Neo: You ever have that feeling where you’re not sure if you’re awake or still dreaming?
Seleeke Flingai (me): All the time. It’s called MIT, it’s the only way to fly.
I don’t care how you take it, but my CPW experience was one of the most liberating, invigorating, and awe-inspiring times of my life. That’s no exaggeration — my four days at MIT changed my life more than I’d ever expect. From the myriad of future classmates I met, to the numerous fraternities I visited, to the awesome trips to a breakdancing competition at Tufts University and my little venture to Chinatown, I’ll never forget my time at CPW 2007.
Wait, breakdancing competition?! Chinatown?!?!?
You bet. You could spend your time at CPW relegated to the large, sprawling campus, where you’d definitely have loads of fun. But my best experiences involved plenty of exploration. On Friday, many prefrosh and I attended an hour-long breakdancing class, which involved none other than yours truly huffing and puffing after many failed attempts at six steps, set ups, and a number of other breakdancing moves. After conversing with the two MIT students who taught the class (and learning about the large breakdancing community at the school and at Boston), I decided to trek over to Tufts University and catch a sweet breakdancing/popping competition that put “You Got Served” in its place.
Don’t worry, his right arm somehow isn’t broken.
The atmosphere was insane as a bevy of schools, ranging from our own MIT to the folks at Harvard, Boston U., Tufts, Brown, and more, danced their asses off with move after mouth-opening move. You’d be surprised at how agile and flexible these guys were, just as you would at how organized and choreographed their routines were. The improvisation was top notch too. But enough with the breakdancing — on to Chinatown.
On only my second trip on a subway EVER (my first was to the Breakdancing shindig the night before), I braved the Boston T train system and made my way down to Chinatown, where I went shopping crazy for my peeps back home. I brought home a Chinese newspaper and a few gifts for my special lady in Minnesota, along with a couple of trinkets for my family. My humble state of 10,000 lakes doesn’t have anything even close to a Chinatown (and I live in Minneapolis, the state’s epicenter), so I HAD to make my way to this area on my stay here. I loved it, and if you ever have the chance, please check out this version of Chi-Town.
Now, my entire time at CPW wasn’t spent away from campus. I visited a few classes, including a pretty entertaining Differential Equations class (although I still have no idea what the Dirac delta-function is) and a likewise interesting Japanese II course. I went to a Study Abroad panel that happened to include blogger Sam, and at the awesome Battle of the Bands event on the last night of my stay, I caught a glimpse of blogger Bryan. But, as anyone else who went to the Battle of the Bands would tell you, the highlight of the show (other than the fantastic closer by Dirt Water Refuge, who very much reminded me of Zeppelin and other classic rock staples) was the inspired performance by the Ben + Marilee Jones Power Duo (this name is trademarked by me…NO STEALING!!).
Marilee sang her heart out with a magnificent performance of the Rolling Stones’ classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” while Ben rocked out (unplugged) with some great guitar work. The crowd went wild, swayed along with Marilee, and sang the lyrics in unison. Oh, and how could I forget the Beaver’s (MIT’s beloved and oh-so-cute-yet-not-very-intimidating mascot) crowd surfing later in the night? It was the perfect end to a perfect CPW.
Will I remember CPW 2007 one, five, or even ten years from now? You betcha. My entire stay, which included my travels on campus and throughout Boston, is unlike anything I’ve ever done, and I can’t wait to do more exploring come this August. See you in the fall!!
*If you didn’t catch the Matrix quote at the top, shame on you.*