Sep 17, 2010
Posted in: Miscellaneous
Hi, my name is Emad, and I've just been institutionalized.
Well, institutionalized in the sense that I'm now affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Get it? Oh hoh yes, funny joke…along with some deliberate confusion of the words institution and institute.)
From what some of my friends, the veteran bloggers, and the wise upperclassmen have had to say, though, you do have to be a little crazy to go here. Not quite clinically crazy, but crazy about learning, crazy about making bold strides in the name of knowledge, crazy about pushing yourself to the limit as work approaches infinity.
I guess, as in life, craziness abounds here at my new home, and I get to discover it firsthand.
So now that you know that, as an MIT student, I'm a little crazy, you might be wondering, "How so? You seem well-adjusted and articulate enough." I guess articulation makes for a good starting point: I enjoy writing (about more than just zombie apocalypses, which you've probably seen from me when Chris Peterson introduced the new bloggers) and playing the drums, my preferred ways to sublimate my emotions into poetry, prose, or percussion.
When I'm not busy nurturing my expressive abilities (or doing lots of
exercises in masochism problem sets), I'm probably doing some hardcore thinking, censuring bad grammar, utilizing gratuitous grandiloquence in both day-to-day conversation and in what I write, keeping track of politics as best as I can, screwing around online, deadpan snarking, eating, or sleeping.
(Oh goodness, the sleeping: that which I loved so very much, that which threatens to leave me very soon.)
I seldom watch TV, unless House is playing. It's not that I don't enjoy other TV shows – I'm a fan of Law and Order, Burn Notice, Mythbusters, Modern Family, and of course, The Big Bang Theory – it's just that I haven't fallen into a steady TV routine. Yet. As far as music goes, I'm a huge fan of Dave Matthews Band, and I can identify pretty much any song in their discography from the first few measures and sing most of their songs from memory.
Speaking of people from South Africa, I was born in Cape Town, South Africa, a place that I don't remember much about, since I haven't visited ever since moving to Massachusetts at the age of three. You may associate South Africa with the cacophonous drone/mellifluous tones of the vuvuzela, due in large part to whatever trauma may have been inflicted upon you the first day you ever heard the sound of one.
To me, though, it’s where my drive to learn became a foregone conclusion, even before I was born, because of the events that transpired in my parents’ lives.
Though I’ve always been naturally curious to a degree, I wouldn’t have been as persistent with my curiosity if my parents weren't tenacious and curious themselves. They learned of the values of diversity, tolerance, liberty, and a good education from their years facing apartheid’s racism, censorship, and unequal treatment. In spite of all of this, both my mom and dad passed through the Institute en route to their current lives; my mother used to work at MIT, and my father pursued some of his graduate studies at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning.
After I was born, both of my parents imparted to me the lessons they learned from apartheid. They've also raised me on the idea that with a good education, pretty much anything would be possible, like scholarly achievement, and perhaps fame and fortune.
Of course, the fame part is also possible if you're a Youtube superstar, a distinction that is somehow held by adorable babies, dramatic chipmunks, kittens and cats, kids who go to dentists, and Fred Figglehorn. Somehow.
But I digress. I mean hey, now I'm an MIT student! And an MIT blogger! And I'm pumped to have a chance to talk to all 7,000+ unique visitors that the admissions blogs get every day. So Fred, you and me are cool (even though we kind of were already, to a degree) - I'm internet famous now, too!