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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

Antici by Sam M. '07

A long time ago in a suburb far away...

DID YOU KNOW? The name of the “avocado” comes from the Spanish “abogado,” or “lawyer.” This is because the Spaniards who came to the New World couldn’t pronounce the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl,” so they simply chose the Spanish word that sounded closest to it.

Hey, according to Matt, they’re mailing regular decisions out tomorrow! I can feel you shivering with anticipation, with constructive interference and radiant energy and whatnot.

Let me tell you the story of when I got my admissions decision from MIT.

It was Monday… March 17, I believe. I forgot it was coming and Sam’s Mom told me that it was coming the week of the 22nd. I think her logic was that she would have time to hide it from me, figuring I was too young and stupid to know what a postmark was. That’s probably accurate. She tells me that I took extra long to walk home from school that day–I was usually home by 3:15 on Mondays, having finished up most of my extracurriculars by my last semester–and she probably almost fainted or something.

Anyway, Sam’s Mom was waiting at the door when I was like, two-thirds of the way up the block, and I was pretty dumb in high school, so I didn’t realize that anything was really out of the ordinary. Anyway, she didn’t really say anything, when I walked in, but merely thrust the large, non-tubular envelope at me. It was kind of exciting, and there was some jumping as we spilled it out on the kitchen table.

We were going to go out to dinner or something to celebrate, but we had already ordered pizza and didn’t really want it to go to waste, so we postponed that a few nights.

Anyway, that was way more exciting than sitting at my AOL inbox at 6 PM on April 2 and pressing “reload” over and over again… but whatever floats your boat!

When I am wealthy, I will float my boat in a swimming pool full of strawberry soda, and will ride in it with four mute Japanese girls, who I pay to model my own line of designer clothing (a la Gwen Stefani).

Sorry, trying to find motivation to keep doing these psets…

Tomorrow: A portrait of my UROP as a young man.

14 responses to “Antici”

  1. Dhrubo says:

    [A portrait of my UROP as a young man.]

    Nice smile Isn’t that a parody of “A portrait of the artist as a young man” by James Joyce?

  2. Curious says:

    Interesting, Spanish for avocado is “aguacate” emulating the term in Nahuatl: “ahuacatl”…although “abogado” does rhyme with “avocado”. How official is the information you mention on it? Curious.

  3. Alan says:

    Reading all of this does make me literally shiver with anticipation, as it did during EA, which are the only times in my life I’ve actually done such a thing.

    Here’s a more full genesis from the American Heritage Dictionary via with a humorous tidbit for sharing with friends when feeling particularly immature (as we, admittedly, all often are).

    >Word History: The history of avocado takes us

    >back to the Aztecs and their language, Nahuatl,

    >which contained the word ahuacatl meaning both


  4. Sam says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention that part–eventually they found that having the words “avocado” and “abogado” to describe two totally disparate things was too confusing, so they stopped using the word “avocado” and apparently decided on “aguacate.”

  5. Phil says:

    Majoring in Linguistics would be pretty insane

  6. Ruth says:

    My acceptance experience was awesome, too. My host from when I pre-froshed and two of her friends had emailed me to tell me what day it was coming, and that semester I got out of school at noon for work-study. So I left school, went home, and parked in the driveway by the mailbox. The envelope was abotu 2/3 the size of the mailbox, so it took forever to pull it out, but I figured a package that big wouldn’t be a rejection letter.

    And then yesterday, I kept getting phone calls from people all day trying to coordinate a Burton-Conner/Simmons bowling trip, so I kept ignoring the voicemail message I’d gotten about mid-day. I finally checked it in the bowling alley, and it was my acceptance message to MIT Urban Planning Grad School. And then I bowled a 107.

    Good luck everyone!

  7. Sam says:

    I’ve read all the comforting things the admissions officers and other assorted people have been saying in attempts to relieve stress that may be caused by this situation.

    But, in all honesty, the only thing that has really helped is the Rocky Horror reference. And Gwen Stefani.

    I mean it, too.

  8. Beth says:

    I got in, whoo hoo! I’m {emph so} happy!

    Also, yes, props on the Joyce reference. Portrait of the Artist is one of my |favorite| books. Plus, I really like your references in general! grin

  9. Melike says:

    My mom wasn’t as patient. She called me when I was in class. It was a free period, so the teacher came up to me and said I had a phone call. I then announced it to the class, and everybody congratulated me. Then, the smart kids wondered if they had gotten in, too. (None of them had. but it’s okay. They’re happy where they are now.)

  10. Anonymous says:

    hehe, well Sam…it is time for me to say my goodbyez!!!

    I enjoyed your posts but unfortunately I must say I got my rejection letter and I must part…hopefully one of the other 5 colleges I applied to will…but before I go, I must say I secretly had a crush on thee !!! ^^ sorry, couldn’t contain myself…thats what I get for loving the term turkey carcasses !!!…adios futuro indefinido /._.—–
    AUTHOR: Sasha
    DATE: 03/19/2006 03:31:40 PM
    Hi! I have never posted here before, always being unsure of whether I’m cool enough, but MIT just accepted me so I just had to make my presence known cause I’m suchabigfanofyourwork.

    My seven-year-old sister gave me a logic puzzle to solve–one of those where there’s a grid and a few clues and you put X’s in the boxes as you deduce what kind of pet each person has and what the pet’s name is. I sat down and diligently solved it and proudly handed it over to her, and watched her forehead slowly furrow as she read my answers. Besides the fact that Ricky had a parakeet named Fluffy, I had gotten the entire thing wrong.

    Then I got home and found out that I had gotten into MIT. Admissions officers, you have no idea what you’re doing.

    Despite my lack of logical reasoning skills, I’m extremely excited. I don’t yet know where I want to go, but MIT grows more and more attractive in my mind every day. I’m into environmental sciences (particularly human impact on natural resources) and linguistics, with my hobbies being literature (especially schmaltzy 18th-century poetry), journalism, cosmology and puppies.

    I have two important questions.

    1) Does MIT have rules against electric teakettles in the rooms? And if so, how strictly are they enforced?

    2) Seriously, are most people at MIT happy? Will I have a nervous breakdown if I come? Does me not being a hard-core quantitative gearhead doom me to failure? Will I enjoy my life?

    Thank you for your time.

  11. Ruth says:

    I’m going to jump in before Sam gets the chance.

    I don’t know what an electric teakettle is, but I do know that Zach has a little coffee machine. I’ve seen electric water heaters, and those all seem fine. People have candles, too, and aside from that one girl that caught fire and died, I don’t think there’s a big thing about them. I’d say it depends on the dorm, and talk to the upperclassmen that live there when you visit.

    About being happy, I’d say: “spend a lot of time picking out where you want to live.” Generally, I’d say that 99% of MIT is happy. We’re the kind of people that thrive under pressure, ya know? It’s one thing to be working hard all night in high school, but here, you’re working hard and your friends are, too! There are most certainly non-gearheads at MIT, and they hang out with some gearheads and some non-gearheads, and everyone gets along just fine. There’s a lot more to life than being good at math, and everyone here seems to be spectacular at something.

    My best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten – everyone here is just as freaked out as you. Don’t ever think its “just you.” So ask when you have a question, because everyone reading this blog is thinking it, and everyone writing these blogs thought it at some point.

  12. Sam says:

    Phil — Yeah, I’ve seen people’s linguistics papers before and the whole thing–looking at exactly how language is formed and how people think about the world around them, just blows my mind. I was hoping to take 24.900 (Intro to Linguistics) at some point in my MIT career, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening. I did get some interesting stuff about languages out of the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, however.

    Dhrubo — Indeed… along with Everything is Illuminated and A Prayer for Owen Meany, my favorite novel. My all-time favorite Joyce is probably “Araby” from Dubliners, though–I even wrote a 6 minute musical version of it for my AP English class!

    Alan — Good luck and thanks for backing me up. I owe you a solid. Remind me of that if you come to CPW.

    Melike — So, in the words of the immortal Ralph Wiggum, you beat the smart kids? Nice one. My doctor said I wouldn’t have so many nosebleeds if I just kept my finger out of there!

    Harlan — Silly France!

    Sam — Thanks, and good luck to you too! I’m really obsessed with this idea of Gwen Stefani paying Japanese girls to hang out with her; I’m glad that you appreciate it.

    Beth — Congratulations! On MIT and on enjoying my references. As some professor (Guth?) said at the latke/hamentashen debate, paraphrased, “Somebody is correct when he or she has the same opinions as I do.”

    Ruth — Congratulations! Amazing how much things change, huh?

    Anonymous — Why didn’t you put this on your application?! Strings can be pulled! Haha, just kidding; I don’t think that even I have that much power. Best of luck in all of your future pursuits.

    Sasha — Thanks for your comments! To answer your first question–almost all dorms have kitchens of some sort. Some are more accessible than others (Burton-Conner, New House, East Campus)… so you could probably even use a non-electric teakettle if you wanted! I get the feeling that they might not be “technically” allowed depending on the heat output. However, I have seen people with coffeepots around BC, and I once set up a crockpot to make apple butter on my floor (I didn’t want anybody stealing it while I was gone), so I think it should be kosheer.

    As for your second question, it is way harder to answer (although Ruth did so admirably) and perhaps is worthy of a new entry.