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MIT student blogger Lulu L. '09

You win some, you lose some. by Lulu L. '09

day in the life.

It was cold today. So cold. My dad put my winter coat in the mail and it hasn’t gotten here yet.

Wednesdays I only have 1 class. 8.07 from 11-12. This morning I woke up at 11:10, rolled over and shut off my alarm clock and slept until my cat jumped on my chest which was around 1:30. This means I didn’t get my test back. And this suits me alright.

Last night I stayed up til 6am purely out of habit.

For the next hour I read emails and watched last night’s Colbert Report on my laptop in my underwear wrapped up in my blanket, with JP licks curled up next to me. There was a lengthy and fairly serious thread that had developed overnight about The Victoria’s Secret Collegiate Pink Poll and the concerted effort on the part especially of the men of East Campus in scoring some Victoria’s Secret MIT Pink Collegiate gear. The inevitable server meltdown occurred when we were just peaking at about 20,000 votes per minute and I don’t think upon rebooting Victoria’s Secret has let another MIT vote go through since :( Which is sad. Looking at their list of currently sponsored schools, I don’t think they ever had any intention of making MIT brand gear anyhow. lol. They’d probably lose a lot of money trying to market that. But instead of being pissed or sorry about being blacklisted last I heard we’re giving some love to colleges that don’t usually really get a lot of love, the Zion Bible College, for one. Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Bob Jones University, Florida International University. Wellesley.

So when I finally got around to getting dressed it was about 2:30 and I put on my

SPS Shirt

and old lady jeans that went all the way up to my belly button and made me uncomfortable all day and boiled some tea, filled up my thermos with it, and headed to lab. I try to go to lab once a week. Sometimes I can’t make it at all. Sometimes I go more than that. Regardless, I’m always feeling guilty about it. Lab today was terrible. The same usual frustrations with having crappy software and crappy hardware and crappy electronics, except today in addition to all that I was excited about a shiny new CCD only to find out that nothing had changed whatsoever because our 12-bit electronics is still the limiting factor on our data acquisition. Speaking of data acquisition, it worked– sometimes. I think my greatest feeling of accomplishment today was from hooking up a new dry nitrogen tank and finding a couple of windows around back to look out of sadly. You win some, you lose some.

While the chamber cooled and even while it sat there doing nothing, I had to take care of something else that was giving me a deep sense of dread. There was some confusion with financial aid and somewhere some scholarship money got lost so I pored over statements from the last 4 months sent numerous emails, added and subtracted numbers on google calculator, and in the end it turns out my dad had just forgotten to pay last month.

At 5 I went to the professor’s office hours for 8.09. Stayed there until I felt my abject incompetence at this week’s problem set evolve into a gooey kind of reluctant understanding. During office hours my friend called to return my umbrella. I came home at 6 and opened up the 8.012 problem set to see if I could make some sense of it. I was happy to see they’d moved on to angular momentum. I’d always been partial to this particular unit. 7-9 was office hours for 8.012. I got locked out of my own tutoring room. I was late. The problem set’s not due til next week. Nobody came. It was lonely. I ate my tuna sandwich and drank my tea.

I started working on 8.09 around 9, which is when my mom called and we talked for a while. At 9:45 I was summoned by EC’s Intramural Badminton Team for a match against Phi Sigma. I was pretty cranky at this point and not feeling up to it but I ended up going anyhow and we kicked ass. Everybody playing for EC had played badminton in high school, and mine had won the state championships my senior year (out of a total of 5 teams. But still, you should have seen the look on Simsbury’s faces.) I couldn’t make it through high school without sports, I was on tennis, badminton, and gymnastics. And though I thought I’d be way too busy in college, after 3 years, I’ve done cheerleading, sailing, tennis, badminton, dance troupe… I just tend to gravitate toward physical activity as stress relief.

At 11 I lugged everything I had with me to the coffeehouse in the student center and finished the 8.09 pset (with the exception of some mean looking integrals) in 5 hours. I started writing this at around 4:30am, feeling less tired now than I did then walking home along the empty streets with that clean and still– early morning feeling– like the beginning of every trip somewhere when I was young, in the half light or the cold blue of dawn, loading the suitcases in the trunk clicking shut, climbing into the back seat, rolling down the window, past the sleeping houses, onto a foggy high way.

But this was the end of my day and not the beginning. I was heading home to sleep, and by the time I got the door to my dorm open my cat was already flying down the hall way toward me. I don’t know how I ever did it without her.

26 responses to “You win some, you lose some.”

  1. A joke to an engineer:

    “Wishing you a very regular life. Season’s greetings from Oscar Wilde”

  2. Wiki Wiki says:


  3. Ahana says:

    Yay for quarks! Lol. What do you study in 8.07?

  4. Kevin says:

    *sniff* I shed a tear that no one came to your tutoring. Hope things get better!

  5. Cam says:

    Thanks for sharing that, it was nice.

    Hope you have a better day tomorrow.

  6. Jewel says:

    Hey Lulu,
    I am a junior in high school and I just became like super obsessed with MIT. I really like dancing and cheering although I’ve never actually been on an “official” team. I was wondering if you could give me any insight to what it’s like being an MIT cheerleader. Also, what is it like being a part of a dance troupe and a sorority?


  7. lulu says:

    Ahana – 8.07 is E & M II: odds and ends. raspberry

    Kevin – cheer up buddy! It is a lot easier when no one comes than when 10 people come and talk all at once smile like last week.

    Jewel – speaking of cheerleading, Mollie, who was also on the cheerleading squad (and came back to us this year as a harvard grad student, lol) wrote a whole bunch of entries about her time on the squad, and I have a couple of videos up of my own smile

    I’m trying to post the links to those entries but somehow the system won’t let me. So just search “cheerleading” on the main page and you’ll find them.

    Dance troupe is kind of a minimum time commitment, until the week or so before a show. I did it for a year and I’ve missed auditions every year since, haha. I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about sororities, on the other hand, I’m not a part of one. A lot of the girls in cheerleading are in Alpha Phi, though.

  8. urstruly says:

    hey great post. i really like the “beginning of every trip when i was young” feeling you described, i know exactly what you’re talking about.

  9. Wooooooooooooooooooot………….FIRST!!

  10. Navdeep says:


    Quarks, i love them.

  11. Petlover says:

    Why no one come to tutoring? :(

    4th grade antics aside, this post does raise an interesting question. What are the student dorms’ policies towards pets? Are they allowed everywhere, or does the policy change from dorm to dorm? Or are you running an illegal kitten smuggling operation?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Now I feel guilty about not coming to 8.012 tutoring.

  13. Muz says:

    Haha, I know how you feel. Nice to know that I’m not the only one feeling that way. Didn’t get my test back this evening either, because I stayed up till 7.20 AM playing Civilization 4 in my bed because I wasn’t in the mood to study. Too much studying makes a person jaded :/

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hey Lulu, I know MIT does their GPA on a scale of 5.0. This confuses me a little, so I was just wondering what is considered a good GPA at MIT?

  15. Anon says:

    Wow, you guys have badminton matches at 9:45 PM?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I love the Colbert Report! good choice.

  17. Paige says:

    Haha- I voted for MIT on VS!

  18. Meagan says:

    @Barack Obama [url=”” rel=”nofollow”] First! <a>


  19. joseph says:

    My school doesn’t offer AP classes. What should I do? I guess what I’m asking is what percentage of admitted freshmen took AP courses in high school? (I’m betting it’s high since 79%ish(?) of them came from public schools) Of course, the real question is where do you think I might be able to find this information?

  20. Anonymous says:

    As of now, MIT votes are getting through on the VS website…I’m getting friends to vote for you!

  21. wesh m says:

    why no photos? *gloom*

  22. R.Z.f. says:

    Personally i think people not coming to office hours is a good thing. Seriously, after tutoring so many people in mathematics (my job) i actually enjoy it when people don’t come to tutoring.

  23. Chris M. says:

    oh man, I totally understood that shirt. That’s a sign.

  24. Andrew says:

    Hope your life’s gotten better since, lulu

    I have a strange question for you;
    What pitch is your voice?