Saturday, September 8, 2007
Keith's first week of classes
The first week of classes (at MIT; Harvard starts two weeks later) had all the nervous excitement you may remember from being a freshman, except moderated (thankfully) by a little maturity. I was happily uncaring about all the social aspects that fight for your attention as an adolescent. And I really didn’t care much if anyone wondered what this old guy was doing in their classes. I could just sit back and purely enjoy learning. It’s like having a full-time job of going to City Arts and Lectures events. Already, the biology and neuroscience classes are filling gaps in my knowledge, even though they’re undergraduate and introductory. Part of me feels they could move a bit faster, that I’m more advanced than the undergraduates, and hey, I don’t have to worry about mastering all the equations and vocabulary. But I’ve met some resistance from the graduate neuroscience program at MIT; the course director (Earl Miller) doesn’t want any outsiders, since it’s meant for incoming doctoral students. I guess it’s their big bonding moment. Anyway, he was quite dismissive and that annoyed me. I am participating in a graduate course at Harvard Medical School. It’s an intro to neurobiology, where half the class is second-year med students and half is incoming PhD candidates through a different neuro program. Those lectures were great – very meaty, but I was able to follow. But the class meets for three hours, three times a week, and it overlaps with the Biology class that I think is really fundamental (since the only biology I got was as a 10th grader). So, I’m attempting to go to the first 40 minutes of the med school class, which is held on a different campus, across the river in Boston, and then hop a train-bus combo to get to MIT in time for the biology lectures.