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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

Born Under Punches by Sam M. '07

The heat goes on, which is nice, but so does classwork.

DID YOU KNOW? The German language has two different verbs for “to eat,” depending on whether a person is eating (essen) or an animal is eating (fressen).

I have also learned the German word for “to strike a deathblow.” Look out, world.

It was a really, oustandingly lovely day today. Just so you know. But it’s a busy week in my life, between classes, choir, marching band, career fair, thinking about grad school applications, marathon training, information sessions, UROP, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, housewarming parties, a floor-sponsored trip to some island in the middle of Boston Harbor, and who knows what else. Heck, I didn’t even have time to call Sam’s Mom tonight. Good thing she reads my blog, huh?

Today I also completed the long distance runaround from the music offices to the HASS office to my advisor twice this week so I could propose my music minor (6 classes) and provide evidence of the completion of my music concentration (3 classes, and a GIR). You’d assume that at MIT I could register for classes or turn in important forms on a computer or something, but then again you know what happens when you assume, don’t you? Well, I guess some of our more ambitious code monkeying students wouldn’t come out of their rooms for more than 30 minutes each term if they didn’t have to run over to the gym to schedule classes.

And then I have homework! And not just psets! I have homework in my HASS classes, dude! I assumed that taking two science classes and three HASS classes that I love would decrease my workload a little bit this term, but you know what happens when you assume, don’t you? Anyway, here’s what I’m punting right now to blog:

21F.403: German III — Write a modern-day parody of a fairy tale. Mine is a version of The Three Little Pigs where the wolf is a health code inspector. Well, only the first two paragraphs are due tomorrow. I’ll make it work. Trust me.

21M.303: Writing in Tonal Forms I — Write the first 8 bars of a minuet for string quartet. Dr. Ruehr helpfully told us that this should basically consist of a “memorable moment” in the first four bars and a “less memorable moment” in the second four bars. Well, I’ve got the first part written already, and then the second part should kind of follow by definition, right? She also bought us sticky buns and scheduled a minuet dance lesson for us to get us more in that baroque mood.

21M.500: Senior Seminar in Music: Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison has asked us to perform some of Bach’s greatest hits in class, mostly from the Art of Fugue. Since I’m a singer and terrible at piano, he let me perform and analyze some of the cantatas instead. So, I’ve gotta practice Movt. 5 of Cantata 101 for Wednesday and hope that my voice changes back to a range where I can sing tenor parts again. We’ve also got to choose from a list of 12 diverse pieces for our project on improvisation. I’m really jockeying for Liszt’s first Transcendtal Etude, Ives’ Concord Sonata, or Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue. If I don’t get those, oh I’ll just die.

I might write an entry on teacher recommendations, just as a way of reminding myself that I need to start getting them too. GET TO WORK SAM HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING THIS STUPID BLOG ENTRY?!

If I inspire just one little girl to dance, it was all worth it.

10 responses to “Born Under Punches”

  1. “DID YOU KNOW? The German language has two different verbs for “to eat,” depending on whether a person is eating (essen) or an animal is eating (fressen).”

    I win!

  2. Colin says:

    As much as I should be sleeping right now instead of leaving a comment, I can’t refrain from commenting on the sheer brilliance of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes.

    So there it is.

    Oh, Germany. I keep telling people that the actual way to say “Germany” in German is not “Deutschland” but “Yermany,” but nobody believes me. It’s really sad.

  3. Penrose says:

    Help me Sam, you may be my only hope. I was running a search on google….looking for a work of art. It is a clear/acrylic female form filled with mannequin hands. Yes, with red painted fingernails. You mentioned it in blog from ’04. Do you remember who the artist is or where the artwork is located? It’s driving me nuts!

  4. Nichole '10 says:

    Random, but what is the correct way to pronounce “Stata”…I’ve heard it several different ways, but never know which way is the right one.

  5. Nichole – I’ve generally heard that the name is pronounced “Staytuh”, and the building is pronounced Stahtuh smile

  6. Sam says:

    Really, Evan? Because I’ve always pronounced it “stat-uh.” I think the general consensus on campus is that the world will never know.

  7. Nichole '10 says:

    I’ll just stick with Building 32 grin

  8. Sam says:

    Colin — Yes, yes! It was by far my favorite piece on the list (no pun intended), but some girl snatched it up before I did. Luckily, I was still able to get the Ives Concord Sonata, which I kind of doubt anybody would have chosen anyway, but I absolutely love.

    Penrose — I don’t remember what it was called or who the artist was, but the piece of art was found in the Nice Museum of Modern Art. Good luck!

    Nichole — NOBODY KNOWS. Not even the Statas.

  9. Amy Perez says:

    The Stata Center is actually pronounced “stay-tuh,” as Evan suggested. I was at the Stata Center’s dedication in 2004 and saw President Vest (Charles Vest, MIT’s previous president) dedicate it with Ray and Maria Stata on hand, and everyone pronounced it that way.

  10. Sarah says:

    Stupid question and I’m *assuming* the answer is yes, but just to make sure, since we all know what happens when one assumes…so here goes:

    If one wanted to start playing an instrument freshman year and march in the band or just wanted to start something completely new and make a deal of it, is that possible at MIT? Or does the marching band, for example, only consist of experienced “been marching my whole life ever since it started in 7th grade” high schoolers?

    Thanks, your post reminded me of the huge ec life available at MIT which is a sharp turn from what my high school offers.