So depending on a) what major you are, b) what classes you choose to take, c) what dates your professors feel like assigning major papers/tests, and d) your personal procrastination preferences, the weeks around the middle of term can be just like any other week, or they can be ridiculous.
I am never savvy about picking classes. Adam is disdainful, for instance, of my tendency to pick HASS classes based on what sounds interesting rather than what’s easiest. So, of course, since I exhibit absolutely no common sense about what classes to pick (and apparently due to my phenomenal cosmic bad luck!), my midterm weeks tend toward the crazy.
This is what I had due this week:
Monday — nothing
Tuesday — 21A.260 paper on dualism in Western thought (7 pages), 21A.100 paper on cultural relativism (5 pages)
Wednesday — 5.60 test, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program proposal (12 pages, plus application. Not really essential, but hey, making more money as a grad student can’t hurt.)
Thursday — 21A.260 reading (this book), 21A.100 reading (*ahem* may or may not have gotten done…)
Friday — 9.15 term paper on dopamine receptor genetics (15 pages)
39 pages of writing in one week, plus a test worth 20% of my final grade. I kid you not. But I wisely worked ahead last week, so it’s Wednesday, I just printed out my 9.15 paper, and I’m done for the week! Hooray!
I thought I’d bring you some long-promised pictures of the new Brain and Cognitive Sciences building, which houses the BCS department, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.
Note: If you’re free on Friday, you might want to check out the webcast of the ceremony celebrating the opening of the new building. The speakers are 2 Nobel laureates (Eric Kandel from Columbia, and Phil Sharp from MIT), a senator (John Kerry), a “television journalist” (Jane Pauley), and MIT president Susan Hockfield, among others. I’m totally going to sneak down when I’m at the lab on Friday morning.
This is my lab’s balcony, which overlooks the central atrium of the building. I’ve started coming here during my lab downtime to catch up on reading, snack on candy, and just generally enjoy sitting on the couch.
This is the view from my balcony looking out and up. I really wish this picture had come out better, because the building has a cool structure, but it’s hard to tell since it’s all white. Basically, everything’s very open and all the floors have lookouts over the atrium. The ceiling of the atrium is all glass, giving us sun-deprived city dwellers some much-needed glimpses of sun, puffy white clouds, and blue sky.
This is the view from my balcony looking out toward the front of the building. The Stata Center is visible across the street.