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MIT student blogger Mitra L. '07

Circus School by Mitra L. '07

Mitra flies like a trapeze artist; fruit flies like a peach.

I am a very lucky duck, and was treated to an afternoon at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts.

After some short training on the ground, we climb a tall ladder and stand on a tiny platform, where we get secured into a harness.

First, grab the [9 pound] bar with your right hand.

Then your left hand. (It really helps to trust the person holding on to your belt.)

Then lean forward. (This is where you really need to trust the person holding on to you.) You think you’re leaning as far forward as physically possible, but apparently you’re not. Lean more.

Now jump!


The goal of our session was to get our legs over the bar and swing by our knees. Even if you (e.g. Mitra) have no upper body muscles, you can still get your legs up there using your momentum. (For confirmation, take 8.01: Classical Mechanics.) (I did this on my second try, but didn’t get any photos, so here are two pictures of my coworker’s swing.)

More pictures (and special stunts) after the jump!

We were not on land for long before we began risking our lives yet again.

The leaning tower of Mitra.

Hidden talent #73: Having a thigh that appears to be twice as thick (thin) as the other.


What cool things have you done so far this summer?

10 responses to “Circus School”


    Hey what’s up?? I’m a dominican boy who wants to get into MIT after finishing highschool. Currently I’m in the investigation process but i want some help about deciding whether to apply for MIT or just dont. One of my main concerns is how good is my accademcal education up to this point versus the one you need to be a succesfull student at MIT. I’m a good student at highschool and I’m starting my senior year on August 28th. How tough is the academic demand on MIT’s AeroAStro school???… because I’m thinking of studying to be an astronaut or something related.

    Another thing I would like to Know is: What programs has the aeroastro school for people that have just finished highscool???…

    Another area area I’m Interested in is in Mechanical engineering and I hope that somebody can help me with this and other important questions that I’have about the Institute.


  2. Miguel,

    You should probably leave your email address or some other form of contact info if you’d like someone to contact you. Furthermore, feel free to email [email protected] and ask all of your questions.

  3. Ayush Gupta says:

    Hmm … I once went Bungee Jumping … but the circus stunt you “performed” is some kind of a family member of the former, in the sense that in both the events the need of tying an elastic rope is required and one has to thrust his/her body in the air. Somehow the two analogies put me in an ephemeral trance.

  4. Mitra says:

    Hi Miguel,

    There is a wealth of information on each course’s homepage — you’re probably best off browsing these and directing any specific questions you have to each department.

    Aero/Astro is at

    Mechanical Engineering is at

  5. Mikey says:

    OMG mitra you got to do one of the things they did on amazing race!! I can’t remember which season it was…a couple seasons ago I think. You lucky duck! : )

  6. Hey, at last somebody that could help me solve my problem!!!!!

    For anyone who can be able to help me my e-mail adress is:

    [email protected]

    Thanks for your sugestion Michael Borohovski…

  7. Ayush Gupta says:

    Snapping (and posting) frame by frame pictures yield some kind of a moving account of your experience if you tend to scroll down the pictures at a reasonable pace. By the way, out of curiousty may I ask, what does your blue T Shirt say?

  8. Mitra says:

    Haha, it says, “Economists supply it on demand”

  9. Ayush Gupta says:

    Mitra the Economist, supply some of your deletion energies and delete this spam comment from “simon”. You have demand. :-D