups over the course of a semester to propose a drug/device to investigate/treat biological systems/diseases. Last year the seniors studied inflammation and worked in groups on projects about cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, and I’m excited to hear what our topics will be.

German II-Unlike any of my Course 20 classes, the title of this class is pretty self-explanatory. MISTI , MIT’s amazing internship abroad program allows recent grads to participate, and depending on the start date for my job, I might go to Germany. MISTI is very popular-my friends have gone to Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and have all absolutely loved it. The MISTI people help you find work and help arrange travel and housing. There are language requirements, but they vary by country; I took German I first semester and liked it so even if I can’t do MISTI I’m looking forward to this class.

21L.702 Studies in Fiction: Jane Austen’s Reading List. Last spring I took Professor Perry’s Jane Austen class and it was the highlight of my semester. The lit classes I’ve taken at MIT have been hands down my favorites. I’ve also been on a British lit kick lately so I’m particularly excited for this one.

Should be a pretty good semester. I’m going to try to keep myself not too busy and just enjoy my classes and track, but we’ll see how that goes.

9 responses to “Senior Spring!”

  1. Alina says:

    @Anon- I’d heard the same about S3 of VM, but when I got to the end of S2 I just couldn’t stop. S3 doesn’t end particularly satisfactorily and it definitely isn’t as good as the first two; there are too many plot arcs, and they aren’t as coherent, but I thought it was still worth watching (if you have the time. and I definitely had the time).

    I haven’t gotten around to Angel but I might. Not sure if I’m ready to get sucked in to yet another TV show, especially with classes approaching, though…

  2. Albert says:

    IAP sounds amazing.

  3. Matt '13 says:

    3 classes?! and 2 of them are HASS-ish classes?!

    [Jealous :( ]

  4. Anonymous says:

    Considering that Eliza Dushku is from Watertown, I think Faith being from South Boston is considered more/less canonical. Keep in mind that she’s traveled here and there as a Slayer, so…
    Also, if you like Buffy, you could also try checking out Angel.

    Here’s a question for you: how does season three of Veronica Mars compare with the first two seasons? I’ve heard that it’s terrible and you should stop at the end of season two, but I’m wondering how silly that claim is.

  5. Gokce says:

    Buffy rocks!By the way Faith is from Boston, Massachusetts where she had been slaying until she arrived Sunnydale.

    And I want to watch all episodes of Veronica Mars but I just don’t have any time to!While one episode was being aired, I and mom got stuck in front of TV a few weeks ago and since that time, we are trying to make some free time to watch it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ja! Deutsch ist ausgezeichnet! (Note, best German word EVER)

  7. Steph says:

    MISTI sounds really fun. I think it is great to work abroad.

    I like your classes too.

  8. Robert Plans says:

    Your “IAP” sounds a lot like our “Winter Term.” I just finished up my last Winter Term (IAP) and it was awesome. Enjoy the rest of your year!