Houston-area Suburbia kid Makes Trek to MIT Campus Preview Weekend with Mother by Bryan O. '07
By: Kevin, '11
Hello everyone, prospectives for the coming years and prefrosh alike:
Picture this headline: Houston-area Suburbia kid Makes Trek to MIT Campus Preview Weekend with Mother
This is his story.
So yeah, I had decided about MIT the instant I got my acceptance letter (deferred, got in regular Woohoo!) or shortly thereafter. After talking over all the awesome reasons that I wanted to go MIT even over the other prestigious institutions I’d been accepted to (awesome engineering schools in NYC, Pittsburgh, and Houston … you figure it out), I proceeded from the hotel I stayed at Wed. night to CPW registration. I was delighted to find Matt Mcgann and Ben Jones waiting at the table for me… and any other prefrosh. No matter, I was on a mission.
Since Matt Mcgann was occupied on the phone at the moment, I talked to Ben Jones. I proceeded to ask if the admissions office was still open so that I could give them my MIT Reply Form, and wait, couldn’t I just give it to him, would he take it? Now??? Why yes, Ben congenially and ecstatically answered. “That’s awesome! I guess we don’t have to work on you this weekend.” Well, right he was. When Matt Mcgann saw my awesome “nerd-tastic” Calculus shirt (Coke ripoff, said enjoy calculus, check Friday Liveblog), I knew that MIT was the place for me. Now to explore.
I started off by battling the cold/raining/sleeting weather that outright broke my subpar Houston umbrella. (It had worked for going on 8 years in Houston and didn’t stand one day in Boston, go figure). So, there I was with the better half of my umbrella that tried to fly away on a quest to Random Hall, where the was word of Truffle-making. When I finally got there after what should have been little more than a 5 minute walk I was glad to find a warm place to dry off. I met some fairly cool people there, but it was a little intimidating after hearing about all the insane crazy acamedic feats that my peers had conquered. I couldn’t help asking myself if I was really intelligent enough to go to MIT. But Marilee Jones never makes mistakes, right…Right???
I was however, meant to find some more awesome people that spoke less of academia and were willing to listen to whatever random story came to my mind while waiting to play 3D twister, which was awesome. I have to admit the resident Randomites (people living at Random House) were a little, well, random, but very cool and welcoming. I started to feel a bit better.
The weekend went on as I struggled to find stuff to do. Solace came in the form of a very pretty asian girl who will probably go to Harvard, despite CPW awesomeness (Oh well…) Some of her friends and I hung out that night and even attended some parties that night. “Parties???” You may be thinking. “at MIT??!” Yeah, I was pretty surprised to. But… there was enough loud music energy drinks and dancing to go around. I tried to talk to a bunch of different people and met some pretty cool people at Skull House, and even some Boston University Undergrads that claimed, “Oh yeah, MIT has the best parties. We love coming here because MIT totally has the best looking guys.” Hark, could this mean great things in Kevin Rustagi’s future. I would endeavor to believe so.
So yeah, went back to Next House, which was cool but very far from the center of campus to sleep. Of course not until after talking to my host Andrew Bishara until 4 AM about random stuff, including the arcade project that my friends and I worked on in January. He gave me some comfort that classes were difficult but not impossible.
Oh yeah, and Marilee Jones’ opening statements were awesome. Some kids laughed when she exclaimed that there was a high tolerance for failure. Her statements about how MIT encourages invention, creation, and freethinking made my head spin with excitement for the oncoming 4 years. The Logs, one of MIT’s premiere a capella groups performed and that was awesome as well.
The next day was important. I had goals to accomplish because so far I hadn’t talked to anybody on the ski team or inquired about where to put my drumset and/or another arcade that my friends and I are building/overhauling/re-engineering this summer. My prospects brightened at the activities fair where I met the crew people who seemed to be almost too excited about the fact that I was over 6 foot and under 140 lbs. “Yeah, dude, you don’t need any athletic experience at all. Just put down your e-mail and height and weight.” A little strange… But I did find the ski people and they were very encouraging. I talked the team captain and after telling him my level of experience and expressing my zeal for the program he was very enthusiastic about my joining the team (I’m not rich, I just have close family that live in Colorado). So that was cool. I also found out that if I had an idea for an activity while at MIT that all I had to do was write it up and MIT would probably throw some cash my way to get it started. I also learned that there were several faith-based groups at MIT, which is cool b/c I’ve been pretty involved with my church throughout high school. And I talked to the Logs who were totally into me trying out. (I’m a drummer turned singer turned guitarist). And the dramashop said I didn’t even have to take the class to submit my own One act play that they would put on (It’s always been a dream of mine to write a play.)
So I’m thinking, awesome, ” Activities, Check!” The Korean Karate Club even showed me how, and I did, break a board. Way cool.That day I also met this awesome girl, Allie, from Wisconsin and I hung out with her and some friends she made. We even had an opportunity to go on an underground tour of MIT, we’ll just call it a Citrus tour to protect the innocent. The funny thing was a bunch of us were all just waiting there and I thought these crazy kids were hacking us. Allie and I saw a bunch of kids up on one of the balconies so we decided to “role play” I approach one of the guys and say, “Haha we got those kids…” He’s like, who are you, and I told him something like I’m Kevin didn’t Jim tell you about me. The guy responds with, “Are you a CALTECH student.” I couldn’t believe it. How crazy! This guy thought I was an outsider trying to hack them, when I thought he was hacking us prefrosh. Anyway it turned out to be just fine, though it ended early due to some searchlights on MIT’s Great dome… I wonder what could’ve happened…
This was cool though because it gave Allie and I a chance to check out this hot tub deal, which was awesome. A bunch of kids and I hung out there until the wee hours of the morning and they let us sleep in this fishing net that they had hung from the ceiling. (We also could’ve slept in beds, but the fishing net was HUGE).
Btw, the food was all free after Friday morning because all of the Frats across the river were hosting free meals. Of all of them, my favorites were Zeta Psi, and Skull House (can’t remember the name) Allie and I walked back across the bridge 4 hours from the time when we went to sleep at Tep (A coed living group, also across the river) to take our first showers since arriving at MIT, Ewww! What can I say, we were living the college life. OK, so at this point in writing this I’m pretty sure I mixed up the events of Friday and Saturday in the last two paragraphs, but you know what, I don’t think it makes that much of a difference. Just know that the weekend was a blur (Woohoo! – music reference) of awesomeness.
So what I do know is that Eddie from Zeta Psi showed me around Zeta Psi later that night and they had some awesome stuff like artwork painted on the doors (they’re on campus and not a historical landmark like many of the Frats across the river) and even stadium seating built into one of the rooms. His like many other frats and some of the dorms had music rooms for me to put my drumset and speakers and guitar/amp respectively. (I totally want to have a rock band at MIT) and he even found the perfect place for my arcade that has a bajillion games on it.
Before that of course, I had seen a few last awesome events, the closing remarks/ Logs performing and I got really wrecked at Texas Hold ‘Em at one of the Frats. Which is wierd because I’m from Texas, for Pete’s sake. That evening we went to see battle of the bands. It was pretty rad/throwed/insert synonym to awesome of your choice. Ben Jones’ band was awesome, as were the rest. And, I must explain something. In the south, when there is a point of uncertainty or potential encore, someone in the crowd yells out ‘Freebird!’ in reference to the famous Lynyrd Skynyrd song, calling for it’s musical reiteration. Well, I was trying to teach this one girl from New York how to do it and when the opportune moment was, when I yelled it out before Marilee Jones came on stage. Some thought it was funny (either out of understanding or mere spontaneity) but she started singing You Can’t Always Get What You Want and it all melted away as us and the Cartoony Beaver Mascot Tim swayed his arms to the music with us. He had also crowd surfed to a metal song earlier and that was by far one of the funniest and most surreal things I have ever witnessed in person. So the last band was a classic rock type band along the lines of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) and they as the closer played their three songs and wondered aloud if they had more time. Two beats passed of silence and then without warning or planning or knowledge of each other me and two others yelled out the call for “Freebird!” I couldn’t believe it! They had sensed it too. The perfect moment. Well, the band played a half-done rendition of Sweet Home Alabama that I thoroughly enjoyed (They kind of accidentally repeated the 2nd verse instead of doing the 1st and 2nd, and they didn’t really finish the song.)
But otherwise I said my goodbyes at Zeta Psi later on and caught a cab at 1:30 AM back to my airport hotel in the interest of getting out early because of the oncoming storm.
Well, if you have read this far, I must commend you for your dilligence, patience, and ginormously long attention span.
And of course, as with a good pizza, I always save the best for last,
So I will leave you with this thought that Allie McKenzie ’11 shared with before the Battle of the Bands.
Take it as you will, it is not meant to offend anyone but is merely poking fun at the general quirkiness that I appreciate and love in MIT students.
And Bryan, if you do, thank you for publishing this pearl of wisdom.
At MIT, so far as relationships go, this statement mostly rings true:
The Odds are Good, but the Goods are Odd.
What a lovely epanelepsis, at least I think that’s what it is.
So, with that I step out of the limelight, at least until next semester (mad scientist laugh). Thank you for listening. Please e-mail me @ [email protected] if you have any questions. And I am totally on facebook complete with pics of my crazy arcade project. Matt Mcgann:” You gave a pinball machine to a nursing home?” Lol.
I love you all and will see you in the fall. hey, that rhymes. -Kevin.