Angles / 2008

Exemplary Writing from Introductory Writing Subjects at MIT

Foreword
From the Editors
Writing from Experience
The Great Undersea Search   by Jeff Quinn
…my favorite page is the "Tide Pools". There's a cross-section of one tide pool, and there are other pools in the distance, each sitting in a rock like a bowl of sea-life soup…

A Branch Over the River   by Matthieu Talpé
The sandy rocks spread around me, reflecting the bright rays of a summer sun that has warmed them all afternoon…

The Pursuit of Happiness   by Adrianna Tam
Outside the chilled glass window, bare tree branches and shivering shingled roofs, outlined by a blank slate of a sky, whizzed by, melancholy, gray…

Daughters without Borders   by Susan Shepherd
When my sister and I were young, it was understood that we could ask our parents anything, and we did: why the sky was blue, why cats purred but not dogs, why a broken bone was "serious" but a sprained ankle was considered "small potatoes"…

How to Phone Your Old Man   by Alyssa Roqué
You need to be verbally gifted, so stay in school, or else you'll end up just like him…

How To Lose Your Religion   by Josh Bails
To lose your religion, you need one in the first place. You don't necessarily need to have one by choice. It can be decided for you by your family or community long before you develop coherent enough thought to consider choosing a religion yourself…

Never Would Have Made It   by Jason Ashe
Every time I open my mouth to sing Him a love song, my heart is totally devout…

My Kind of Politics   by Wissam Jarjoui
The first day in my international orientation here at MIT, I was given a tag with my name and nationality on it. It read: "Wissam Jarjoui, from Jordan." But I'm not from Jordan; I'm from Jerusalem, and I am a Palestinian…

Que Será, Será   by Joseph Gregg
The end of my first term at MIT was almost over, and all that stood between me and a much needed winter break was my calculus final exam…

A Meaty Dilemma   by Mihai Duduta
Here I am again, in front of the deli at La Verde's, unable to decide what I should get for lunch…
Writing about Contemporary Issues
Vegan: Healthy or Crazy?   by Caitlin Reyda
Kelly was just like any of my friends at home. She was friendly and easy to talk with. She liked to shop but would not spend more than fifteen minutes getting ready in the morning. And then I found out she was a vegan…

Squeeze Chairs   by Noah Caplan
Two plywood boards, nearly four feet wide and over two feet tall, stand side by side. The inside face of each is covered in padding, creating a soft, narrow, open-topped tunnel with just enough space to crawl…

I Am Now Truly Awake   by Irida Altman
Blink. Open your eyes to a world you have never seen before. And imagine that happening every time you blink. New, original, surprising every single time. A dream come true? No. It is a nightmare that eminent English musicologist Clive Wearing has been living in for the past twenty-two years…

Make Way for the Robots   by Sean Faulk
According to an article from the website Robotics Trends, in late 2006, a small four-legged device demonstrated its ability to adapt to its environment. The little robot essentially teaches itself to walk, and then when it is damaged, it adapts and teaches itself to continue moving by limping…

Knowingly Unchecked Aggression: Private Military Contractors in Iraq   by Francisco Saldaña
The Iraq war has marked a new era in warfare: the era of the private sector… The rules of this playing field, this Pandora's box we have now opened up, are still being defined…
Writing about Science & Technology
The Science of Juggling   by Jacob Sharpe
Jugglers are well respected as performers in circus and variety shows, and even command top spots in Las Vegas casinos. But might such a hobby have a place in a science museum? It turns out that a number of juggling disciplines provide a surprising amount of insight into concepts in physics and mathematics…

Tales of Baffling Biotech   by Judy Cheng
As you pass the grand, sun-lit atrium of the Boston Science Museum, it takes a second for your eyes to readjust to the dimly lit room adjoining it. Your eyes are instantly drawn to the floor-to-ceiling model of DNA, and you realize that this must be the biotechnology exhibit that you've been looking for…

Fighting Malaria   by Samantha Weiss
Malaria can kill within hours, and it claims the lives of over a million each year. Over three billion living in 107 countries or territories are at risk, especially in rural and sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and South-East Asia. In some regions just about every child has had malaria by his or her first birthday…

Current Battery Technology and Fully Electric Vehicles: A Review   by Radu Gogoana
Electric motors provide 100% of available torque from zero RPM, and are a great complement to the power band of a gasoline engine, which peaks at high RPMs. However, cell technology has still not been able to provide the energy storage capacity to make a battery the vehicle's primary power source…

Temperature and CO2 Correlations Found in Ice Core Research   by Emmanuel Quiroz
The measurements taken from ice cores show that temperature and CO2 increase and decrease in phase. This trend is found in all ice analysis, but whether the temperature affects CO2 concentration is ambiguous due to potentially flawed estimations and uncertainty in measurements…
Assignments for These Essays