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MIT student blogger Paul B. '11

CPW 2008 – Another Highly Satisfied Customer! (Guest Entry) by Paul B. '11

CPW! Meet the Bloggers! Free t-shirts! Tim the Beaver! Exclamation points!

By Omar Abudayyeh ’12

While I’m not cool enough to enroll at MIT on an iTouch or to dedicate myself to MIT for four years weeks before CPW, I am cool enough to now say, “I am enrolled at MIT!” In fact, I just enrolled moments before finishing this very blog entry and am proud of it.

Now with that out of the way…Hi, I’m Omar! I come from a small Midwestern town located on the lower left side of the palm that is Michigan (I wonder how many people actually get what I mean by palm :-p). After a two-hour flight, during which I met a matriculating Harvard Medical School student who tried to convince me to go to a public university, I was definitely ready for some MIT action. I left the plane and descended upon the luggage claim where I met my first MIT friend, Shubhi. Although I never saw her again during CPW, there’s no one like your first MIT prefrosh friend (words of wisdom).

To those who have heard rumors of a clandestine, transcendental chat group full of amazing people, let me assure you. There is an MIT 2012 chat room (commercial: if you would like to be part of this, for a one time only fee of five dollars (just kidding) you can join this interesting bunch by going to your favorite AIM client and joining the chatroom “MIT12”).

And here are our trusty sidekicks:

For the past few months, while waiting for my MIT decision and even after it, the chatroom provided me with my daily MIT fix. We laughed, we cried, we made fun of Harvard and Caltech, and we anxiously awaited CPW. All of us chat people became closeknit and couldn’t wait to meet at CPW. When I stepped off the Peter Pan bus onto MIT’s campus, I looked around hoping to spot someone I “know.” As I edged closer to the student center, I saw some people doing an odd version of the cha cha slide and by the time I turned on my trusty, dandy, handheld video camera with laser deathbeam and all, I had realized that they were all MIT12 chatters!

(They are all going to punch me at orientation for posting that picture.)

My first duty on campus after registration, of course, was to find the admissions office. I quickly scanned the doors in the infinite corridor until I found:

After the chat group finished taking pictures we knocked on the door and an MIT student asked, “Are you prefrosh?” and we just giggled and nodded yes and she told us that all of the admissions officers were in the student center. We didn’t care though, we got what we came for: a picture of the names.

Now, one of my personal goals during CPW was to collect as many free shirts as possible. While I ended up only getting 4, I still came away feeling like I had somewhat accomplished my goal. Two of the shirts were actually unexpected, while the other two I snagged from the enourmous activities fair. While I do not have a picture of the activities fair, I do have a picture of the CPW festival, which was held in the same place and looks exactly the same as the activities fair minus a naked guy in a box.

At the activities fair, I saw Paul again and he was at my favorite booth. He works on the MIT Undergraduate Research Journal and if I recall correctly is going to be co-Editor-in-Chief next year. This journal rocks and so I did what any prefrosh would do…I put my email address on “the list” to get more information from them.

I ended up obtaining another shirt from the Arab Students’ Organization (ASO). This one is my favorite shirt since it spells “Massachusetts Institute of Technology” in Arabic. Yeah, you wish you had one of these. While on the subject of the ASO, let me go off on a tangent and say that I am very impressed with how MIT regards religion on campus. I went to a Muslim Students Association event held in the Religious Activities Center and it was amazing. There was a well-furnished prayer hall filled with everything a Muslim student would need. Out of all the universities I visited, MIT treats religion the best. End tangent here.

Aside from rocking out in Rock Band throughout CPW…

…some of the highlights of my trip at MIT included:

1) CPW Welcome

My favorite part about the welcome was definitely the MIT Logarhythms, MIT’s all-male a cappella group. For your enjoyment, here are two of the songs they performed:

Here in Your Arms:

Thanks to Sam ’12 for uploading this second video for me :-).

2) Battle of the Bands

In this event, I received my fourth free shirt as one of the bands threw a shirt and I luckily pushed and shoved people and caught it. At first I was like “Meh another shirt,” but then someone pointed out to me that the band members on the shirt actually spell out “MIT” and then I was like “OMG this shirt rocks!” and I walked around feeling victorious.

3) Walking on the Harvard Bridge…like a bajillion times!

I quickly found the Skullhouse fraternity on the other side of the river to be a nice safe haven for breakfast, snacks, Monster energy drinks, and, of course, Rock Band. As a result, I trekked a few times back and forth the Harvard bridge, killing my feet in the process. That’s ok though because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to stomp on something that relates to Harvard and I wouldn’t have taken this picture below, which adequately describes how I feel now as the orientation approaches and the next four years edge closer.

4) Bouncy Ball Drop

This event rocked. It absolutely rocked. There is nothing like being the target for 10,000 bouncy balls that are being subjected to the cold hearted fo
rce that is gravity. One moment it was quiet and calm, the next moment it was raining bouncy balls. I must admit that the strobe light was a nice addition, especially since it helped illuminate the floor in our scramble to collect as many balls as possible. Right as we all began collecting balls though, the fine folks of Senior House began pelting us with water balloons. After being struck by the third water balloon, I decided it was time to high tail it over to the Meet the Bloggers event before I was late.

5) Meet the Bloggers

With wet, soggy pants, I power walked through East Campus and the infinite corridor and reached the student center with time to spare. Inside, Ben Jones himself was preparing all the necessary supplies to make a scrumptious root bear float. The event eventually kicked off and all the bloggers filed in! After each person gave a brief introduction, everyone would clap and it was really funny as Ben and Snively got the loudest clapping/cheering. When the introductions were then, we were able to scoff down root beer floats and converse with the wondrous MIT blogging team. I got to chat with Ben, Matt, Paul, Snively, Melis, Mollie (College Confidential buddies!), and Chris. Chris by the way does look a lot taller in person. I think that is the general consensus. To top off the night, we did the obligatory group picture!

6) Underground Capture the Flag

On the last night, a huge game of capture the flag took place in the vicinity of the infinite corridor. The underground tunnels, the main floor, and second floor were all fair game and made for an interesting battle. While my feet were killing me at this point due to the continuous walking for three days, I toughed it out and played offense with Sam ’12. We snuck around for most of the game, until we were deep in red territory (we were Blue) and were spotted. I made a run for it and somehow ended up out of bounds. Nevertheless, I hid around a corner for five minutes, but just as I felt I was safe again, a red person came out of nowhere and took me to jail where I found Sam ’12 sitting. Then just moments later, we found out the game had ended and everyone walked back to lobby 10 to find out that the Red team had dominated. Well, at least it’s “better dead, than red.”

7) Math until you die

I died after 30 minutes. Here are the poor souls who I left behind:

While I only stayed 30 minutes, the math involving group theory and topology was still fairly interesting.

8) Simmons Hall

After seeing the tour, I absolutely fell in love with Simmons and will be putting it as my first choice (disclaimer: all feelings I express now are subject to change). Let’s start with the basics:

a) Meditation Room

b) Cool architecture

c) Random walls that jut out

d) A very new feel (maybe because it is new)

e) Amazing, hard-to-reach views (can you guess where in Simmons this was?)

If I decide I don’t want Simmons anymore, I would definitely choose Baker. I think Baker made the cut when I saw this board filled with physics. It reminded me of The Big Bang Theory, one of my favorite shows.

If neither Simmons nor Baker work out, I could always live in the best room on campus. The study area within the great dome!

I must say that MIT has really shown itself to be a safe campus. It’s great to know that campus police have thought about every possible situation and have come up with ways to protect the student body. This really puts my parents at ease too.

After walking past this excellent hack, I was innocently rickrolled (yes, I’m streching the meaning of the term) as someone was cruelly playing Rick Astley’s music video for “Never Gonna Give You Up” in the hallway. Of all places!

The welcome ceremony was also entertaining, giving us another performance by the MIT Logs and an amusing act by a guy with Chinese Yo-yos. Click here to see their performance of “Save Room” by John Legend.

At the end, I saw none other than Ben Jones himself and got a picture along with Pam ‘12:

Overall, CPW was a great way to experience MIT in a fun way (I hear it’s not like this at all next year, go figure). It was so much fun that it persuaded me to enroll. I cannot wait to be a full fledged MIT freshman next Fall. I visited a few classes, such as Physics II (not too bad), Linear Algebra (I understood it all yay :-) ), and Applied Electromagnetics: From Motors to Lasers (cool stuff). The premed panel was also very helpful. I was afraid I’d come to MIT, leave with a bad GPA, and end up practicing medicine in my parent’s basement, but it’s not true! Just about 90% of premed undergrads get into med school :-).

I am very happy to say: Only four months left!

43 responses to “CPW 2008 – Another Highly Satisfied Customer! (Guest Entry)”

  1. Sam says:

    Haha, I hate you for posting a picture of me looking like an epileptic karaoke addict.

  2. Snively says:

    I’ve never heard Michigan described as anything but.

  3. Nan says:

    Omar… You didn’t post picture of you doing Karokee. Come on!
    Haha, way to forget about me and Kevin during the Capture the Flag…. smile

  4. Kevin says:

    Thanks for stealing my pictures and not giving me any credit. Grr… =P Btw, I think that’s me buried under all the balls in the Simmons “Meditation room”

    I should probably stop being lazy and go work on my own blog entry now.

  5. Najah'12 says:

    Remind me to punch you really hard for posting that horrid picture!

    And you are such a picture thief lol.

  6. Alina says:

    I attacked you after you took that video of us dancing. And all you’re expecting is a punch for that picture? =p
    And why do I look like I’m the only one of us doing anything?

  7. Isshak says:

    Omar, you better be a MITadmissions blogger !
    But all the blogs are great ! Good job prefrosh, good job.

  8. Meghan says:

    YAY! Najah is blocking my display of my nonexistant dancing ability!!!

    So no punch for you, Omar. smile

  9. Tina says:

    When you mentioned being rickrolled I immediately thought of karaoke

  10. Najah says:

    Omar if anyone sees that video then no one will ever see you again raspberry

    @ Nan
    it was the go down low part. I wasn’t going down low in front of all those people lol

    @ Meghan
    how dare you (unknowlingly)hide behind me raspberry

  11. JWC '12 says:

    Nice coverage!

    I loved that little banter at CPW:
    “And Chris just enrolled on Snively’s iPhone”
    “It’s an iPod Touch!”
    “Oh. Whatever.”

    I lolled at the rickroll, too. smile

  12. Alli says:

    DUDE hey! My pictures!

    But nice entry =)
    I think MIT12 is going to have another March 15 now… THANKS.

  13. Paul says:

    Spam gone. Man, you guys are quick at noticing this stuff…keeps me on my toes! smile

  14. AnimiLautrec says:

    Who are all these people pretending to be me?

  15. Alli says:

    umm… WHAT is going on here?? lol

  16. Omar '12 says:

    Lol something really confusing is going on in these comments. Is the snively impersonator the one who said “great post”?

    Lauren – are you Lauren M., my facebook/CC/aim chat friend Lalaloo? That;d be awesome if you are…too bad we never formally met hehe.

    Najah – So is it a bad thing if I am already preparing DVDs for orientation? I’ll share profit lol.

    JWC ’12 – That was really funny. Yet another reason why the Meet the Bloggers event rocked.

    Gosh, people are picky picky about their pictures. Most of the ones here are mine, except for a few, which are of ME anyway haha and one that is just a picture of balls. Anyway so yea…I realized there was a lot more I could have talked about, but my confused friend in the closest distracted me.

  17. Ming says:

    I don’t think water balloons at Senior Haus were balloons…

  18. Ming says:

    Ah! I totally didn’t read Snively’s post right above mine. oops.

  19. Najah '12 says:

    Omar…

    I hate you lol.

  20. Nan says:

    Awww…
    pssssttttt Omar- Can I have one of those DVDs?
    Najah- I know you were just dieing to go down low… Don’t worry you have all of the next 4 years to pratice and we can make a new video of all of us dancing…

  21. Nan says:

    O bother…. I doubled posted.

  22. Judy '12 says:

    O__o What if it wasn’t just water in those condoms XD

  23. Kevin says:

    Ah, Judy ’12 took the words right out of my mouth.

  24. Alina says:

    I’m pretty sure they were filled with water.
    We were up there, and they had a huge garbage can filled with them. Good thing they didn’t drop all of them on us. They were probably having more fun with them than throwing them at us, at least from what I gathered while being up there.

  25. Jason says:

    I want one of those DVDs too!

  26. Judy '12 says:

    @Kevin – Ah… we think alike ^__~

    btw… are you the Kevin I met from CPW… the one in the pics from Ming’s Blog?

  27. Marie says:

    yay i’m in some pics lol

    ahaha i totally missed the line dancing too

  28. Isshak says:

    @Snively
    LOOOOOOL Wait, what, it’s true ? Then it is even more funny ! ^^

  29. Derek says:

    Hey, ok kind of a random question, but might as well. It’s the bedding situation. Probably one of the most important things to me is a comfortable bed, and being an athlete it’s absolutely necessary.

    1. I was wondering what size the beds are in most of the dorms. I assume extra long twin, but I just wanted to make sure.

    2. Is it allowed to bring our own mattresses? Cause I have a fantastic extra long twin mattress that I don’t think I can part with.

    thanks, hope that isn’t too random. haha =]

  30. Judy '12 says:

    @ Derek: I’ve heard that peopled bring their own mattresses sometimes. I know that one guy in Burton Conner built his own bed frame and brought along a futon. I feel the same way about beds, too. I am the type of person who can sleep on one mattress only.

    I wonder if, in case there is enough space in the room, I could bring a slightly bigger bed ^__^ That would be nice since I love my bed at home and I don’t think I can part with it for more than a weeks.

  31. BOO!

    Did I scare you?

  32. meh…not that anyone’s on MIT blogs in the middle of the night.

    The Ghost is clearly very bored.

  33. Omar '12 says:

    Derek – I believe my host had an extra long twin.

    Snively – No way! That is awesome and terrifying at the same time. I’m glad it was dark haha. Were you there btw? In the audience or up throwing stuff?

  34. Dima '12 says:

    The Simmons “Meditation Room” looks incredible!
    Great blog, I second Isshak, Omar should definitely be on the bloggers’ team next year =D

  35. Snively says:

    @Omar
    You just think those were water balloons. The thing is, water balloons cost money. MIT students don’t like to spend money. You know what’s free? Condoms.

  36. Chris B'12 says:

    OMG, I missed the chat photo!!!! Oh well, if you look at the one before it on Alli’s facebook, I’m in it.

  37. Shubhi says:

    AAAAAAAAAAH. OMAR! I love you first MIT friend.

    Wow. I never thought I’d be mentioned in a blog entry… I actually looked for you when you told me you’d signed up to be a guest blogger… and here you are! And here I am! *tries to contain excitement*

    Looks like you had a great time at CPW! Can’t wait to ACTUALLY meet in the fall, hopefully.

  38. Paul says:

    @Derek:

    1. They are extra-long twin, indeed. I think mattresses in other living groups (FSILGs) would be the same.

    2. If you can fit in your car, suitcase, or whatever you use to bring your stuff to MIT…then yes, you can put it in your dorm room. smile

    P.S. I highly recommend bringing a mattress pad (memory foam is amazing), I’ve used one since I came here and love it.

  39. Nan says:

    Lol..
    Alina… You seem to be the only one following the guy.I’m kind of sad I missed this part, as I was conveniently wandering around Simmons…
    Omar- do you seriously have a video of them dancing?

  40. Lauren says:

    Hahaha I’m totally in that “math until you die” picture…. I’m the one in the front row on the right, with the head tilted sideways, probably because I was really tired or confused or both grin. I followed like ~60% of that discussion, heh.

    Nice entry grin. CPW was awesome.

  41. Judy '12 says:

    I wonder if my bed will fit in the car…. or on top…. hmmmmm raspberry

  42. Omar '12 says:

    ^^^How about you ship it? haha…i wonder how expensive it would be.

    Maybe you could check it in on a plane! That would be hilarious, but probably impossible hehe. Sry im not being very helpful am I? You could do a UHaul thing. Yay now I’m helpful hehe.