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MIT student blogger Jess K. '10

IAP and Igloos by Jess K. '10

This is an entry about IAP. IAP is the month of January. It's...February. I know.

(I’m gonna go ahead and spill the beans: This is an entry about IAP. IAP is another name of the month of January. Some people may be quick to point out that we are in the month of Feburary. These are the kinds of people who may also like to point out that I haven’t blogged in like two months, Santa isn’t real, and eating ice cream and shredded cheese for dinner tonight was a really bad idea.)(These people may also be my stomach.)

(Also, to those who note that it’s taken me a while to post again – WE’RE IN A RECESSION, PEOPLE.)(Actually, I really didn’t post this for a while because I went to Hawaii.. oh, I know. Life is just so hard.)

When I was little, my favorite store was the Sanrio store, and my favorite thing to buy was the mystery bag. The mystery bag was a veritable wealth of the glorious unknown. The mystery bag was an opportunity to purchase anything, anything at all in the store, without even knowing you were purchasing it. The mystery bag was a door to another world.

I later came to realize the mystery bag was just a paper bag filled with useless crap they couldn’t otherwise sell, like Hello Kitty erasers, Keropi compact mirrors and, oh, I don’t know, Pochacco beard trimmers, and it wasn’t like I was even growing a beard at that time, and yeah, we probably paid more for the bag than the erasers/trash cans/beard trimmers were worth combined, but it didn’t matter. It was all worth it to me for the element of surprise.

Fast forward twelveish years later to IAP 2009. IAP is a pretty magical time; it’s one month in the middle of the school year filled with possibilities. IAP is the mystery bag of the Sanrio store that is MIT (but with less beard trimmers). You can take actual classes – some even extend from the fall term through January – or you can take crash courses in pottery, truffle making, and Perl. You can do all those things you wanted to do during the school year that you didn’t quite get to because you were working. You can even go somewhere else (WHAT? WHERE). Plus, the fact that you don’t have class until February is pretty fun to rub in the faces of your suffering friends at other schools.

And so one weekend Kes ’11, Dordy ’12, Cathy ’10, and I embarked on an adventure that would change the course of history. It started, as most adventures do, with the hunt for food. Unfortunately, this one involved less spears and loincloths and more hiking over the slushy Harvard bridge in 20 degree weather. (It ended, as only a small fraction of adventures do, with an igloo.) Since that’s a moderately warm temperature for winter around these parts, here’s a tip for you when you make the trip out to Boston: if you are going to walk across the Harvard bridge, wear rainboots up to your elbows. For serious – that bridge was the consistency of an icee two hours after you bought it and forgot about it. If you take only one thing away from this entry, it should be that. And that you can see your breath in igloos. But more on igloos later.

We ended up at a small French restaurant behind the Prudential Center that Cathy had been wanting to try for a while. Naturally, this meant that we all had to speak in French accents, and make French faces, and don French attire:

No, don’t ask why. No, we never do this when dining at Thai or Italian restaurants, but somehow, it just happened. Also, as four college students trudging in from a trip over a bridge that could only be described by the word “soupy”, we were clearly not classy enough for this place, and thus made every effort to class ourselves – and our meal – up.

After wandering around various places throughout Boston and avoiding a soggy return home by taking Saferide back to campus, then deciding to ride an entire Saferide loop and play a couple rounds of Euchre, we ended up at the igloo. This was not your grandmother’s igloo. This was one epic igloo. How epic?

So epic, it even came with a logbook. What’d I tell you? Not your grandmother’s igloo.

Eventually, though, as all adventures ending in an igloo do, this story ended with us freezing to horrible, horrible deaths. No, not really. We almost did, though: the igloo was blocked by a giant snow boulder that required significant effort to move:

We returned home mostly victorious, minus the various digits lost to frostbite. It was a tale for the ages. It was one to tell the children’s children. Who knows? By that time, I’ll probably even have a beard to trim.

39 responses to “IAP and Igloos”

  1. Kunaal says:

    @Jess: Hahaha! I LOVE the French faces- oh and Kes’ sleeve-scarf-thingy too! HILARIOUS!!
    Good to see you back on the blogs! smile

    @Jimmy ’13: Kimono ah? My bread usually goes around naked ( FLASHER BREAD ) wink

  2. Kes '11 says:


  3. Dago says:

    third….it is awkward how much people read these blogs as the day gets near.

  4. Oasis '11 says:

    You’re back!!! smile

    That igloo is actually really amazing.

    And lolz at Sanrio. Keropi was on my lunch box in elementary school, wahaha.

  5. jimmy '13 says:

    well, you know how they are , very fashionable….

  6. Cam says:

    Did you build it?

  7. jimmy '13 says:

    Think Kes’ french face is the best,………he’s not from france is he?

  8. Jamo says:

    LOL that’s amazing!

  9. Jess says:

    @Cam: Nope.. some people from No. 6 (a co-ed frat next door to my dorm) did.

    @Steph, Jimmy: That’s blood from the polar bear we battled and then ripped apart with our teeth. I told you it was an epic igloo.
    (No, actually it’s a rug under the igloo.)

    @Deng: I think No. 6 probably made it and put it there? Not sure if it was there from the first day.

    @Jimmy again: If Sri Lanka is in France, then YES.

  10. You write the best blogs on the MIT ADMISSIONS blog site – you don’t opt out for endless banter on what courses you’re taking or how hard classes are- you just offer interesting, insightful “adventures” of college life. Thank you.

  11. Christina says:

    LOL, Kamby. You’re the funniest.

  12. <3urBlog says:

    My favorite Sanrio character is probably Pochacco, but my overall favorite animal from Japan is definitely the giant stuffed animal Charmander. My friend has one and it’s awesome.

  13. navdeep says:

    nice post jess ….
    u r the funniest blogger on this site …

  14. steph says:

    yo why there be blood on that igloo


    this was the best adventure ever.
    although, you totally forgot to include the part about
    ….JP Licks.

    hahah, sooo good.

  16. Julio ('14?) says:

    Must love Dordy’s face-expression in the cellphone picture, she made me laugh :D.

    ~Julio (14′?)

  17. Dago says:

    Nice email by the way, and well I’ve never seen an “igloo” before soo yeah pretty good.

  18. sam says:

    awwww yeah that gill sans is pretty ace.

    but you know it’s all about the helvetica neue ultra light

    – sam (with the backing of a certain sbb, probably)

  19. jimmy '13 says:

    I loved your french faces……..I couldn’t help but do this: it’s impromtue.,,,

    Kes: “dee buutter is too cold”

    Dordy: “quoi?”

    Jess: “‘e said dee buutter is tooo ‘old”

    cathy: “Je n’ai pas de t√©l√©phone cellulaire”


  20. jimmy '13 says:

    That is one classy piece of bread…..mine usually wears a kilt or a kimono

  21. Anon says:

    Hey Jess, you’re course 9, right? Do you have a UROP? If you do, can you blog about it? I’m really interested in UROP opportunities in course 9.

  22. Brandon says:


    Yes, yes he should have.

  23. jimmy '13 says:


    is that blood splatterted near the visitors book?

    ” igloo fever “

    i see some potential

  24. Anonymous says:

    that’s not blood. there was a red carpet inside the igloo and at the entrance to it

  25. Chris B. '12 says:

    All I have to say is: Oh Dordy!

  26. comboy says:

    OML is short form of oh my legs
    let it be OML, add let to oml > omllet
    i have no idea about the spelling, just i found it on a japanese yahoo blog

  27. :D :D :D says:

    Yay!! Jess is back!! smile

  28. Ashwin says:

    Hey great post! =)
    Is Kes’s name just ‘Kes’. Is he Indian? :D :D

  29. deng says:

    how did the “giant snow boulder” get there?

  30. jimmy '13 says:

    I think I like it better as blood.

    You know, I had this great plot for a movie.

    Three girls and a guy.

    Trapped outside in the snow when the whole city of Boston gets snowed it-big time.

    They build an igloo to survive.

    * camera zooms in on a white furry creature who stands over the igloo *

    Little did they know that they weren’t the only ones out there tonight.

    -From acclaimed academy nominated director Jimmy ’13-

    -Starring Kes ’11, Dordy ’12, Cathy ’10, Jess ’10-

    -Comes an epic thriller-

    -A game of life and death-


    -in theatres on March 14 2009-

  31. Narce says:

    Hahahah, Enas (there’s likely only one girl by that name at MIT >.>) showed me a picture of one of her frat’s igloos while she was still in Pakistan during IAP~

    Boston is so great XD

  32. Narce says:

    Actually, if her co-ed frat is No. 6, then that could be the exact same igloo she showed me like a month or more ago >.> It does look the same.

  33. Kiwi says:

    Jess has returned!!
    Today is a good day grin

  34. jimmy '13 says:

    Technically, she returned two days ago.

  35. Anonymous says:

    @ Narce
    No.6 is the only coed frat. : )

  36. Kiwi says:

    Well, I just read it today. I’m a little behind.

  37. Narce says:


    My dad told me there were two (though only one on-campus) when he attended, so either he was wrong or they got rid of one ~.~

    But I have no interest in the fraternities, so I wouldn’t know XD

    And yeah, that means I probably saw that igloo over a month ago~

  38. Sheila '13 says:

    Wow, Jess. It looks like you already stole my and another MIT EA admit’s idea to build an epic igloo during next IAP. -_-;; but we shall build a bigger and better igloo and hold a party in it…raspberry raspberry