A Breakup Letter to MRSD

Sridevi Kaza

MRSD 2024

Sridevi Kaza, part of the MRSD 2024 batch graduating this year, pens a letter to MRSD.  

Dear MRSD,

The past couple years with you have been amazing. I still remember the first time I heard about you. You were perfect – an unattainable, shiny dream. You were everything I wanted and more. The day you asked me to move to Pittsburgh to start a life with you, I couldn’t believe it. I knew I couldn’t say no.

Our first few weeks together were fun. It was the classic honeymoon stage. Every experience was novel and thrilling. You showed me a glimpse of the exciting projects we could work on. We had time to explore the city together. You introduced me to your vast network of like-minded people. You promised you would teach me so much. I integrated myself into your life, and it was beautiful.

However, as we fell into the routine of our new life together, we started to discover the uglier sides of each other. I quickly learned that your shiny exterior was just a front. There were days you were horrible to me, and I despised you. There were countless times I wanted to leave you and never look back. The time you demoralized me with the Lucas-Kanade tracking assignment. The time you forced me to sit in OCRL lecture and not understand a word about Riccati Recursion. The time our F1-tenth car stopped moving the night before our race. The time my IDL model was incapable of learning anything for days. The time you didn’t let me sleep for weeks before our SVD.

You made it hard to keep our relationship afloat, but you were the perfect level of toxic for me. Every time you beat me down, and I was ready to give up, you gave me exactly what I needed. The pride I felt when my Lucas-Kanade assignment finally worked. The joy I experienced in OCRL when I successfully simulated docking a spacecraft on the ISS. The pure satisfaction I felt watching our F1-tenth car zoom through laps in five seconds. The fulfillment you gave me when my IDL model finally reached the high-cutoff accuracy after 14 hours of training. The tears of happiness I cried after our FVD went perfectly. I was addicted to you. I couldn’t leave.

Even though our relationship has been difficult at times, I’m eternally grateful for the knowledge you’ve given me and the hard lessons you’ve taught me. I know you’ve prepared me well for the next chapter of my life. Unfortunately, I think we’re starting to outgrow each other. There’s not much time left for us. Only 18 days to be exact. Hopefully, we can make the most of them. Soon, you’ll move on and spread your knowledge to someone else as eager as I once was. They’ll be so lucky to get to know you. Surely, you’ll teach them the hard work and dedication needed to reap the benefits of your wealth and generosity.

You’ve given me many precious gifts throughout our relationship, but I’m most excited for the one I’ll be receiving on May 10th – my diploma, a commemoration of our time together. Don’t worry though, I promise I won’t forget you. I’ll make sure to hang up my parting gift on the walls of my next apartment. Every time I look at it, I’ll think back to all the memories we shared and all the knowledge you’ve given me. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. Goodbye, MRSD.


Sridevi Kaza