Not all of my fellowship experiences merited a post, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of mentioning. As I start preparing to move back to the D.C. area, I’ve been thinking about some of the things in Cambridge I’ll miss and some of the small moments I won’t soon forget. Here’s an incomplete collection:
Before it started, I knew it would end. That is the cruel nature of fellowships. As soon as they start, the clock starts ticking. The end is ever-present, always approaching, taunting you from the very beginning.
So Much Time, So Little Time
It’s easy to forgot how unlike the “real” world the academic schedule is. It’s not just summer break, or the fact that campus is nearly empty on Fridays, or that every holiday is honored. There are the lenient hours, the extra breaks, and the flexible schedules. That’s not to say people don’t work hard. Just that the schedule is unlike what you find in the non-academic life. Another example: winter break. Continue reading “So Much Time, So Little Time”
Class Shopping and Hallway Wandering
At Harvard, you don’t just sign up for classes. You shop for them. Indeed, the first week of the semester is actually known as “shopping period,” where you can drop in and out of classes as wish and ask (to yourself), “Is this topic interesting?” “Is the professor engaging?” “Can I get up this early?” If the answers are yes, you sign up. No? Keep looking.
Catching Wind with Audio Storytelling
Radio pros make it seem so easy. Their voices sound confident and friendly — like a buddy telling you about his or her day. After spending a weekend learning what they’ve mastered, I’m reminded that when someone makes something looks easy, it’s usually because they’re pros, not because it really is that simple.
Our first week featured a number of off-campus outings. The first was just a few blocks away at the MIT Museum — a fantastic collection of machinery, sculpture, photography, and archival material detailing the work of MIT students and professors.
Taking It In
Life is full of paradoxes. The more afraid you are of death, the less you’ll be able to enjoy life. The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. The more time you have, the less you’re able to blog.
Ok, that last one might not be true, but that’s how the past week has felt. After meeting the other fellows, our schedule has been jam-packed with activities both fun and bureaucratic.
The fun started with a tour of MIT. Like many large urban research institutions, MIT’s campus sprawls through town. Its buildings represent an eclectic assortment of brutalist, avant-garde, modern, and classic architecture styles. Continue reading “Taking It In”
Ready, Set, MIT
This post is, in a sense, seven months late. Were I more transparent and possessed better writing habits, I would have written in January about the process of applying for journalism fellowships. That would have followed in March and April with posts about interviewing in Ann Arbor, Cambridge, and via Skype for said fellowships. And this space certainly would have featured a post on my birthday in May about receiving one of them (much to my shock and delight). Continue reading “Ready, Set, MIT”