Latexo Senior Accepted To MIT Considering Options

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

LATEXO – Latexo Independent School District (LISD) Senior Carter Tucker is a smart guy. Not your average smart guy or clever student, but the kind of high-schooler who does math and works on robotics in his spare time. Involved in many UIL competitions, Tucker knew he wanted to study engineering in school, being interested in working in robotics, AI and other cutting-edge projects after college. 

He knew he would apply to Rice University, known for its engineering program. He would apply to Texas A&M, where he had spent so much time and knew the campus any many programs very well. Applying to MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) was almost akin to buying a lottery ticket – wonderful if it happens, but not banking on anything so radical. ‘

MIT is one of ivy-leagues most prestigious schools, attracting the top of the top from around the world to their state-of-the-art programs. As one would expect from a school filled with brainy types who live to solve puzzles, MIT releases its acceptance letters Mar. 14 each year. 03/14 – or the first three letters of pi. They release them at precisely 6:28 p.m., 6.28 representing the Greek letter tau, or so one website explained. 

Tucker couldn’t believe it when he logged in that exact day at that exact time and saw his name as one of the students accepted to the highest level of American academia. He and his parents were thrilled and he has already visited the campus a couple of times and plans another trip in April. 

Already accepted to his beloved Texas A&M, that’s when the dilemma began in Tucker’s mind. He’s still not sure he is going to accept that great honor to study in Boston, and is still making his mind up. 

While a resume with “MIT” on it will definitely hit the top of any recruiter’s list, Boston is a long way away from Tucker’s home in Houston County – a different world with different people. College Station would be comfortable, fun, surrounded by young people similar to himself, many from Houston County, in fact. 

MIT will put him in competition with the finest students from around the world. Tucker admitted he is competitive and the higher the odds, the better he might respond. But it’s still an intimidating prospect. 

What would it be like to begin classes at MIT with the best of the best? Would it be a challenge, showing what he can do on one of the engineering world’s biggest stages? Or would it be too daunting, where going a more safer route might guarantee success?

“Probably a little bit of both,” Tucker said, lost in thought. “I think that is weighing on my decision, a little bit. Any degree from most engineering-focused schools, will give me plenty of opportunities, but MIT is like the next level and that is part of my decision.”

Now faced with the enviable situation of too many good options, Tucker is taking his time before making his final decision. He knows the engineering program at A&M will give him everything he needs, but there’s just something about the name MIT. 

Tucker gave one example of the engineering and architectural quirkiness which attracts bright and passionate people like himself to the school. 

“It’s pretty weird,” Tucker laughed. “For example, there’s one building where the architect didn’t have a clear idea how it should look. So he was drawing on papers and coming up with ideas, but he wasn’t happy with them. He kept crumpling them up and throwing them away. And then he looked at his crumpled up papers and saw the shape they fell in and said, ‘That’s it!’ And one of the buildings is modeled after that.” 

It’s a great testament to our local schools, along with the dedicated parents and the kids in the classes, when one of our local students is trying to decide between major universities, which would all love to have him. 

While he still hadn’t decided what the next four years will hold for him, one aspect of a place like MIT stuck out in his mind, and may just prove the deciding factor. 

“I think I will progress and learn a lot faster if I am focusing just on what I want to learn. I’ll be surrounded by people who have the same mindset, the same goals. That will definitely help. I am pretty competitive, so I think it’ll help to have some more nerds to compete with,” Tucker said, smiling. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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