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A Tale of Two Struggles by Krystal L. '17

Starring a broken scanner and the Urban Dictionary

It was 2AM. After a heart-warming and tummy-filling Thanksgiving break with my parents and my favorite sister (she’s kind of my only sister, but that’s beside the point) I found myself sitting in front of my desk, the room empty, and my roommates still gone. The glare of my laptop screen illuminated three sheets of paper covered in a few inked drawings for my next blog post and I took a dainty sip from my aluminum water bottle. The water tasted strangely of swimming pool. Weird.

All that was left was to make the sprint from Maseeh Hall to the Student Center to use the scanner in CopyTech and my belated post could finally be uploaded. I probably should have just waited until the next morning when normal people usually run errands. But sleep deprived brains convinced me otherwise.

After putting on my jacket and pulling up my toasty sweatpants, I channeled my inner polar bear and barreled through the front door. The wind was predictably cold and the Student Center was empty except for a lady in a puffy jacket minding her own business. Anyway, I was in high spirits until a minute later when all my hopes and dreams were shattered.

Everything is more dramatic at 2 in the morning.

The scanner in CopyTech was broken and a blinking error message smiled up at me. No amount of random button pushing could get my pictures scanned and my goal of finally fulfilling my blog posting duties was momentarily derailed.

And that, my friends, is why this post is sadly devoid of any visual aids. But never fear! Once the scanner gets fixed, another post shall materialize, filled to the brim with questionable artwork drawn by yours truly.

This last week has been as close to a Hell Week as I’ve ever been. You might be wondering, “what is a Hell Week anyway?” Excellent question. According to Urban Dictionary, Hell Week is “a situation in which a person spends a long period of time forgoing sleep and sometimes other necessities to prepare for something.” I highly recommend Urban Dictionary for all your slang needs, as long as your slang needs include reading exceedingly unreliable, crowd sourced definitions of colloquial terms. In this case, however, Urban Dictionary spit out a rather tame and accurate entry. While sleep was not entirely forgone and no meals were skipped (I fail to see how it is humanly possible to skip meals; I am hungry, hear me roar), I had a lot more work than usual.

As a freshman, I don’t think I’m qualified to use that phrase to its fullest extent, especially considering how short the week was. Upperclassmen constantly regale me with harrowing tales of back to back exams or days filled with essays, psets, and lab work. They make no efforts to spare the gory details. In comparison, my week seems benign. But I’m only a freshman, so I’ll take my Hell Weeks in manageable increments, thank you very much.

I had a 7.012 exam Monday night, a 8.01 exam Tuesday night, a 5.112 pset due Wednesday morning, and a 24.09 philosophy essay due Wednesday at 11:59pm. I really shouldn’t be complaining though, because as soon as the barrage of work ended, Thanksgiving break descended upon the MIT masses and we were granted a four day reprieve.

Hopefully as the semesters go by, I’ll figure out how to manage my time better. Maybe next year, my sister won’t have to sit on my bed twiddling her thumbs for an hour as I feverishly try to submit my philosophy essay before the deadline. For now, everything is great, and with only 20 more days until winter break, I’m downright giddy.

The only thing that stands between me and a plane back to California is a final essay and three final exams.

I guess I better get studying.