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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

You stay classy, Sam… TA, go! by Sam M. '07

At MIT, I live in a basement and I don't get to watch Desperate Housewives.

First of all, can anybody out there think of a new blog tagline? I successfully bribed Ben to let me stick around as a blogger this semester, and since I’ve already had to break out the long pants and awesome jacket, the whole “one boy’s summer @ mit . edu” thing doesn’t really work anymore. If you think of a really good one, send it to me via comment or e-mail–who knows, I might pull a Mitra and end up using it.

Classes started on Wednesday and I’ve had each of them once by now, so I’ll give a quick rundown of each and my first impression.

10.213: Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics — Last year, my UROP advisor, Jefferson W. Tester, taught this for the first and last time ever, and it ended up being something like the hardest undergrad class ever, or so I am told. He didn’t really see a need to alter his curriculum from 10.40, which is thermo at the graduate level. Luckily, Professor Tester is indeed teaching 10.40 this term, so this class should be back down to its usual difficulty level of “very hard.”

10.28: Biological Engineering Lab — This satisfies part of my lab requirement for Course X. It’s taught in the sub-basement of Building 66 (floor 00), so between this class and my regular UROP work, I should be going about twenty hours a week without exposure to natural light. Sorry, Sam’s Mom, the Mediterranean complexion you gave me will go to waste this term. Today, since we didn’t have lab, we had a 4-hour lecture, broken up by a 20-minute party/lab goggle selection session. One thing I love about MIT lab classes is the free lab goggles. Today we had a choice of 39 different styles, two of which fit over my glasses.

10.302: Transport Processes — Every class at MIT has at least two “office hours” per week, where you can go an get one-on-one instruction with either your TAs, the professors themselves, or both. The office hours for 10.302 are going to be on Sunday nights, and one of the TAs wrote this apologetic e-mail after announcing that fact:

“For those who are concerned, I will try to make football scores available at regular intervals. I cannot give scores for Desperate Housewives.”

21F.401: German I — I spent an hour locked in my room tonight, accessing the LLARC from my home computer and learning how to pronounce German consonants from an mp3 file. Now I can correctly pronounce my last name, which means “builder of walls.”

21M.302: Harmony and Counterpoint II
— This will hopefully be my easy class this term; I’ve always loved writing music and I can usually pick up theory concepts pretty quickly. I’m most excited for the mandatory piano lab and sight-singing labs, because I am currently abysmal at a) transposing on piano and b) sight-singing on solfege.

21M.401: MIT Concert Choir — I usually don’t count this as a class, but I am taking it for credit this term; we’re doing Handel’s Messiah, which Sam’s Mom should be quite excited about. It might be the only choir on Earth with a director who invokes “PV = nRT” during warm-ups.

…but that’s a story for another day.

2 responses to “You stay classy, Sam… TA, go!”

  1. Joe says:

    That’s a lot of classes. Go Sam.

  2. Ruth says:

    There’s the obvious “one boy’s life at MIT”, the less obvious “you know what’s an interesting concept… a sack of hammers,” and the more obtuse “this monkey’s gone to heaven.”