Blogs: Living in Boston/Cambridge

Getting FIT at MIT

How MIT makes it easy to accomplish your New Year’s fitness resolutions

MAR 2019
Civil and Environmental Engineering
“I’m going to get in shape this year!” “This time I’m serious about going to the gym.” “New year, new me.”   We’ve all said it. The start of a new calendar year — or a new academic year — brings with it sweeping declarations of change and audacious intentions for self-improvement. The first few...

A Perfect Campus Tour

See most of MIT in 30 minutes

MAR 2019
Mechanical Engineering
I have been at MIT for almost two and a half years, and during this time I have repeatedly been asked to give campus tours to visiting friends and family. Though most of campus is within walking distance, extremely convoluted paths resulting from high building density and weird building numbering...

How Not to Die Alone

Free cats at MIT

MAR 2019
Nuclear Science and Engineering
This is an account of how three grad students came to befriend a cat at MIT.   Year 1 B.C. (Before the Cat) Grad school can be an isolating experience if you allow yourself  to be consumed by the lab or classes. Fortunately, I found at least two acceptable individuals in my program named Guillaume...

At MIT, New York City Is in Your Backyard

Navigating your transit options for weekend trips

MAR 2019
Biological Engineering
It was a Friday at 10:30am, and I was behind schedule to catch my bus to New York City. I rushed from the Red Line T stop at South Station to the bus terminal, annoyed that my rolling suitcase prevented me from running up the escalators. As it turned out, I shouldn’t have worried. The Megabus area...

How My Wife Stole My Car in Massachusetts

An object lesson in navigating the registry of motor vehicles

FEB 2019
Biological Engineering
When we moved from Arizona to Massachusetts, my wife graciously offered to take care of registering our car, letting me focus on starting classes at MIT. If someone offers to go to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) on your behalf, you say two things, and two things only: 1) ‘Yes’...

Downsizing Our Footprint

Comprehending the impact of space amidst a “tiny movement”

FEB 2019
Architecture
You may have seen the recent film Downsizing, reveling in the antics of Matt Damon as he navigates life as a shrunken 5-inch man.  Despite the humor of the film’s premise, I believe it reflects a growing movement of people cutting excess from their lives and relocating to tiny spaces. For many MIT...

Boston Left?

Lessons learned from driving in Boston

NOV 2018
Aeronautics and Astronautics
During my first experience driving in Boston I was waiting at an intersection on campus (Vassar and Mass Ave), my co-pilot, a fellow grad student, turned and said to me: “Watch out for the Boston left.” “Boston left?” “You’ll see.” When the light turned green and I immediately gunned it (I’ve...

Moving to Boston with a Dog

What you need to know about pet ownership

NOV 2018
Chemical Engineering
When I was first considering accepting MIT’s offer of admission to a PhD program, one of my main concerns was finding housing for my family. I had heard that Boston’s housing situation was brutal, and to top it off, my then-fiancé and I were trying to bring two large dogs to the big city with us....

A Good Place to Nap

Finding the best place to sleep on-campus after a sleepless night

NOV 2018
Materials Science and Engineering
I was in the middle of a formal dinner with the Under Secretary of the US Department of Energy, when my cell phone signaled the Outlook notification – Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 9:30 PM [70 AMHERST] FACILITIES EMERGENCY - BUILDING CLOSING The severity of the situation did not strike me at first...

Starting Over Summer

Settling down before the semester starts

OCT 2018
Materials Science and Engineering
Out of school for a year, I was not sure if I could fit in classes, choosing a lab, doing research, and settling down in a new country all at once when I started graduate school in the fall. So, when the option on the acceptance letter said that I could join over the summer instead, I was more than...