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Take a writing class at some point that focuses on writing about yourself, a class that helps you develop a personal voice.  Despite all of our HASS-Ds and CI-Hs and CI-Ms, most people’s journeys through MIT completely avoid this kind of writing, yet it is one of the most important and rewarding types of written work that we can produce (or am I just too addicted to the “My Turn” and “Modern Love” columns in Newsweek and the NYT?).  At the very least, your future scholarship apps / grad school apps / self-published memoir will thank you.

Potential classes at MIT:
21W.731 Writing and Experience

21W.740 Writing Autobiography and Biography

My ability in this arena has completely withered away over the past four years, and my thoughts feel terribly lost because of it.

I participated in MIT’s aditl project (capture a typical day in photographs) yesterday. I thought I might wake up early to get some nice sunrise-over-the-charles shots from my window.

What actually happened was that I woke up 30 minutes late for my 11:30AM class and decided not to go. You can’t get more realistic than that.

A few shots:

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what i see in the morning. bleary eyed, in bed, 5 minutes longer.

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out the door

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kinda gloom

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i run into jason on my way to stata, who kindly provides me with the notes i missed from that morning class

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lunch date with cecily @ sebastians!

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there is so. much. construction. on campus

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chaplin, film class

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grabbing a book from hayden

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delivery

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planning meeting for senior toast

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a lonely berry

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on my way to pm recitation

Sometimes, I really do love it here and never want to leave (this place, or this stage?).

davek rainbow

After enduring three years in rainy New England of using and losing

1. cheap, coop umbrellas (freshman year, still in denial about the importance of having rain gear in Boston)

and then

2. flimsy, designer umbrellas (soph / beginning of junior year, in which i thought standing rain-drenched in howling wind was an acceptable trade-off for a marc jacobs handle)

and most recently resigning to

3. stray, found umbrellas (only to be lost again…     i swear, stata is just a frenzy of umbrella exchange)

I finally caved and entered 4. stylish, functional, a new umbrella-era with something from the much-touted davek ny .

Hopefully this also means that I have developed into someone who is less prone to leaving umbrellas around. (and if I do there’s a loss protection guarantee — though I’m not sure having to pay “only” $50 to replace an umbrella makes anyone feel great. )

Other umbrellas I loved and considered :

blueskies

tibor kalman’s blue skies, for the moma store

grass

grass, by tray 6

Both of these again fell into the wonderfully designed, but questionably constructed category.

The How I Met Your Mother fan in me really wanted a yellow umbrella,

ted-and-the-yellow-umbrella

but I made Monica proud and went for a more subdued hue.

To all my past umbrellas out there, I hope you have gone on to good homes in less dreary climates.

“Even though the skills offered by the humanities initially seem to have a “veneer of non-utility,” Freudenburg said, they actually make for highly desirable job qualities because the current state of writing and critical thinking is in “pretty bad shape.”

In fact, Freudenburg said, many of his students in classics went on to “get picked up” by hedge funds after graduation. “They can study a complex issue, think it through, organize their throughts about it and present it as a two page report and not a 10 page rambling thing.”

….Bildner admitted he is not sure if the history major has adequately prepared him to enter the job market as a competitive candidate. Despite the analytical skills and critical reading, writing and research abilities he has gained, Bildner said he is skeptical about the extent to which these skills will help him in his job search.

Other seniors have kept up a more positive outlook. Christina Person ’09 was a Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations major before she switched to Modern Middle East Studies. She said she is familiar with students majoring in fields like history or philosophy at Yale who are just as prepared to go into the finance sector as non-humanities majors.

In Today’s World, Do Liberal Arts Matter? , yale daily news

I love the humanities (and have more-than-casually flirted with the idea of getting a masters in english lit), and I’m all for encouraging more people to study them.

However, the argument that people should study humanities because it makes them equally qualified for eventual wall street jobs and hedge funds completely misses the core of why studying liberal arts is a value for students in the first place. It’s like telling kids they need to learn cursive in first grade because it will help them pass notes and send IMs better down the line in middle school. It may be true, but is that the motivation you want these kids to have when they learn handwriting?

Granted, the article quotes others at Yale who do brush on some of the more legitimate reasons why studying liberal arts is more important than ever–it provides the opportunity to engage in a questioning view of humanity, understand the world through  “historical, interpretive, linguistic and symbolic perspectives”, and immerse in a general sense of appreciation and knowledge about human culture. And I understand that a key concern for today’s students (myself included) is whether or not the skills that they are paying universities $50,000 a year for are marketable in an increasingly frightening job market.

But choosing to tout the history major as a successful Wall Street training ground inspires misguided motivation at best, and does so at the risk of overlooking the true merits of such education.

breakdown

I don’t know how it happened, but I think spent over $3000 this semester on random incidentals. This for the most part does not even include tech cash and food (which my parents graciously take care of). There are some big ticket purchases (sorority dues, giant shopping trips), but it’s mostly just random $10-$20 expenses here or there–stuff that I don’t even think about, and in hindsight, can’t even remember.

I’ve never been someone who has tightly kept track of my money. As immature as it sounds, looking through my expenses usually makes me sad, so I just don’t do it. I log into my online bank account maybe once a month (so infrequently that they go through the long authentication process with me every time because they can’t recognize my computer -_-). At this point, everything I buy is stuff that I “want”. I have a fair amount saved up for a college student, a sad little 401K account, and I don’t have any credit card debt. However, I will have to look into taking out loans for grad school soon, because I don’t want my parents to have to pay my tuition after I finish undergrad. Perhaps now is a good time to start thinking more recessionary, and start managing my financial life.

Do you have any good techniques for budgeting? Is there anything I should be doing to be a more financially responsible person?

This is one of the best outcries against the passage of proposition 8 that i have seen yet. It’s rather Onion-esque in tone, and puts a new spin on the movement that really makes me sit up, pay attention, and reconsider the arguments behind the issue. Much more effective (and amusing) than an endless parade of indignant facebook statuses!