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MIT student blogger Lulu L. '09

Early Morning Construction by Lulu L. '09

and other bexley woes.

Yesterday, I wrote to facilities complaining about the noise from the construction in the alley. Yesterday was also somewhat of an exception so I was not unduly harsh. The past week or so a dull thudding began at 8am sharp and continued for some hours into the day. Down the other end of the alley, they appeared to be drilling holes into the pavement and covering them up with metal plates. Which I didn’t so much mind except that it kept me from sleeping with my windows open at night, this I did mind. Two days ago a bunch of kids pulled down a big branch from the tree outside my window. Said it was coming down anyhow and didn’t want anyone to get crushed under it. Seeing how easily it came down I’d say this was probably the case. I liked the path-of-the-hurricane look and watching people step around the downed branch. Of course, as I expected, there were some noise implications. Earlier than usual yesterday at 7am several very loud chain saws were used to dice the branch up. They did their work efficiently, by the time I woke up for the second time at 11am there was not more than a spattering of sawdust. So these were the events leading up to the noise complaint. The noise complaint itself looked like this:


Construction in Back Alley Next to Bexley Dorm


I’m wondering how long this will go on for. The construction has begun at 8am for several consecutive days now and the noise is making it impossible to sleep as I live on the first floor with a window facing. I wonder if there is a chance that construction might start at 9 instead or I might get reassurance that the noise levels will decrease soon. Thanks



Did they receive it? I wondered. They had not replied but surely I did not expect them to so quickly, that would be highly unusual and diligent. 24 hours pass. One day after my noise complaint. I wake up to a small earthquake. First, there was the usual machinery noise, so I reached up and pulled down my window and my shades, assured that I was in for another 3 hours of sleep. Yesterday, my best sleep happened in that last 3 hours, so yeah, I’d say I was looking forward. But something was afoot. I first grew concerned at the sounds of what appeared to be an operation devoted to lifting up large boulders and dropping them on the ground. So I pulled back my blinds a bit and looked out. I saw maybe 6 hard hats standing around, one of those yellow huge claw arms, bricks on the ground, and a section of the brick wall outside my window missing.

I’ve never actually watched these guys work before. The “bobcat” parked outside my window yesterday is certainly being put to good use. The view has changed dramatically. I don’t think they planned any of this out before they did it. At 9:30 the usual drilling and covering w/ metal plates started. It looked so wuss against the felled wall. Chunks of bricks looked like delicious chocolate bars.

I took some pictures, sent a second email to facilities.



They are knocking down the brick wall outside my window at 7:30 in the morning. The ground is shaking and my head is pounding and it’s a little exciting, but it’s so early and I’m sorry, but, could you guys be ignoring my noise complaint more in any way?

Thanks :( sorry to be whiny, but apparently this has been a problem at bexley all year.



I can’t say I was expecting much out of it, and I went about my terrible day that started at 7:30am after 3 hours of sleep. But really, sometimes, all you need to do is ask. Because within the day, I received 3 return emails, with information about the project itself, from facilities staff, from the head, with apologies and a change in construction time according to my requests. And, although some kids here are still complaining, cause waking up at 9am still blows, whatever, that’s pretty cool. It’s a compromise I’m happy to make.



lol, in other news:


Yes Lulu, We’ll take care of it on Monday………

—–Original Message—–
From: lulu liu
Sent: Friday, July 04, 2008 4:13 PM
To: Jonathan Nolan
Subject: Light & Cockroaches & Mice


My kitchen light is broken in suite 106, is there any way a bulb could
be replaced? Also, I’m not sure if three is a huge hole in my
floorboards somewhere or under my bed or something but 2 days ago a
mouse came out from under my bed and today a giant cockroach- the 2
inches long type, came crawling out in the same direction. Could that
be looked at as well maybe?



The mouse I didn’t so much mind but the cockroach was hairy and disgusting.

30 responses to “Early Morning Construction”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cool. You have a view now.

  2. zohair says:

    great ,
    i appreciate your courage to give up a complaint letter dealing with a lot high frequency oscillations ..
    but surely i would recommend a bundle of cotton swabs to let u sleep more efficiently ..:D

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s pretty much a construction extravaganza at MIT these days. I work in a building at the far east end of the campus, right next to a new building going up. My office is right there and, on some days, I would keep one eye on my computer and the other on the huge crane swinging about 6 inches from my window. Better to look and see it coming or not look and die instantly? On other days, it seemed as though a herd of T. rex were stomping around as the aforesaid cranes amused themselves by picking large blocks of stone up to a height and then dropping them.
    I’m hoping the new building will be sufficiently lovely to make up for the noise- since this is MIT, what are my chances?

  4. Snively says:

    Yeah, I’m experiencing lighting problems of my own right now. My bedroom light burned out and I’m pretty sure nobody’s going to fix it. I submitted a report and all that good stuff, but it’s still very dark in here.

  5. Oasis '11 says:

    ^ Why can’t you just buy a bulb and replace it? (then you wouldn’t have to wait?)

    I wasn’t even aware that we could ask Facilities to fix it for us, lol =p the last time my room light burned out I took the old bulb to Target and asked them for another one.

  6. lulu says:

    target is far dude, and some dorms have weird-ass lights. I guess for me I figure cooking for myself is already plenty self-sufficiency, and I’d rather not spend the time and money light-bulb hunting all over the state.

    I spent the better part of 2 weeks tugging at a clogged sink in my room last year, and wasted a lot of money on drano-like quick-fix solutions til I finally told the house manager about it and the “drain doctor” appeared at my door within a day’s time and cleared it right up. Take advantage of the resources you have dude!

  7. Paul says:

    The construction on Vassar Street was sometimes an issue when I lived in Simmons, but I never had a big problem with it. I can’t wait until they finish the landscaping – it should be amazing.

    One quirk about living in a fraternity is that you get used to taking care of things for yourself. You might say that my brothers and I are our own maids. wink

  8. lulu says:

    that’s how come most frats are filthy.

    i’m not talking about yours, paul raspberry

  9. Paul says:

    Lulu, you make me laugh. smile

  10. lulu says:

    Sure, as long as we share this earth with smaller creatures that don’t understand the boundaries of personal property, they will try to pay us visits in our home. So you’ll get the occasional squirrel, cockroach, mouse, etc passing through. My suitemates here had a problem last month with a particular squirrel coming in the window and peeing on their desks. Although I’ll say that of course no dorm has an airtight seal, the older a dorm, the more holey its exteriors and the more likely and often you will have issues with tiny intruders, and asbestos, but also the more freedom you will have as a resident to influence the look and feel of the place. So that’s a trade you may want to consider when choosing between, say, Simmons and EC, for instance.

    But also a lot depends on your personal habits, whether you leave the window open a lot, whether you are a slob, whether your roommate is a slob, etc. So to answer your question, no of course bexley is not the only dorm playing host to the occasional cockroach/mouse, but if impeccable and germ free living quarters is super important to you (and this is for all freshmen), I’d really think twice before picking the older and cheaper dorms (EC, SH, Random, Bexley…or even BC).

  11. Paul says:

    @Omar: Yeah, Target is great – there’s one in Somerville that’s only <a >Somerville,+MA+02143&startingLat=42.359281&startingLong=-71.093771&storeId=1441&endingLat=42.3769&endingLong=-71.0899&startIcon=NORMAL&endIcon=STORE&startAtStore=false&_requestid=2075370″ rel=”nofollow”>two miles</a> from 77 Mass Ave. You can walk there if you have to. Dorms often arrange group trips to Ikea or similar places a little later on in the school year, but Target’s a great place to start.

    Suggestion: if possible, don’t buy too much until after REX is over and you have your final rooming assignment. Even if you’re staying in the same dorm, you will probably switch rooms, and having less stuff will make you happy. :D

  12. Snively says:

    Yeah, BC has some nice little rodent problems from time to time. I saw a mouse run out of the Conner 3 floor lounge the other day but I’m pretty sure it’s the same mouse that’s laying dead at the end of the hall now.


  13. Omar '12 says:

    Paul/Lulu/anyone – what’s a good place for random dorm room shopping once I’m in Boston? I’ll probably buy last minute things once I’m in town for orientation and want to know a good place that’s close. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  14. Anonymous says:

    there’s also a bed bath and beyond in the fenway area, just take the number 2 bus. it’s much more accessible than target.

    as far as i know, there really is a campus-wide vermin/pest problem. i hate walking around at night…i almost always see huge rats rustling around the bushes or dashing across the streets.

  15. wisdom says:

    That is really just too early for construction. That is cool that they are now going to be doing it at nine in the morning instead. Pretty good pictures.

  16. Paul says:

    @Anon: Wait, really? I’ve walked back to Simmons late at night many a time, and I never saw a single rat…maybe they’re afraid of Simmons’ monolithic exterior. :D

  17. lulu says:

    i think rats kinda come free w/ any city campus package.

  18. Keri says:

    I’ve never had a problem with roaches or mice in SH. (Which is great, because I hate hate hate hate roaches.) Once it starts getting colder, though, tiny spiders come in from outside. I’ve heard that this happens in nearly all buildings, but I could be wrong.

  19. Judy '12 says:

    Are mice and cockroaches common visitors to all the dorms…or just Bexley??

  20. milena '11 says:

    I moved from Simmons to Senior House during REX running away from the noisy construction site, and turns out I got a room facing another construction site right in front of Senior House. I woke up every day at 7am to drilling noises. Thank goodness I got a room in the other side of the dorm for next year!

    Also, I thought you (lulu) lived in 1E. Did you move for the summer or what?

  21. Judy '12 says:

    I guess I’ll be ok if I get McCormick. I don’t mind mice, really. I handle them everyday in the lab I work in. It’s the cockroaches I’m scared of. I hate roaches. They just scare me, like spiders and centipedes. I’m not a bug person. Even grasshoppers terrify me sometimes. I’m probably gonna arm myself with bug spray and do a full inspection of my room when I get on campus…. -__-;;;

  22. Oasis '11 says:

    I’ve never seen many rodents in my life until I came to Boston, and since I see rats scurrying in other parts of the city at night, I wouldn’t attribute it to exclusively a MIT problem.

    But it’s true that there are many mice/rats running around the campus at night, perhaps I see them because I always return to the dorm so late and have to walk so far down amherst alley.

    Personally, I don’t mind them that much, as long as they stay out of the dorm rooms. And something else that I find that’s funny – I’ve never seen a rat (ie. black) indoors yet. All the rodents I’ve seen so far in an actual building have been the brown furry mice variety (and not very big). Hmm.

  23. carmen'12 says:

    when would simmons’ construction outside finish?

  24. Anonymous says:

    ahhh…there are definitely roaches and mice in mccormick. sorry. they are rarer on the higher floors, but i lived on the 6th floor and saw maybe 2 roaches during one school year.

  25. lulu says:

    Right, always one way to go is to introduce natural predators into your room. But you might want to avoid anything that is above you in the food chain, and watch their reproductive habits.

  26. Judy '12 says:

    Lawl… a cat would be nice, but I get allergies to fur sometimes.

    My dad told me that if I ever find mice in my room, the best way is to catch one, beat it, and let it go. It usually goes back to its little colony of friends to “warn” them never to return. It sounds cruel and weird, but it actually works.

  27. Caroline '11 says:

    …or, if you really hate having wildlife in your room, and want to live in EC/SH/Random/Bexley, get a kitty. i’ll take cat hairs over ants, mice, and roaches any day. plus she’s cute and friendly and furry and cuddly and full of purrs. =)

    ps. since moving into senior haus at the beginning of the year, i have seen exactly 2 roaches, both in the kitchens, and one mouse, which was in my cat’s mouth. my biggest problem has been ants. lessons: don’t ever leave food on the floor. ever. also, ant traps are your friends. moving up to the third floor and getting a cat this summer has helped a LOT, though – haven’t seen any ants in this room yet. *knock on wood*

  28. Anonymous says:

    Bexley has lots of mice. And roaches. Great big ones. I stayed there during CPW and I was afraid to sleep on the floor in my host’s room because of all the bugs.