It’s been an awesome week for me . No physics or math pset (so not too academically busy), my family visited, my friends are wonderful, course scheduling next fall worked out perfectly, housing next year’s working out perfectly, I enjoyed a lecture, I loved the Book of Mormon, so much writing, exercise, and reading… I was trying to figure out what unified them all, so that I could have a cohesive post with a message and such, and that was awesome! was all I could come up with . My parents again mentioned again how jealous they were that my friends and I were in college. Best years of my life, baby (except that I’m very much hoping I can say that my entire life ).
So, details, details. (In order, naturally. Gotta conserve the flow.) This week I “only” had a neuro pset and test, but thanks to the generosity of my classmates (thank you Eduardo and Caitlin!) I finished the pset early. And for the test I knew exactly what to expect, so I finished that early as well. And I don’t have any more tests for the next two weeks, which means I am academically unbusy! Academically unbusy at Wellesley is one of my favorite states to be in—there’s still a ton to do, because you have to prep for classes and review after classes and do psets and research and whatever else comes along (i.e. my baseline working rate)—but there are no major assignments due, so there’s nothing overwhelming the baseline working rate. And baseline working rate allows time for two dinners with my family, attending a lecture, attending a play, and chatting with friends. Life is good .
Second news: my family came out to Boston this week! It’s their spring break, and Leslie, my middle sister, has been accepted into Wellesley! YAY! So Leslie was attending classes (two of my friends immediately offered their classes as well—love my friends) and checking out campus, and it seems like she’s liked what she’s seen . For her, the decision is between here and one other school, and I figure I’ll hear about her decision soon enough .
While they were visiting, my family and I had dinner twice together. The first time, I sent out an email to friends an hour and a half before dinner to invite anyone who wanted to come—and the response was overwhelmingly positive . Not everyone could come (I had forgotten Prof. A’s seminar from 6:30-9:30pm that night, which three of them were attending), but everyone was so excited and regretful if they couldn’t. As Tiffany later reassured my parents mock-seriously: “Yes, don’t worry about your daughter, she has friends.” I do have friends, they define my college experience, and I’m so so grateful and happy to be here with them .
Suman, Nicole (my youngest sister), me, Leslie (middle sister), Tiffany. Out to dinner!
Dinner number two .
Stuffed French Toast at Veggie Galaxy
And guess what happened with fall course scheduling (registration is next week)? Considering scheduling for this semester was a complete mess that all worked out in the end but was very stressful in the beginning? Everything for next year is working out perfectly. I lined up the two MIT classes I wanted take, I lined up the two Wellesley classes I wanted to take, and there were sections for each class that just slotted. I haven’t registered yet, but I’m going to be a senior next year, so I get first pick of the classes . I just started smiling automatically when I thought that. I’m going to take Computational Cognitive Science at MIT, Neuro 300 (our culminating neuroscience seminar) at Wellesley, Investigations into fMRI at MIT, and Psych Stats at Wellesley. DOESN’T THAT JUST SOUND AWESOME? And I’ll be thesising next year, so Neuro 350. I was sitting there, staring at my updated four-year-plan, iteration probably #20 (and I’ve saved all the previous iterations) and I was like: oh my god. I’m done. There is nothing more to update in my four year plan. I’m going to be a senior. …I’m so excited, readers. I walked into MIT’s freshman physics class my first day this semester, and people said I felt older to them, like a junior. I feel older, like so much time has passed since first year. So excited .
I also got one of the best housing numbers on campus (we have a housing lottery, with to-be-seniors seniors randomly assigned numbers 1-600, juniors 601-1200, and sophomores 1201-1800), but since I want to stay in my basement Munger room, I’m blocking with two friends to help them out. Blocking means that you average your numbers with friends, so that you all end up living together in the same place, and if you have a terrible number it’s offset by other peoples’. I thought about moving, about finally making the trek over to East Side (where almost all of the science majors live), but I like it here too much. Munger is quiet and squeaky clean and near the science center, Lulu, and food, and that’s where I want to live .
I also went to a lecture this week called “the Unique Impact of ADHD on Women” by Dr. Martha Denckla. Dr. Denckla covered her many years of research on how ADHD manifests in women, and at the end there was a discussion of how these experimental findings could be applied to day-to-day life. One of my favorite things I learned from the talk (and that I’ve been quizzing all my friends about:) 1. When are our motor functions pretty much as best established as they’re going to get? Answer: 15 years old. 2. When are our cognitive functions complete? Answer: 25 years old. 3. When are our social-emotional control circuits complete? 32 +/- 2.5 years. How cool is that. Dr. Denckla mentioned that she was so glad the trend was to marry later now, because “people should have frontal lobes before they have kids.” I laugh now, remembering it.
Then yesterday I went to the musical The Book of Mormon, and loved it. I looked up tickets yesterday (I was thinking of inviting my family along) and they ranged between $169-$300, but Wellesley offered a whole bunch of us $30 tickets for the Thursday evening showing. Tiff and I took the subway to the Boston Opera House after having dinner again with the family, and it was by far my most enjoyable musical experience. I often have difficulties appreciating art museums, orchestras, musical performances etc. (which Tiffany is determined to cure me of, somehow) but the fact that this was satire, and I had to think about how much I was judging people and irony and all these other distracting things made it an excellent two and a half hours for me. And that I was sandwiched between friends, or that when I looked at the audience, the rows in front of me and next to me were filled with the beautiful hair of well-dressed Wellesley women (Wellesley does hair well, I must say) made it all the better .
And I’ve completely settled into my writing/exercise/reading regimen, and it just continually brings me joy. A while ago, when I was deciding how much time to allocate to writing for my English class this semester, I decided to force five hours a week of writing into my schedule. I had no idea how that was going to work, since I’d never managed it before, but as the semester went on I discovered that as long as the bus ride is fairly quiet (as it is in the morning), I really like writing when I’m sitting on the bus to and from MIT. So every morning I hop on, chat briefly if there’s anyone I happen to know, and pull out my laptop and begin typing. We’re on our second major stories for my English class, and I’ve written so many words and thought so much about the plots on these daily bus rides that it’s so wonderful just to know who my characters are and where they’re going and write them without any time stress at all.
Exercising too. When people ask me what my extracurriculars are, I always hit: school (not really an extracurricular, but must be included because how many hours do I spend on school? A LOT of them), blogging, tutoring… and then I scratch my head, until I remember that research is sort of an extracurricular (it’s sort of school though, and sort of job preparation) and then I hit a wall. But peoples! I spend 7+ hours a week ellipticalling and reading stories on my laptop while doing it! That is an extracurricular if I ever heard one, and it’s my favorite kind of extracurricular: combined (ala bus ride + writing, it’s exercise + reading!) And I love coming home from MIT at 6-7pm-ish, working out, and then getting started on my homework. I think the reason I don’t think of it as an extracurricular is because it doesn’t involve other people, just me and my imagination. But that’s sort of the point, isn’t it . Sometimes I doubt I’m an introvert, and then I look at the list of things I do and enjoy and I’m like: uh huh, Monica, you can tell yourself whatever you want, but you just watch what you do when no one’s looking. But the best part of it all is that when I look at the complete list of things I do, it doesn’t sort neatly into an “introverted” or “extroverted” bucket. In college, there are so many opportunities that you can sample one or both or everything—as I tell myself with great gravity (cue deep, ringing voice): “We Contain Multitudes.”
So that has been my week . I was so busy doing things that I hardly had time for reflection, but even that’s part of the joy, just moving from one thing to the other and knowing they’re each so wonderful on their own. I’d talk about spring open campus and decision-making and such, but I looked it up and realized that spring open campus isn’t until April 28th-29th this year! That means you’ll all be here for my 21st birthday (ha ), but it also means I have a bit of time left before drawing up my annual list of everything I love about Wellesley . That said, please send me questions you want answered, because that post is coming. Direct my flow of words readers—they’re kind of relentlessly unending without you .
And with that I’ll conclude. I wish you all the best, readers, and I hope it’s a beautiful spring day wherever you are!