Sep 17, 2010
Apple Juice Liberation!
Posted in: Miscellaneous
Something very important happened to me when I came to MIT a few weeks ago. It was a momentous occasion in my life, a turning point from which there is no going back. I experienced… Apple Juice Liberation.
You see, in my family of five, we all like apple juice so much that if we all drank as much as we wanted to, there wouldn’t be enough. The result was a limitation on the size of the cups we could use to drink apple juice. I’ve been waiting most of my teenage years for the freedom to drink as much apple juice as I want, as often as I want, in whatever size glass I want! And now, living in a dorm where I am in charge of my own Apple Juice Acquisition, I can! Apple Juice Liberation is upon us!
Okay, I am sort of joking. The freedom to drink my favorite fruity beverage is probably not the most important thing I’ve gained by coming to MIT. In fact, people here are free to do almost anything they think is a good idea. At least, that’s what I gathered when I walked into the courtyard of East Campus, straight off the T from the airport, and saw a half-constructed roller coaster going up outside my new home.
I wandered around in awe. Past the roller coaster there was a two-story fort, and beyond that (and most intriguing): a huge pile of wood, waiting to be made into some other project.
Almost immediately, I was admonished for not wearing close-toed shoes.
I dropped my luggage in my room, found some more appropriate footwear, and went back downstairs to see if I could help. I hauled wood for a while, but within an hour of walking on campus I was learning how to use a power saw (“Put these goggles on, and keep your fingers away!”) We ended up building a 3-D twister game, some huge speakers, a hammock for the fort, a climbable sculpture, a Project-a-Sketch, and a Merry-Go-Die. (Nobody *actually* died. That I know of.)
Besides the social freedom to build fantastic wood contraptions in the courtyard, I’m amazed by the amount of academic freedom I have. I’ve had a huge amount of choice in which courses to take, and at what level to take them. Sure, I have to fulfill the GIRs (General Institute Requirements) but there are so many options to do that!
I’ve learned that Registration Day (“Reg Day,” which was this Tuesday) is not the end-all of class registration. You can show up to any class you’re interested in on the first day with an add/drop form and hopefully get into the class! I actually went through this process with the class 24.900, Introduction to Linguistics. Despite it being a pretty popular class, I got in, so I'll be fulfilling my CI (communications-intensive) requirement learning about syntax, semantics, phonetics, and other awesome linguistics topics, a huge contrast to all of my high school writing classes.
In the mean time, I think I’ll go pour myself a glass of Apple Juice.