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MIT student blogger Jenny X. '13

To Defeat the Huns by Jenny X. '13 Hamsika said, there's major business to get down to this semester.

I am really excited for spring semester’s classes, and without further ado, let me tell you why. In no particular order, my classes:

7.013 – Introductory Biology (a GIR class)

I’m ALWAYS excited to take biology, but that interest usually fizzles out into indifference somewhere not too deep into the course. I think this has something to do with the science education track in American schools. I had learned some basic biology in 6th grade, some more in 7th grade, for a whole year in 9th (including some intense cramming for SAT Biology as I’m sure many of you are aware), and then hardcore AP Biology in 12th. It’s like – I know what meiosis and mitosis are, and why there is photosynthesis or ATP, but I can’t really tell you too many details. Yet when AP Biology came along, during which I’m supposed swallow down all the details, I felt already jaded by this subject that seems to always bounce back. But every time I have to take biology again, I’m excited again, since both of my parents are in the biology field – and well, I have lots of respect for their work.

I hope MIT’s 7.013 will be different, in that the professor will be engaging, the class less distracted than in AP Bio, and I myself more buckled down to memorize details. But speaking of which, I think I’m even more excited to see how MIT does biology. 18.01A-18.02A psets were definitely nothing like what we had in AP Calculus. How will 7.013 psets emphasize problem solving?

4.602 – Modern Art & Mass Culture (a HASS-D,CI-H subject)

We had our first lecture yesterday, and to be honest, I was a little bit unpleasantly surprised. It seemed a lot like an Art History class, where pictures of famous or not-so-famous works are shown on the projector screen …and we talk…about it… I’m hoping that as the lectures go on, the “mass culture” portion will be adequately incorporated, because I’m more interested in how the evolving art world impacts every other aspect of society – education, recreation, commerce, politics, etc. – rather than a straightforward discussion of so and so modern artist’s characteristic technique. But with that said, I have everything to learn in this class, since I’ve never actually studied art in a books and concepts kind of way.

8.02 – Physics II – Electricity & Magnetism (also a GIR)

Oh, physics. This is probably the class I’m least looking forwards to. Lots of equations, calculations, math-like things. Not to mention it’s held in a basement – with no windows, or fresh air. At least it’s under Stata. But!!! I’m crazy excited that the classical theory of electromagnetism includes cool natural phenomena like the aurora borealis!!! I’m also happy that this class is not graded on a curve, which means what I give is what I get. It’s going to be hard, but at least I know I got most of the freshman class there with me. ‚ò∫

Well, I saved the best for last, didn’t I?

4.111 – Experiencing Architecture Studio

As I might have mentioned before, I will declare Course 4 – Architecture at the end of this semester. Which means! That 4.111 is the first studio in a sequence of studios I will have to take for the degree. 4.111 basically introduces design and basic architecture techniques to course 4 majors, minors, or just anyone interested. We had our first meeting today, and there were students cross-registered from Wellesley and Harvard – which is pretty cool. The class will be a mix of lectures and studio time – during which we complete model projects responding to tasks somewhere along the lines of “design a space for reading that overlooks something” – that’s the first assignment, in fact. The roughly 50 students in the class are divided into cohorts of 9, and each student will get his or her own work space and locker drawers!

In my fantasies, I imagine 4.111 being like Project Runway, where designers create their projects, meet some challenges along the way, but ultimately stand before the judges (in this case “reviewers” who may be graduate students or industry professionals) to defend their work and get evaluated. But I’ve also heard horror stories about studio students disappearing as the semester moves along, spending the night at their work spaces, etc. But for now, I’m just looking forward to next week – when I will meet my workspace and cohort and first lecture and first project! And you can look forward to a more detailed, photo-documented post about 4.111 in a week or two. Wheeeee.

I don’t want to go a post without visuals, so here’s my favorite discovery of the day. Anyone have a guess where these two adorable chairs are found? I’m so in love.

P.S. How awesome is it that this entry is entry # 4111…..woot.

22 responses to “To Defeat the Huns”

  1. InvGamma says:

    Did they send me daughters, when I asked, for sons?

  2. Hamsika '13 says:

    Mulan is the best smile

  3. You’re the saddest bunch I ever met, but you can bet before we’re through…

  4. A CTYer says:

    Mister, I’ll make a man out of you!

  5. LucidLunatic says:

    Hold on, I was the only one quoting lyrics on the last blog entry, but now everyone’s doing it except for me? Damn, I missed the trend.
    Tranquil as a forest…

  6. kat says:

    hooorayyy for project runway!
    and yes, those are some seriously awesome chairs.

  7. jeff says:

    you forgot the part where they kicked people out because our 4111 class was too big.

    i say those chairs are in the womens bathrooms in the arch department. just a guess.

  8. Upnorth says:

    Biology is awesome!

    but on fire within…

  9. Shosh '13 says:

    Hey Jenny,

    Do you know how to sign up for prefrosh during CPW?

  10. mrmish says:

    h1 {color:blue}
    p {color:goldenrod}

    …live in a yellow submarine !

  11. mrmish says:

    oops! did your html tags work?

  12. tree says:

    those chairs actually remind me of toilet seats…
    just sayin’

  13. tree says:

    by the way, what does “Huns” have to do with this? Did I miss somet allusion?

  14. Jenny'13 says:

    @LucidLunatic – Thanks, you make a good point.

    @Jeff – Yeah, but they weren’t kicked out because they did badly…so it’s not the same idea. And yea, they are from a women’s bathroom, in building 26 though.

    @Upnorth – It is.

    @Shosh’13 – There should be more information on it around March. I’ll post again if I find out something else.

    @mrmish – looks like they didn’t. :(

    @Hamsika – i know! It was the first movie i watched in theatres…

    @ tree – toilet seats..hmm…well these -are- found in a bathroom :] and yeah, as if you can probably see, this turned into a sing-along post. Hamsika’s last post was titled “Let’s Get Down to Business”, which is the famous beginning line of the Mulan song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”…Because this post is also talking about tough spring semester coursework, I decided to continue with “To Defeat the Huns”, which is the next line in the song.

  15. genius ('18) says:

    “We had our first meeting today, and there were students cross-registered from Wellesley and Harvard – which is pretty cool” YES, no kidding, that rocks! I heart MIT!

  16. LucidLunatic says:

    Come now, why so little love for physics? Imagine what you could do architecturally if you integrated magnetism into your designs, particularly if we get a room temperature superconductor some time soon. My mind is already beginning to explode with the possibilities- but that may just be because I know nothing about architecture.

  17. Architecture is my secret love that I fantasize about when no one else is watching. Too bad I was not Course 4.

    I think shape-shifting walls would be cool, especially piezoelectric touch sensors.

  18. Jenny'13 says:

    @ Shosh’13 (again) – so here’s the link:
    click on the “host a prefrosh”link. smile

    @ genius – don’t we all? raspberry

    @ Nostalgic Alum – i hear that a lot, from juniors and seniors for example. They’re like “Oo 4…I’ve always wondered about 4.” I’ve fantasized about 6…:coding…oo la la.

  19. Jenny'13 says:

    @ Bianca – Yes, you can! I think many people who are taking the intro studio are still deciding between a few majors. But it’s a cool class to just try out. Freshmen, whatever major they’re thinking of, are first priority so they’ll get in the class. Sophomores who are not 4 are actually second-priority, because they can still switch into 4 – and the department wants that.

    Yeah, those GIRs; must finish them. I’m trying my best to fall in love with Bio and Physics. raspberry

  20. So excited to see what will happen in course 4.111! Question: could you take it in your first two years even if you probably won’t declare Course 4 as your major?

    The Physics course sounds so awesome too (I go for Physics rather than Biology) You took that course just because of GIR, didn’t you? (: But I’m sure you’ll love it all the same.