Blogs: Living in Boston/Cambridge

Downsizing Our Footprint

Comprehending the impact of space amidst a “tiny movement”

FEB 2019
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...

MIT Graduate Housing

The guide I wish I'd had

MAY 2018
Biological Engineering
During my interview weekend at MIT, I went on a brief housing tour of three MIT graduate housing residences that current students lived in. One student proclaimed her room was the biggest bedroom in the whole building. I made a mental note—the biggest room in the furnished dorm is not very big. Don...

Beyond the Dorms

A guide to off-campus housing near MIT

MAY 2018
When I committed to attending MIT for graduate school, I was ecstatic. I immediately began planning out my courses, researching clubs on campus, and looking up potential advisers. But wait, I’d need a place to live, too. Boston’s a city- but how bad could housing be, really? Ah the naiveté! As...

The Mysterious Markings on the Bridge to MIT

How the stories and history of MIT inspire me

APRIL 2018
Nuclear Science and Engineering
A bridge: “a structure carrying a pathway or roadway over a depression or obstacle” (Merriam-Webster dictionary). As a daily pedestrian across one such bridge (the Harvard bridge, spanning the Charles River to MIT) I agree that it is a structure carrying a pathway. However, I object to the use of...

Time Travel

The imperceptible passing of seasons in graduate school

APRIL 2018
The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen all at once. -Albert Einstein Time passes strangely in graduate school. Many days I enter a flow state where I’m completely absorbed in my task. First I am setting up an experiment or a stack of papers to read. Light, streaming in from...

An MIT Professor's Advice While Crossing a Bridge

We are all being formed into our best selves by the professors at MIT

MARCH 2018
Nuclear Science and Engineering
It is fall and the Charles River is a deep black beneath the shining man-made light of the Boston skyline. I am walking home across the Harvard bridge from MIT to my home in Boston after a day of classes and a lab. As I marvel at the beauty of the evening and my luck at being able to study my...