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MIT student blogger Natnael G. '15

Hidden Treasures @ MIT: Pistol by Natnael G. '15

Think Pistols Are Cool? Wait Till You Meet Mike Conti

First thing I want to do is apologize for not blogging in a while. Life has been… interesting the last few months and I’ll blog about everything I learned from it in a bit. For now I want to start a series a blogs called “Hidden Treasures at MIT”(HT@MIT) that take some of the hidden treasures at and around MIT and puts them in the limelight.

The first hidden treasure is the pistol classes at MIT. Now you may be saying, Nat, everyone and their cousin knows about the pistol classes and the Pirate’s License. To which I’d reply, yes, but it’s not the actual class that makes Pistol a HT@MIT, it’s the instructor Mike Conti.



I took beginner pistol first quarter of my freshman year because I wanted to start strong on my quest to get the Pirate’s License. While I came for the license and to shoot guns, I stayed for the instructor. Every week was better than the last and it turned out that those Tuesday and Thursday afternoons were the highlight of every week. But why I enjoyed it so much was a little bit of a nebulous subject. I couldn’t pinpoint at first that it was actually the instructor, not the activity that was making the subject so enjoyable. Eventually the quarter ended and I was swept up into the world of midterms and actual classes and pistol fell to the back of my mind.

(Other Blogs about Pistol @MIT)

Final day of pistol class we all posed in a very Christian Bale manner.


Trying to Relive My Old Pistol Days

(a.k.a why this blog is suddenly relevant)

After Pistol I took Archery, a subject I did for four years back home, and I put off taking anymore PEs because of conflicts with school related things. But because this semester is quickly coming to an end and I’m supposed to finish my PE requirement this year I decided to dive back into the world of PE classes and what better way than with a nice helping of Intermediate Pistol. Today I stepped into the first class and everything clicked as to why I enjoyed beginner pistol so much and why this was going to be a wonderful class.


Why Mike Conti Is The Man

1. He’s hilarious, I’ve honestly yet to meet any instructor at MIT who manages to make me laugh as much as I laugh in Pistol.

2. He takes safety extremely seriously and teaches it in a way that doesn’t make you scared but rather makes you appreciate the subtleties of keeping everyone around you safe.

3. The environment he creates for the class is such that it’s easy to use it to escape from daily work. Those forty minutes are a time to forget the dozen deadlines awaiting you in the academic world and relax, laugh, and shoot some guns!

4. Every class period is filled with words of wisdom of the random, but relevant, variety.


Everyone should attempt to wake up super early and sign up for pistol/rifle once in their lives, it’s definitely worth it.


Tune in next time for HT@MIT: Cantab Lounge’s Slam Poetry Night.