EC Gothic/Screaming (“I don’t want to work on psets”) by Lydia K. '14, MEng '16
Apparently a work order has been fulfilled. But whose?
It’s been a while. Welcome back. Let’s get this over with:
That was East Campus, video by and courtesy of Eric Lujan ‘19, screaming cathartic on Friday, November 6, 2015.
Today is Sunday, November 6. This is EC Gothic, authored by East Campus, the residents and the mailing list, not all of which is residents, from 7:07pm Sunday, May 3, through 1:47am Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in expansion of MIT Gothic. It is up to you to decipher these, and to distinguish the truth from the fiction. Maybe you’ll find a place where the ephemeral is more real than the truth. That place might be MIT. The time might be the middle of the semester. We’re from the past. We can help. Have you slept? Good luck.
Nchinda N. ’17
Miranda G. ‘16
You are taking four classes and you have five psets. You don’t know where the extra pset came from or which one it is. The example scenarios in the problems grow increasingly violent.
The Stata Center has two towers. You find an elevator you never knew was there. People go up it but the higher floors are empty. The Stata Center has three towers. Some of the windows look out at other walls of the Stata Center. Others look out at a desert under unfamiliar stars. The Stata Center has four towers.
It is five AM and your PSET is done and you were tired while you were working but now you aren’t. You go to the kitchen for a snack and everyone is there. “I should be asleep,” you say. They answer, “So should we.” You don’t remember how to sleep. You rant about the administration and eat chocolate chips out of a bag as the sun starts rising and stops again.
There is a sketchy f—er in the EC courtyard. Sometimes he is a resident. Sometimes he is a CP. Sometimes he is made of snow and shadows and leans against the wall, melting his way in.
It is three in the morning. All your muscles ache and there is fiberglass in your skin. You’ve forgotten the names of the people you’re with, but you know they are your friends. You buy potato chips at Verde’s and they taste like industrial lubricant. You are ecstatic.
Your code doesn’t work. You add some print commands to the broken part. Your code works. You are afraid to take the print commands out. Your code stops working again.
There is a tunnel from lobby 7 to the basement of W20. Farther down the tunnel is the basement of Random Hall. Farther down still is the basement of Senior House. Farther down still is the basement of building 20. It didn’t get destroyed. It just left. You are so far down the tunnel the rocks are starting to melt.
A group of identical Sloan students in identical suits and identical well-shined shoes walks down the sidewalk. You press yourself against the wall and hope they don’t see you, but they turn their heads toward you in perfect unison.
You go to the pharos printer and there is a document in your queue that you didn’t put there. You print it out. It is a diagram of the human nervous system in blue and red. This is not a color printer. You can’t feel your hands and feet.
Anna N. ‘18
It is 5 am. You are startled awake by the answer to a pset problem. You scramble to find a pencil. You can no longer remember the answer. You are startled awake by the answer to a pset problem. You are in lecture. It is noon.
You ask for a studfinder. I give you a power drill.
You ask for a studfinder, but it turns out I don’t really exist. Where I was standing, a picture of a studfinder rests on the ground.
You awake as a studfinder. You start screaming only to have Lemongrab GIFs fly from your flips. im-having-a-personal-problem is cc’d.
Why are we quoting Wikipedia’s article on Vlad the Impaler? An architect cries softly as he cradles a brick of asbestos. Albert Farwell Bemis stares at you as the asbestos falls apart into dust. You breathe in only to see me with studs for eyes, I am singing the song which gives birth to the email thread.
You ask for a studfinder, I give you a studfinder. You raise it to your wall and take a reading. Your eye twitches involuntarily. Across the street an administrator trips into a mud wrestling pit. You blink and look down at the studfinder in your hands. I give you a studfinder. You blink and look down at the studfinder in your hands. You cannot blink. There are ResLife workers at the edge of the mudpit. An RLAD shifts uneasily in his lonely office. I give you a studfinder. You look at my face, and I am pleading with you. The ResLife workers are crying now. You raise the studfinder to your wall, tears stream down your face as you take a reading. I give you a studfinder. You are on your knees. You plead with me to go across the street. I hear only ResLife’s laughter. I give you a studfinder. You are screaming as you fall into the mudpit. I am your RLAD. You cannot see anything. You take a bite of the studfinder. The concrete rushes up to meet you. You awake with a start in your own bed. Your eye twitches involuntarily. I give you a studfinder. As you kill me, I do not make a sound. I give you a studfinder.
You ask me for a studfinder. My attempt to reciprocate snarkily is cut brutally short as my body experiences a sudden lack of electrons. Across a variety of hidden dimensions you are dismayed. JoeG hands me an HFZ, but it slips through my fingers. I am reborn as a desk worker. You disapprove. A crack echoes through the universe in defiance of conventional physics as cosmological background noise shifts from randomness to a perfect A Flat. ResLife workers everywhere stop what they are doing and hum along in perfect pitch with the background radiation. Fabio falls from the sky as the sun engulfs the earth. You hesitate momentarily before allowing yourself to assume the locus of all knowledge. Entropy crumbles as you peruse the information contained within the universe. A small library near jlab ceases to exist. You stumble under the weight of everythingness, Your mouth opens up to cry out, and collapses around your body before blinking you out of the spatial plane. You exist only within the fourth dimension. The fountainhead of all knowledge rolls along the ground and collides with a small goose. My head tastes sideways as spacetime is reestablished, you blink back into the corporeal world disoriented, only for me to hand you a studfinder as my body collapses under the strain of reconstitution. The universe has reasserted itself. A particular small goose is fed fois gras for the rest of its natural life. You die in a freak accident moments later, and you soul works at the returns desk for the 4-3xx library. You disapprove. Your disapproval sends ripples through the inter-dimensional void between life and death. A ResLife worker begins to cry as he walks toward the mudpit where his admin stands.
Miranda G. ‘16
You arrive in class. The professor says that today, you will be proving the inconsistency of the Peano axioms. Someone wants to know if this will be on the test. The professor says it will be and it won’t be and it neither will be nor won’t be, and that you should ask the TA that sort of thing.
Skyler A. ‘16
I’m furiously hitting ctrl+z but she’s not coming back.
Adam S. ‘15
You’re going through your inbox and come across an email from Helen F. Ray. It has “[Reuse]” in the subject line, but it was actually sent directly to you. The only contents of the message are your interoffice address. You open your mailbox and coupons pour out onto the floor. All of them have already expired.
William L. ‘16
Kristjan K. ‘14
You are talking to Anne Hunter for 11 minutes. You check your email after the meeting. Anne Hunter emailed you 3 minutes ago. She is a Sloan student looking for a technical co-founder. You check your email. Anne Hunter emailed you 4 minutes ago. She is the mom of a Harvard student in desperate need with his CS50 homework. You check your email. Anne Hunter emailed you 5 minutes ago. She is you, asking Anne Hunter to promote an event. You check your mail. Anne Hunter mailed you 7 months ago. You are a postcard.
Skyler A. ‘16
Rob Miller opens his eyes. The figures in his dreams left the aluminum trays at the foot of the bed again. They’re heavy and lukewarm.
Still groggy, he carries them to Desk.
Loren S. ‘17
Free food in building 66, the email says. Your feet pound the pavement as your heart pounds against your ribs. You are hungry. You are so hungry. You are salivating, and your mouth fills with the taste of adrenaline and desperation. When you arrive, panting, you can’t believe your eyes: flour sandwiches, an entire platter, just sitting there. Your stomach twists with hunger. Is this happening? Have you finally arrived before it could gorge itself? You haven’t eaten since Pinkie’s. The sandwiches are fresh, heavenly, almost glowing in the late afternoon sunlight. With trembling hands, you reach for the platter. And with a sickening, sinking lurch, it hits you.
That’s not your stomach growling.
Sadun ‘17 (who started the thread to begin with)
You go to the 8.05 pset box with a half-complete set of solutions, hastily scrawled. You find that the box is unlocked and slightly ajar, and take a look inside. All the other submissions are three times thicker than yours and perfectly LaTeXed but completely in Latin. You close the box and find that the professor’s name has changed to a frowning face. You slip in your pset and hear a buzzing sound. A puff of smoke comes out of the box.
Nicholas McC. ‘17
You spot the subject line “food w20 eom”. You blink. Trays of plain white rice tower in your hands. You’re jaywalking at 77 Mass Ave. You blink. You’re adding lettuce from lobby 10 to the top of the pile. You blink. You’re stumbling down the steps of an unfamiliar building with a familiar odor. You blink. You’re lying on the floor of a dimly-lit machine room. Empty aluminum trays and food scraps surround you. Stray pieces of rice cling to your lips. An unknown sauce drips down from the dark pipes above you. You’re hungry.
Danny B.D. ‘15
You need to pee. You enter the men’s room adjacent to Lobby 10. You stand at the farthest urinal. Looking up, you read the word ERIE drawn in the grout lines of the tiled wall. The Erie Wastewater Treatment Plant is 459.53 miles away. You don’t know why you know that.
Christopher D. ‘17
You are fetching books in the library. Halfway down the aisle you get turned around and can’t find the way back to your cart. The aisle is a straight line. There is a book in your hand. You blink. The call number has changed. This is the wrong book. You should probably be getting more sleep.
You open a box in Stata loading dock. The box is full of snakes. Startled, you trip over your own bare feet as you attempt to flee. The pile of printers laughs at your clumsiness, covering the world in a fine mist of toner.
You emerge from the darkness of the hallway into the sunlit stairwell. Your companion, hissing, retreats to the safety and warm crimson glow of the hallway. This time it seems you will be making the journey alone.
You encounter an unexpected hazard in a publicly accessible location eom. You gaze solemnly into its depths for hours, but it refuses to go away.
Kim D. ‘18
The MIT Media Lab is the coolest place in the world. You approach the door. You grasp the smooth, hard metal doorknob and twist smoothly. The door swings open, but through it is only another door. The first door clicks softly shut behind you. You did not step through. You feel it lock in the pit of your stomach. Your eyes are two inches from the new door. You did not move forward. The MIT Media Lab is the coolest place in the world. You turn the knob and your body is pressed against yet another door. There is no knob. You fall in. Forward is down. You fall into doors and doors and doors and doors. The MIT Media Lab is nothing but doors. The MIT Media Lab is the coolest place in the world.
William L. ‘16
You exit your room, stumbling to the bathroom. Your path is blocked by a herd of tetafrosh, pulsating on the ground making animal noises. “Tetazoo is not a hivemind.” You wave your tail in the air and meow loudly, but your tail catches fire. “Tetazoo is not a hivemind.” You jump out of the window, just as the explosions start, careful to aim the frozen cats at Putz eom.
Rudy G. ‘17
You are in the Barker reading room. Your head slowly lolls upward to the skylight. Your head is spinning. The skylight is spinning. The world is spinning. Your blood screams for caffeine.
Rachel A. ‘17
You are working a full time UROP for the summer. You know you can only be paid for 40 hours of work, but you are afraid you will cease to exist if you stop. You look outside the window of your lab. It is snowing.
Jake I. ‘16
You awake to the smell of Pinkie’s. It smells like Sadunmeal and Harry’s Monstrosity and it smells. You inhale deeply and your lungs fill with home fries. Your mind is lightly salted. You open your mouth to order but nobody can hear you over the too many cooks
too many cooks
too many cooks
You have no mouth but you must scream for ice cream
Jake I. ‘16
It is the morning of your last CPW and your eyes burn from lack of sleep and it is 9am and the courtyard is screaming the Soviet National Anthem
you cover your ears
your bury your head in your pillow
you wake up in your host’s room
four more years
Phoebe W. ‘15
“One double per hall,” Housing says. “One freshman per hall,” Housing says. “One student per hall,” Housing says. “You are alone.”
You open your email. You have fifteen unread messages. You read them, not because you need to, but because your other tabs contain work. You open your email. You have no unread messages. You open Facebook. You have no unread messages. Hillary Clinton visited a small town today. You open your other tabs. You open your email. Hillary Clinton is offering you free food in 2-105. You open your email. You open your other tabs. Hillary Clinton is on your pset. You open your email.
Danny B.D. ‘15
The UA finds itself in a constitutional crisis. JudBoard is asked to rule. JudBoard is not yet whole, and JudBoard cannot come to an agreement. JudBoard Chair pulls rank and decides on JudBoard’s behalf. JudBoard is asked to rule on JudBoard Chair’s right to pull rank and decide on JudBoard’s behalf. JudBoard is not yet whole, and JudBoard cannot come to an agreement. JudBoard Chair pulls rank and decides on JudBoard’s behalf.
Loren S. ‘17
You’ve called FIXIT, but your drain still clogs from time to time. Putrid black sludge fills the sink and each foul-smelling bubble that bursts is accompanied by a faint echo of mocking laughter.
Apparently a work order has been fulfilled. But whose?
Matthew D. ‘16
You send out an email for UA applications. You do not receive applications. You send out an email for UA applications. You do not receive applications. You send out an email for UA applications. You do not receive applications…
Samuel D. ‘17
There’s an emergency. You see it right in front of you, but your brain is unable to process what is happening. You cannot describe the emergency in words; your mind is simply filled with soul-crushing terror, and the knowledge that something is horribly wrong with the universe. You scream to your friends to stay away, but you no longer have any idea where you are. The emergency transcends space. The emergency transcends time. “Stay away from [AREA]!”, you shout. Nobody hears you.
William L. ‘16
An email from Kevin Kraft appears in your inbox.
You wake up. It’s 6:66 AM. A faint apology echoes from an appliance nearby. It is your alarm clock of course. It is not very good with modular arithmetic. It corrects itself with a whimsical whirr. The whirr was not the end. It doesn’t stop. You feel a slight draft coming from the closet. You are in the closet. You wonder what a monster you’ve become. A sense of dread overwhelms you.
You look down. You notice that you are abnormally large pillbug/rolypoly. In denial of your new state, you instinctively roll into a ball. This fills you with dread. Rolling did not sooth you. Men do not roll. You are a bug. This intrigues you. You direct your attention to your surroundings. You are surrounded by Christmas lights. Your bean bag soothes your soul. It’s also a bit handsy… You spruced up your closet in a fit of drunk Amazon purchases. Amazon now thinks you are an expecting mother. Sleeping in the closet frees up so much room for activities. You do not engage in activities. You are a ghost. You now realize you don’t need to sleep. You are already dead. A transient and ephemeral hand makes its way down your spin, tenderly teasing your vertebrae. It begins to monologue quite loudly in your ear. You were not expecting this volume. No one was:
REMEMBER ME, FEARFUL CHILD
THOSE THAT COME IN THE NIGHT ARE NOT COURAGEOUS
THEY ARE FALSE
REMEMBER ME, FRIGHTENED BOY
DANGER COMES TO THOSE WHO PAY HEED TO WHISPERS
OF NIGHT BEYOND THIS GROVE
REMEMBER ME, MY SON
FOLLOW THE PATH OF THE FORGOTTEN
HEED THEIR SORROWFUL CRIES
THEY SHALL NOT LEAD YOU ASTRAY
REMEMBER ME FIRST
REMEMBER ME FAST
The hand wilts. You pick up your stylish Apple™ computer. Type in your alias for openEmu, i.e., emu into your terminal window, and load up Super Metroid. You are fighting Mother Brain. She turns into a giant T-Rex thing. Babby metroid dies. You cry haplessly into your much too flirty bean bag as rosy-fingered dawn mounts the morning mists.
sudowoodo sudo sudo rm -rf ~/Applications/openEmu
No more Dankey Kang for you.
P.S. Isn’t Jungle Groove such a magnificent song? You should listen to the Nintendo a la Cziffra verson on youtube.
Danny B.D. ‘15
It is November 2016, and you graduated over a year prior. You step into a voting booth at a polling station. You vote. Batman becomes POTUS.
Charlotte S. ‘16
You open your door. An alarm goes off, loud, piercing. You shut the door. The alarm stops. A maintenance worker opens the door and scolds you for closing it in a language you cannot identify. You can barely hear them over the alarm. The noise feels like it’s burrowing into your head. You try to cover your ears, but the worker pulls your hands away. You cannot interfere with the function of the alarms. The alarms must be heard. The alarms must be acknowledged. The alarms must continue.
Danny B.D. ‘15
You walk down the hall. There is a roof alarm. You walk to your room. There is an Airgas alarm. You walk to your window. There is a fire alarm. You remain calm.
Andres P. ‘17
It is graduation day, you turn your brass rat the other way. You shake President Reif’s hand with your right, and receive the Admissions Tube with the left.
Danny B.D. ‘15
You decide to socialize with college students beyond MIT. You find that everyone you meet attends a school called Peer Institution.
Rachel A. ‘17
An unpopular policy change is announced. They say they worked closely with a student committee. This is the first time you are hearing about the topic. No one knows anyone who was on the committee. The announcement comes from a division of DSL that does not exist.
Haley C. ‘18
You put on a start-up tee-shirt. You don’t remember getting this shirt. You decide to look up the company. The website contains only a clock counting down. 2 minutes remain.
Liz S. ‘17
You are sitting in the courtyard. You check your email. New email to ec-discuss: “Sketchy f—er in the courtyard. Wearing a hoodie and smoking. Not trying to get in the building.” You look down. You’re wearing a hoodie and smoking a cigarette.
Nursen O. ‘15
You email out looking for an extra ticket to graduation. You compulsively check your email. Class Council emails you. You forgot to enter the graduation ticket lottery. You check your email. Your graduation ticket has been claimed. You check your email. Class council has taken more of your tickets to appease the wait listed skydivers. You check your email. You receive a request from yourself for a graduation ticket. You decline. You check your email. Your siblings have multiplied. You check your email. You exchange graduation tickets for more tesserae. You check your email. Your name is drawn from the cup. You check your email. Hufflepuff.
Jin P. ‘16
You go to download your pset. Your wifi cuts out. You grumble about random wireless feedback and move your laptop. You go to submit your pset. Your wifi cuts out. You grumble about wifi not being hardcore enough and hop on a wired link. You go to create a pset. You wrap nearby wifi antennas in foil and grumble about others grumbling.
Olivia M. ‘14
It’s 11pm the day you took a long midterm, struggling to finish an quantum assignment you put off so you could study. You’re in the bathroom on the third floor of building 3. A girl is softly weeping in the handicap stall, she struggles to stifle her sniffles. You hastily flush the toilet and go to wash your hands, debating whether to ask her if she’s alright or worry you’ll disturb her just as well.
Christine K. ‘17
It’s 9pm on a Thursday night. The blues, blacks, and grays of 38-600 are starting to blur and blend into each other. You’ve been inside since 11am, trying to get your circuit to generate sine waves. “Why,” you ask yourself, “does the resolution suck?” The kind soul to your right sees your misery and attempts to ask what’s up before dissolving into his own tears of sadness, mumbling “Goddamn you Steve” every so often. Suddenly, it hits you: the DACs you’ve been using don’t have the resolution you want. The quality you want is too high, and the bits you have are too few. You groan when you realize that you need to order the one chip you prayed you wouldn’t need: the DAC712, a 16-bit DAC. You punch a wall when you realize that it costs $50 (including the shipping required to get it on Monday).
>>>> Fast-forward to Monday morning, 10:30am >>>>
You break when you realize that you need a breakout board (which you don’t have) in order to use the chip with a breadboard because the pins are too damn small.
You wake up. You look at your hand. You are not controlling it.
You look at your desk. A 6.046 pset is controlling your hand with gut strings, not unlike a marionette. It doesn’t want to be solved. It controls you like a marionette. It walks you to your computer.
You download two hundred HD wallpapers. Half of them are low quality. You delete any that aren’t 2560 x 1600. Your pernicious pset is positively pleased. It solves itself.
You observe your room around you. Your minecraft server hums a pleasant G. It is bedtime. It is 7 AM. You collapse on your 布団 (futon, but not the one you’re familiar with, it’s the sugoi version of the american futon, a japanese loanword) and fall into a long dreamless sleep. You wake up.
Daniela Z.S. ‘17
You are in lecture. The professor has run out of Greek letters and is using Sanskrit variables instead. Someone’s alarm goes off. You wake up. A garbage truck is backing up into your room, beeping. You try to leave through the window, but it won’t open. You file a work order. Two figures enter, fix a lightbulb, and leave. It is 5:00am.
William L. ‘16
You arrive in lecture 10 minutes late. You see that tomorrow’s lecture was rescheduled to last Friday, and the professor collects your lab notebooks, which you didn’t bring.
Lauren F. ‘17
You are a course 2. You go to 2.002 lecture and mechanical systems are being modeled as circuits. You go 2.003 lecture and dynamic systems are being modeled as circuits. You go to 2.005 lecture and thermal systems are being modeled as circuits. You wake up. You step out of bed. You step on a sharp object. It is a resistor. You take another step. You step on a resistor. You take another step. You step on a resistor. You look around. Your entire floor is covered in resistors. You look down. There is a six-hertz wave on your shirt. …They have come for you.
Olivia M. ‘14
You’re in Junior Lab. You’re doing an experiment proving models of relativity in how electrons interact in a uniform magnetic field. You accidentally took your measurements in too fine a range of magnetic fields, and didn’t realize it because the multi-channel analyzer doesn’t calibrate for energy. You spend about another 6 hours re-taking data and another 15 analyzing it for the presentation happening in two days. You’re hyped up on the excedrin you took for your massive headache. Your value for e/m is within 0.1 sigma from the accepted value. Your stomach is gnawing at itself from the inside from all the aspirin and acetaminophen.
James G. ‘18
You wake up. You’re sitting at your desk. Spread out in front of you is a pset for a course you don’t recognize. The answers are written in scarlet. You taste copper in the back of your mouth.
You have the flu. You walk into MIT medical. A smiling nurse gently takes your arm and walks you into a closet. You sit in the dark for hours.
You arrive for the start of the fall semester. Your friends are building a giant effigy of a snake out of wood and pre-approved 2-foot-long bolts. You pull a bolt out of a pile and examine it. It’s carved from bone.
Your phone chirps a notification. You pull it out of your pocket and turn on the screen. You have 13,056 new emails.
Miranda G. ‘16
You are on the EC mailing list but you do not live in EC. Someone posts about stud finders. Pinkies just happened. Someone posts about Vlad the Impaler. Pinkies is about to happen. There is an MIT Gothic thread. People are posting things in the MIT Gothic thread that actually happened, because MIT is already Gothic. Pinkies is happening. You cannot stop it from happening. You cannot preorder. You preorder a hamburger. The Airgas truck takes your hamburger and gives you a stud finder. You scan and scan but the Airgas truck has no studs.
You are in Junior Lab. You run some code. The mean lifetime of a muon at rest is 2.24 +/- 0.05 us. You re-run your code. The mean lifetime of a muon at rest is 2.11 +/- 0.02 us. You re-run your code. The mean lifetime of a muon at rest is -3.63 +/- 0.03i us. Your computer complains that your slides aren’t numbered.
You wake up. Twenty four hours have passed. You are now in Moscow. You look around. You are in a FSB [today’s KGB] lab. How did you know you were in Moscow, you wonder. You ignore this thought. The Russian Federation national anthem is playing. It sounds strangely like the CCCP’s national anthem. Putin walks in on a bear in a lab coat.
The bear growls. It stands up officiously, takes stock of its surroundings, and unzips its bear skin off.
Josef Stalin steps out. The robot, formerly known as Putin, powers down after a quick “До свидания!”
He turns to you and speaks:
“Вы можете смеяться над этим! Но посмеетесь, когда мы, знаете, обгоним вас и скажем, ‘Господа капиталисты!’ До свидания. Наш поезд сюда идет. Пожалуйста, за нами!”
Your 6.046 pset walks out in an FSB (KGB) uniform. Your pset takes out an AK-74U from its inner jacket pocket. It receives a nod from the Stalin in all his savage glory. It shoots out the lights. You hear the whirr and the continuing flash of a light saber. You fall into a fetal position. You think of your mother. Stalin shouts a savage cry. Dr. Robotnik is dead. Sonic cries for he no longer has an enemy. He commits seppuku, for he is a Japanese creation. Stalin no longer has a mouthpiece to control Russia with. He announces to the world that he is the first immortal. He realizes that he is actually Mario. He digitizes himself and kills Luigi. Luigi is immortal. He lives in our hearts. You hug your 6.046 pset. It stabs you with a syringe containing horse tranquilizers. You fall into a deep dreamless sleep. You wake up.
Ali F. ‘16
You look down. The numbers on your pset make no sense. You look at your phone. You have 20 new emails from when you checked it 2 minutes ago. You become distracted. Why do you have so many new emails? The emails are due to a dorm email thread. You read them to attempt to know what is happening. The emails make do sense. Clicking on the links, you realize that people are just punting. You decide to respond. The response is meta as f—. Your pen falls on the floor. You realize you still haven’t finished your pset. You look down.
Herbert M. ‘15
You wake up at 8:15 to the sound of trucks on Ames street. The garbage man dropped the dumpster again. An 18 wheeler is idling under your window. Did they announce street sweeping?
You wake up at 9:30 as your sleeping partner’s alarm goes off. She complains. You complain. She goes to class.
You wake up at 10:40 to nightmares about time travel and Amy Pond and the Doctor’s unimaginably freckly love child.
You throw a shirt on and stumble to class, just making it there before the professor. Who is this man? Has he been the professor the whole time? Why don’t you recognize him?
It is 12:05. You stumble back home after a lecture about why coffee is preferred to tea depending on day of the week, but coffee with sugar is always inferior to straight.
You sit down to an MIT Gothic thread. William L. ‘16 wrote here. So did our new UA President. You write a response with what little strength you have left.
You collapse from the exertion. Life’s just too hard. You haven’t finished your robots yet. One of them leaks, and the other can’t see. You should probably pack for the summer.
You have 8471 emails to read. You should call your mother.
You wake up.
Lin P. ‘18
There is a freshman in your dorm already halfway through four majors. You tell him he can’t have four majors. He chooses a fifth major.
In recitation, your professor says he has to leave early. His son is in the hospital. The class keeps him half an hour late to ask questions about the exam. The class goes to the hospital with him to ask questions about the exam. The class is all his son.
Every day it is harder to breath in your classes. One day you see a salmon in your HASS class. It is circling the light like a moth. You realize MIT is underwater now.
Ladies. Look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me.
Leo de C. ‘18
It is hot. You take off your jacket. You roll up your sleeves. A breeze blows in from your open window. It is cold. You close the window. The sun sends energy through the grimy window pane, heating your room like a greenhouse. It is hot. You close the shade. It is dark. You turn on the lights. It is hot. You remove more clothes. You are not hot. It is hot.
Barbara D. ‘17
You get an email about free food in W20. You start running, hoping that god will grace you with the speed of a thousand antelopes, allowing you to get to the food in time. When you reach the student center, nothing remains but the scattered debris left behind by the catering company.
You get another email about free food. You start running, but when you get there it’s gone. Another email. Gone. And another. Gone. It is all gone. You ate it all. You ate everything.
You wake up. You haven’t eaten for days.
Calvin Z. ‘18
You’re reading an email thread: “i don’t want to work on psets.” It’s a party email. 10pm. Some hall. Some date. You’re at a party. You are not working on psets. This is a party email. Everyone writes party emails. This is a party. Do not forward without permission. You reply-all to the party mailing list.
***NOTE: THIS IS A PARTY EMAIL. DO NOT FORWARD WITHOUT PERMISSION.***
Rachel A. ‘17
You are slogging through the last few hellish weeks of semester with a burning hatred for all your classes. You are overcome with excitement that you can register for next semester. You just know its going to be the BEST. You are aware that this is how you had envisioned the current semester, yet you are still certain it will turn out differently.
You wake up. You’re in a cold sweat. You’ve dissolved your sheets. You secrete highly purified sulfuric acid. MIT is a steaming pile of muck. The smell of the once-great school melting in an ooze of its own making calms you. You fall into a stressless sleepless slumber. You wake up.
You wake up. You’re still tired. Lecture started ten minutes ago. You fall into a decadent dreamless sleep. You wake up.
Micca H. ‘16
*lecture ended 3 hours ago
Danny B.D. ‘15
You cross Mass Ave at Vassar and glance up at the Warehouse. “RAGE WAREHOUSE; IREPROOF,” the building booms back. You channel your work-based grief towards the brick exterior as a test. The building reacts, obviously hurt by your anger. False advertising.
Someone is running for 2018 class president. Someone is running for 2018 ass resident. These signs hold equal merit.
Cafe Four always seems to close just before you get there. To combat this, you leave obligations five minutes early one day to make it. You enter and the doors slam behind you. Trapped. You eat a butterscotch pudding.
Someone sits in the back of her Course 6 lecture, typing furiously. She is being disruptive. Professor allows it, as the professor a stealth round VC investor.
You eat lunch in front of the Forbes Family Cafe Wormhole. You stick your head through the screen, and the California air warms your face. Chuck Vest is jealous. Chuck Vest does not see his shadow. More snow anyway.
MIT.nano is constructed. Curious, you type in “MIT.nano” as a url. You and your will to work shrink by a factor of 1E-9.
Tom B. ‘15
The sun is shining. It’s 85 degrees. The sun is shining. Soft flakes of snow drift lazily. The sun is shining. Leaves fall off the trees. The sun is shining. There is 6 feet of snow on the ground. The sun is shining. You blink, and realize that the sun was just the Green Building all along.
Micca H. ‘16
You fall asleep watching Trailer Park Boys. You wake up in a luxurious las vegas hotel in which a “model” t-rex has been reanimated by sinister forces. You sense it was all your fault and prepare to battle the beast, but not before putting on your sexy tights and sharing a glass of Tokay with your companion. In the lobby, there are many people but they do not seem to be panicking. You sit down to eat a late supper. You can’t find your bag. You can’t find your wallet or your phone, and your partner is now missing. The sun is coming up. A reptilian police officer has found your bag. Your phone and wallet are inside, but you leave without tipping the waiter because you suspect that he served your associate to the Silurian guests. You wake up. The sun is shining. Class has long since ended. The Trailer Park Boys are still on pause, ready to resume their endless hi-jinks.
Leo de C. ‘18
You walk out the Munroe door. A child runs past. A crowd is gathered around the stage watching two performers. One of them makes a joke. Something about ennui. You keep walking, past the swings, past the East Parallel, past the benches. You cross Ames. A car is crossing Amherst. It honks. You do not look up. You have the right of way. Something about ennui. Someone asks for your wrist. Red. Blue. Yellow. Green. You pass. You see people, all talking, all shifting, all still. Noise. Fire. You give your wrist. Red. Blue. A room full of meat, useless plastic utensils, dirty cups and dirty plates. You gorge. Keep walking. Pass a room full of smoke, a room full of lasers, a room that is a womb, another room full of smoke, and another. Up some stairs. Down some more. You are lost. You don’t care. Something about ennui. Blink. You are surrounded by people you almost know. Names float by, and you see your own fall out someone else’s other ear. Blink. You are drunk. Blink. You are high. Someone laughs. You are tired. You try to go home, but it’s too far. The world is the wilderness in winter, every couch a cave with a campfire, and every eye a blistering wind. Keep moving down. You are outside. It is dark. It is empty. Shuffling, you cross the street. The ethereal tracers stop, for you have the right of way. Your feet hit sidewalk, and the shifting resumes. The Munroe staircase is now a spiral. You close your door. It is dark. The laughter outside sounds familiar, but you don’t care. Something about ennui.
Micca H. ‘16
The sun is setting. Your clothes are caked in plaster. You turn on the shower. The water is cold. You sit by the window where the bright sun warms your bare shoulders. It is the warmest day. The sun is already setting. The water is still cold. The plaster is caked to your fingernails. It is absorbing all the moisture from your skin. You haven’t washed your hair in 2 weeks. You are made of plaster. The sun cures your plaster-caked surfaces.
It’s your turn in Star Realms. You go to buy the Mech World, but it is replaced by a Java error. Your phone dings.
It’s your turn in Star Realms. You go to punch Fro for 75 damage but your phone turns into a fish. You get eaten by the Space Whale. Your fish dings. It’s your turn in Star Realms. Fro buys that ship you wanted out from under you. Fro buys that base you wanted out from under you. Fro buys couch you’re on out from under you. Your phone dings. It’s your turn in Star Realms. You haven’t started a new game and are level 1. You don’t even go here. Your phone dings. It’s your turn in Star Realms.
Lauren H. ‘16
A bolt of lightning crashes into building 68 as you trudge back from your evening lab. You jump—Jesus, that was close—and blink furiously to try and dispel the afterimages. The ringing in your ears drowns out everything, even the roar of the storm whipping rain into your clothes. You pull your coat tighter to try and ease the chill that’s sinking into your bones, and you think, inexplicably, of that colloquium poster you saw in the hallway. Something about tissue engineering. Synthetic hearts, maybe. It sounded interesting, just like all the other colloquiums you never go to. The sight of EC drives all thoughts of the poster from your mind. You hurry into the building just as another bolt of lightning splits the sky above building 68.
Jackie L. ‘18
You hug your floormate in the hall after a long day of class. He asks how you are. You shrug. You respond that you are okay, and that you just have a lot of things to do, forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. Forever. penis You find yourself whispering.
Zach B. 15
You’re LAing 6.002. A student asks you a question about hysteresis. You ask a student a question about hysteresis. The answers are different. You’re LA’ing 6.002. Someone wonders how to hook up an op-amp. The op-amp works without a voltage source. You’re LAing 6.002. The speakers emit the sound of children crying. You’re LAing 6.002. You are the children crying.
Kevin M. ‘15
You take on a 6.uap project. You must write a compiler for a language. You write the grammar and translator. You blink. You must write a compiler for a language. You may not write the grammar by hand, because the language is ever-changing. You write a metacompiler that creates a grammar and translator. You blink. You must write a compiler for a language. You may not write the grammar with a metacompiler, because the metalanguage is ever-changing. You write a metametacompiler that creates a metacompiler that creates a grammar and translator. You blink. Your compiler is broken, and you’re not sure what level of metabug you have. You blink. You have two weeks left to graduate. You blink. Your code must be done by Wednesday. You drink.
Herbert M. ‘15
You fall asleep.