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MIT student blogger Mollie B. '06

The sun comes up, then goes away by Mollie B. '06

Graduation day with pictures!

EDIT, 6/11/06: Due to some server problems, this entry and its comments got lost, so if you commented, please comment again!

Well, commencement is over, and I’m officially an MIT graduate. That’s still a little weird, and I’m not sure if I’m going to believe it for a while. Thanks so much to those of you who watched the webcast and saw me get my diplomas — you have a lot more patience than I do! (I was threatening not to go to graduation last night, mostly because I believe strongly in keeping up a tough facade.)

It did not, thank heavens, rain on commencement this year, despite weather reports to the contrary and despite the weather pattern that’s been plaguing the Boston area this week. Harvard’s commencement was yesterday, and they got deluged; somebody managed to dig the MIT weather machine out of its box today and get it humming before the class of 2006 took the stage. Everybody was really anxious about the weather, both because it sucks to sit outside in awful weather and because alums had told everybody that the graduation robes bleed red in the rain.

My friend Tulasi ’06 and I have promised each other since freshman year that we’d wear Manolo Blahniks at graduation, but I’m really glad we didn’t hold each other to that one — the ground was squishy! The graduates process from Johnson Athletic Center to Killian Court, too, so I’m glad my shoes were sensible, even if they weren’t works of art.

A lot of people wore cool stuff on their mortarboards — rubber ducks, flowers, their name in crystals, the letters of their fraternity, “ILTFP”, and even an entire “schooltime” tableau with little playing figurines. My friend Wayne ’06 wore a fake mustache, because he thought it would be funny for the official graduation pictures, although I don’t think his mother agreed with him.

MIT alum (and, of course, the chairman of the Federal Reserve) Ben Bernanke PhD ’79 gave the guest address, and he gave us a lot to think about. My favorite part of his address:

Your training at MIT equips each of you exceptionally well to take full advantage of the personal opportunities that technological innovation and change will create. Each of you, because of your youth, your talent, your demonstrated commitment to learning, and your personal and intellectual achievements during your time at MIT, will soon find, to paraphrase Shakespeare, that the world is your oyster… I hope you find some measure of financial reward. But the world has a great deal more to offer than money, and the key question each of you will face repeatedly in your lives is how to use the talent and the education that you have been given and the knowledge you have obtained… I hope you will not be afraid to be unconventional, to do something that nobody else has thought of before. And remember that the path to success and fulfillment may not be well-marked, the scaling of some predetermined ladder. It may instead be a road without signs and without maps. And remember, it’s okay to fail. Really. New opportunities will always arise for those who seek them.

I was secretly hoping that he’d slip in a line at the end like “And in conclusion, I am raising interest rates 500000%!” and send Wall Street into a frenzy, and I could be like “I was there!” But advice of the sort he gave is, of course, always welcome too.

And what entry about commencement would be complete without pictures?

Graduation was held, as always, in Killian Court.

The procession started with important people looking like they were going to a Renaissance festival (seriously, academic regalia is weird) and basically stretched all the way back to Johnson. It was a long line! MIT’s commencement celebrates the graduation of about 1000 undergrads and another 1200 masters and PhD students.

me in procession
Find me in the procession! (In this picture I am smiling. In the next one my dad took, it’s pretty obvious that I’m trying not to cry.)

Me the graduate!

double diploma dance
The double diploma dance! I have been promising to dance at graduation with a diploma in each hand ever since I decided I was going to double-major. It was just as sweet as it looks.

Me with family
My family came up from Ohio last night to see me graduate, and we’re going out with Adam’s family tonight for a big dinner to celebrate my graduation and Adam’s 21st birthday.

High school
Do we look any different than we did at my high school graduation? (Other than the fact that my brother’s about a foot taller…)

15 responses to “The sun comes up, then goes away”

  1. Christina says:

    Yeah, the server ate my comment for breakfast. :(

    I said:

    Congratulations to my absolute favorite member of the class of 2006. grin

    Love the double-diploma-dance!! Hahaha.

  2. thekeri says:

    I went to comment on this entry and found that it kinda didn’t exist anymore, so let’s try this again:


    I look up to you, because you’re just awesome like that.

    And the double diplomas own my soul.

  3. Charlotte says:

    Wow… … I’ve seen the MIT dome a number of times

    ever since I first saw it on the cover page of my

    senior high school newsletter, but this is the first

    time I see a MIT student in full “costume” graduating

    in front of it. I’ve no interest in enrolling in MIT

    but it still feels pretty awesome!

    And a second wow to your dad and mum– they didn’t

    seem to have aged at all during these four years.

    Congratulations, congratulations and congratulations!!

    [Forgive me for sidetracking but I just have so many

    comments for your previous entries:

    Sigh…guess what, I wanted to make a glycerol stock

    of cells the other day, but instead of adding 100%

    glycerol, I…I..I added 100% ethanol! At an equal

    volume to the cell mixture somemore! To think I could

    have made that mistake even though I’ve performed that

    procedure countless of times without much problem.

    Hopefully my later desperate attempt to salvage these

    few days of work worked.

    Haha…I never knew that an autoclave machine can be

    so easily damaged. I was never too concerned when I

    used it. Maybe that’s because I always take out my

    stuff only when the temperature is 50 something deg C

    or less. I’m far more nervous about the huge

    centrifuge and the sonicator. A person from my lab

    once used the wrong “power off” switch to turn off the

    sonicator of the neighbouring lab and ended up

    spoiling the sonicator, causing that lab to suffer a

    gigantic loss.

    Hmm..actually, LB agar powder looks and smells pretty

    nice to me (through my white mask, that is). The fine

    powder makes me worry about my respiratory tract

    though (which explains the mask).

    Cool…you wanted to be a physicist. My current

    aspiration is actually to be a structural biologist

    or, a biophysicist! The two sort of overlap actually.

    Things like NMR and electrophysiology excite me.

    Mmmm…I wonder what your favourite experimental

    procedure is. Is it playing around with the rats?

    After all, rats are so much more interactive than

    cells lying on agar or suspended invisibly in solution.]

  4. Nur says:

    Congratulations Mollie! I wish you the best.

  5. Hema says:

    Server problems, So I Guess I’ll say it again then

    A Double Congratulation For A Double Major Mollie ,

    I watched the Webcast Today

    but I didn’t see u Because I watch it after an hour and a half from the beginning of the Commencement

    And I wanna say a few things to u before u leave us

    First Of all ,I always enjoy your entries at your blog, and I always

    wait for your next One , Believe it or not ,For the Last Year “Since You

    begin Bloggin'” And For everyday, The first thing I do in the morning

    is checking If there is a new entry at your blog , And I didn’t post

    that much (This is my second post ,at the first one I asked u about Ann’s Blog If u remember)

    , And the reason why I’m writting this one is to catch the last moments To thank u

    (And I say that In the name of every student, perspective student, International student, Hopeless Applicant Students)

    for every single word that you’ve written , For Every long Question ever written And u’ve answered ,

    For every wonderfull well written entries Specially “Who We Are” ,

    And Finally for Guiding anyone confused aboutt anything at MIT.

    Anyway , thanks Mollie And Congratulation , And I wish u the best In Life for u and Adam , And I wish To see u the next Year If I get Admitted At MIT “Wish me luck”.

  6. Omar '10 says:

    Wow, I really admire you a lot, it’s awesome to finally see you graduating, I just hope I can be as successful as you have been at MIT. Many thanks for all the advice you gave me during admissions at MIT and really, I would love to meet you someday. Congratulations and I really wish you the best!

  7. Lena says:

    is that an engagement ring on your left hand?!?!?!

  8. risa says:

    do upperclassmen collaborate as much on homework as freshmen do? isn’t it harder to find people in your dorm who are taking the same classes as you when you start taking more major-specific courses? and where do you do most of your homework, library or dorm room?

  9. bhavya says:

    wow! the pics are great! Congratulations ,anyways. I’ve always wanted to study at MIT .And best of luck for future.

  10. Jess says:

    I graduate on Friday, and that in itself blows my mind. I can’t even think about graduating from college smile


  11. Laura says:

    Congrats, Mollie!

    I turned the webcast on and was so ready to watch you graduate…but I could not for the life of me figure out what order they were continuing in and did not have the patience to sit there for hours. Sorry. =P

    And maybe I’m crazy, but I love the picture of you in front of the dome. I didn’t notice the “about to cry” look until you mentioned it, but I’m probably the world’s least observant person, so…

  12. varun says:

    hi i am doing engg from india and ya that is why iam here ,exploring the best engg institute .i love physics and will love to be a will to have freindship with a member of the best institute .can you tell me how can a indian doing bachlar degree in aindian university can get admited for higher education.i will be waiting for your message .

  13. Colin says:

    Congratulations! The double-diploma dance is awesome. I’m in awe of you. :D