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MIT student blogger Snively '11

When it Rains by Snively '11

It Pours

Just two and a half weeks and freshman year is over. I’ll spare you the “Oh the memories, it went by so fast, if only I had more time” crap and skip straight to what the end of the semester at MIT is actually like: STRESSFUL!

Just like in high school, a favorite strategy of professors is to assign tests right before finals (to minimize the amount of new material between the last test and the final), meaning I had an 18.03 test a week ago and an 8.02 test this week.

Actually, instead of putting these into paragraph form, let me do a quick rundown of what I’m doing and what stuff is due:

8.02 PSET due (haven’t started)
2.001 PSET due (halfway there!)
Powerpoint for Toy Design (haven’t started)

Toy Lab (work on presentation/build toys)

18.03 PSET due (haven’t started)

Work on Toy Design all day

Work on Toy Design all day

Work on Toy Design all day

Toy Design Presentations

So, let’s see, where does that put me? I’ve got a physics test I haven’t studied for, a 2 PSETS I haven’t started, a presentation due tomorrow that I haven’t touched, and five toys to help build and present in exactly one week (seriously, Toy Design is freaking me out right now). But wait, there’s more!

I’ll save the full story for later because it’s ongoing, but I still haven’t taken my pre-employment drug test for Hasbro so I need to find time for that. Oh, and did I mention that last night the hard drive on my computer randomly died. That’s right, just went away. I spent 5 hours running diagnostics and talking to tech support this morning trying to figure out what happened before we finally worked it out such that I’ll get a new hard drive mailed to me, completely clean. Just one more thing to add to how busy I already am, rebuilding my computer. I’ll have to get Microsoft Office and Mathematica shipped to me from home, I’ll have to reinstall Dreamweaver, Portal, SecureFX, the MIT VPN, replace all my bookmarks in Firefox, change all of my user settings around, install Matlab and SolidWorks again, get iTunes up and running, and everything else necessary to restore my computer to its original state.

Do I have time for any of this? Right, two weeks before finals, hardly!

IHTFP much? Yes methinks, back to tooling . . .

40 responses to “When it Rains”

  1. Oasis '11 says:

    Good luck on your 8.02 exam and your play-sentation, yo. smile

  2. moose '12 says:

    It’s posts like this that make me totally freaked out about next year, and also totally excited, if that makes any sense. Good luck!

  3. Snively says:

    @Oasis ’11
    Thanks, I appreciate it.

    @moose ’12
    A certain amount of freakout is good, it prepares you for what’s about to happen. Wait until you see the FEE, there’s definitely some freakout associated with that.

  4. Piper says:

    My hard drive randomly died earlier this semester. It was sadness =( Good luck with everything!

  5. Snively you should not be complaining. The 8.02 and 18.03 PSets this week are pretty straightforward. The 8.02 test might take some review. Looking forward to your Toy Design presentation though…don’t know if I’ll be able to attend but good luck!

  6. Snively says:

    One tends to fear the unknown. I haven’t seen the two PSETs yet, they may well be straightforward, you’re the first person to let me know. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. Chris '12 says:

    Wowza sounds like you’re crazy hosed. My AP calc test is tomorrow, so I’ve done nothing but study, prom is saturday (ugh) and monday is the physics AP exam, but after that I’m done with high school! then all I have to do is coast until June 6th when I graduate.

  8. Snively says:

    AP Calc is kinda fun in that when you’re all done there will be at least one problem in the short answers that screwed everybody and you can all laugh about it. Jim wishes you good luck, he’s still alive.

  9. Lauren '12 says:

    ouch…( the hard drive, not the work)

    *winces*(this one is for the work)

    Good luck on all your PSETs and your finals!

    (on another note, how bad exactly is the FEE?)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is there any news about the waitlist yet?

  11. Li '12 says:

    Only on these blogs could one ever find the sentence : “Toy Design is freaking me out right now”

    Nonetheless, best of luck! (We prefrosh are also suffering)

  12. Judy '12 says:

    @Chris ’12 – I have Calc BC tomorrow too (b/c MIT won’t tell me if they will accept my JHU Calc II credit, ggrrr). Then I have 4 more tests in a row every week day up to next Monday…. :(

    But hang in there guys, we are almost done!

  13. Star says:

    Yeah Snively, how dare you complain about the stress when we prefrosh have to deal with senioritis! Not a fair comparison? Ok, fine, complain away.
    In all honesty though, sounds tough. Just remember, two weeks and you’re DONE.
    Oh, and broken computers == death. I feel for you there, I’ve been through it, and during final projects week, too. Not fun.

  14. Judy '12 says:

    Hey Snively, just wondering, when was all of this work assigned?

  15. Snively says:

    @Judy ’12
    Good question! So the 18.03 PSET was released Friday afternoon, the 8.02 PSET and the 2.001 PSET released Wednesday afternoon, and the Toy Design project has been on the books for a while but we didn’t get a chance to start working on it until about a week and a half ago.

    This all sounds like a lot of time but in actuality time disappears really fast.

  16. Piper says:

    To continue what Snively said…

    Every class I’ve had has released a syllabus detailing what is due when and what material it will cover. As for the psets themselves, most of them are released a week before they’re due =)

  17. Karen '12 says:

    Ouch, good luck with your work! I too have AP Calc tomorrow, plus a 5-minute movie due Thursday that I haven’t started making, plus a practice quiz for AP Chem to write and make an answer key to, plus 2 english essays to write. But my grades don’t really matter smile

    Also, it’s good that Jim’s still alive. I don’t think that any of us stand much of a chance if MIT has managed to kill a cactus…

  18. '11 says:

    ’12’s, please don’t go crazy complaining about APs. Seriously, that wasn’t as crazy as all the psets, projects and papers that we have due in the next two weeks.

    Snively, my hard drive died a few months ago. I feel your pain. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a backup and lost everything from last semester. (Why did I pay $130 on a Leopard if I wasn’t going to use Time Machine?)

    Good luck to everyone. I know y’all need it. I know I need it.

  19. Oasis '11 says:

    <<at this point, an upperclassmen will interrupt>>

    ’11’s, please don’t go crazy complaining about your psets, exams, and presentations. Seriously, that wasn’t as crazy as the thesis that I’m writing to graduate!

    Sorry, but I just had to do it. =p

  20. '11 says:

    <<at this point, a grad student will interrupt>>

    Undergrads, please don’t go crazy complaining about your thesis and your psets. Seriously, that wasn’t as crazy as all the funding requests and conference papers I have to write now!

    -I’m sorry. All I know about grad student life I learned from PhD (“Piled Higher and Deeper”) comic strips.

  21. Chris says:

    (continues trend)

    <<at this point an alumni interrupts>>

    Grad students, please don’t go crazy complaining about your funding requests and your conference papers. Seriously, that wasn’t as crazy as all the donation requests and research I’ll be doing for the next….30 years!

    It’s like my grandfather told me “there is always someone who’s got it better than you, and someone who’s got it worse”

  22. moose '12 says:

    @ Chris, Judy, and Karen,

    I’ve got calc bc tomorrow as well (w00t!)… and english lit (blech) on thursday- i think the MIT ap credit web page said that if students score a 5 (haha, like that’s gonna happen to me), they’re not req’d to take the FEE… but I could be wrong. oh well, one can always hope. in light of ap testing, i really should be studying right now… raspberry btw, sorry about this ap testing tangent…

  23. @Snively: I assume you have some kind of back up prepared for your hard drive, right?

    @The Prefrosh: Wait, how many AP tests are you guys taking? Four? Six? Psshaw. Well, back in my day, when things were more hardcore…

    Good luck, Snively. I’m still sort of shaking my head at the “P-Set plus Test in One Week” in 8.02. Try to sleep occasionally, all right?

  24. April '12 says:


    i’ve written lists like this before.

    And i’m sure i’ll do it again…..

  25. '11 says:

    Why are the blogs being spammed like this?

  26. Snively says:

    The FEE is approximately 50-60 pages of 8.5″x11″ reading (size 10-12 font) and then two 1,200ish word essays summarizing/discussing the reading. You get the reading for about five days prior to the essays and then you get about a weekend to do the essays. Many people, upon seeing the amount of work, just don’t do the FEE because it looks too hard.

    In short, get your highlighters ready and put your reading glasses on. It’s totally doable (I passed), you’ll just be working. A lot.

  27. milena '11 says:

    You prefrosh need to stop complaining about how tough you have it in high school with your AP exams and whatnot. If you’re bitching over stuff like that, good luck at MIT. This week I had/have 3 exams and 3 psets, and it’s kind of annoying to see high school kids bitching over work when I haven’t complained about my workload at all (at least not yet). Get over yourselves. grin

  28. Aditi says:

    good luck with the psets and the toy design stuff.

    I’m done with high school! *runs and hides*

  29. Judy '12 says:

    @ Snively: O___o Why are psets assigned so late? I like to work ahead… is it possible to get the work from online ahead of time? I see psets on the opencourseware webpage, are those updated ones?

    @ Milena: I wouldn’t say that we prefrosh are being unreasonably whiny. I think we are just excited to get things done. This is our last few weeks of high school. I get out on the 23rd, and I can hardly sit still. I’m pretty sure we’ll calm down next year a bit more around this time since will have 3 years of undergrad to go afterwards.

  30. Anonymous says:

    “Wait until you see the FEE, there’s definitely some freakout associated with that.”

    @Snively, you wanna elaborate on that?

  31. Paul says:

    @Judy: Most psets are handed out a week or more in advance, which is far sooner than assignments were given out in my high school. :D Also, professors generally list when all problem sets, tests, and papers are going to be due on the syllabus that they hand out at the beginning of the class (which is a great resource that many people, sadly, don’t use).

  32. Paul says:

    Regarding the FEE – compared to the essays I wrote in high school, it’s not “difficult,” it’s just a big time commitment. Prepare wisely. wink

  33. Piper says:

    I agree with anon =D. Though I always complained about APs because it was fun for everyone to complain about them – they were harder than normal classes, but not particularly difficult.

    (Also consider the APs I had weren’t really science ones..)

  34. '11 says:

    @ Judy ’12
    The psets on OCW (OpenCourseWare) are not the updated ones. They are usually from previous terms.

  35. Piper says:

    Or you can think you’ll do the FEE, put it off until last minute, realize that there was way more reading than you thought, decide not to do it, realize 9hrs before the due time (10am Pacific) that you might as well try, and somehow miraculously pass the exam – which was a good thing considering that I only got a 4 on AP.

    Then again, I hear some of the writing classes are pretty awesome – not passing isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you =D

  36. Anonymous says:

    @the above people who are telling high schoolers to be quiet about APs-

    Aww, come on, you can’t possibly say you never complained during high school. smile Besides, it’s not like any of the prefrosh above said they had more of a workload than MIT kids, just that APs aren’t exactly fun, either.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Aww, Snively, I feel for you. Hope you get through it all ok.

    And to bug you further, I’ve got a question for you… you took 8.01L, right? I know 6 credits of that count towards IAP, so does that mean only 6 count towards fall semester (aka you could take it as a fifth class, as long as you aren’t in a FAS?)

  38. Anonymous says:

    Wait, so does that mean it’s 18 units total?

  39. Snively says:

    Credits are assigned a code, a code that’s generally a letter between A and F. Freshman year is a little weird because the code is usually a P (pass) or an S (tested out of). The code for the 12 units of 8.01L first semester is T. T is basically a code that means “These credits don’t count and are just for filler.”

    However, for the IAP term you will see “8.01 — 12 — P” meaning it shows up as 8.01 for 12 units of P credit.

    Hope that helps, feel free to ask for clarification.

  40. '11 says:

    @ Anonymous above,
    8.01L counts as 12 units towards fall semester. It only counts as 6 units during IAP so that it doesn’t conflict with 18.02A (which also counts as 6 units).