CPW-ing the Weekend (Guest Entry) by Paul B. '11
...even though it is technically two days longer than a weekend.
By Pamela Ban (’12?)
I had eagerly awaited CPW, and it was heaven. There was this booklet that you got at registration which was basically the bible to free food, free stuff, parties, meetings, and other activities that spanned the course of the four days. Have nothing to do? Look in the bible and there was something going on at that moment.
I stayed in the Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) sorority house with my host, who was also on the tennis team (nice matching job!). I was interested in finding out about the MIT sororities before going to CPW, so this was a perfect opportunity to see what it was like. For all you skeptics out there, MIT sororities are NOT your stereotypical sororities at all. The girls I met were all amazing- driven, motivated, really smart, and fun to be around. The MIT campus sits on the side of the Charles River, and the sororities and fraternities are right across the river, accessible by a short walk or a ride on the MIT Saferide shuttle.
This is the entrance to the AXO house:
It was really really pretty inside:
There were way too many events that I went to at CPW to go through every single one, so I’ll just highlight some of them.
The first night at CPW, there was a welcome ceremony and festival, which mostly everyone went to, as evidenced by this picture:
There was liquid nitrogen ice cream there! How cool is that?
There was a lot of free food at the CPW festival, which was just a taste for what was to come later on. You could find free dinners at a lot of the frats, snack/study breaks at the dorms, food at random events like BOBAfest, and refreshments at almost every meeting. I experienced free food at DessertFest at Phi Delts, pancakes at a Simmons Hall study break, wings at PKT, bubble tea/ice cream/pancakes/crepes at various events at McCormick Hall, an Italian dinner with the Society of Women Engineers, junk food at the academic, athletic, and activity fairs, etc. etc. etc. Each CPW-er did get a card with $20.12 to use at various campus eating places, but as they all say, you can survive CPW and still gain pounds without using it.
Last summer, I had gone to the MIT Women’s Technology Program (WTP), where I studied EECS for a month with 39 other girls. We had a reunion during CPW, where I got to reunite and hang out with all the WTP girls who went to CPW. Here’s a shot of some of us at the brunch (I’m third from the left):
Our summer WTP electrical engineering instructor was also teaching a lab for 6.01 Intro to EECS, so a group of girls and I went to go check it out:
They were designing some type of robot and were focusing on one aspect of it during this particular day. I should know more about it since she explained it to us, but I was too excited about other activities to remember…oops?
You also see seemingly random sites across MIT campus. For instance, roaming the halls one afternoon, we saw big things of nitrogen just sitting in the hallway:
Also a complicated looking, sweet machine:
And then there’s this giant, human banana:
(Just kidding! He had gone to my high school and was in a banana costume for his campaign for class vice president.)
My group and I befriended some cool AXO girls, who took us around to some frat parties and events. We went to the Skullhouse Monster Party, the Goldfish party at DTD (err…it was a little disturbing- think about the title of the party- but let’s not go there now), a Heaven and Hell party, and hung out at some other frats for various events like dessert, wings, quick bathroom stop, etc. It was all pretty cool (and dry!). So let’s debunk the myth now…there IS a social life at MIT out there, at varying levels from which you can pick.
You can also pick from varying degrees of involvement in extracurricular activities. There was an activities fair where tons of organizations set up tables. Once again, free food and free stuff were abound. Here’s Paul representing the Undergraduate Research Journal (haha semi-stalkerish!)
The last night at CPW, I played Underground Capture the Flag. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t have any pictures of the game “in action,” but what can I say? I was too distracted… This was the Gatorade break at the end of the first round:
My team (navy, against the red team) had ended up losing the first round, and I had to leave before the second round finished to get some semblance of sleep before my early flight. I was dead tired from three days of an entirely full schedule…this was just a sampling of what I did during CPW!
All in all, CPW was an amazing experience. I learned about the academic programs and opportunities while also having a blast socially with everyone. Probably the most significant thing I discovered was about the people- MIT is full of nerds, yes, but those nerds are also interesting, dynamic, and really fun. While I still haven’t made my final decision in regards to where I will be going to college, MIT is a very unique environment that you can’t find anywhere else.