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MIT student blogger Keri G. '10

In which I am only slightly less boring than usual by Keri G. '10

The title says it all, no?

Any time I have disappeared off the face of the earth – or just from the blogs- it can be blamed on one of two things:

1) The Shift and A keys on my computer’s keyboard have been acting up since January, making it nearly impossible for me to type anything at all ever. Getting around the Shift key is easy enough, as there’s another one on the right side of the keyboard; the A key, however, is another story entirely.

It just took me two minutes to type those sentences. WHY WHY WHY did it have to be those two keys? Couldn’t it have been something trivial, like F12 or that one key up top with the incomprehensible symbol on it? Oh, wait. Incomprehensible Symbol key pulls up the right-click menu. That’s actually pretty cool BUT UNNECESSARY WHY COULDN’T THAT HAVE BROKEN?!

2) My life has been taken over by fill-in-the-blank item of extreme hosage: this summer, it’s being in lab all the time for my UROP and working at the Senior Haus front desk. When I’m not busy dropping and shattering flasks full of buffers I just spent an hour making, I’m sitting in a chair listening to Pandora and pushing the button that opens the front door.

Working desk is a highly eventful job, as the following pictures (taken last Thursday on my 8AM-11AM shift) can attest to:

8 AM – I open desk.

8:30 AM – No one has walked through the lobby at all, probably because they are far more intelligent than I am and are still asleep. There is food at desk, as per usual; more specifically, there’s a bag of giant marshmallows left over from José ’10 and Nick ’10’s Very Special Episode™ of their show on MIT Cable, The Hip Show for Hip Kids. It was on the obesity epidemic in America. It was hilarious. (My A key is sticking again. Maybe I should find a way to finish this post without using it again?)

9:00 (See? It’s working) – Still no signs of life.

9:30 – Someone took one of the jet-puffed sucrose/corn syrup delicious thingies (KEY JUST STOPPED WORKING MUST COPY/PSTE LETTER WHEN NEEDED GRRRR.) and moved the bag two inches over.

In short, I’ve spent this summer being boring. This week, however, was anything but.

On Monday, I got an email from Becca ’08, who is spending the next year working as a Program Coordinator for the Office of the Arts:

do you want to come to an event with me and a couple other people from the office? we’re going to the mfa for a film (sleepwalking through the mekong) and concert (dengue fever, which is a cambodian pop/psychedelic rock group, with pistolera ) starting at six on wednesday night. we’d leave from the office of the arts (E15-205) around 5:15 or so. it sounds like a lot of fun(

let me know asap if you can come! to recap: cool event at 6PM (depart mit around 5:15) on Wednesday July 9.
-Becca (:

Who would turn that down?

Not me. Never me.

So on Wednesday, Becca, Tarick ’11, Michele Oshima (Director of the Artist-in-Residence Program), and I went to the MFA for the film ( a travelogue of sorts from Dengue Fever’s visit to Cambodia, where they played many covers of Cambodian rock music from the 60s and 70s) and the show, part of their Concerts in the Courtyard series.

(Blurry pictures make me sad, but no flash photography was allowed and getting thrown out of the show would have made me sadder.)

The show was moved to an auditorium indoors because of a thunderstorm, but that didn’t put a damper on anyone’s excitement.

Get it? Thunderstorm? Damper?… Fine, joke not landed. (MY A KEY IS WORKING AGAIN. FINALLY.)

Anyway, Pistolera was awesome, and Dengue Fever was AMAZING. If you ever get the opportunity to do anything through the Office of the Arts, by all means take it – whether it’s making a movie for Michel Gondry or going to see an amazing band you’ve never heard of before.

And if nothing else, it’ll be a great addition to your week of breaking stuff in lab and eating marshmallows for breakfast.

18 responses to “In which I am only slightly less boring than usual”

  1. Breaking stuff in lab.

    Reminds me of AP Chem.

  2. Meagan says:

    @Kelly – Seeing how glass breaks must be part of the AP Chem official curriculum.

    Do you get free housing if you work at the desk in addition to a paycheck? Or is just free housing?

  3. Solstice says:

    I have a suggestion for that “a” key problem. Copy and paste an “a” where you need it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    @Solstice “facepalm”

  5. donaldGuy says:

    I have a stupid suggestion .. if you are using a windows computer with a keyboard with a number pad you could hold alt and type 65 on the numpad to get a capital A and alt+97 for a lowercase a .. its obnoxious .. but if you didn’t already have an a on the clipboard its probably less annoying then finding one to copy/paste

    of course if this is a laptop keyboard that probably doesn’t help .. you could open the visual keyboard (Start->All Programs->Accessories->Accessibility->On-screen Keyboard) and hover the pointer over the a .. thus effectively (assuming you didn’t need to use the mouse) turning left click into ‘a’ (or on OSX: under System Preferences, International, Input Menu)

    there is probably some more complicated way to map one of the useless keys to make a letter a ..

    anyway .. hope those almost, kinda helped ^_^


  6. Anonymous says:

    I wish there was such a thing as free housing, it would save me sooooo much money…so much for dreaming

  7. Jeremy says:

    I love you Donald, you’re way too cool!

  8. Karen says:

    YAY YOU AREN’T DEAD!!! smile

    And I totally love Donald more than Jeremy does.

  9. milena '11 says:

    i miss senior house. :-(

  10. russell says:

    your a key is most likely acting up intermittently because of a weak connection between your keyboard and motherboard. pop out your keyboard (if possible), then re-seat the cable.

  11. Sam says:

    The letter a is one ugly character, anyway. That grosssss hook thing. Seriously. It’s all conceited, like “What. Look at me. I’m first in the alphabet, so I’m going to wear a stupid hook hat. And still be the third most frequently used letter in the English language.”


    They should replqce it with the letter q insteqd. Q doesn’t get enough plqy qs it is. Poor thing gets no qttention when it’s the 17th of 26 children.

  12. Anonymous says:

    haha yay for breaking stuff in chem

    once everybody in my lab group broke a beaker @ the same step of the lab

    so our TA let us copy the lab from another group and leave early


  13. Tiffany says:

    Oh man, I lost my x and v keys on my old laptop (by dropping a calculator on them/melting them). I sort of managed by typing >Oh man, I lost my x and v keys on my old laptop (by dropping a calculator on them/melting them). I sort of managed by typing >< and / in lieu of x and v respectively, until my friend told me about remapping my keys smile. Of course, that sort of messed up my muscle memory… yeah, good thing I have a new laptop!

  14. Tiffany says:

    Wow, comment interpreted the less than sign as an HTML tag. Woops.

    (continued from above) typing > (greater than) and / in lieu of x and v respectively. Then my friend suggested that I remap my keys. It worked, granted my muscle memory got screwed up for a while. Ah well, new laptop = happiness

  15. omar says:

    sweet, you do post sometimes. i thought you had been fired by now.

    just. kidding.

    i love the office of the arts, it gave me free tickets to two events i was going to buy the tickets for. that’s money saved right there. and needless to say, it was awesome.

    sweet, you do post sometimes. i thought you had been fired by now.

    just. kidding.

    i love the office of the arts, it gave me free tickets to two events i was going to buy the tickets for. that’s money saved right there. and needless to say, it was awesome.


  16. Gene L. says:

    re: The “A” key misfires (or not at all).

    Cheer up and think positive thoughts: It could have been the “E” key. E is the most commonly used letter in all the English language, as I recall. And, “the” the most common word.

  17. Laura says:

    My old computer had the same problem with the I key. In fact, I sort of wonder if I blogged about it at some point. I think I probably did, but it’s not like I’m going to go back through all my posts from freshman year to find the one where I start talking about my keyboard, ya know?

  18. Anon says:

    I love switching the n and m keys on people’s keyboards as a prank.

    …It produces some really funny stuff when they try to type. :D