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MIT student blogger Karen F. '11

Bread at Desk by Karen F. '11

This entry brought to you by the letters "Sleep Deprivation."

It is 5:16am.

At about 4:45, I walked into Senior House. I had been at East Campus working on a 5.111 (chemistry) pset with a friend. I actually enjoyed doing it, despite the very obvious fact that I spent all night doing it because it’s due tomorrow. Although I have to admit I think I’ve drawn enough Lewis structures to satisfy me for awhile. When I walked in, there was tons of bread at desk. Even baguettes, and I love baguettes. Usually when there’s food at desk, it’s free for the taking, but I had actually gone back to senior house to pick something up about twenty minutes before I came back for good, and it wasn’t there then, so I thought that maybe someone had just put it down for a bit because there was so much of it or something and they were going to come back.

At 4:58am, an email was sent to the Senior House mailing list. It said “please help yourself to the many loaves of bread at desk.”

I was excited – free bread! – but I didn’t go downstairs right away, I was in the middle of something important. Probably checking facebook.

About ten minutes later, there were only two loaves of bread left at desk. An email gets sent out at five o’freaking clock in the morning, and the stuff is nearly all gone ten minutes later. Things really do move fast at MIT.

It’s like the Reuse mailing list, which is the only mailing list I ever took myself off of, because I stopped reading the emails after about a day of constant ads. People just send out emails like “pink lamp in 2-232” or “one and three quarters of a gallon of seagreen paint next to the X office” or “cute cat, call xxxx for more information” or “box of packing peanuts need good home.” I know a lot of people who scan reuse for computer parts to build random cool things.

For real.

It’s all free, too.

But the thing is, you have to move fast. Running is best. If it’s on the other side of campus, though, you’re probably out of luck. Anyway. That’s how fast all this bread went.

But it’s okay, I still got a nice loaf.

I’m not sure what the point of this entry is. When we blog things, we get a drop-down list of categories to choose from. If this isn’t “miscellaneous,” I don’t know what is. Except for like eighteen of Snively’s entries. They seem to be the very definition of miscellaneous.

Hmm. In two and a half hours, I will be attending the “Petit Dejeuner Francophone et “Reseautage” Science et Technologie.” Mmmm, free French breakfast, sponsored by the Club Francophone. But I must finish some things before I go. Like my Arabic homework. And this blog, I guess.

I would almost consider not posting this because it’s so random, but I haven’t posted in awhile, and hey, I don’t think I was hired because I’m the most efficient writer in the world. Or was I? Hmmmm.

So today is pi day. It’s 5:30 am and already there are two entries up.

Pi day.

It’s a good excuse to eat pie. Which I did today. At midnight. It was delicious.

But as for memorizing the digits. Well. I mean. Personally, I think there are better uses of brainspace. Like memorizing the periodic table, if you’re really feeling compelled to memorize something. Now that’s useful. At least for chemistry. At least, more useful than knowing 67 digits of pi is for math. But if that’s what you want to spend the time until decisions come out doing, I’m not going to stop you.

Oh yeah, decisions. Those are tomorrow. It’s pretty exciting. No, really. In fact, the last time I slept (I’m too disoriented to figure out when that was), I dreamt about a certain prefrosh I know getting waitlisted. Wow. What does it mean when you start dreaming about other people’s decisions?

I also dreamt that those robots from Battlestar Galactica (cylons?) were taking over the world while I tried to finish my 5.111 pset, and then I “woke up” and thought I woke up too late for class, then I woke up for real and was relieved. Until I remembered I had to go to class. Then I tried to block out the noise from my alarm by covering my head with my pillow.

Sometimes my suitemates can hear my alarm, but I don’t wake up.

The other day, the fire alarm went off at 1am at Senior House. Minor cooking fiasco or something. I woke up, but I wasn’t entirely asleep, so I’m still not sure if I’d wake up for a fire alarm in the middle of a deep sleep.

Right. Back to what I was going to say about decisions. MIT is a just place – a set of buildings.

“But Karen, it’s more than that, it’s a community.”

Well, gee, you’re right. But communities are made of people. They’re made of you! There are tens of thousands of people who have regretfully been rejected from MIT in the past simply because we have a small, small undergraduate population. Which means that, in all of those other colleges you applied to, there is the potential to create a community and find a sense of belonging, if you really feel that this place is your calling.

I’m not articulating myself very well. Sorry, it’s really early. What I’m trying to say is that YOU make the place. So you want to be a hacker?

Hey, guys, there are buildings at just about every college in any country that can be explored. You want to do research? It takes initiative. Even here at MIT, UROPs don’t fall from the sky and land in your lap. You have to look into what’s available, contact professors. Professors love it when students take initiative, I suggest trying it anywhere you go. Don’t let red tape that isn’t even there get in your way. You want to be challenged more than you’ve ever been challenged before? Well, you can do that for yourself, too. Set goals. Work towards them.

Yeah, MIT is a cool place. But what makes it cool is people like you, and I want you to know- no matter what happens tomorrow, that you have SO much potential. Don’t let other people keep you down.

[My alarm just went off – at 5:45. That’s what time I was supposed to wake up…24 hours ago]

30 responses to “Bread at Desk”

  1. Keri says:

    I got one of those loaves of bread as I walked in the door around 4:30 AM. Bread at desk in the middle of the night = free for the taking.

  2. Keri says:

    Also, in my most recent post I mentioned a sign that you’re too immersed in science fiction: living in constant fear that you’re a cylon.

    This may or may not be how I live my life.

  3. Karen says:

    I’m confused by your bread logic – who’d be guarding their bread at 4:45 in the morning? smile

    At least you got breakfast! I’ve never managed to stay up 24 hours in a row – I always fall asleep somewhere around 22. I hope that next year I won’t have to start :(

  4. Kamya says:

    haha randomness personified!!
    ohh you know where you get the best bead? MOSCOW. Seriously. Especially right after its out of the oven. they do something funky when they bake it, to make it…yummier? (I don’t think thats a word but what the heck) fresh bread and pineapple juice make the best breakfast. Ever. I have used far too many full stops.

  5. Rozaine says:

    17th! I dont think anyone claimed 17th before! lol

  6. Rozaine says:

    and Happy pi(e) day Karen…. hope to see you this fall..

  7. Oasis says:

    You’re in 5.111?…rightttt, I remember seeing you in the first recitation, lol. =p

    Did you switch out of Bryan’s recitation, or did you just stop coming to recitation altogether? smile

  8. If you want to memorize something useful, try also (in addition to the periodic table) learning 500-odd integration formulas. I had a phy instructor who did that once to cure his insomnia XD


  9. also–my record is somewhere in the realm of 96 hours without a wink of sleep. By the end I was literally falling asleep standing.

    I’m a pro; don’t try this at home if you don’t want permanent brain damage.

    I think this qualifies me to do Mystery Hunt.

  10. Caro says:

    96 hours?? Don’t people DIE after that? lol

    Although… there’s this guy in Vietnam who hasn’t slept in 33 years, no lie….

    Check it out!

  11. siya says:

    Hey guys, I just wanna wish all the applicants all the best 4 tomorrow. Its really been a journey, sats, teacher recommendations, school…WHEW. Take a moment to congratulate yourself and good luck…. hope to see you @ MIT. This time tomorrow all will be known grin

  12. Dylan Davis says:

    Yeah, but I can’t do it alone! I will be a hacker, but I am by agonizingly far the best course sixer in the city. There need to be more people who want to build trebuchets for epic trebuchets to be built. I’m building mine anyways, but I don’t want to have to do it alone…


  13. Jeseth says:

    im a deep sleeper toooo! the fire alarm at my house has gone off a few times in the middle of the night because it’s out of bateries… I NEVER HEAR IT! which is pretty scary?… I’m glad to know im not alone…smile

  14. Sarah says:


    Memorizing pi is in fact how I have wasted my time waiting for decisions, however frivolous it may be. I am currently up to 102 digits, and was able to dazzle my calc class today with my amazing talents. Neglecting the fact that it does indeed seem to be useless, I thought it was fun.

  15. Ashwath says:

    first! That’s pretty cool. Pie day FTW!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Now that I’m done with first posting, are math UROP’s all that common? Do you have any ideas what sort of UROP’s math majors do?

  17. Michael says:

    As much as I’ve dreamed about going to MIT, and as much as I love the college, I know you’re right. Perspective needs to be kept–a decent education can be had at any number of colleges, not just “The Tech.”

  18. OmarA says:

    How could the bread have gone so quickly? Is it people wake up early or people never go to sleep? haha…

  19. Anonymous says:

    haha i love how within a miscellanious (er, spelling? please forgive me, i’m exhausted too XP) entry you jump around about 4 times smile

    je veux une baguette maintenant…

  20. Shruthi says:

    As I said before in another post, randomness ftw!!! :D Really, its good to be random once in a while! Happy Pi Day to you Karen!!! smile

  21. Anonymous says:

    7th…Does it count?? smile

  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s the experience more than anything that tons of people cherish in MIT. You may learn about shearing stress in any university (mechE smile ) but in the end it’s the thrill and the passion that every MIT soul shares.

  23. Javie says:

    Free bread?

    why not free pi[e] instead?

  24. igna says:

    wee! Happy pi day (and good luck to all the RDs)!

    I baked an apple pie the other day, it was exciting!

  25. DetroitMan says:

    The mind is much more dynamic than a simple hard drive. Memorizing 1000 digits of pi AND the periodic table won’t do anything to you. raspberry

  26. Amy says:

    So I have a question, not really on topic, but… (how many of your comments really are?)

    I’ve been reading several of the archived entries on the site, and there’s a lot of controversy over RBA and dorms that don’t participate in REX (which is just McCormick now, I believe). They say it’s really hard to get out of an RBA/non-REX dorm once you’re there, but say you get temped in a regular REX dorm, like EC or something, how difficult is it to get into McCormick after REX? Are you allowed to list it as a choice in the re-lottery? Are there any extra steps or red tape someone wanting to get into an RBA dorm has to go through?

    Thanks for all the work you all do answering our somewhat random questions. smile

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Amy,

    getting out of a non-REX dorm is not /hard/ if you’re put there during orientation, it’s /impossible./ you would have to wait until second semester to leave.

    that being said, you can definitely switch INTO McCormick after Rex or any other semester. McCormick does have rex activities.

    There are other non-REX participating dorms, by the way. Chocolate City and Spanish House, which are both based in New House, also have RBA. I have to admit though, I think the rate of people getting “stuck” in Chocolate City or Spanish house is a lot less, because the culture of the dorm is pretty straight-forward, people know what they’re getting into.

    You’ll get a lot of information on housing in one of your future Big Mailings from MIT smile