Friday, September 7, 2007

Welcome to the Institvte

So, I'm back. I'm sure you were all anxiously waiting for me. ;)

Picking up right where I left off, classes here are simply amazing. Currently, I'm going to 5.112, 7.012, 8.012, 18.02, and 21H.001; and I love all of them. All of the lecturers are amazing, and I actually understand almost everything that's going on! Amusingly enough, the hardest part has been simply finding the right classrooms. Getting to 10-250 - a gigantic lecture hall where most of the freshman classes are held - is no problem, but my physics classroom...well, let's just say it's hard to find 4-120 when you're really supposed to be in 6-120.

As an aside, those of you keeping track at home may have noticed that I listed five classes up there. Yes, I know that's not really allowed for freshmen. Yes, I'm doing it anyway and I love it.

Okay, I lied - taking five classes is fine, but it means that I'm very busy running around to different places, so I don't really love it. I do love all five classes though, and it's really sort of sad that I have to drop one, which I will definitely do by this Tuesday. The reason I'm (temporarily) taking five classes is because of that scheduling conflict I mentioned earlier. Since one of the ways for me to resolve that conflict is to drop 21H.001 and take 7.012 instead (read: ditch my wonderful humanities class for an equally-wonderful introductory biology class), I've been going to biology lectures and recitations just in case I do just that.

Plus I get to see Eric Lander lecture, which is pretty freaking amazing, considering he, you know, helped sequence the human genome. And his co-lecturer, Robert Weinberg, isn't exactly a slouch either - it's not everybody who discovers the first human oncogene. Incidentally, I know practically everyone knows and loves Lander, but I've always been deeply interested in cancer research, so I really hope everyone taking 7.012 learns to appreciate Weinberg as well. I guess time will tell.

But enough about biology. Physics is also going great - I love Professor Burgasser, mainly because he makes his hour-and-a-half lecture just flash by. I've already starting writing down some of his quotes, such as, "The position vector is a bad vector...well, it's not bad. It's misunderstood." Also, his idea of "visualizing vectors" involves taking big rolls of measuring tape and sticking bright yellow felt arrows on one end. It's actually pretty hilarious, especially when you have three of them extended around the classroom at once.

Or maybe you had to be there.

So I could say more, but I'm sort of boring myself now. I'm sure I'll talk about my other classes later on.

So apart from lectures and recitations, the other big thing going on right now is Rush. Basically, Rush is MIT on steroids. In the past week or so, I have been go-carting at 40 mph, kayaking in Vermont, paintballing in the woods, and eating very well. And as awesome as all that is, it's the fraternity brothers themselves who really make Rush so enjoyable. The key difference is that all the brothers are still MIT students first and foremost. And that means a lot of things, but for me, one of the most important implications is they really understand that MIT is a lot of work, because they've been there.

Anyway, tomorrow tonight is "bid day" for the fraternities, and...well, I don't want to say too much, but I'm optimistic. :D

A few other things have been going on, but basically there's my first two days of MIT in a nutshell - hope you enjoy. Now I'm off to catch a few hours of well-earned sleep. ;)


Kate said...

So...good luck with Rush. If you make it into a fraternity/get chosen/whatever, are you going to live in a frat house? Or do you plan to stay in Simmons, come what may? (You haven't said much about your dorm, have you?)

Kate said...

Oh my gosh!!! Congratulations on getting the MIT blogger spot! Yay!!!! I am so excited for you! (I guess this means you really are a teenager, right? lol)

Hawkins said...

Haha, identity confirmed at last! Kate's parents can sleep peacefully. Thank you for writing about your first couple of days. I don't know if I'll be able to contain my excitement once I get there! I'm going to have soooo much trouble narrowing down my list of things I want to do. I do have a secret plan for hacking the number of hours in the day though.... No, really.