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Summertime Happenings by Krystal L. '17

A summer of research and relaxation in Boston

Finals ended over a month ago, so quite frankly, I have no excuse for my disappearance from the blogosphere. I’ve been meaning to post a compilation of end of the year reflections from my lovely friends and amigos, but the project has been limping along in the summer haze. It’s looking a little anemic right now (maybe it’s heat exhaustion. Or maybe it’s Maybelline. Who knows.), but I promise it’ll be a fully functioning blog post before summer’s end!

After school let out, I hopped on a plane and flew back to California for a highly anticipated return home. I hadn’t had the luxury of seeing my cats or rolling around on the living room carpet (as I like to do sometimes when no one is watching) since winter break so to say I was excited would be an understatement. Taking advantage of the two week reprieve from all responsibility, I had the chance to meet up with friends I hadn’t seen for months and pig out on foods I had been craving since the moment I left home the last time. I say with the utmost pride that I had a fantastic time devouring four enormous cups of boba in three days.

Two weeks later, a sunburnt and mosquito-bite covered Krystal returned from the tropical paradise of St. Thomas to the small Boston apartment that she was to live in for the next three months. It’s nothing like the hallowed halls of Maseeh, but it’s cozy and since the electrical bill is a monthly flat rate, we have the luxury of leaving the fans on all day to make up for the noticeable absence of air conditioning. Our apartment is near the Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory off of Boylston Street so we get an eclectic mix of musical sounds drifting through our window every night. One time, we were treated to two straight hours of varying vocal exercises. I applaud the aspiring singer’s efforts, but the sounds were something less than melodic. I guess it gives the apartment character, whatever that means. But the fact that our temporary home is so conveniently located more than makes up for the little quirks and flaws. MIT is only a 15 minute walk across the Harvard bridge and the green line T stop is a mere minute or two away. On sunnier days, a stroll down Newbury Street or Boylston is always in the cards, and even adventures into Fenway or the Boston Common are not too much of a stretch.

This summer, I’m working two part time research positions. I start my mornings at Tufts Medical Center bright and early at 8:30am and end my days in my UROP lab around 7:30pm. My worst day was an 8:30am to 8:30pm monster (not including travel time) and by the time I got back to the apartment, all I wanted to do was eat nectarines (which, by the way, are extremely addicting) and watch reruns of Top Chef (there is a blatant abuse of parentheses in this post, but I’m going to roll with it: the new season of Top Chef was just filmed in Boston so I’m super stoked!) Apparently, I have a penchant for working far more during the holidays than I ever do during the school year. Over IAP I was in the EMT class for 9 hours a day and now during the summer, I’m working, on average, 11 hours a day. I have fun though, and I’m learning so much. Being a research noob, I’m really glad that I have this opportunity to immerse myself in work that I will hopefully be able to continue into the future. I’ve only just begun, so I have yet to see whether or not grad school is a potential consideration.

As a promise to anyone that reads these, I’ll make a concerted effort to be more diligent about blogging. We’ve been having no shortage of adventures here in Boston, so I’m excited to share the other half of MIT. While the academics are certainly noteworthy, the surrounding city defines a university just as much as its classes and campus. During the school year, I rarely ventured out of the MIT bubble, spending far too many hours of the day in Maseeh. Now that it’s summer and I have a monthly T pass, I’m going out more and really getting to see the city just across the river. Who knows if I’m ever going to spend another summer in Boston, so I’m going to make the most of these three months that I have now!