Blogs: Media Arts and Sciences

An Ode to My Slow Cooker

How a special appliance has saved me both time and sanity

MAY 2019
Media Arts and Sciences
 The special appliance: my slow cooker   I want to thank one special appliance Whose dedication and trusty alliance Have been a time saver for a busy grad mom. You snuck into my kitchen with quiet aplomb, Arriving, in a box, some years ago-- Black and sleek. How was I to know That you would save...

Wasting My Degree

Why is having kids, moving out of the city, and following an unusual path a waste?

MAR 2019
Media Arts and Sciences
"She's worried you'll waste your degree." My friend (let's call her Anna) relays this message to me as coming from another friend, but I can tell from her tone of voice that she's clearly worrying about the same potential waste. That makes the question doubly irritating. As if pretending to be...

Midnight Showers

(Non)sensical schedule optimization

FEB 2019
Media Arts and Sciences
In undergrad, I had what my friends called an "absolutely insane" schedule. I followed it because I felt like there was not enough time in the day to get everything done and I had the luxury of a flexible routine as a student. Sunday through Friday, my day looked like this: 2:00—3:15 AM  //  Gym 3:...

Passing on the Fountain of Knowledge

Knowing when to say no

JUNE 2018
Media Arts and Sciences
As soon as I officially started as a grad student in the Media Arts & Sciences program, I was paired with a more experienced graduate student in the lab to learn protein engineering and molecular cloning techniques for the first time in my life, though my undergrad studies had covered some of...

Shaping Another Person’s Decision

Navigating the interview process

JUNE 2018
Media Arts and Sciences
After just 30 days of officially starting grad school in the Synthetic Neurobiology group at the Media Lab, my advisor asked me to help interview a couple of rotation...

Good Ideas

They don't grow on trees, so where do you get them?

JUNE 2018
Media Arts and Sciences
Even at MIT, good ideas don't grow on trees. Instead, I've found that good ideas have two ingredients: preparation and practice.   1. Preparation. The act of acquiring new knowledge and ideas. The foundation on which my good ideas will be built.   2. Practice. Generate lots of ideas. Engage with...

PhD and a Baby

Debugging code and changing diapers

MARCH 2018
Media Arts and Sciences
I wasn't married when I got to MIT, but I had a boyfriend named Randy who moved up to Boston with me. Two years in, we discover that it is, in fact, possible to simultaneously plan a wedding and write a master's thesis! Two years after that? I'm sitting uncomfortably in a floppy hospital gown at Mt...

Craving a Lemon Poppyseed Muffin

Learning to contextualize desires

FEBRUARY 2018
Media Arts and Sciences
Five years ago, I ate a red velvet muffin every morning for about six weeks. It was the first semester of my freshman year, and I enjoyed the community of regulars that came with this breakfast ritual. The muffins were always these amorphous, half-goo red masses with too much sugar and never enough...

Wow, You're at MIT! You Must be a Genius!

Undervaluing hard work in grad school

FEBRUARY 2018
Media Arts and Sciences
"Wow, you're at MIT? You must be a genius!" Um. Not sure how to answer that. Look down at my shoes. Nervous laugh. "Uh, thanks?" The random passerby who saw my MIT shirt and just had to comment on my presumed brilliance seems satisfied with my response. Perhaps the "awkward genius" trope played in...

Graduate Women Explore a Path to Professorship

May 10, 2017
Media Arts and Sciences
Every November, I join a planning team of graduate students, postdocs, and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education to offer a two-day workshop called Path of Professorship (PoP) for MIT’s graduate and postdoctoral women considering careers in academia... Read more at the Slice of MIT.