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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

The waking of all creatures that live on the land by Sam M. '07

Lingering at MIT with my wandering eye. UPDATED, BABY.

DID YOU KNOW? i^i = e^(-pi/2)

Sorry for the lack of MIT-related updating now that I’m back on campus–I’ve been busy running errands with Sam’s Mom and sorting through the shambolic mess that is my room right now.

I had hoped that taking the 6 boxes I stored in the Burton-Conner trunk room over the summer plus the 10 boxes that I brought back from Harrisburg and moving them all into my room would motivate me more to start unpacking. Instead, it just makes me want to get out of my room as much as possible.

On my way home from Europe, I had to use a Swedish girl’s scale, with myself as the tare, to carefully measure out my luggage and make sure that I wasn’t taking more than Lufthansa’s legal limit of 23 kg per bag. And I thought, hmmm, two 23-kg bags is just about 100 pounds now, isn’t it? Considering that I only weigh 140 pounds, I wondered just how I managed to need so much luggage for a 3-month trip to Germany.

Anyway, check back tomorrow for some info on classes and/or a map of MIT–I figure that posting a half-finished blog entry will better motivate me to write a complete one tomorrow… but you know what happened last time I thought something like that.

Okay, so as usual, here are my impressions on my first few days of class at MIT this term. I’m not quite as thorough as JKim, but this is because by the time you have gone to MIT for three years, linear time as lost all meaning.

Sophomore year I pulled three consecutive all-nighters in the three days before Thanksgiving break, and let me tell you, time really does start to lose all meaning when your life is just one long day of endless psets and chem labs.

But I digress.

6.003: Signals and Systems: I wonder why I’m taking this, but then I remembered that I’m a senior and I can take pretty much whatever I want. The first day of class we did a review of complex numbers, because seriously, nobody remembers those for more than like 20 minutes after learning them. Classes usually take pains to review little things like that if they’re going to be important for the rest of the class. In 5.12: Organic Chemistry, we reviewed how to solve 2n + 4 = 15.

10.490: Integrated Chemical Engineering: Senior year of Chemical Engineering is basically only two classes, affectionately called ICE and ICE-T, taking all of the concepts from the last three years of your studies and applying them to real-world situations suggested by companies. On Friday, we figured out how to design a showerhead. Steph ’07 accidentally suggested that the water should come out of it at 100 C instead of 100 F. Oh, Steph.

21F.403: German III: I was just a little bit disappointed to find out that this class was not taught by Frau Jaeger and her charming, unpredictable eyebrows, as advertised by the course catalog, but pleasantly surprised to find that I can actually speak German now! While my vocabulary is still limited and my grammar is reprehensible, I can actually understand stuff people are saying and talk to them! It was a nice surprise. Now, time to forget it all in two years like I did with Spanish.

21M.303: Writing in Tonal Forms I: I was really pleasantly surprised when I walked into this class and found that the professor was a really perky, crunchy granola type teacher who reminded me of Mia Michaels, and that she was cancelling an hour of class per week so she could work with us more intensively in smaller groups on our minuets and lieder. The next day I auditioned really poorly for sight-singing laboratory and worried that I might not end up in the most advanced section, as I was in the last composition class I took. I thought about e-mailing the instructor and telling her that I am usually awesome at sight-singing, but spending a summer in Europe has made me realize that there are more important things in life than being in the most advanced sight-singing laboratory.

21M.500: Senior Seminar in Music: The only reason I am taking this class is because it’s taught by John “I won the Pulitzer Prize” Harbison. It’s just a joy to hear him talk about music, and I think he knows my name now! One of the first things he did in class was ask us for two things that we listened to in the past week, and I was too ashamed to tell a Pulitzer Prize-winner that the last song I listened to was something like “Too Much Booty in the Pants” by 2 Live Crew (okay, it’s on my So You Think You Can Dance playlist), so I lied and said Franz Liszt’s first piano concerto, which I also really love but don’t listen to on a weekly basis or anything. Our first assignment is to present a piece by Bach in class on Monday, and he said we could do something really easy if we suck at piano (paraphrased, Pulitzer Prize winners probably don’t use the word “suck”). So I hope he doesn’t mind if I play the first prelude from Well-Tempered Clavier, because that’s about the extent of my piano skills.

Also, French Horn Guy is in this class with me.

21M.401: Concert Choir: Same as it ever was, same as it ever was. We’re doing Carmina Burana, which I was first introduced to in a Xena commercial and second introduced to in my senior year marching band show. And, of course, I met JKim (whom I hardly recognized without blocks of text around her head telling me what she was thinking) which made it the best Concert Choir rehearsal of all time.

I’ve got a feeling senior year is gonna be a good year.

3 responses to “The waking of all creatures that live on the land”

  1. Ben says:


    Reason #4274 that I <3 Sam.

  2. Jon says:

    You see, there are three things that spur the mollusk from the sand…

    I have no idea why I’m posting other than that reading/hearing/speaking/typing English is now a special treasure.

  3. Colin says:

    Hurrah for Concert Choir! I keep seeing you there and then not saying hello, partly because I am severely awkward, and partly because I think my status as your #1 stalker might be in jeopardy if I actually meet you. BUT MAYBE I’LL SAY HI ONE OF THESE DAYS.

    I’m jealous of your schedule. At least I know that if I am not dead by the time I’m a senior, I’ll have more freedom to take classes that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to consider. That is, unless I am short on HASS requirements. Which I probably will be.