This past Sunday night, my friend Hanna ’10 and I did our first radio show with WMBR, MIT’s campus radio station. Our show’s pretty straightforward, actually – play some good music for people to enjoy while they work on their psets due the next morning, crack a bad joke or two (and when we’re on a roll, even the occasional good one), put on long stretches of music when we’ve run out of nervous banter and can’t think of anything to do but yell, “OH MY GOD WE’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE WHAT NOW WHAT NOW WHAT NOW?!”, all that.
Of course, we both ran around panicking like little girls for about a week beforehand. What if we screwed up every three seconds and ended up with more dead air than anything else in our two-hour set? What if we both sounded like bumbling idiots on the air – would anyone be convinced if we said it was due to a severe lack of social skills (“…um, yeah! That’s right! We never really learned how to talk to people… or into microphones…”), or would they see through our lies and realize that we had absolutely no clue what was going on? What if our music collections really aren’t that good at all? Anyone looking for their college radio fix at midnight on a Sunday would be subjected to two hours of torture from us, and the following backlash would be so immense that we’d be known as those two frosh who somehow managed to ruin the reputation of the entire radio station all in one go. Great. Now look what we’d up and done. What were they thinking when they gave us the time slot in the first place?! Didn’t they realize what they were about to do?
Irrational, you say? Um, sure. Go on ahead. We prefer the term “fixated” – now it sounds like there isn’t anything wrong at all! Perfect.
I promise, I’m not insanely worried about everything this way. With that said, I’ll leave you to wonder whether or not this blog is eliciting the same level of panic while I introduce myself.
My name is Keri Garel, and I’m a member of the class of 2010. (Yeah. I’m new here. Let’s hear it for built-in excuses for not knowing what’s going on!) I was born in Jamaica, but I moved to the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area in Florida at age seven. (Kellas ’10 from England, who lives a floor above me, says this makes me half an international student. I don’t agree. Yet.) Notice the aforementioned locations. Jamaica. Florida – and the very tip of it at that. I’m still struggling to understand this concept of it being cold (whaaaaaaat?!); I’ve never even seen snow, so it’s a sure bet that I’ll be the girl running around in the courtyard screaming at the first sign of flakes. Yes, I’ll do it even if there are only maybe three and a half of them and they melt before they even reach the ground. It’s the principle of the thing.
I live in Senior Haus, which is awesome. (You mean I don’t live on Conner 2? Wow, and there you were thinking that it was a prerequisite to be a blogger by now, what with these three cool people living there.) We host Steer Roast every year. We have a tire swing. Enough said.
Among other activities, I was a devoted slave to my high school’s Drama Club, acting in plays and musicals for two years before I switched to the dark side and became a techie. (Power tools are my friend.) This has carried over to college, where I’m a cast member of the Musical Theatre Guild’s fall production of Children of Eden. They cast me as Young Cain, which only reinforces the fact that no matter how seventeen I am, the rest of the world will still be convinced that I’m twelve.
In addition to MTG, I’m in the middle of training to become one of MIT’s Medlinks. I sit with this blogger while we learn about how to deal with everything from cuts and scrapes to stress and alcohol poisoning. From midnight to 2 AM on Sundays, there’s the radio show I went to pieces about earlier. It’s actually pretty good, but we weren’t convinced of that until the end of the first show. Things happen that way sometimes, you know?
I have a general idea of what I want to do with my life, also known as a double major in Courses 9 (Brain and Cognitive Sciences) and 5 (Chemistry). Then again, a million people come here with a set plan in mind and they end up changing their minds entirely, so who knows? I’m hoping that this will give me the necessary background to go into cancer research and become a lab monkey, making me quite possibly the only frosh in course 9 who doesn’t want to go to med school. I like brains. I like chem. Upperclassmen have said that 9/5 is a reasonable possibility. If they turn out to be wrong, though, it’s absolutely fine. This is MIT. Many of us have spent years being told that we were the best and smartest people ever ever ever, and that won’t hold when we’re with four thousand other students just like us. I don’t have to be the best at everything. Neither do you. It’s kind of a relief, actually.
Everyone else has done one of those “let’s give you a random fact or twelve about me” things, and now that it’s my turn, I’ve blanked almost entirely. I do, however, like pie. A lot. It’s a running joke with nearly everyone I know, actually. They announced me that way at one point during my high school graduation – “Keri likes pie.” Formal, that one. I also do ballet on the side, and I’m just getting into photography. They’re fun. Do those count?
So with a far-too-long introduction, you’ve all been sucked into my freshman year at MIT. I could tell you what happens next, but that would just spoil the surprise. Also, I don’t know about it myself, but if I pretend I do, then you just might believe me.
Or not. But let’s humor me here. Please.