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MIT student blogger Vincent A. '17

CPW at Random Hall! by Vincent A. '17

Plus lots of awesome advice from MIT students!

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first delved into the MIT campus for a 3-day Campus Preview Weekend.  Suffice it to say that those three days felt like the longest three days of my life. My total sleep count over that weekend was in the single digits and I still remember a lot. My adrenaline was at an all-time high, fueled by the Institue’s atmosphere of absolute energy. I remember a large bouncy castle and upperclassmen being dunked in water. I remember hugging Tim the Beaver and pulling my first all-nighter talking to amazing people. I remember my host, who hugged me on sight, and I remember the utter feeling of overwhelming joy as I treaded this new and strange and exciting environment. I remember a cool robot demonstration and I remember more liquid nitrogen ice-cream events than I really should! But despite how much of MIT I soaked in, I only covered a pinprick of what was in store for us.

And to everyone who’s going to be here over the next few days for CPW, I can promise you that getting pulled into its amazing pulse will be almost effortless. It takes a life of its own, and kind of sucks you in. But you’ll also need to be proactive. I found meticulously planning what events to attend particularly unhelpful, because I realized that just taking a bunch of steps in some random direction led me to some new place with some ongoing event far more exciting than what I had originally planned. That said, do go through your CPW booklet, which should contain literally dozens of pages of events spread out over 3-4 days! Find events that get you super-excited and go see them, but don’t overplan.

CPW was one of the most memorable weekends of my life, so much so in fact, that for the rest of this week, I am no longer Vincent Anioke, MIT Freshman. I am now Jason Hernaka, bespectacled, clueless prefrosh from Uganda, and I’ll try to see how many prefrosh events I can sneak my way into, before my cover is blown and I’m kicked out in some barrel.

And now I present some wonderful advice (from wonderful current students at MIT) about CPW, as well the events going on in my dorm, Random Hall! There are tons of exciting ones so come check us out, and worry not if you get lost. The brave soldiers of Random have drawn paths leading from the Student Center to the abode that is Random Hall. Beyond our mystic doors, you will find the Ancients, sage-eyed and grinning, their arms stretched, to welcome you into a new and exciting world.

Katie B. ’15

1. If you pay for food at any point, you’re doing it wrong.
2. If you’re asking yourself, “Should I go to Thing X?” the answer is always yes. Events > sleeping.
3. Try things you’ve never done before, and try things you’re not sure you’ll like; MIT is all about new experiences!

Elizabeth K. ’14
Don’t stress over not being able to do everything. It’s a life skill you’ll have to get used to if you come to MIT. :)
Also, don’t forget to sleep, as much as people pressure you to do ALL THE THINGS. Sleep is important.

Rebecca L. ’17
I didn’t know housing lottery was a thing and hence paid zero attention to dorms. This is a bad idea. Pay some attention to which dorm you like, so you can think about where you might want to lottery. At the same time, don’t worry a ton about it because fyre and rex.

Kate T. ’16
Check out ALL the dorms! Even if you fall in love with one and all you want to do is spend ALL your time there, you need to keep your options open. If you do end up in your first choice, you’ll have a better idea of what your other friends’ living groups are like. If you don’t get into your first choice dorm, you’ll know what other dorms would be a good fit for you and where you would be happy your first semester (if not your entire time at MIT) :)

Katie S. ’17
Thoroughly look over all the events in advance. Schedule your CPW time, but be flexible. Also, get your parents to go to boring but informative events, and go to the fun ones instead.

Try make it to a lot of the different dorms and get tours (this will be much better than trying to figure out which dorm you want later, with just the online information). Also, really talk to the people who live in each dorm about what it’s like.

Also, even if you’re not planning on living in an east side dorm, you should visit them to see some of the awesome murals they have.

Andrea L. ’14
Have fun!
Try to think about if you want to be like people you are meeting in 2 or 4 years. The people you surround yourself with shape who you become.

Meanwhile, brewing at Random Hall…

Dumpling Hylomorphisms Anamorphism: the building up of a structure. Catamorphism: the consumption of a structure. Hylomorphism: both an anamorphism and a catamorphism. This event? A hylomorphism on dumplings. Come learn the basic fold, or just perform a metabolic reduction on food. 12:17 PM – 2:47 PM
Ceiling Tile Painting Throughout history, magnificent masterpieces have been painted on ceilings. Unlike Michelangelo, however, you can just take a ceiling tile down at Random instead of having to lie on your back in the Sistine Chapel. Bring your own ideas, paint from our photo references, or replicate your favorite art piece in ceiling tile form! 2:47 PM – 4:47 PM
Computer Science and Juice Bobby walks down the aisle at Shaw’s, trying to pick the optimal set of juices to buy. He can’t buy pomegranate juice without something sweeter to mix it with, like apple or orange, but if he buys orange juice, he won’t buy orange mango as well…uh oh. Bobby smells a boolean satisfiability problem to solve. 4:17 PM – 6:17 PM
LN2 Ice Cream and Giga Pudding Like liquid nitrogen? Like ice cream? Like pudding? How about mega puddings? What about a GIGA pudding? Come to Random to eat delicious liquid nitrogen ice cream and make large quantities of pudding. It’ll be gigantically delicious. 5:47 PM – 7:47 PM
Nerdy Singalong! It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction with how much this event fulfilling in creative way. If hopes and dreams are shattering apart, and you’re flying off the stage in the super smash, remember it’s gonna be the future soon, so enjoy your stay here on skullcrusher mountain and be still alive. 6:47 PM – 8:30 PM
BBQ and Spinning on the Roofdeck Meat! Poi! Ribs, sausage, burgers, and more! Come see the awesomeness of having one of the only roofdecks in Cambridge. Eat our delicious meat products; then learn and practice the creativity of applying centripetal force to poi and staff in time to music. (Food of the non-meat variety to be served as well.) 9:47 PM – 12:17 AM
Pancakes Pancakes pancakes pancakes pancakes pancakes pancakes pancakes. Wow, pancakes is a really weird looking word. 8:17 AM – 10:00 AM
Boffing on the Roofdeck Arm yourself with a weapon wrought of foam and tape, and strike with the fury of a thousand tigers! FOR THE GLORY OF RANDOM HALL! 11:47 AM – 12:17 PM
MEA Eat tasty, tasty meat with mitBEEF, MIT’s beef appreciation club, and meet current students. Meat: it’s delicious! Vegan options are available.
(Note: this is a club event, not a Random Hall event)
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Deep-Fried Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream What happens when you subject ice cream to a 400K temperature gradient? Om Nom Nom!!! Pun not intended. 2:17 PM – 3:47 PM
Maid: the Tabletop RPG You are Japanese maids, caring for your young master in his lavish mansion. Clean the mantelpieces, make the beds, and defend the house from the portal to Hell in the basement. All in a day’s work! 3:17 PM – 5:17 PM
Nerf Chess You know what Chess needs? THE SHEER ADRENALINE OF DODGING NERF DARTS WHILE PLAYING. 4:47 PM – 6:17 PM
Math and Tea Cookies are sweet, tea is tasty, math is beautiful. Come enjoy all three. 5:47 PM – 8:47 PM
Making Board Games and Cooking Vegetarians Uhh… I meant vegetarian cooking. Yeah. Come tuck into a meat-free feast prepared for you by Randomites, then spend an hour creating a board game the like of which has never before been seen. 8:17 PM – 10:17 PM
RHOP (Cruft Edition!) Random House of Pancakes: the best source of 3 AM pancakes within a two-foot radius of Random Hall. This RHOP, join us for a special treat as Random Hall cruft* tell us stories of the times when MIT was more hardk0r3.
* cruft: code, data, or software of poor quality. Also, MIT alumni.
1:17 AM – 5:47 AM
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Get nostalgic and eat yummy cereal while watching kids cartoons! 9:47 AM – 11:47 AM
Random: the Gathering Ever wanted to cast Global Thermonuclear War? Want to play Magic: the Gathering and learn about Random and MIT? Want to learn how to play Magic and learn about Random and MIT? If you answered yes to any non-negative number of these questions, come and play Random: the Gathering. 11:17 AM – 1:17 PM
Epic Meal Time of Destiny Do you want to get lost in the bacon-y, bacon-y sauce? Yes, yes you do, the sauce boss wants you! Epic Meal Time of Destiny, what up haterz, come and stuff your face! 12:47 PM – 2:17 PM
Liquid Nitrogen Truffles Do you want to make your own chocolates filled with peanut butter, oreos, various flavors of ganache, or even more chocolate? Do you want to expedite the process using SCIENCE? Come join us as we use liquid nitrogen to make delicious balls of chocolatey goodness. 1:47 PM – 3:47 PM
Random Plays Video Games Praise the almighty Helix Fossil! Can you do better than QWOP doing a tax return? Come find out what happens when the hive mind plays single-player video games. 3:17 PM – 4:47 PM
(Almost) Life-Sized Settlers of Catan Come play (almost) life-sized Settlers of Catan! Hoard (and eat, when it’s not your turn) marshmallow “sheep,” pretzel “wheat,” oreo “iron,” and graham-cracker “bricks”! Trade them with your neighbors, or foil their plans and keep everything for yourself. Build roads, villages, and cities! 4:17 PM – 6:00 PM
My Course + Curry > Your Course + Curry We love our majors! We love curry! Come eat curry with the upperclassmen and learn about the awesome things you could be studying. Curry favor by having all the expansions for Race to the Galaxy, curry favor by teaching someone about exoplanets, curry curry by showing up to Random Hall and eating with us. We will have golden curry with lots of vegetables and rice. (Vegan and vegetarian options available.) 7:47 PM – 9:17 PM
Chainmail and Cheese Ever been woken up by swordsmen breaking down your door? Lost sleep while craving for brie? Well, you’ll rest easy after this event. Make armor worthy of the thirteenth century while sampling all the cheese Random has to offer! 8:47 PM – 10:17 PM
Pecker Board Game Night Build a Dominion in Puerto Rico comprised of Seven Wonders, then Race to the Galaxy and help the Twilight Imperium crush the Resistance. Through the Ages, board games have been an Innovation Random Hall has enjoyed. Come and play the various board games we’ve acquired! 9:47 PM – 3:17 AM
Rocky Horrible with ICE PLANETS Think Dr. Horrible is a beautiful, amazing, inviolable work of perfect art? Please go somewhere else. Anyone left? Come join us in yelling obscenities at a perfectly nice Sing-Along Blog that has done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Afterwards, join us and our freeze rays in making everyone’s favorite impossible-to-eat food, ice planets! 11:17 PM – 1:17 AM
Wonderland Tea Party Slide down the rabbit hole, and come have tea with us in Wonderland! 11:17 AM – 12:47 PM

Feel the magic this weekend.