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Abigail Halperin

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This is Abigail Halperin's second summer at Harvard. "I first came here the summer before my freshman year, to take Chem S-1," she said yesterday. "I'd taken time off after high school and I sort of wanted to get back into the academic consciousness."

Halperin started her college career wanting to be a doctor, but quit after taking organic chemistry to pursue an independent major in women's studies and psychology. "Organic knocked me off the pre-med track--it seemed so cold and technically-oriented," she said. "I'd always viewed medicine as an essentially human science."

But now, with only one semester to go at Wellesley, Halperin has become a pre-med once again, and is spending this summer taking a calculus course. What changed her mind back again?

"Well, I guess I always wanted to be a doctor. And now, I see medicine as something that requires a combination of technical knowledge and humanity."

So Halperin is spending weeks in Cambridge studying calculus and working at the Mass General gynecological clinic. Weekends, she tries to get away, often to play baroque recorder with friends on the North Shore. Her approach she's always taken regarding academics, separating school and her life into spheres. "I sort of view school as my occupation. I study and live my life outside school."

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