I have always had vivid dreams. As a child, my dreams would sometimes be so vibrant that I could not separate them from reality. I would insist to my mother that I had done something, get angry because I had dreamed something was in one place and in real life it wasn’t there, or I would be convinced that certain things had happened to me when they really did not. Man vs. dream: the story of my life.
On Thursday afternoon, I ran into my freshman year roommate. She was the second person I met at MIT, right after I arrived in my room and my temporary roommate and I went down to the lobby to mingle. We have been good friends ever since. Ours is one of those friendships that is based on mutual respect and trust, and not on common values and opinions (she is a conservative Republican and I am a liberal Democrat). I mention her because she is one of those people I like to have around when I want to vent. We will be 1,038 miles apart next year.
It is Friday night at 8:00 p.m., and I am sitting with crumbs from what was formerly a $16.99 block of parmesan. My cable hasn’t been working for the past two days. This is unfortunate, because I returned to my apartment ten minutes ago filled with the desire to do nothing but finish this parmesan and watch C-SPAN.
When I was four, I told my mother that I wanted to grow up to be a cocktail waitress. “I never want to leave home,” I said, “I want to stay here with you forever.” Whenever I remember this, I laugh, until I realize that seventeen years later, my desires aren’t so different.
This past December, on a lonely afternoon in the building 12 Athena Cluster, I finally decided what I wanted to do with my life. I filled out my Prehealth Advisor Request Form, available as a PDF on the Careers Office Web page. “The MIT Careers Office (MITCO) is now accepting prehealth advisor requests for individuals wishing to enter medical or other health profession schools in Fall 2009,” the Web site stated. Perfect, I thought, this is when I’m planning on entering! I spent two days writing eight essays for the application — not an invigorating experience, considering it was winter break. I filled out the GPA and course requirements form, and indicated I was interested in applying to MD/PhD programs. Then I addressed the envelope, sealed it with love, and placed it in the mailbox. (There’s no way to apply online).
Sometimes when I get bored, or when I feel like I’m in a slump, I re-read comics, articles, or stories that have made me smile. There is one comic in particular, from the PhD series, that I read every time someone asks me to check over an important e-mail they have written. It says “Average Time Spent Composing One E-mail …” The first square says 1.3 seconds and it shows a professor writing responses like “No.”, “Yes.”, “Sure.”, “Do it.” The second has a graduate student biting his nails, agonizing over every word of a very long, very polite e-mail for a period of 1.3 days.
When my mother was in eighth grade, her St. Michaels Catholic School class went on a trip to Bear Mountain in upstate New York. Two kids — let’s call them Patty and John — disappeared into the woods for an afternoon of good Catholic fun. At the end of the day, the whole class had to wait on the bus while the nuns went searching for the sinners.
All this talk about electing the perfect man to run the country has gotten me thinking. Is there a perfect man? Not a leader, not a commander-in-chief, but a man. A real man. A man who could be a husband, friend, confidante, lover, and comedian all in one. What would that man be like?
I have really bad senioritis. Seriously, someone should take me to the hospital. Wikipedia lists symptoms such as increased drug use, feelings of entitlement, and changes in sleep patterns. I have none of these. But I know I have senioritis, though, because lately, I’ve been feeling like a ripe tomato. I feel as though I’m about to burst. I have a tremendous amount of energy and fervor — just not for homework.
As I was driving up to Boston from my home in New York for the last time this past Saturday, I remembered my orientation at MIT. For a second I panicked, because it seemed like I had grown up in the span of a second. I now live in an apartment on Beacon Street with a set of pots and pans, a full-sized bed, and a utilities bill — the stuff of old age, or at least the mid-twenties. What if I woke up tomorrow and I was forty years old?
It occurred to me after the fifth straight day of clouds and cold rain last week that the magic in my life has disappeared. Maybe it’s because it’s finals time and I’m stressed, or because there’s always more work to be done, or even simply because it’s raining. I have a sense, though, that it’s more than just the rain and the homework and the exams. I think the magic is just gone.
Think back to 1997. Who were the five coolest, sexiest women of that year? If you were in the vicinity of TD Banknorth Garden last Wednesday night, the answer would have literally popped out at you from every Union Jack mini-dress and four-inch platform shoe in sight: the Spice Girls, of course, and they’re back. Young women who were barely ten years old when the attractive, feisty quintuplet released their first single (the now timeless “Wannabe”) came out in droves to watch the resurrection of Posh, Baby, Sporty, Scary, and Ginger after a ten year hiatus, which started in 1998 after Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell left on claims of exhaustion and difference of opinion.