Apr 24, 2007
Drinking from the Firehose
Posted in: Visit
Dorms. Multistep retrosynthesis. A cappella music. Hacks. Everything I experienced at CPW was just amazing. How can one compare an MIT education to a drink from a firehose? There is so much more than water at MIT!
Thursday, I arrived at CPW two hours later than intended. My flight through O’Hare airport was delayed, and it took over fourteen hours to get to Boston from my hometown. I was soaked from the weather, completely unable to find Terminal E, and jet lagged.
By that night, I was bouncing with glee and sugar in the elevator to the fifth floor.
The chocolate and peanut butter ice cream with eleven toppings I ate at the dorm probably played a part in that total happiness. So did the welcome event and festival- I was entertained, I was deeply impressed, and I was incredibly relieved that I wouldn’t have to give up Taekwondo or good chocolate at MIT. It was my very first time on campus, so I was struck by the sheer variety of activities that students do. All it takes to make a group is passion.
Over the weekend, I learned about everything from tie-dying to the fourth Roman Emperor to complex Fourier series. I went on tours that went over, under, and through all that is MIT. My favorite building is the one I have affectionately decided to name “sponge-waffle square dorm”... because who needs a pineapple under the sea with a place like Simmons? Everywhere I went, people were nice and doors were metaphorically open.
At the MIT museum, my favorite things had to be the photography display, the artificial intelligence exhibit, and the t-shirt in the gift shop that said “There are 10 types of people in this world- those who understand binary and those who don’t.” Seeing some of the history behind MIT was surprisingly interesting, mostly because famous hacks were mentioned. Hacks are the absolute best part of the culture. I must disagree with the shirt and way that there are two kinds of people in this world- hackers and those who wish they were hackers.
The nanotechnology lab I visited on a UROP tour was also exciting, and they gave out soda can holder things.
In fact, I got a bunch of free stuff that I wasn’t even looking for. Besides the two soda can holders, I was given a mug at the Women’s Dessert Reception, a t-shirt at the Beaver and the Geek show, one I tie-dyed myself, a pair of two way radios at the Dorm Life raffle, and a red clip ring. And that’s not even counting whatever I bought with my $20.11 of Tech cash and my mass of brochures, folders, and booklets. Haha!! Plunder!! It’s great that MIT actually cares about its prefrosh and wants them to see what the place is really like. As if I still need convincing that it’s the best.
Saturday night, I went to Next Act’s Beauty and the Beast instead of Battle of the Bands. It was the greatest part of CPW for me! Since it was the “hacked” version, every scene was slightly changed to keep the Disney feel but make it 1000x more hilarious. It represented MIT better than any other event I went to. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that it was MIT, condensed into a play and stuffed into the biggest, most colorful costumes I’ve ever seen.
And now for some random and wonderful CPW moments:
Tim the beaver dancing to “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
The organic chemistry professor exclaiming “Please ask dumb questions like that!” after she miswrote an equal sign as = and a student asked if it was a triple bond.
This awesome person.
When it was finally time to pack it up for the flight home, I wished I could stay. Boston is already my home. Happily, I woke up to a hack at the student medical building. (Actually, I watched X-Men, X-Men II and Spiderman instead of sleeping, so change “woke up” to “set down my ice cream and put on shoes and a sweatshirt”). So I was able to leave with a huge smile on my face, confident that the students will still be just as awesome when I return in August.
The parting hack. That walk button lights up the red and green parts alternately.