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MIT blogger CJ Q. '23

back in east campus, the sequel by CJ Q. '23

jiggity jig (again)

these past two years have been wild. here’s all the times i’ve moved:

as is tradition, here’s a picture of my old room, with my key:

me holding a key in front of my old room in macgregor

and here is my room now. i am in a different room now, because my previous room was a double, and only frosh have doubles. (i was in my room last year because covid policy meant no one was in a double, but this year we do have people in doubles, so i am now in this room.)

my new room in east campus, there's a nice couch and a nice table

this is a room with a rich history. i can name the past four people who’ve lived in this room. many of the things in this room have been passed down from owner to owner, like the couches, the round table, some of the posters. it’s also right next to the lounge, which is a plus. it’s an extremely nice room and i’m very glad that i live in it.

thinking about this room makes me kinda sad. east campus is scheduled to get renovated next summer, and if that happens as planned, i won’t get to spend my senior year at ec. but more to the point, all the history of this room, all the years and years of stories attached to each piece, may not get passed on anymore. it makes me think about how fragile oral history is. someone lived in this room five decades ago, and i don’t know anything about them.

but there are things to look forward to. construction is happening! the east campus courtyard is alive with the buzz of saws and the crackles of grills and the whirr of the impact drivers. structures of wood begin to materialize, and it is exciting to be a part of it again. i really liked construction when i was a prefrosh, and now i’m on the other side!

i’m still absolutely clueless as to what i’m doing and honestly i’m just being carried by everyone else. but like, that’s fine. i’m happy just to be an extra pair of hands. i kinda initially regretted signing up to be a build lead for a project, and honestly i didn’t contribute much. but i now appreciate the amount of work that goes into a project like this, and all the careful planning and math that goes into making sure that nothing falls apart. all the people helping with ec construction are honestly really cool and inspiring. (i mean, everyone in mit is cool, but my appreciation for mit’s collective coolness has grown deeper.)

i recently beat slay the spire on the highest difficulty level, ascension 20, on three out of the four characters. it honestly feels like a pretty huge accomplishment, getting here in the first place, after two hundred hours of play. i have a pretty comprehensive knowledge of the game now, in that i can identify what each card or relic does simply by its name or picture, that i can list all the possible events in each act, that i know the ai of each of the enemies. and yet i am still far from being among the best players in the game, because i still struggle to win ascension 20 more than, like, 10% of the time. it’s a struggle.

screenshot of game, showing 195 hours of playtime

i read a poem about slay the spire that is a vibe. it makes me think about how it’s so, so unlikely for me to be here, right now, and that it’s hard to tell how much of me being here is because i am qualified for it or how lucky i am. because right now, i feel okay. not great, but at least i feel okay.

yesterday when i showed up to help with construction i told someone i felt so dead. they were puzzled, because they couldn’t figure out why, if i didn’t spend much time the previous day doing construction. i didn’t know how to explain how i felt, so i didn’t. the rest of the day turned out okay, though, so maybe i really am okay.