In a new book, MIT’s Ethan Zuckerman asserts that we need to overcome the Internet’s sorting tendencies and create tools to make ourselves ‘digital cosmopolitans.’
Last Thursday, August 22, just before Freshman Convocation, Alice
Waugh of Tech Talk spoke with a few members of the Class of '00, asking
them about their plans and what they thought would be the easiest and
hardest things about being an MIT student. Though they come to MIT from
different places, they share many of the same hopes and concerns. Here
are some of their answers:
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Major/career plans: Double major in Course 6-2 or 6-3 and economics;
perhaps a minor in French.
Possible extracurricular activities: Soccer ("when I feel like teasing
Americans, I call it football"), tennis.
Easiest: "Meeting people, especially other international students."
Hardest: "Understanding the peculiarities of [visa rules regarding] jobs
and travel. Also, fitting in and maintaining a good grade point
Hometown: West Lafayette, IN
Major/career plans: Architecture and perhaps civil engineering as well.
Possible extracurricular activities: Intramural sports with her living
group, Chinese Students Association, Freshman Leadership Program.
Easiest: "Just having fun. [Here in the city] I can do something
different every night."
Hardest: "To do everything I want, because there's so much to choose
Hometown: Strafford, PA
Major/career plans: Biochemistry and possibly medical school; starting
or working for a company to design pharmaceuticals.
Possible extracurricular activities: Crew, winter track, pole vaulting.
Easiest: "Getting good food with the MIT Card."
Hardest: "The work. I'm a little worried in that area."
Hometown: Lake Almanor, CA
Major/career plans: Undecided, possibly biology.
Possible extracurricular activities: Undecided (planned to visit
Easiest: "Just enjoying myself."
Hardest: "Juggling rigorous academics and having fun at the same time,
getting a balance and taking care of myself."
Hometown: Denver, CO
Major/career plans: Course VI; becoming a professor in artificial
Possible extracurricular activities: ROTC, running, weights.
Easiest: "The workload" (he said with a laugh).
Hardest: "Finding time to go to enough parties."
Hometown: Weston, CT
Major/career plans: Course VI; being an entrepreneur in information
Possible extracurricular activities: The Tech or an a capella singing
group-"something where I can communicate in some form."
Easiest: "Getting involved and meeting a lot of cool people."
Hardest: "Striking a balance between having a good time and studying. I
don't want to sit in my room and tool all the time-you've gotta punt."
Hometown: Santa Monica, CA
Major/career plans: Biology; genetics research.
Possible extracurricular activities: Dance Troupe, community service,
Easiest: "Meeting everyone and getting used to the city, because
everyone's been really friendly."
Hardest: "Adjusting to schoolwork."
Hometown: New Canaan, CT
Major/career plans: Some field of engineering.
Possible extracurricular activities: Frisbee, community service.
Easiest: "Getting along with people, because there are a lot of people
here with the same interests as I have."
Hardest: "Staying focused, because there are a lot of things pulling at
your time. For instance, I've never used the Web before, but all of a
sudden I get a free [Athena] account."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 28, 1996.