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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

The Class of 2010 Ring Premiere by Jess K. '10

I bring you the 2010 Ring Premiere, in full living color!

The Brass Rat is a long-standing MIT tradition that has given rise to MIT Admissions’ own, relatively young tradition: blogging Ring Premiere! And so, after three beautiful years of Ring Premiere blog entries, I’m proud to be blogging the debut of this year’s Brass Rat to the rest of the world. (I kind of do feel like this is sort of a blogging rite of passage, actually. I remember reading Melis’s ring premiere entry as a prefrosh and wanting one like Sam wants Ina Garten.)

This was the only thing that really disappointed me about the ring – its complete lack of controversy. I would’ve loved to see a woman on the seal. It seems illogical that people would complain about defying tradition in previous years, when the point of having all these quirky symbols is to defy tradition and create an identity that represents your class as a whole, so why not, in an era in which we have a female president and a female running as a major Democratic candidate, represent us with a woman? (Melis and Laura wrote similarly about the subject, especially since Melis’s class was right after the class of 2007’s Brass Rat had decided to try using a woman once again. It was changed for the first time in 2002).

Anyway. Continuing on..

The half-moon, which I didn’t have enough room to describe in the picture, is because the moon was in the half-moon phase when we first came to MIT in August 2006, and will be once again when we graduate in June 2010. (AAAWWW.) Also, another thing: there are 20 hidden 10s on the ring, 13 of which are on the bezel.

Regardless of the lack of controversy this year, though (it seems every year something comes up, from the woman, to a leaked design, to hidden cult symbols.. no, wait, that’s Disney movies)… the Brass Rat remains one of the strongest Institute traditions that is recognized all over, from grad school professors noticing you went to MIT undergrad to a lady at a coat check. So getting your Brass Rat is a pretty amazing part of being an MIT student, especially since it’s one of the few times that your entire class assembles on their own free will.

(Also, because Ring Comm was giving away a Wii.)

For more information about the Brass Rat:
The 2010 Ring Comm Website
Article in The Tech about the 2010 Brass Rat
Mollie’s 2006 Brass Rat Entry (sorry, Mollie!)
Matt’s 2007 Ring Premiere entry
Mitra’s 2007 Ring Premiere entry
Melis’s 2008 Ring Premiere entry
Article in the Tech about the 2008 Brass Rat
Laura’s 2009 Ring Premiere entry
Article in the Tech about the 2009 Brass Rat

46 responses to “The Class of 2010 Ring Premiere”

  1. Aditi says:


    yay bezel!

  2. Clara '10 says:

    I’m inclined to go with Quentin’s theory of different numbers of Commencements vs. classes (maybe during one of the wars, they didn’t have Commencement?)
    And JKim, you pointed out the crew team, but how about the sail boats? Way more people learn to sail at MIT than are ever on the crew team. (~250 every year) And sailing is also a real varsity sport, although severely under-recognized. The fact that there are boats and fireworks in the skylines are probably my two favorite features of the ring.

  3. Mollie says:

    Not to self-promote, but don’t forget the 2006 Brass Rat!

    2006 Brass Rat

  4. Keri says:

    Has anyone else really thought about how the Ring Committee did alter the seal shank? They changed the flame coming out of the lamp, adding yet another instance of the number 10 to the ring. Other classes have done the same thing; the class of 2006 changed the flame to reflect the graduating year of their sister class. Every time the issue of having a man a woman on the ring’s seal shank comes up, though, the first thing you hear people say is that they don’t want their ring to change the traditional version of the seal. But this has happened before – it’s only caused any controversy when the change made was of any real importance.

    Clearly, this isn’t actually about sticking with tradition anymore, since the Ring Committee was more than all right with changing the seal. Apparently it was just more important to add that twentieth “10” to the ring than to have some sort of symbol that yes, there are women – and a lot of them – at MIT.

    I have a paper due in an hour and I’m starting to rant a little bit, so I’ll cut this short. I actually really like our ring overall (save for a few issues – a crew boat on the Cambridge skyline?! WTF?! Not everyone here cares about crew, much less wants a symbol of it on their Brass Rat), but I’ve always felt really strongly about this and wanted to add my two cents.

  5. Masud says:

    Okay, I know it’s a BRASS rat…but would the RingComm ever arrange to have a silver ring made specifically for someone who is religiously forbidden to wear gold or any gold containing alloys?BTW the BR4C2010 is pretty awesome…The beaver on the 8 ivy leaves…King Beaver lols

  6. Lainers says:

    I’m all for tradition, but I agree that using a man and a women in the traditional seal seems a nice touch.

    Nice ring, though! Love the crew team.

  7. Sam says:

    Whoa, your class kind of lucked out as far as numbering goes. It doesn’t really get any more succinct than MMX, and that whole “MITtens” thing kind of worked. Or maybe not really. Oh, and it’s easy to hide a stick and a circle somewhere and say “Hey, look, it’s our graduating year.”

    Haha, one of the first things I thought when I saw all the symbols on the ring design was “There’s probably a clue leading to some national treasure, but you have to realize that Daylight Saving Time wasn’t invented when the ring was designed, or something.”

  8. Shubhang says:

    I had taken the January SAT Subject Test Examination however the reports have not yet been processed in the tracker. Should I be worried about this and send another rush report??
    Also would 1530/1600 in Physics and Maths
    Level 1 add anything to my application.
    Pl. reply—anyone.

  9. Steve says:

    Wow, that is pretty cool how they have a whole ceremony. I bet when MIT alums get bored on a plane or something, they take off their ring and examine it (I know I would :D).

  10. Anonymous says:

    You’ve got a relly great score shubhang… not worry!!

  11. Akshay says:

    Hey Jess!
    A really cool entry. I love the you have made it informative as well as fun to read.
    Also I’m in for the free stuff. Who doesn’t like that :D
    And the key the description of key held by the three faced dog really made me laugh for 2 minutes.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I too agree that the woman on the seal would have added a nice touch. I’m a bit of both, though. I think it would be appropriate to change tradition when needed. However, in the case of the brass rat, the two men on the seal are recognized all over the world. It would be weird to change it. Now if it is changed, it might not seem so weird 50 years from now.

  13. Sam says:

    Really, my only disappointment was that Mitra didn’t put Ina Garten on the seal of my ring. But sometimes I squint and pretend.

  14. Paul says:

    Personally, I think it’ll be even easier to hide a bunch of ’11s on my class’s ring…but, hey, you never know.

  15. PS says:

    It’s interesting to know how the committee could mix in a symbol Global Warming and Harry Potter.
    By the way, I liked the references to Athena and Kerberos…

    Aaaand, the question: how the Comm is chosen?

  16. Christina says:

    Masud – yes! You can order it in Celestrium or Gold! In fact, most MIT students order both and wear the Celestrium around while saving the gold for special occasions.

  17. Libin Daniel says:

    So much information on a ring is just spellbinding…Great! The Brass Rat is great..I echo the same question as PS.

  18. Quentin '10 says:

    There is, in fact, some controversy about our ring. That is, whether people actually notice the problem or not.

    Our ring has 8 ivy leaves, representing the other ivy league schools (being crushed by the beaver), which are grouped in groups of 1-4-3 leaves. They said this was because we are the 143rd class to graduate from MIT. But go check the news office’s coverage of the 141st commencement this year…

    Do the math. That would make ours the *144th* commencement, not the 143rd. Someone has miscounted, and I hope it’s not our RingComm.

    –Quentin ’10

  19. Libin Daniel says:

    So the first one has surfaced. Cool!
    Let’s see more.

  20. Libin Daniel says:

    In the pic of Kerberos, is it an aircraft at the left side? What’s at the right side?

  21. Libin Daniel says:

    Is it to commemorate the latest NASA expedition or the thirst of Mankind to reach into space and further their knowledge about it?

  22. Samujjal says:

    @ Libin

    The Kerberos

    “Flying to the left of the dome is a NASA space shuttle. The landing space shuttle represents the phasing out of the Shuttle program, which will officially end in 2010 when we graduate. It also honors our first MIT alumna to command a space shuttle mission. To the right of the dome is a galaxy. The galaxy represents the class of 2010’s boundlessness of character. We constantly strive for knowledge, friendship and the advancement of our society. Finally, the year 2010 is incised above the dome to represent our lasting impression on the Institute.”

  23. Paul says:

    One of my fraternity brothers is on the 2010 RingComm (the guy all the way on the right in Jess’s first photo of them), so I brought up the 143 vs. 144 thing with him. His response:

    “I think every ring committee has asked the company about the number, and every year, we’ve been notified that we’re still on track. We’re math students after all, so it’s only natural that we question that number.

    Every single ring going back at least a decade has the class number, and we’ve just been incrementing since.”

  24. Laura says:

    I was always much more upset by people’s attitudes, rather than the actual issue of “woman on the seal.” Every year since the ’07 premiere, groups of students have quite literally stood and cheered when the ring committee uttered the phrase, “The MIT seal has been included in its original, UNaltered form.”

    Yeah, THAT ticks me off. After that statement was made at my ring premiere, I booed- at the large group (of all males) sitting next to me who stood and started cheering.

  25. Ray says:

    Since I’d rather Paul not get accused of hearsay, I figure I’d make a couple of comments:

    1. We brought the year issue up with the company a couple of times. As far as the ring is concerned, the 2010 class is the 143rd class. If it turns out somehow everything’s wrong, then I guess that’d make for a good Jeopardy question sometime down the road: “This ring, the 3rd most recognizable in the world, miscalculated its class year for over a decade.”

    But from the MIT timeline:
    As the first graduating class was in 1868, it appears we’re indeed the 143rd graduating class

    2. With regards to the woman on the seal, as I was the one that had to stand there while a couple of very angry girls in the 5th row called me a sexist and tried to stare me down (no easy feat considering the lighting in the room):

    If there had been a woman, what should that woman look like? How should that woman represent MIT? Should we have put Hillary on the ring? How womanly must the person be to properly represent the female population at MIT? Long or short hair? Curly or straight? Glasses? How long should the dress be? Why not pants instead of the dress? What style should the dress be? Should she be the scholar or worker?

    Given that a large part of MIT is dissatisfied with our choice of gender, imagine how many of that group would still be dissatisfied with how we portrayed the gender if we had gone the other way (did that make any sense at all?). And then imagine how many people originally satisfied with the official seal would now be upset.

    I’m not speaking on behalf of my committee (who might not be all that happy at me for commenting on the ring online), but I don’t think it’s the Ring Committee’s place to change the seal. We’re part of that MIT tradition, not the ones in charge of it.

    Just my 2 cents at 2am.

  26. Steph says:

    Adding a woman would have been interesting. I think it symbolizes change and diversity (that’s just my opinion).

    The rings look beautiful and free stuff is awesome.

  27. Quentin '10 says:


    Thanks for responding to my comments. I’m just as willing to believe that the news office has miscounted as the RingComms have miscounted. In fact, I bet there’s some long-lost distinction between “commencement” and “graduating class” that explains it. Perhaps there was an extra commencement at the very beginning, to honor students who transferred in?

    –Quentin ’10

  28. Oasis says:

    Oh yeah – I totally second Paul.

    It’ll just be like “see that extra 2 lines over there?” It’s an ’11! lol

    (as evidenced by his signature on the valentine day’s cards…=p)

  29. BBM says:

    “In fact, most MIT students order both and wear the Celestrium around while saving the gold for special occasions.”
    Ohh that’s good to know.

    Also, can anyone please describe the process of applying to be on the RingComm as well as the selection process?

  30. Nicole '10 says:

    because I feel like offering my two cents about the ring (MIT/Balfour will get the real $$ later) instead of working on my 6.006 pset:

    what about to the de-schemification of MIT??? For those of you who don’t know, 6.001 was MIT’s legendary introductory programming course that has been indoctrinating young frosh into the Knights of the Lambda Calculus since the 1970s, and was finally abandoned this year – making the class of 2010 the transition class for course 6… this is a big deal and affects up to 30% of our class, much more than say, the rowing/sailing program here – which has a prominent spot on the ring. I was very disappointed that there was no symbol commemorating the end of 6.001 – a close paren marking the end of this era would have been a particularly nice touch. So, I set out to search the ring for lambdas – and I found two. Just flip the bezel over – they’re upside down and backwards, but clearly there. ^_^

  31. Shruthi says:

    Wow! This brass rat rocks :D Esp the lightning symbolism :D

  32. Christina says:

    BBM –
    It’s an application (pretty long) with some essay questions and whatnot that comes out in the spring of your freshman year. Then, the class officers hold interviews and voila!

  33. Jess says:

    BBM – I asked Ray (the guy on the right in the first 2010 Ring Comm picture) and he said:

    “I think every year might be a bit different, though I think the student council makes all the decisions. They sent out applications and asked for resumes around March/April, and then they interviewed us one at a time. Apparently, this year they picked random things for people to do. I had to write a haiku about the brass rat on the spot. Usually, the council makes it a point to vary their choices so that the committee is made up of people from all over campus.

    Short answer: Class council decides.”

  34. Anon says:

    Perhaps the Class of 2011 will be the first to put a woman on the seal.

  35. Collin says:

    Thats probably the coolest “ring” tradition i’ve heard of from all the colleges I’ve visited.

  36. Oasis says:

    I wondered for a long time what the rose symbolized, and then I went onto the website and read about it. I think it’s sooo touching. lol. (no sarcasm)

    I think I’m starting to get touchy-feely because of the delirium from my 18.03 pset hahaha.

  37. BBM says:

    Thanks Christina and Jess!

  38. Hawkins says:

    First of all, Jess, really nice job. smile

    Next, since everyone’s putting in $0.02, I’ll chime in. I must concur with Ray that it would be difficult to come to an agreement about how to represent the MIT woman on the seal. I’m not opposed to the idea at all, but I can see how it would cause a lot of discontent and make even more people angry. Oh, and crew is nice, but not cool enough to be on the brass rat. =P

    And I totally agree with Nicole. LISP, FTW!

  39. omar says:

    that was a nice post…
    i just ordered my brass rat, so yeah, i liked it. i do agree with keri though, crew? wtf. and i would have liked a woman there as well.

    you see? i like you girls too, to some extent.

  40. Roshini says:

    Hey, Jess…I was wondering if you could please write a blog entry on like the first week of freshman year, here at MIT. How does it feel to be there if you do’not know anyone? How do the first year (WEEK) classes go about? etc…..

    Please do write one entry on this!!!

  41. Lilo says:

    CONTROVERSY? umm…..if u wanted controversy they should have put up some of the really interesting stuff that’s happened lately…put a STAR on our ring,or a KNIFE, or how bout maybe a person getting FIRED. now i would have been really excited about that.