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MIT student blogger Anna H. '14

Hospital Trips and Dance Parties by Anna H. '14

MIT campus is where it's at over the summer.

Two weeks ago, I arrived back at MIT.

This is the view from my new room:

Hello, Charles River and New House :)

I’m living in MacGregor, one of the two MIT undergraduate dorms open for those of us living on campus for the summer. In August, I’ll move back to French House, but this is where I’ll come home to for the next couple of months.

MIT during the summer is a beautiful thing. No psets. No exams. No pressure to cram in lunch between lecture periods. If I see sunset, it’s because I’m laughing with a friend, in his/her room, and not because I’m moping over an unfinished p-set, in my room. Finally, I have time: to do the things I always wanted to do during the school year, without the weight of “oh why am I here doing this I should be there doing that.”

I’ll spread those things out over a few posts, but thought I’d begin with two stories: one embarrassing, and one awesome. I’ll let you decide which is which.

A Trip to Mount Auburn Hospital

I admit that a trip to the hospital wasn’t really how I envisioned my first full day back…but it made for a good bonding experience. And a good story.

My flight from London landed in the evening, and that night I wandered around campus with friends, getting a private tour of their respective labs (PEOPLE HERE DO SUCH COOL WORK. just saying.) Someone suggested that we go chairing, to which I replied: “what’s chairing?”

Answer: Chairing involves riding a wheelie chair down a ramp in the basement of one of the main buildings. It’s the best thing ever.
Me: What happens when you reach the wall?
Answer: You use your feet to stop.
Me: Oh…really? Wouldn’t that hurt?
Answer: Nah. Not if you do it right.

I guess I did it wrong, because when my chair slid to a stop (and the thrill of WHEE-ing down a ramp was gone), I could barely walk. My shin felt like it had crumbled into lots of little pieces.

My friend Juan, though (shout-out to Juan ’12: do forgive me for telling the world about this) apparently did it even more wrong, because I walked back around the corner to find him sprawled on the ground, chair practically on top of him.

Long story short, the two of us ended up at MIT Medical the next day, where I had a super-embarrassing conversation with the triage nurse:

Nurse: What happened?
Me: Uh…I hit a wall.
Nurse: Oh! So…you tripped, and hit the wall?
Me: …No. I was in a chair.
Nurse: You…tipped over?
Me: …No. It was a wheelie chair.
Me: I rolled into the wall.

*five minutes later*

Nurse: What happened?
Juan: I was in a chair.
Nurse: Oh. Did you hit the wall, too?
Juan: No. I hit the floor.

Yup. Goodbye, dignity. Anyway, both of us were fine – I had to take a little detour to the hospital to get an x-ray to confirm that this was in fact the case – and we limped on our merry way back to MacGregor.

Moral of the story: Chairing may or may not be for everyone.
Positives: I can cross “chairing” off my list of “things one ought to do while at MIT”, and had a nice bonding experience with Juan :)
Negatives: …nah.

The Cambridge Dance Party

Cambridge is a wonderful place to spend your college years. You probably know that it’s young, that it’s lively, that it boasts gorgeous river views and is totally walkable – but did you know that it has an annual citywide Dance Party?

That’s right: once a year, the entire city is invited to the same party, held in front of City Hall. It’s a pretty big deal: they close off that entire portion of the street (bus service stops, too), and when I arrived at 9:30ish it was packed. I went with three friends from MacGregor, who I met for the first time at dinner that evening – and after we nudged our way to the center of the dancing masses, felt compelled to take this picture of City Hall:

I admit that I was surprised at the turnout: most people seemed to be, as expected, college-aged-and-a-bit-older, but there were definitely people in their thirties and forties and even an elderly couple dancing nearby. Elderly couple, whoever you are: more power to you!

When you’re dancing in a setting so packed that at least three strangers feel your every movement…when you’re holding a stranger’s shoulders and running behind him, singing, in a conga line…when you’re doing the cha cha slide in a mass of hundreds…you can’t help but feel like a part of a community. It was the first time that I genuinely felt like I lived in Cambridge: that this is my community – the city I live in, the people I live with.

I took a couple more pictures, but it’s hard to do justice to what the atmosphere was really like:


Moral of the story: Cambridge is an awesome place to live – particularly in the summer, when one actually has time to explore it.
Positives: I got my exercise for the day, and made some new friends. Shout-out to Jamal ’14, Amy ’13, and our lovely RA Moji ’11 :)
Negatives: …nah.

To come: what I’m actually doing here on campus (aside from dancing and injuring myself), and other ways to take advantage of summertime.

8 responses to “Hospital Trips and Dance Parties”

  1. Frank '15 says:

    Anna I love the way u write!
    I hope I get to go to that party next year too and I’m lookin forward to readin more about summertime MIT

  2. Anonymous says:

    I believe “I landed on it badly” would be a more subtle approach and is more or less the same, forces wise. All the information needed and none of the embarrassment

  3. oasis '11 says:

    forgive me for saying so, but you guys are n00bs to get hurt chairing :p

    (still, hope it’s better now though! :D)

    ps. next time do it with more people and you can form ‘formations’ like lines and circles going down that ramp!

  4. Anna H. '14 says:

    @oasis ’11: We are, and we did :D

  5. Ei says:

    When you go to another country in an F1 visa, do you need to apply for another visa

  6. pang says:

    “I guess I did it wrong.
    My friend Juan, though apparently did it even more wrong(hahahahahaha xD), because I walked back around the corner to find him sprawled on the ground, chair practically on top of him.”
    LOlz I burst out in laughter there thinking of this

  7. Anonymous says:

    Get well soon!
    “It was the first time that I genuinely felt like I lived in Cambridge: that this is my community – the city I live in, the people I live with.” – wow that was pretty emotional and inspring.

    That conga line would be one that I would love to join in on.

    I’m just trying to imagine the expressions during the split second when you and Juan realised that the wheelie chair is not going to stop.

    true true… (but we were all once noobs raspberry)… Wheeling in formation would have its own adrenaline rush, but the pile up in the end may not be so comfortable, and multiply the embarassment of being in front of an MIT medical nurse, telling the story. (“You ALL face planted while rolling down a ramp on a wheelie chair” raspberry)

  8. sohaib says:

    (guy from above)
    btw… that picture of charles river is amazing.