me: I’m tired and I should go to bed.
also me: here’s 900+ words of how my day went.

Today was an okay day.

I got up this morning and almost instantaneously began to feel stressed. Part of this is because I woke up later than I would have liked to for my morning appointment, and had to scramble a bit to get out of bed. Part of it is because the grading decision would be coming out later today, and because the SHARP housing request process had just opened this morning. With that in mind, I stumbled out of bed and headed downstairs, got ready, ate breakfast, brushed my teeth, and headed out to my dentist appointment.

This is when the stress intensified. I was driving for the first time in a while, and although driving is usually calming for me, the combination of all the other factors sent me into a state that I sometimes feel where my heartrate doubles or triples. (In retrospect, I think that this might be like a sort of mild panic attack or panic-attack-adjacent? I have, however, no medical knowledge.)1 This fortunately did not affect my driving, but did not subside even as I headed into the building and eventually arrived at the office. I sat down and did my best to hold my breath, which sometimes works to dispel these states, but as I got up to head into the appointment itself it still had not subsided, and I had my field of vision sort of almost close in entirely, until it eventually came back to me. This was pretty concerning, but I continued on, and after about half of the appointment it eventually gave way. This was not a great start to the day, however, and in general I feel like it was sort of representative of the way it treated me—high stress, leading into eventual exhaustion.

I eventually drove home and from there due to this sort of stress and a general feeling, I made the explicit decision to minimize the amount of work I did today, although this may come back to haunt me tomorrow morning, when I have to rush to finish my slides for my HSSP class. I did almost nothing until after lunch, when I filed my SHARP request and watched YouTube videos as I waited for the grading decision, which we expected today. It turned out that they waited for the very last moment in the day to sent out the decision, which, although not perfect, is at least marginally reasonable—ABC/NR for all classes except for one which you can choose to designate P/NR by Drop Date. I don’t think there was any decision that would’ve appeased everyone, and although there were probably decisions that might have struck a better balance between concerns, this was at least not as bad as I had expected given the administration’s track record on listening to student concerns the past few weeks.

I also spent some part of my day planning my schedule for the fall, which actually works surprisingly well, with no lecture conflicts apart from 6.009 [Fundamentals of Programming] which I have been repeatedly told I do not need to attend. (I will note, however, that this is still a stressful process, as usual.) I will likely drop at least one class,2 but here is the list:

  • 6.006 [Introduction to Algorithms]
  • 6.009 [Fundamentals of Programming]
  • 18.03 [Differential Equations]
  • 18.701 [Algebra I]
  • 21G.704 [Spanish IV]
  • 21M.401 [Concert Choir]
  • 21W.757 [Fiction Workshop]
  • 21W.765 [Interactive Narrative]
  • CC.012 [Continuing Conversations]

The writing class is also being debated—I have a few different choices, Apocalyptic Storytelling, Playwriting Fundamentals, Poetry Workshop, etc. We’ll see what I end up choosing though. It is likely that I will have at least three or four more existential crises before I settle on a set of classes to actually take in the fall, but we’ll see how it goes, I guess.

I eventually met with my HSSP co-teacher to at least split the topics for the week and whatnot.3 Afterwards, I continued to do nothing, eventually starting yet another blog post idea about my favorite places on campus, which will at least help me feel a little better while writing. I’m not entirely convinced it will actually be a worthwhile post, but we’ll keep working on it, I guess. I met briefly with my fellow UROP only to realize that we couldn’t really do anything. We’re both kind of stressed and overwhelmed, so at least we’re in it together. *sigh.*

I continued writing until around 6 PM, when MIT’s Musical Theater Guild started streaming their 2018 performance of Legally Blonde the Musical, which was actually deeply enjoyable. I’ve seen the musical a few times on YouTube, and this performance was actually really good, which, in combination with the knowledge that this is an MIT performance, made me quite happy. We also had wonton for dinner, which was quite nice, and although I tried somewhat to make slides after dinner, I spent most of my time just talking to RSI students, which at least made me feel a little better about how things were. I also spent some time talking about a somewhat simple algorithms problem with a friend of mine which was really nice and I actually quite enjoyed, even though I don’t quite possess the formal knowledge to get all of it.

I eventually decided it was time to go to bed, although at this point it was far too late. Tomorrow, HSSP, bedcheck with my kids, and probably some random UROP work. We’ll see how it goes. Sadly, I’m not too optimistic.

  1. Note (2022): I still get these. Still no idea what they’re about though. 

  2. Note (2022): I…did not. On the other hand, I did get my fall schedule sorted out remarkably quickly. 

  3. Note (2022): My friend from high school and I were teaching a class called Did We Start the Fire? History from 1949-1989 as Told by Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” The title speaks for itself.