At MIT!!!!!

So now I’m here. At long last. At about 11:20 PM I arrived with the other frosh and upperclassmen on the Yellowstone FPOP (Freshman Pre-Orientation Program) on a large shuttle to MIT. We’ve spent a week together, from last Friday to this Saturday, traveling, camping, cooking and cleaning, seeing crazy sights at Yellowstone (geysers! hot springs! earthquakes! at least 3-5 places in one day!), visiting the Tetons, and perhaps most of all talking to and learning about each other.
I was blown away by the intelligence/smartness/whatever you would call it of the freshmen on this trip. Seriously. I’ll save more information on this and the trip for another time because guess what?


But that’s not all. One of my friends also applied and is a blogger too!!!!!!!!! We’re both going to be bloggers!!!!!

Maybe I’ll put a link to her blog here with her permission =)

And guess what else?

I’m lame.

I’m super lame.

I had so many awkward moments on the trip. Maybe it was just me. I need to learn the skill of gracefully starting/barging in on a conversation.

I’m not used to nerdy conversations yet. Not the ones that involve ‘nerdy’ jokes. Heck, I’m at MIT and it takes me a minute (or more) to get them. Sometimes.

I don’t know if I act like a nerd. Sometimes I feel like I need to prove that I have some form of nerdiness. Or something that makes me stand out. But, in all honesty, next to the MIT geniuses I’d rather play observer.

I mean, it’s not that bad. I’m almost sure that a lot of people like me are in awe of and intimidated by their peers here, but that’s what’s going to make this such an awesome experience. So much to learn!

Oh, and for the ultimate in lameness:

I’m staying up till three on Sunday. Why? Not homework. Luckily that won’t exist in froshland until about September 9 (gotta check this date). Not staying up to explore one of the cool events that started at midnight. Not getting pizza with my other fellow yellowstone DEAPS-ers.

I’m staying up to do laundry.

For the sake of the sanity of my roommates. And me. I don’t want a smelly room this early.

I gotta take the clothes out of the dryer.

And then I gotta wake up at 9-930.

I’ve got to find out how to un-lame myself. Fast.

Well, we’ll see what happens later today.

And I’m so lame that I can’t get a nice video up. (Well, that’s my iPhone’s fault.

Good morning.

Going to Cambridge!

As I sit here typing away on my iPhone my parents and I are zooming on a train to Boston. I’m finally feeling some sense of anticipation for what’s to come – the last two days were so filled with saying goodbyes to friends and family and getting certificates ready to mail out and doing crazy papers for work that I didn’t have time t finish packing until 3 am this morning. We were going to go by car at 7 but switched at the last minute to a ten o clock train. Even though I was the only one who packed, none of us got much sleep. My mom woke up when I was finished packing! And two suitcases are staying home for now because we couldn’t bring them into the train…
Bottom line: Pack early. Don’t schedule anything for the day (preferably two) before you leave. You never know if you might remember that you packed all your yellowstone stuff but not the toiletries and shoes and SCHOOL SUPPLIES and papers and random things you’ll realize you kind of want/need to have in a week because they were always in the other room of your house.
But I’m also buying tons of stuff when I get there, so it’s not SO bad =)
Tomorrow we’re off to yellowstone, so I may not update until the 29th! See everyone at MIT or online then XD

Day in worklife… and Shopping!!!

Vid of the day:

OK. For the purposes of this post, surfing = shopping. Surfing = shopping. Got it? Got it? Right? Come back at the end and it’ll make sense. Like after when I start talking about shopping 3/4 of the way through this post. Did it make sense? Yes? No? Maybe? Probably not? Whatever.

So I will post something different, like about the Sierra Club or sustainability or books or something, soon. But it’s only one week until I’m moving in (oh wait, one week – 1 day! Nooooo!!!).

I’ll just do what I’ve done other days and try to cover the life of an MIT prefrosh preparing for college (and working, and sitting at her computer for hours when she should be exercising, and yelling at her computer for being slow, and not catching up on sleep…)

So I wake up to find an angry mom yelling at me for not doing the kitchen (well, I did everything but the pots and wiping the counter… ^_^;;;) so I cleaned the kitchen and then ran to work, tripped on the sidewalk and fell on the nail of my thumb and my knee (both seem OK now… I think XD;) and then got there in time to splurge on my favorite gluten-free apple spice muffin from the farmer’s market before running into the ferry just in time.

We got to work… nothing really exciting, we pruned a bit but all the stuff is going to grow back anyway and we’re only back for two more days… and then we went to the bookstore and did stuff, and then there was nothing to do so we went into the computer and I showed my “colleagues” the videos from yesterday’s post =) They seemed to especially like the second one XD

Then, while we were waiting for the Governor’s Island Ferry to take us back, I suddenly spotted a bag. Not just any bag. The STRIVE 2009 Earth Day Festival bag! Basically I helped start this festival this year which took place at our school, long story that deserves a post or so of its own, but I found out that that woman had taken her kid to the festival and had a “great time” XDDD So that made my day =)

Which was a good thing because then I started walking to the back of the line for the ferry. It took about ten minutes to get there. There was a bee’s nest and the bees were seriously bouncing all around like angry yellow sparks just a few feet away from us. (That’s something to mention to my supervisor.) Anyway, I get there and Marelina calls me and she’s like “Hey! Marcela! Where are you! We’re waiting with the employees in front of the boat!”

So at the end of my fifth week working here I had to walk all the way back up the line for another ten minutes like I was a dolt and it was my first day there. Don’t even ask.

OK, time for the more interesting part of the day (besides STRIVE, that tops everything off):

Dorm shopping!

Guess what happened. You would never believe it. Not in a million years. It is a rare event. I can’t believe I saw it happen with my own eyes.

I… bought clothes that I actually kind of like!

And at Daffy’s. Shirt and yoga pants. I brought out $40 and the lady at the register was like, “Um… you don’t need that.” So my first clothing purchase of the summer (my two shirts from the spring don’t really count) amounted to <$20!

Yay Daffy's!
New Outfit!

Grr why is this sideways? Bad lighting… oh well, it looks better from the side anyway =)

I also got a cool comforter for $17 and 8 food storage containers for $6 and a pillow for $8 and a reusable bag for $0.99 and more at this place Lena showed me called LOT-LESS =) Gotta go back to see if they have headphones too…

Oh and I almost forgot the backpack! Modells’ is having a cool sale where you can get two backpacks for the price of one. But I don’t think I want TWO backpacks (each backpack has a warranty so you can replace it if it gets broken or whatever), so I got an Adidas Martin pack on sale for $35 + tax =)

Still gotta get the sleeping bag and mat, maybe from K-mart or Paragon if all else fails…

Then my dad helped me bring it all home, and I found that we had a delivery… a small rectangular box…

So I put it in the reusable bag and said, “Hey ma, could you see what’s in here?”

Very creative, I know.

But she looked and it was – voila! An iTouch. (The one that comes with the Mac.)

Mom + iTouch =

Mom with her iTouch!

This Week and Countdown to MIT

OMG, I have not posted on this blog for like 5 or 6 days!!! Forgive me… those days were filled with surprise birthday parties for friends/sleepovers/one-day trip to Washington DC… although if you asked me about DC I could tell you more about the bus ride when one of the guys got a make-up makeover on a dare from the girls…

Well first, the surprise birthday party. We were celebrating the birthdays of two of friends from our job program with the NPS by taking them to pool (billiards, not swimming), to dinner, and then some of the girls to a sleepover at my place. This was all last Sunday. We were planning to pool from 3-5 and go to dinner from there.

Thing is that the pool place we first went to… was not there. We ended up in front of an abandoned building in Koreatown. Then we walked around until the person that said “Wait – it’s this OTHER place!” came two hours late and led us to the place down the block and across the street that DID have pool.

Afterwards, at about 7ish, we went down to the Taco House in Tribeca (not too fancy… =P) and brought out the cheesecake!

I’ll put up pictures ASAP, I’m trying to figure out how to upload them en masse from my iPhone… if anyone has any iPhone blogging experience could you send me some advice??? (I’m gonna try to use the wordpress app xD)

Oh, and today we went canoeing! (And we got stranded because of an evil current… but we’re still alive =)

Now… here’s a list of what’s left to be done for MIT (I’m arriving on Friday the 21st):

– Buy clothes, toiletries, sheets, basics, w/e
– PACK clothes, toiletries, sheets, basics, w/e
– Pack in separate bag stuff for Yellowstone trip (sunscreen, sunglasses, waterproof clothes… oh, wait, I skipped the buying step)
– Read “Reference Material” for Mission 2013 (Terrascope) (one of the documents they emailed is 182 pages)
– Apply to be an MIT blogger (just for fun! They’re only accepting four freshmen this year O________O)
– Meet all the friends from K-12 I can in < 2 weeks
– Get my social security card, glasses, and learner's permit
– Write at least 5 book reviews (for this weekend stay posted for "The Good Earth")
– Buy the latest Monkey Island game whose name I cannot recall and play it
– Buy a new laptop (possibly a 13'' macbook pro? Dad?)
– Buy Snively's cool pen thing
– Buy the Harry Potter computer game and beat it
– WATCH Harry Potter and review it
– Deposit my checks from work into my bank account
– Post here every day/almost every day
– Watch at least 5 MIT OCW lectures (already done 8.01 – the first lecture after the intro, I love how the professor makes the class interesting by making students lie down on tables and talking about mice and elephants)
– Try MIT p-sets
– WRITE MY NOVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, maybe not the whole thing… maybe a chapter? Like a GOOD chapter unlike the ones I put on fb?
And it's probably not still going to be called "Bock'r"… I just used that name because if you take away/add a few lines it becomes "Earth"… because it takes place in an alternate universe…
OMG there are only TWO WEEKS LEFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think the list should be truncated here, so now for a little video:

Opening of the remake of the FMA series (supposed to be more faithful to the manga): FMA Brotherhood!

Thinking about Majors!

Well, first off. For all who know DBSK (a korean band – one of my first posts ever was their song Survivor) and records of their disbanding, here’s what seems to be the real story.

Anyway. Before I do my first book review I’m going to talk about more college stuff. Like majors.

When I was first applying to colleges I had one set area of study in mind. I told everyone that I would be doing one of two majors (or both!). But then, just today, I decided to take a thorough look at all of the majors MIT has to offer.

It’s amazing, really. I spent all this time thinking I was mostly a liberal artsy type person and wondering “why would anyone want to be an engineer? What comes to someone’s mind when they think of engineering?”

Now I can understand why so many people at MIT (don’t ask for the numbers, please) choose course 2 (mechanical engineering), course 3 (materials and science engineering), course 6 (electrical engineering and computer science), course 10 (chemical engineering)………

There is SOOOO much going on in these fields! In Mechanical Engineering, if you major in 2-A you can choose a concentration in Energy Systems or Sustainable Development! In Materials and Science Engineering, you could design eco-friendly materials that can be reused in a closed cycle (as in avoiding the landfill) and find ways to properly dispose of the enormous amount of trash that we have now, thus fighting pollution and land degradation caused by the waste we create! In course 6 you learn how to design electronics and computer technology, and that’s one of the fastest growing fields… you could make computer games with awesome graphics where kids get to save the world and learn “eco” lessons in the process… And in course 10 (chemical engineering) there’s nanotechnology AND polymers AND “energy and the environment”…

Then I got to course 12. Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. The study of how our WORLD works. “Areas of interest include the dynamics of systems as diverse as the global climate and weather systems; global plate tectonics and mountain building; the orbital dynamics of planets and their satellites; and the processes of mass extinctions on earth.”

I sighed in relief when I read that. Of course. This is what I want to learn. What could be more interesting than learning how the world we live in works?

So I was originally planning to do course 1E (environmental engineering) or course 12. But now things are complicated. And I haven’t even started college.

Wait, I haven’t finished going over the interesting majors (for a crazy environmentalist like me)…

There are also course 11 (Urban Studies and Planning – practically = public policy), course 9 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences – animal behavior = yay!) and course 24 (Linguistics and Philosophy – where does the mind come from? Almost like course 9 in that sense…). And then there are course 5 (Chemistry – similar to ChemE) and course 7 (Biology – or, in my case, ecological stuff…)

ZOMG how the heck can anyone take just one or two of these?????????

Whatever. I’ll have to see what works and what doesn’t. For now, if I break from my planned 1E + 12 combo, it’ll probably be to take 12 + SOME engineering major with a minor in 11 or 24…

In a perfect world where nothing is impossible =)

OK, I will soon have the pics up from my job and such, and I will also post about the NJ-NY MIT Send-off that I went to today! =) I totally should have written about that today, but once a random thought gets stuck in my head it won’t let go… so I had to get this out of the way… Forgive me X__________X

More interesting news to come!!!!!!!

Video (watch in HQ!):

Summer Job

Phew, all of this MIT stuff is really getting me over my head. And I’m finally getting really excited!!! XDDDDDDDDDDDD

So now what should I write about?

Well, after yesterday’s evil brainstorm of a post, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be taking 18.02, 8.01/8.012, 5.111, 12.000, and some HASS. Probably writing. At this point I’m thinking that I won’t do Concourse, but I’ll still go to the open house. Just for fun.

So let me write a bit about what I’ve been up to this summer.

I’m doing this job in “Resource Management” (which = pulling weeds) at Governor’s Island with the National Park Service. My job is actually part of a program called the National Hispanic Environmental Institute. It’s not just for hispanics. 19 of us got to go to an almost free ($15 registration) week of training that involved visiting Gateway, Ellis Island, Jamaica Bay, Fire Island, and Sandy Hook. All in 6 days. We camped out for two days too.

Then the next week we started on our jobs at our different sites. I chose Governor’s Island because I thought that it would be a combo of outdoor work and interpretation. Turns out that it is just outdoor work. I love the exercise and the fact that it’s not boring office work, but it’s not like we’re getting much training or growth experience here. I mean, I’m not learning what it’s like to be a lawyer anything. I guess you could say that by pulling weeds all day long I’m learning how to… get better at pulling weeds all day long.

That’s OK though, I’m making some money =) I wish I could make more through the semester and not just see all of my earnings slowly dissolve over the course of the term… The question is, will there be time?

It would be so cool to be an admissions blogger, but my writing hasn’t reached that level yet. The MIT blogs are so fun! I have no idea why I didn’t spend more time on them when applying to MIT. I’m a fan of Chris/Oasis, Snively, and Yan (food blogs!):

Take, for example, this post about snow and physics! Read it to the end, you’ll see… 8)

So I have TONS of pics to upload from these past few weeks, just wait until I find my iphone charger and find a way to get them all on the internet at once!

(And quick update – the new Ouran HS chapter just came out on!!!!!! Thanks Lena!!!!!!!!!!!!)


And I wonder if anyone noticed the song in the first paragraph… XDDD

Gameplan for college

Here’s a video for you all that might capture the mood of this post. Yay for destroying books!!! Bwahahaha…

You don’t have to read this, you really don’t. It’s so long. But if you’re interested in some more of my especially rambly ramblings, feel free to go on…

For now I’m going to write about how I’m trying to plan my courses for the next 2 (or 4?) terms at MIT. It might just be me, or it might just be MIT, but it seems like college requires you to PLAN a LOT even as a pre-frosh. I thought this post might be interesting/helpful to other people who want to make the most out of their experiences XD Or perhaps you can tell me what YOU’RE planning to do for your next terms so we can compare schedules!

OK, so MIT is one of those schools that has a core (general institute requirements – GIRs). Those include (typically) taking one to two terms of math (18.01 or credit for first-year calculus and 18.02), two terms of physics (8.01/8.012 and 8.02/8.022), a chem course, a bio course, a writing course if you have not passed the FEE (Freshman Essay Evaluation) or gotten a 5 on an AP English course, and 8 terms of HASS (Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) courses. The writing counts as one HASS credit too.

So, basically, you can get your math and physics requirements out of the way freshman year, work on the HASS requirements by taking one non-science course a term, and… people do different things with chem and bio depending on what they are majoring in.

I was considering 18.014 (a theory/proof-heavy math class), but I kind of want to get the requirements out of the way so I’m sticking with 18.02. Physics will probably be 8.012, so my schedule for the first term might start by looking like this:

18.02 (Cal II)
8.012 (Cool physics XD)
HASS/Writing course

OK, since I’m into the environment I’m doing Terrascope. Which sounds like the most awesome program ever created. And that adds another class (Solving Complex Problems, 12.000) to my list.
(I’m going to start adding the number of credits for each course, because you can’t take any more than 54 credits in your first term as a freshman, but with Terrascope the limit is 57 credits.)

18.02 – 12 credits
8.012 – 12 credits
12.000 – 9 credits

36 credits. So this leaves room for 21 credits, and I could use all of them if I want to kill myself.

Here’s the next complicated thing. I’m thinking of doing Concourse or Experimental Study Group, more likely Concourse. These are two learning communities that each enroll about 60 freshmen and have them take their basic classes together. Classes are smaller and you get more attention from teachers. I think that the added support might be helpful for me – heck, I’ll need all the help I can get at MIT. And then I get to have close friends from Terrascope AND Concourse XD Yay learning communities!

But I’m also want to take a language so I can do MISTI – intern ABROAD from MIT! I would probably choose China, Mexico, or Japan. I wasn’t really thinking about Japan until I heard that you could intern at Square Enix. So the question is – to design computer games or to do field research? Either one could have a positive environmental impact, especially designing games if I convince Square Enix to go “green” or put “green” themes in their games…

Ah, I’m just dreaming now, it’ll probably be China or Mexico. Mexico has more environmental opps, or so it seems, so maybe Spanish first?

But either one would require taking the language. Which means that I would need to take the language course. So now the question is – which one first – Chinese or Spanish? And when?

Here is the schedule that I WISH I could have for my first term:

-18.02 (12 credits)
-8.012 (12 credits)
-5.111 (Chem) or 3.091 (Concourse chem – a combo of 3.091 and 5.111)
-Chinese Level I or Spanish Level ? (12 credits)
-Either Globalization (if I passed out of writing) OR Writing about Nature and Environmental Issues OR Writing about Literature OR Writing and Reading Short Stories (9 credits)
-12.000 (Terrascope) (9 credits)

So that adds up to 63. Um, no. No no no NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

So I’ll be stuck with one of the following situations based on whether I get into Concourse and/or need to take a writing class. (I WILL be pressured to take chemistry with concourse if I do concourse…)

W/o concourse or writing (save that for later!)


Total: 51 credits

With or without concourse and with writing:

Writing about Literature OR Writing and Reading Short Stories
5.111/3.091 (Chem or concourse chem)

Total: 57 credits

If I sanely decide to totally disregard their advice about chem:

8.012 (or 8.01 if 8.012 is too hard)
Writing course

Total: 45 credits

So when you’re planning your next four years (or next term, I can’t get past that!), it’s important to keep your priorities in order. If you’re majoring in bio you might want to take intro bio first term instead of chem. If you’re not as into the environment as me you might be tempted to just drop 12.000 and make room for everything else. But that would be a mistake because 12.000 is the most awesome course EVER. Since I know that that course is a priority for me, I can set that aside and spend my precious energy deciding which of the others to eliminate. Math and physics are required, so I can’t really touch those except to place ahead if possible. I kind of wish I’d found a way to take AP Physics/Bio/Chem so that I could get one of those requirements out of the way, but that option is not available to me now.

Maybe I’m just stressing over this too much. Maybe I should just leave chem for sophomore year. Should I leave the language for later as well?

And OMG, I just found out that there’s a Spanish II study abroad opportunity over IAP (January’s Independent Activities Period)! It’s not free though… (I think MITSI covers the costs of its internship programs…)


Wow, this post turned out to be REALLY REALLY REALLY long, so I’m posting one video on the top. If you read up to the end, um, wow! XD Now you know the drama that is the start of academic life at MIT XD Anyway, I’ll post another one here to reward you for coming this far! And please feel free to tell me what YOU’RE planning, if you’re going to MIT or otherwise, or even still in high school =P

Shoot, if you’re in high school you shouldn’t be worrying about these things! Go read my asian drama reviews!


Weekend Update…

So I am totally failing at this daily blogging thing. But I do have an excuse for yesterday – my Dell’s wireless device failed, and I couldn’t remember the password to log in to wordpress from my mom’s computer. And now it’s 12:30 AM, your regular update time, 12 hours after I woke up today/yesterday (um… 12:30 PM!), but my mom is threatening evil things if I don’t get off of here and go to bed.

I should put something substantial in this post before I insert an awesome MV in here. Just to sum up what I’ve done this weekend…

1) My mom and I went shopping for clothes/college stuff! Btw if you’re in NYC, Century 21 is a great place for discount clothes 😉 Since I can’t find anything that seems like it will look good on me (or maybe I just have no fashion sense), whether it be in Century 21 or Forever 21, we came away with discount socks, discount pjs, a hairband…

2) Then we went through my room and sorted out what’s going to college from what’s not going to college. So I got to put the ugly half of my closet in the charity box and organize the rest. But besides dresses from other painful shopping trips, from the looks of it my wardrobe is utterly lacking in everything besides old t-shirts and jeans.

So my mom said need to go shopping againnn…….. noooooooooooooo…………… X__________X

3) Then it started raining right when I was going to go shopping for food to make some yummy vegan dish. So I decided to do “fun” shoppping – for computers. I was going to get a laptop, but after looking at this MIT forum I’m starting to think the best option might be a desktop for the dorm and a netbook to carry around to classes. I’ve already suffered 13 years with a 50 pound backpack, so I love the idea of a “lighter notebook” XD There’s this blue one that looks really good here =) The problem would be the desktop. And here, my friends, is the question: To Windows or to Mac?

I love that the desktop + netbook would cost less than the laptop I was considering, even with a Mac desktop XD But while the Mac includes an iTouch (for my mom! XD) the Windows (Dell Optiplex) is about $500 cheaper… I’m wondering if the Mac is just that much more amazing, if the Windows is an obviously better deal, or if I shouldn’t even be asking the question because the netbook would not cooperate with the Mac.

Well, I’ll post whatever answers I get to these questions up once I get them =) Or if you happen to be a computer whiz you can give me advice! Or share your Windows vs. Mac stories! Thanks XD

4) Now it’s 12:56 and before I get cut into pieces by a zombie who looks suspiciously like my mother running out of her bedroom I will post a video!