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MIT student blogger Hamsika C. '13

This Entry is Really Long. by Hamsika C. '13

And my pictures won't upload :(Edit: Actually, they finally did! Yay!

I’m on a train right now, speeding away from Darmstadt and towards Salem. Linh ’13 is sitting next to me sleeping, her right hand holding on to our suitcases. I probably should’ve put my suitcase on the luggage shelf above our seats, but I didn’t think I was strong enough to lift it that high above my head. Yeah, I know, I should work out.

This past week makes me feel like I’ve exercised enough to last a lifetime, though. On Friday, Linh ’13 and I took a train to a nearby city, R√ºdesheim, where Di ’10 had told us there were several castles we could look at. Apparently, we fail at finding them though, so instead of gazing open-mouthed at elegant stone terraces, we trekked up a mountain, at the top of which was a beautiful monument. I don’t know how I convinced Linh to brave hours under the hot sun with me instead of taking a cable car, but somehow, I did. She complained at first, but in the end, she didn’t regret it.

Niederdenkmal – the mountain monument

The View.

This escapade of ours explains why I look in the mirror and see a face that’s much darker than it usually is, with small bits of skin peeling off its nose. These past few days have taught me not to put faith in the widespread claim that brown people don’t get sunburned. They do. Most definitely.

Still, I’ve been having the time of my life – outside in perfect 75-degree weather, the one jacket I brought with me buried near the bottom of my suitcase. We began teaching our lessons this past week, and I prepared PowerPoint presentations and lectures on gyroscopes, gas theory, and Gauss’s law. Gyroscopes make up one of the most difficult concepts taught in 8.01 (Physics I: Classical Mechanics), so I was really surprised when they insisted that I teach it at the school. While prepping for the lesson, I went back and watched Professor Walter Lewin’s 8.01 gyroscope lecture on OCW (; thank God for OCW. I’ve watched that gyroscope lecture three times now, and every time, it makes more and more sense to me. Because the school had a gyroscope, I was able to do demonstrations and let the students try them out for themselves. When my lesson ended, I felt so happy, proud, and lucky. I finally know why some people want to be teachers so badly; it’s really rewarding to see kids’ eyes light up with interest and understanding and to have them come up to you afterwards and thank you for what you’ve done.

The people at Lichtenbergschule thanked us in so many ways! On Tuesday, they took us to Heidelberg, about an hour’s train ride away from Darmstadt. There, we spent hours at a castle, home to a gigantic wine barrel. It was empty though, much to the displeasure of many tourists. Jeanne ’13 and I found a gigantic staircase just beside the castle; convinced that there must be something super-cool at the bottom of it, we climbed all the way down, knowing full well that each step we took going down meant that we’d have to take just as many going up. Sadly, there was nothing spectacular at the bottom of the staircase. As we huffed and puffed back up the stairs, we noticed that the steps were numbered. As we neared the top, we saw 301…302…303…”No,” I thought, “It couldn’t be…314?” But yes, it was. Pi ‚ô• The nerd in me forgave the futile trek down the never-ending staircase.

Pi Love

Heidelberg’s Castle!

Yours Truly

On Wednesday, we got a tour of Merck, a pharmaceutical company most of you have probably heard of (Note: The American Merck & Co. is actually different from the European Merck. They both originate from the same family though). They gave us green name badges (my name was spelled wrong ‚òπ ) and showed us the various products they make, how they make them, and what they do to ensure quality. The tour guide told us that their machines can produce about 800,000 pills every hour! At the end of our Merck adventure, we all got to take some free cosmetic products, produced with colors manufactured by Merck. The lady seemed eager for all of us to apply to Merck as summer interns. I’m not sure if any of us will though, considering that during the tour, she referred to Boston as the place where “Harvard and other schools” were located. Other schools?!?! Clearly, she didn’t know where we were from! Haha, just kidding. It’d be neat to work at Merck – so much to learn! Also – one other thing I found out: I asked the tour guide who comes up with the names of medicines, and she told me that there are three people at Merck whose sole job is to come up with names. Well, there you go, linguistics majors. Go make money at Merck!

Group Pic!

The Inside of Merck

On Thursday, we walked into Lichtenbergschule and discovered that all the staircases were taped off. Turns out, the Lichtenbergschule has hacks just like MIT does, though on a smaller scale. The 13th graders celebrate the end of the year by pulling a prank on the school and then having a gigantic party in the school courtyard. Water balloons flew through the air, and kids danced to Lady Gaga songs blasting from the speakers. Even the teachers were into it! I wish my high school had this spontaneous-prank-and-party business; what an awesome way to celebrate the completion of high school.


Speaking of celebrations: following the Germany vs. Ghana public viewing last week, we joined in on an epic walk through one of the city tunnels. People were laughing, dancing, drinking, and setting off smoke bombs. At one point, everyone crouched down quietly, and slowly, a wave of people jumping up and cheering started from the front and propagated through the tunnel. After Germany beat England this past weekend, the streets were filled with cars honking and people sporting massive German flags :)


Hi :)

In the Tunnel!

This picture of Linh ’13 made it into a German newspaper!

It feels so appropriate to be an MIT student here in Germany because we see ‘mit’ (which means ‘with’ in German) everywhere, haha ‚ò∫ At the end of this trip, we’ll be putting together a booklet on our experiences and may even make our PowerPoints, particularly our group presentation on MIT (its academics, student life, culture, etc), available online. Perhaps that will be helpful to some of you prospective students, yes?

Until next time, tschuss!

19 responses to “This Entry is Really Long.”

  1. ash says:

    first first :D

  2. Anonymous says:

    haben sie bilder?

  3. Caio '15? says:

    Let’s just hope that Germany will beat Argentina – Maradona is such a snob; he doesn’t deserve to win this.

    PI STAIRWAY Let’s just hope that Germany will beat Argentina – Maradona is such a snob; he doesn’t deserve to win this.


  4. Katie '14 says:

    Sounds like you’re having an amazing time! I must say, though, I’m pretty miffed at Germany at the moment because they beat England. It was almost too much to bear 24 hours after Ghana beat the US :(

  5. Hema says:

    Looks like you are having the time of your life…..

  6. “I finally know why some people want to be teachers so badly; it’s really rewarding to see kids’ eyes light up with interest and understanding and to have them come up to you afterwards and thank you for what you’ve done”–How really true.( I want to be a teacher very badly).
    A very nice blog entry Hamsika!!! Looking forward to the pics.

  7. Anonymous says:

    ARG is the best smile

    Enjoysssss alot!!

  8. Your definitely having the time of your life smile


    Sarabjot Anand

  9. Felipe says:

    Please, Argentina is gonna whoop Germany’s behind. The players deserve it, and Maradona will make history.

  10. Aditya says:

    Glad to hear you’re having fun.

  11. Zuney says:

    couldn’t agree with you more, revenge for 2006!! Although I would like to see a bit more Messi action; he’s not scoring at all…

  12. Amethyst says:

    So my question is, Hamsika, (German speakers please forgive me)…

    Have you found where Ausfahrt is yet???

    :D Sorry people. Couldn’t resist!

  13. Latha says:

    Eagerly looking forward to your group presentation on MIT, Hamsika. I’m sure it will be informative to prospective students.

    I have a strong feeling that Deutschland will lift the Word Cup smile

  14. Hamsika '13 says:

    @ Amethyst – lol! smile

    @ Fabio – I KNOW!! We were in Berlin at the FIFA Fan Fest; it was insanee

    @ Latha – I really hope Deutschland wins!

  15. Hahaha, germany 4×0 argentina, it was just awesome!

  16. Puneet says:

    I saw you on home page of addmission due to your blog please would you explain me the addmission process for overseas students….
    please reply as soon as you can I belief u r indian Expecting help 4m u….
    [email protected]

  17. sunny says:

    hello,,,,,hamsika didi,well ,i read all your articles,,it was very nice,,,,,didi, you don’t know me…i am sunny from gandhinagar (gujarat),,,india…..well,presently, i am 10+2 pass student.and want to join mit.if ,u ,don’t mind, i want to know about you that how u join mit …..

    please,advise me…

    my email id- [email protected]

  18. Latha says:

    @Puneet & sunny – Pls. explore this website before asking any individual for guidance / help. There are 12 colourful square boxes at the top with numbers 1 to 12.Click 5 ( Before ) and 6 ( Apply )to get answers to your questions.
    Hope the admissions officers at MIT don’t form a bad impression about students from India if they see such questions :(

  19. nair kostub says:

    m a second year diploma student and i scored top 5 slots of my college … i want to get into MIT i scored 83 percentage /8.3 on a 10 scale… which tests i need to give and do i need to give SAT -SUBJECT AND AS WELL AS RESONING TEST? PLZ HELP M CONFUSED…..FIRST OF ALL M I ELIGIBLE?