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MIT student blogger Snively '11

Happy Birthday to m—-suck. by Snively '11

I turn 20 and cry tears of blood

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m blogging less frequently now. There are at least two reasons behind this, one that’s my choosing and the other that’s just happenstance.

The first reason you’re seeing fewer entries is because I’m no longer a freshman, meaning all of my admissions knowledge and experience is now a year outdated. Why listen to me every other day when, instead, you can listen to freshmen who are less jaded and less broken by MIT. It’s like the difference between a tasty avocado* and an avocado that’s getting a little ripe, it’s much better to eat the tasty avocado.

*My roommate found a box of 50 avocados for $3 TOTAL in an open-air market the other day so now there are a lot of avocados in our kitchen.

In turn, freshmen bloggers, I need your help. Please blog uberloads so that I can take time doing the second reason I don’t blog as much:

I’m super hosed. Ok, so, hosed has lots of meanings, many of which aren’t that kosher. When I say hosed, I’m referring to MIT’s lovely little saying “Getting an education at MIT is like drinking from a fire hose.” When drinking from said hose, one can be considered hosed. I am hosed. Like fire hose. In my face.

Get the picture?

Oh right, pictures. I always feel guilty putting up an entry with no pictures, so randomly interspersed throughout this post will be pictures that have nothing to do with the entry but that add color. Oh, and they happen to be stolen from an entry on my personal blog. And they also happen to be t-shirts I just bought.

Anyway, hosed. That’s me. I spent ALL DAY yesterday working on 2.003 (Dynamics) and 2.005 (Thermal Fluids) and kinda sorta got stuff done on their respective PSETS (Problem sets, weekly homework assignments). Today is another one of those days, only with a break for blogging.

So here’s how PSETs normally work. Each class has a day when PSETs are due and that’s generally the same day they’re passed out. That means you get one week to finish the PSET.

“One week, that’s so much time! EASY!”


You see, you can’t just do the PSET the day you get it because you haven’t learned any of the material that it covers, you have to go to lecture first. That means instead of a week, you actually get like, 3 days. And by three days I mean the night before. Until 2 or 3 AM. If you’re a lightweight. Otherwise it’s like 4 or 5 AM.

You get used to this and develop a routine, it’s part of MIT’s natural order of things. What really ****’s things up is when there’s an exam. Exam’s tend to just randomly appear in weird parts of the week and throw you all off balance. Kinda like taking a shape with a weird moment of inertia, applying an impulse to some weird knobby part of it, and sending it careening out of control.

This coming week I have a test on Wednesday evening in 2.005 (Thermal Fluids). Uh-oh! I also have an evening class at the same time! As such, I am now scheduled to take a makeup exam EARLIER than the actual exam, I’m guessing on Tuesday. Now, in an ideal world, there would be no PSET due the week of a test. Your professor would say something like

“Since we have a test on Wednesday night and since you normally turn in PSETs on Thursday morning, we won’t make you turn one in this week and you can just concentrate on the test.”

Instead, what our professor said was

“Since we have a test on Wednesday night and since you normally turn in PSETs on Thursday morning, the next PSET is now due on Tuesday morning. You have two fewer days to get it done.”


In 2.003, the opposite happened. Due to a student holiday, our PSET (which is normally due on Monday) is now due on Wednesday. That nice routine I had established in the beginning of the year, working all day Sunday on 2.003 and all day Monday and Wednesday on 2.005 is now something more like AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! MUST DO ALL WORK THIS WEEKEND AND STUDY FOR TEST AND FINISH PROJECT AND AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Project? Oh right, I forgot to tell you, remember that class that conflicts with the exam? There’s a project due during that lecture. Yay.

So, laid out all organized-like, here’s my schedule.

Study study study, work work work

Study study study, work work work

2.003 Lecture, study study study, work work work, pistol

2.005 PSET due
Possible 2.005 Test

2.003 PSET due
Digital Poetry project due

Have the Odyssey read

Oh yeah, the Odyssey, forgot to mention that one. Need to finish that by Thursday.

My week’s a mess, agreed? No? Here’s a taste of what my 2.003 PSET looks like.

2.003 PSET, 200K PDF

You find time to shove that into your schedule. And don’t worry, that PSET is open source so I’m allowed to post it.

So, you know what the best part about all of this is? Guess who’s birthday is right around the corner. Mine is! What day is my birthday on? Tuesday. That’s right, I have a PSET and test ON my birthday, a project and PSET the day AFTER my birthday, and have to finish a novel 2 days after my birthday. This is what my birthday party is going to be like.

“Happy Birthday Snively! Yay!”
“Guys, can you keep it down, I’ve got like 20 hours of work to do and only 3 hours to do it.”
“But you’re 20!”
“I’m also hosed!”

That’s it. Coming soon on the blogosphere, my account of the Trojan Condom Comedy Tour that stopped by MIT the other night.

Yes. That’s right. Funny condoms. Coming soon. To my blog.

: )

Funny condom. Hehe.

33 responses to “Happy Birthday to m—-suck.”

  1. First!!!!!!!!. i have noticed it michael. i have noticed also, that you don’t log in frequently in your AIM account. i want to speak with for something important. you can find me by my e-mail address. i don’t send you an e-mail, because i know that you have a huge problem. you can find my address from my blog here

  2. Barack Obama says:

    OMG…Second…Hey..I like the way you write…
    Keep it up!!

  3. Snively says:

    Dude, Singapore? Why are you moonlighting as Obama? Not that I mind, I think most of your comments are entertaining (except for when you post first or second, you should stop that, people will like you more), but I wouldn’t have guessed Singapore.

  4. Piper says:

    “…freshmen who are less jaded and less broken by MIT.”

    Haha! I guess I put that off for a year wink. Good luck with this week. And happy birthday!

  5. wesh m says:

    That p-set was scary.

    That gives me an idea you can dress as a Pendulum

    or a pulley for Halloween(No ideas on how to do it)

  6. Wesh m says:

    Err.. Snively, I think we(I took the liberty of saying for everybody)the blog stalkers really do owe you an apology,it was really mean to fuss about your lack of blogs.

    Anyway you are supposed to do the P-set not reading blog comments.

  7. Anonymous says:

    no offense but the matlab questions are extremely easy

  8. Snively says:

    No offense taken.

    So the deal with the Matlab questions is that they’re designed to teach us Matlab, not to fully utilize it. They tend to be very straightforward and walk us through the steps.

    Because of this, I haven’t even looked at the Matlab question yet and am saving it for the very end because I expect to be able to just bust it out. It’s those other questions that are proving difficult.

  9. Ahana says:

    Happy Birthday in advance! My 17th is coming soon, and we are both Librans, which means I believe that the apparent alignment of stars can have an influence on my personality(I have to learn to stop quoting Sheldon!)
    Your blogs are being sorely missed, but we’ll live a week without them, though I dunno if you will survive yours. Hang in there and good luck!

  10. Livvy says:

    Boohoo..just when I discover Snively’s blogs,he announces that he’s taking a break!!!Just my luck….speaking of which, that’s what you’re going to be needing lots of this week Snively….luck!
    Happy Birthday in advance. You too Ahana.

  11. Becca says:

    I’m in the same boat. Birthday Wednesday, paper Monday, Rosh Hashana Tuesday, Test Wednesday, PSET and test Thursday.

  12. Ivan says:

    Do students usually work alone on psets are do you guys help each other out and teach each other?

    Are the libraries or other places of usual study normally crowded? (I’m not sure how many tables are available at MIT’s library.)

    Will you post a digital poetry project so that we can understand more about the tech and humanities class?

    And happy birthday in advanced 0_!

  13. Keri says:

    Last term, my 19th birthday fell on the last day of classes. Since I am an idiot and took a bunch of courses with huge term papers and projects in lieu of finals, I spent the entire day in the darkroom making prints for my photo class while attempting to finish choreographing my solo piece for my dance class and writing 2000-word papers for my other two HASS classes.

    I forgot it was my birthday. My mom was visiting. She thought I was going insane.

    Also, you are older than I am. wtf.

  14. Shreya says:

    Hang in there. Things are sure to get better.

    Err, I’m not too sure of that.

  15. Snively says:

    It’s hard for me to completely work a PSET with a group because I tend to not have time to fully think through things. I’m a very slow when I do homework, so if I’m with a group they tend to blaze through things and I end up just copying down things that I understand. You’ll have to find a system that works for you, but I work best alone. A lot of times I won’t be able to do the entire PSET alone, but I’ll work on it for enough hours that when I go ask somebody for help or start working in a group I have enough background knowledge and understanding of the problem that I can intelligently discuss the problem. For now, I’m about 3/4 through each of my 2.003 problems but can’t finish solving any of them. Now is the time I would go find a group and get help from somebody.

    That being said, there are people who will not PSET alone and only work with other people because that’s the way they work. It’s up to you, you figure out what works.

    As for study spots, each major has a lounge that’s really nice for working in and it’s card-access only for people in that major. That’s where I’ve been lately and it’s really nice. Couches, big table, and a large whiteboard. There is always a quiet place to work. There’s a reading room (homework spot) in Barker Engineering Library, on the top floor of the student center, in Hayden library, and in most dorms. A lot of people also work in their rooms at their desks. Over the weekend it’s totally acceptable to take over a lecture hall if you want, spread out, and use its chalkboard. Everything is open.

    Digital Poetry, everything we’re doing is being posted to a set of blogs. I don’t know if anybody can access them, but I’ll see if I can get the URL and share some of the stuff.


  16. Stacy says:

    That schedule is quite insane. I’m sorta in the same boat(well not really) since my birthday is on Thursday and I have SAT’s on Saturday. Well, good luck and happy early birthday!

  17. Gerry says:

    It could be worse. Your birthday could be in may, the time of every single exam in high school (APs, SATs, etc). All my birthdays have been spent alone, awake at 4am wondering how I am ever going to get through my exam.

    On a side note, is it ever possible to watch the lectures ahead of time (say on OCW) and then have extra time to do the problem sets?

    Keep up the great writing.

  18. Sam says:

    I think it was my 17th birthday that I totally forgot about because I was at a choir festival. Then I heard some people singing Happy Birthday to someone who was also named Sam and I was like, “Oh, snap, it’s my birthday too.”

  19. Ehsan says:

    I dont know what’s harder, getting in MIT or balancing everything while there.

    @ Snively
    Wanna tell us all, what the green hand means? Oh and Btw, with every year comes new experiences so that should be no excuse to slow down blogging.

    You got a busy schedule TOUGH LUCK {:

  20. Anon says:

    Holy —-.
    If you seriously want to lure unsuspecting high school seniors to MIT to become freshman meat, showing them a PSET like that one isn’t the way to do it. )’:
    Then again, everyone has to face reality at some point.
    Happy early birthday!

  21. Vaibhav says:

    Will my saying “You’re not alone on the birthday thing” help?
    Because my birthday (1st Nov.) comes just a week or so before our semester exams……

    So this subject (2.003) is about writing computer programs (more than that but in essence.)on MatLab.
    Last 2 things: MatLab’s like C++? and can I download the torrent anywhere??

    Good luck with your birthday and other projects!!

  22. Vaibhav says:

    @Snively (again)
    P.S. I read about your email id being totally messed up but what address to mail you at now??

  23. Kim ('09?) says:

    Good luck this week, Snively. I, too, noticed your absence on the blogs. It made me sad. And if it’s any consolation, I, too, am hosed this week (though obviously not as badly as you).

  24. Anonymous says:

    happy birthday in advance Snively! have a kickarse time. smile

  25. I totally sympathize with you. My 18th birthday is tomorrow and I’m going to spend it writing an AP Bio lab.

    My friends even started doing calc homework at my party tonight. Which I told them they weren’t allowed to do.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Dude my 17th birthday was on Friday.
    Guess what else was on Friday?

    My MIT Interview,

    and, I too, am hosed.

  27. Mikey says:

    Happy birthday, Snively! For your birthday present, I have personally modified your schedule to what it should be (although by now, it’s probably too late):

    Play play play

    Play play play

    Sleep through 2.003 Lecture, pistol using psets instead of targets
    Maybe cram for the 2.005 test
    Perhaps work a little bit on that Digital Poetry project

    Punt the 2.005 PSET that’s due
    Possible 2.005 Test
    Celebrate birthday, day 1

    Punt the 2.003 PSET that’s due
    Digital Poetry project due
    Celebrate birthday, day 2

    Read the Odyssey Cliff’s notes
    Celebrate birthday, day 3

    Play play play
    Continue birthday fun throughout the weekend

    Haha…of course I would never condone this (but I probably would do it!) Anyways, I hope you have a happy birthday nonetheless – enjoy your weekend!! smile Columbus day long weekend is coming up soon…

  28. Isshak says:

    OMG Matlab…I hate that stuff… (your questions are straightforward ? Mines are confusing…)

  29. Moose '12 says:

    Happy Birthday, Snively!
    My 18th birthday was yesterday (an hour agoish) and i have tests today and tomorrow. not that i’m saying that even begins to compare to your workload, cause i’m only a frosh, but… i hope you have a good day anyway, and good luck =) also, nice post…

  30. Liz says:

    Saturday: “play play play”!
    Good lucky Snively!
    And I hope to be as hosed as you are some day. smile

  31. Muz says:

    I’m glad PSETs don’t exist in Australia.

  32. april says:

    hay good writing keep it up

  33. That PSET looked really interesting. I don’t know how to solve any of it, but still.