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I’ve got Mail! And a LAPTOP! by Kim D. '09

Why I can breathe again, and the 10 most recent emails in my inbox.

Have you ever felt as though you couldn’t breathe? It’s happened only a few times to me. One of these was when I was in high school and visiting colleges. A friend and I were part of an Honors Band that weekend, and we were walking around campus between rehearsals with a few upperclassmen band members. Until we got tired of walking, and a couple of these upperclassmen gallantly agreed to give us piggyback rides. Eventually I decided I’d had enough of piggyback-riding, and said, “I’m getting off now.” I made the (perhaps illogical) assumption that the guy would let go. So, I attempted to propel myself off his back, except that with my knees roughly pinned at his waist, I mostly just ended up rotating until I was parallel to the ground. Luckily for my head, he decided to let go at this point, gravity took over, I hit the ground on my back and the wind was knocked completely out of me. A few gasps later, I was okay.

Another of these no-air type of situations happened recently, when through a series of ridiculous events, I was deprived of my laptop for over 3 weeks. How ridiculous were these events? ALL OF THE FOLLOWING happened at roughly the same time:

1) My power cord broke. Okay, that’s annoying, but I can borrow a friend’s when I need to charge up.
2) Someone spilled water on my laptop. Yikes! Better leave it off for a couple of weeks to let it dry out.
3) The company which was supposed to mail my replacement charger got a Brazillion* requests for replacement chargers, so they didn’t fill my order right away.
4) Once the charger arrived at my dorm, the deskworker forgot to send out the usual email informing me of its arrival, so it took a week to figure out that it had finally come.

But, I have a charger now, and I turned my computer back on for the first time in weeks yesterday, and luckily it seems to be working fine. I am Totally Ecstatic about having all the files I need for my classes once again. And there was great rejoicing.

Besides a laptop, I also have mail. I happen to be on all sorts of mailing lists for no apparent reason (for instance, arab-announce), so my inbox usually has a pretty good cross section of current events at MIT. Therefore, I give you the email equivalent of the ipod challenge!** I went into gmail and did a blank search, bringing up the 10 most recent emails I’ve received,

The first one is about a lunchtime meeting for the Presidents/Treasurers/Important People in student groups on campus, where they will discuss how to apply for funds from the Student Activities Office. Getting funding isn’t actually too hard, which is part of the reason MIT has about a Brazillion (actually 454) unique student groups.

The second one claims that I am someone who has shopped for Consumer Electronics on Amazon and offers me deals on TVs, hard drives and iPods… what did I buy? I don’t know, but I guess it’s believable that I would have done that.

The third asks me to help APO out with this year’s UMOC competition, which you’ll probably hear about soon from Snively.

#4 is about a free A cappella concert. Sweeet! A cappella at MIT is really fun to go to; my favorite group is The Chorallaries.

#5 seems really awesome. When I went to class this morning I saw the bins out that it mentions. Basically, there’s a used athletic shoes recycling drive, and Nike’s going to turn everyone’s old sneakers into playing fields and athletic equipment. The drive is co-sponsored by The WGR, DAPER, and The Department of Facilities.

Email number 6 is exciting as well: <href=”http://people.csail.mit.edu/cjt/”>Professor Terman of Course VI is visiting my dorm tonight to share some pizza and insight into his classes (6.004 and 6.111), majoring in EECS, and life.

#7 is about UMOC again, this time about putting up posters to advertise instead of about manning the booth.

I have the 8th one because I created a German Snapfish account when I was there for a MISTI internship in the Summer of 2007. (Bonus points if you can read it!) It was useful for sharing photos then, but I can’t take advantage of any of their offers now because they won’t send mail from Germany to the US. Even though I also have a US account. I should probably get around to getting rid of that account someday…

#9 is about the “epic Rock Band battle!” that is happening today.

And #10 is a gchat. Huh. I didn’t realize until just now that when Gmail previews the contents of a saved chat, it prints the lines in reverse chronological order (i.e. I actually said ” :) ” before Kevin said “thanks”.) More specifically, #10 is a gchat from this morning with my boyfriend, who’s far away in Chicago at the moment. Aww, a happy ending!

(And just in time for me to run off to my 1pm class.)

*Brazillion is my new favorite big number, because of the following joke:
Two friends, Alex from MIT and Sam from Harvard, are having breakfast and reading Google News. Suddenly, Alex says, “Sam, this is terrible! Twenty Brazilian men died in a skydiving accident yesterday!” Sam begins to sob. “It’s not that bad,” Alex says. “Sam, what’s wrong? I know it’s unfortunate, but they knew they were taking a risk by skydiving.” Sam stops sobbing long enough to ask, “How many is a Brazilian?”

(PS. Yes, this was originally a blonde joke, not an MIT/Harvard joke.)

**Generally along the lines of, “Put your favorite music player on shuffle and record the first 10 songs that come up, no lying!”

9 responses to “I’ve got Mail! And a LAPTOP!”

  1. '12 says:

    the rock band competition is on friday…

  2. Anonymous says:

    you have tens of thousands of emails?!

  3. kimd says:

    @12 Good catch. I didn’t pay enough attention; it is actually the sign-up to reserve a spot in competition that is today (2 hours and 14 min left, if you’re interested!) The Tournament is 9-Midnight on Friday night. There will also be (non-competitive, I think?) Dance Dance Revolution.

    @Anonymous Yes. Thanks to being friends with many fabulous people and a member of many mailing lists, I get that much mail. Also, keep in mind that that’s including archived gmail messages, because searching for nothing returns everything that hasn’t been permanently deleted. My actual inbox ‘only’ has 611 messages.

  4. Ivan says:

    Are these tournaments frequent events at MIT? If so how frequent and how many people usually attend?

    Are the tournaments held in dorms, outside, at fraternities?

    If your power cord broke, isn’t it easier to just put it back together while waiting for another one?

    I’m a Brazilian, but since the joke was kinda funny it’s ok.

  5. kimd says:

    @Ivan I don’t know about the tournaments. As far as the power cord, I have messed with them in the past, but not always to good effect. The wires inside have to be very well insulated from each other, or they tend to burn holes in things. The place the cord usually gets messed up is at the thick connection to the ‘brick’, which is much harder to work with than the middle of the wire, I think. Thanks for not being offended by the joke smile

    Also, I’ve fixed a bunch of links I mis-entered in the original post.

  6. navdeep says:

    yea i also noticed that one …
    you really got tens of thousands of mail !!!!

  7. Mel says:

    Awesome joke! Most of the people I told didnt get it though hmmm

  8. Hi Kim,

    Yeah Wisconsin! I’m a native of the SW corner, too. We get the prettiest part …

    This is actually hugely random, since I’m a Berklee student and am not particularly interested in applying to MIT. Just found this section of the world through a google search for MIT nightclubs (I’m out venue searching for my band at the moment… because I love MIT!) This admissions blog is a fantastic idea. I’ve been talking with Berklee’s student government about starting something just like this.

    Anyway, hope you made WI proud in the Rock Band competition!

    Neara