Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Summer is here: finishing finals, storing all my stuff, and saying goodbye

Finals are over! I did well on all my exams, giving me a much higher GPA then I thought I would have. Somehow I ended up with A’s in everything except physics :-). So you can see that it is not impossible to do well here, and I’m far from being a genius (I thought I would get B’s or worse in all my subjects this term, just shows where putting in some extra effort gets you).

My finals were over quickly, but they were very crammed together. They started on Monday, May 22nd and ended the next day. I had my two hardest finals, 8.022 (physics II) and 5.12 (organic chemistry) on Monday. 18.03 (differential equations) was on Tuesday afternoon. Luckily I didn’t have a final in my creative writing class. I finished much earlier than most people. My mom came out to Boston to help me pack up everything. I stored some of my things in the dorm, and some right down the street in a storage facility. There was actually plenty of room in Simmons (wish I would have known that before hauling some of my stuff down the street).

On Thursday I spent time with Gus and my mom, and we went for lunch in Boston, then in the afternoon we saw “Over the Hedge” at a movie theatre, it was entertaining and pretty well done. I would suggest going to see it. It was so sad saying goodbye to all of my friends, especially Gus. We'll all keep in touch over the summer.

Now I am finally home! Before flying back to California, we stopped in Texas for my cousin’s graduation. I’ll be flying back again next week for his older brother’s wedding.

I have an internship at Agilent Technologies this summer. I won the internship at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last year, but decided that I didn’t want to do it last summer. I’ll be working in a lab doing biotech/ chemical engineering specifically with cofactors and enzymes. My mentor even said that I would learn how to use DNA electrophoresis! I’m very excited.

I’ll be doing a write up shortly on my entire first year at MIT: what I learned, what I would do differently, and whether I would recommend MIT to others.

I hope everyone enjoyed Memorial Day weekend!

Spring Weekend: Steer Roast, Cake Concert, Piano Drop

There were a few things I forgot to mention in my last blog entry. Two people from Simmons mud-wrestled during Steer Roast. Steer Roast is an annual party that Senior Haus puts on. They roast a giant steer, and it is a really unique party (definitely not for everyone). It was quite fun to see our friends get spattered in mud: a huge group of Simmon’s Residents showed up for the event. Click here for more info:

After the wrestling, Gus and I went out into Boston for dinner. Surprisingly, we ran into Rajiv (Gus’ “cousin”) at the restaurant we chose (it was called Island Hopper). We had a good time chatting with his friends and pigging out.

Another annual event was held at Baker House: The Piano Drop. A piano is dropped from the top floor of the building, smashed into the pavement below. Unfortunately I got there just after they dropped it, but I did get a souvenir.

During Spring Weekend, there were a whole bunch of activities. Gus, Kaitlyn, and I went to see the band “Cake” perform in the athletic center. Amanda M. was on the committee to organize it. I’ve never been to an actual concert before (unless you count Bach concerts :-). The thrill of hearing a band perform live was very exciting. Cake had a lot of energy and they sounded great! The athletic center was packed full of people singing Cake songs and cheering for an encore. I’m definitely going to more concerts next year!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Last week before finals

My hellish weekend is over! Last week I had a 5.12 test and two psets. The only things due next week are my two short stories, which I’ve already written and just have to edit. So it’s just studying for finals now.

I finally sent in the final version of my research paper to the Journal of Chemical Education! Hopefully they will not have many comments and it will be published soon (within the year). I was also able to compile my Matlab program, there are still some things that I need to tweak, but it does work.

I did well on my 5.12 test (103/100)!! The average was about 83. I also did well on my 18.03 test, getting about ten points above the average, which was 73 if I recall. My physics test did not go as well, so I’ll have to study a lot for the final. In other good news, my HASS teacher really liked my new short stories, so hopefully I will get a good grade in that class.

Two weekends ago Gus and I went to half of a sorority lip sync fundraiser. A bunch of annoying guys kept yelling and screaming stuff for most of it, so we left. After an hour or so of exploring the basements of MIT’s main buildings and going into mechanical rooms, we decided to go a bit higher….on top of buildings :-). We went to the top of the small dome and on top of Walker Memorial. The sky was clear, and we had a spectacular view of Boston (it was very romantic).

Last weekend the Massachusetts State Science Fair was held in the athletic center at MIT. Gus and I went to see some of the projects. Only the high schoolers were presenting at this time, the middle schoolers present in June. It was fun talking to the students about their projects--so nostalgic for me. I love science fairs! (my inner nerd is coming out :-).

This week there was the Electronic Entertainment Expo
(E3) in Los Angeles. I’ve been keeping up with everything online. It’s exciting because the PS3 and the new Nintendo “Wii” system are coming out. If I have enough spending money I will probably get both of them. The PS3 graphics are amazing! The Nintendo Wii has weaker graphics than both the Xbox 360 and the PS3, but it has a really cool controller that allows you to point at the screen, making control easier for games. Plus I love Nintendo franchises like the Legend of Zelda, Mario, and Metroid.

Last night Kaitlyn had a wind ensemble concert, which Amanda, Gus, and I attended. She played very well! I also went to a party up on the 9
th floor for about 30 minutes last night, and then promptly went to bed.

This weekend I’m starting to study for finals. It’s been rainy and gloomy all week long, so I guess that is a good thing because I can’t go outside and distract myself from studying. Simmons is having a campus wide barbeque (indoors) tonight, so I will be helping out with that. Amanda M. is organizing it.

We are getting special 5.12 t-shirts! There is a little acetal “person” running up a beta-carotene molecule. Very amusing.