Take Nothing for Granted
I just spoke with Marco Salazar, a sophomore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to let him know he won the $100 for rallying his friends and bringing in the most votes (158) for his suggestions on what to call the enhanced version of our online textbook reader.
Come to find out, Marco is more than a contest winner. He is one of those college students that is incredibly inspiring. He learned early in life to “take nothing for granted.” He made the most of growing up in Brooklyn and going to schools that, at times, couldn’t afford textbooks. He sought out opportunities, like self-studying for AP exams that weren’t offered at his high school, and he consistently went above and beyond what was expected. (Full story from him here.) It paid off. Big. He now studies at MIT, his “dream school.” Impressive, right?
Here’s what he said after reflecting on how hard he worked to make it all happen:
“I consider myself fortunate because it has taught me to not take things for granted. I don’t think it’s particularly anyone’s fault that they do, but I am glad that I learned.”
Talk about words to live by. So without further delay, we proudly present to you Flat World’s June contest winner, Marco Salazar, in his own words!
1. Where I go to school and what I’m studying: I go to MIT where I am an electrical engineering and computer science major, and also a potential biological engineering major. I just finished my freshman year, so I am a rising sophomore.
2. My strategy for winning: Bribe people for votes with cookies – chocolate chip cookies!
4. Things I’ll buy with my $100: winnings: Food! I don’t receive my paycheck for my summer jobs until next week, so this will help me get by!
5. I’m a Flat World Knowledge fan because: They’re super cool! And they save college students a few gajillion dollars a year on textbooks.
6. Print vs. digital textbooks. I prefer: Print. I don’t own a Kindle (or any other tablet), so it’s much easier to lie down and read from a printed textbook.
7. Favorite and most useful gadget I own: My laptop. It’s where I spend a large portion of my time. I do all of my work on it, play video games on it, do graphic design on it, and just about anything that it can do gets done on it.
8. People might be surprised to learn this about me: I am a big fan of Asian pop culture! I was in the MIT Asian Dance Team during my first semester. I enjoy listening to Korean pop music in my spare time.
9. Best advice given to me by a professor this past year: “If you think of your work as being work, then it will be work!”
Congratulations Marco! From all your friends at Flat World Knowledge, where college textbooks are free and open.