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MIT student blogger Laura N. '09

Color by Numbers by Laura N. '09

So in Burton-Conner, you’re allowed to paint your room under several fairly reasonable restrictions, and my roommate and I decided to take full advantage of this. Who wants a room that’s painted “Institute white”? I mean really. This is what our room looked like the morning we moved in from our temporary rooms:

Not very inviting, is it? So we set right to work.

The first task was to figure out how big the room was. This posed an immediate challenge. Neither of us had a tape measure, so we did what any good MIT student would: we improvied. By which I mean we measured a shelf, rounded it off to 3 feet, and then used the shelf like a super-ruler.

No, I’m totally serious. I have photographic evidence to prove it:

(That’s April, my roommate, hard at work measuring the length of a wall.)

Of course, it’s necessary to record your observations, so I whipped out some drafting skills. Then we even had to do some math. Check it out:

We made the long and harsh journey down to Economy Hardware (how did we know about Economy Hardware? Sam’s blog, of course.) To be fair, it’s really not that far, but carrying those paint cans back down Mass Ave was not a whole lot of fun, especially after we decided to make a quick stop at Star Market for some necessities (i.e. Frosted Flakes). (Although it was kind of fun carrying two cans of paint down the cereal aisle of the supermarket.) After this, I had to leave for field hockey practice. I knew I’d be gone most of the next day for field hockey, so I figured we’d have to wait a few more days before painting. This would really be uncool, since we were still only half un-packed at the time. After practice I had some other things to do, and when I got back to the room around 12:30 in the morning, I found that April had already painted half of the room:

People here are ambitious, let me tell you. (Except to read this entry you’d think that all I did was stand around and take pictures while April did all the work. Hmmm….) I grabbed a brush and started to help. We finished at about 3 in the morning and spent the night with all of the furniture stacked in the middle of the room.

But all our hard work paid off!

Oh, and just a note: we were further inspired by Sam’s blog, where he said (in reference to climbing on top of the cabinets to paint the awkward corner space): “My death-defying cabinet-climbing paid off. Now Ruth will stack luggage up here and nobody will ever see it.” April and I looked at our own awkward corner spaces and said, “We’ll just stack some luggage up there and no one will ever see it!”

Well. Almost.

Anyway, after a long and detailed adventure, we now have a much more personalized room. We finally got to unpack all our clothes, fill our desk drawers, and stack our newly aquired textbooks on the shelves.

Now it actually feels like a room.

You know, one that people live in.

7 responses to “Color by Numbers”

  1. ajit says:

    who is the person in the 5th picture from top.roommate?i have few questions- many students(UG) share a room in the halls/dorms generally?

    2.are there different halls for boys and girls /they live in a single hall but different rooms.are they allowed to live in a single room?



  2. Wow, nice room! It must be fun to paint your own room… the only things I’ve painted are banners in school so far…

  3. Sam says:

    Heh, good job with the calculations. I totally guessed in my room and wound up around two ounces short. I guess I could grab some more for touch-up work, but economy hardware is deceptively named. Well, I guess they never said it was a good economy. The photos really don’t do justice to the outstanding blueness of your room.

  4. Jessie says:

    “So in Burton-Conner, you’re allowed to paint your room under several fairly reasonable restrictions”

    When it comes to something as basic as painting your room, I think “reasonable restrictions” is a contradiction in terms. smile

    I mean, it’s your living space and you’re not making any permanent modifications (unless your wall is something like unpainted brick like in MacGregor), so unless your paint is somehow a safety hazard (emitting dangerous levels of radiation, usable as a portal by human-eating space aliens, etc.), what in the world constitutes a reasonable restriction? I’m assuming the case of “all of the room’s residents agree to the paint job” here.

  5. Mitra says:

    Those bottles of Coke are unacceptable, Laura. Your room looks nice, though =)

  6. priya says:

    hey, What are these “reasonable restrictions” .. does the room have to b self coloured or can u paint funky pics all over the walls?? Does burton conner hav a nice view? say.. of the river??

  7. OhioMom says:

    Um… Your calculations don’t seem to be correct. You’ve added the 4′ wall section twice, once by itself and once when you doubled the 18′ wall.