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MIT student blogger Karen F. '11

Bad Ideas by Karen F. '11

...and the universities that encourage them.

So this weekend, East Campus hosted the Bad Ideas Weekend, which can be more or less dangerous than it sounds, depending on your imagination.

Personally, I find this a lot more exciting than Mystery Hunt. I mean, there’s something to be said for watching people do really random, stupid, amusing things.

For me, there is nothing to be said for locking yourself in a room for countless hours solving really hard puzzles on little to no sleep. But to each his own! Whatever floats your boat! Insert other clichés about tolerance here! Just wanted to point out that contrary to what the blogs seem to indicate, not everyone participates, or even intends to someday participate. Don’t forget – no matter what, there are always exceptions to rules here at good old M.I.T.

Anyway, I wasn’t really around for much of Bad Ideas, unfortunately. But I did make it a point to go to one event. Friends, this is the Green Building, home to EAPS/Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences/Course 12, and 54-100, one of the most uncomfortable lecture halls at MIT:

The Green Building is something like 21 stories tall – I’m never really sure because, as you can see, the first floor doesn’t exactly exist, but anyway, it’s the tallest building in Cambridge.

You may be wondering where this is going. Bad Ideas? Green Building? No, we didn’t throw anything (or anyone) off, though on Halloween, East Campus does use the Green Building for its annual Pumpkin Drop. The Bad Idea associated with the Green Building was running up the stairs as many times as you can in four hours (bananas and Gatorade provided at the top, and you take the elevator down). You would usually run for a team, and the team with the most runs gets the much-coveted title of “Most Masochistic.” Or something.

Do you still think MIT sounds fun? ;)

Anyway, I really only showed up to take pictures, but I made the mistake of going on time (silly me), so almost no one was there for the big start. And I kind of felt sorry for one of the people there, because she would have to run by herself, so I thought, “well, what the heck.” I ventured up.

I took pictures of the scenery along the way. There were some motivational posters, because sometimes the MIT Crew Team (though I prefer “cult” :P) have to run up them for practice:

And there were also some random amusing pictures on the wall, like caterpillars and dinosaurs:

Despite the artwork on the walls, I still only did it once, because, well, running up stairs for four hours (though most people don’t do it for the whole four hours) is just a Bad Idea.

The weekend also consisted of a rat-trap building contest (contrary to what you may believe, the streets of MIT are not paved in gold. We do have rats. Large ones. But they live outside, so as long as you don’t go out at night by yourself, you should be okay ;), eating and cooking contests, live Mario Kart racing, and (what I regretted missing the most:) Velcro Gladiators.

I’ve been incredibly busy lately as student groups try to fit in one last activity before IAP comes to an official close. I didn’t even have time to make it Karaoke Night with ATS tonight because I had so many other things to do! But rest assured, I have lots of cool stuff to talk about for the next few days, even though technically (and I’m really sorry to have to say this) IAP is already over for me. Harvard started classes today.

Now that’s a bad idea.

17 responses to “Bad Ideas”

  1. karen says:

    As I said in my entry, for other people, this might be enjoyable, and I realize it’s probably due to other circumstances, like being on a team, random hilarious sleep-deprivation-induced moments, etc. I didn’t mention all this because it didn’t need to be mentioned – the other bloggers covered it pretty well wink so my description was meant to be taken a bit tongue-in-cheek.

  2. Anonymous says:

    MIT still does sound fun. smile

  3. Sam says:

    Re: Anonymous 1

    Speaking of which, did you hear about that fire at the circus?

    Yeah. It was intense.

  4. the green building is 21 stories.

  5. Karen says:

    Aaaaahhh, Mario Kart! The game of the gods.

    Also, stairs are quite awful, my mom tried to get me to do that crazy Sears Tower stair-climbing exercise one year for some reason, and needless to say, we both gave up rather quickly. I’m sorry that your break is over, but I’m sure you’ll learn something totally fascinating to make up for it!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I want to play mario kart and fight in the snow and stuff. This sounds awesomely fun

  7. Paul says:

    While I certainly agree that not everyone does Mystery Hunt, the Hunt is much more than locking yourself in a room and just beating yourself over the head with puzzles. For me, at least, being part of the Hunt means not only experiencing a great tradition but also being part of a team…which can be pretty hilarious at times.

    Anyway, I also really wanted to go to Bad Ideas – especially the Athena cluster runaround – but I had fraternity commitments instead. More about that later…

  8. asm says:

    Didn’t the legendary Disco Dance Floor originate from this?

  9. Piper says:

    Other Bad Ideas events:

    Mariokart (tricycle) racing and spicy food eating contest (mmm, so good)! And yes, asm, that is indeed where 1E’s disco floor came from.

  10. Marissa says:

    I worked on the 14th floor of the Green building last summer, and I don’t think I ever took the stairs. Too painful.

  11. milena '11 says:

    I was going to do clusterfuck too!! But 9:30 found me making delicious corn sticks for my friends, so we decided to eat instead.

  12. omar '10 says:

    as paul ’11 said, mystery hunt is not how you describe it at all… not that people like me would still be interested, but you made it sound like it was all lonely and sad.

    but then again, i’m not interested in many things promoted as ‘mit culture’ that only certain people do and enjoy. i was tempted as a freshmen to participate in all these things… but i never really saw the point. guess i’m missing that whole ‘competitive’ gene, yeah the one that tells you “do this just because you want to show everyone that you can do shit better than them”.
    that i never did.

  13. Personally the stair climbing does just sound like a Bad Idea.. but some of the other stuff sounds pretty awesome. I wonder how long until something from the weekend is cooler than the disco dance floor.

    If you can think of something that already did, let me know!

    ~Donald Guy

  14. Shannon says:

    Sam, because no one else has commented on your joke, I just think you should know that I laughed out loud.

  15. thanks says:

    thanks for reassuring folks that not all MIT kids stay up late to solve puzzles with the sole prize of more work (making up a puzzle). Thnak goodness someone is normal.

  16. Masud says:

    ME WUV MAWIOKART!*boing boing boing…*