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MIT student blogger Chris S. '11

Just Because It’s 2/29 by Chris S. '11

I apologize that this blog has nothing to do with MIT.

FOUR bloggers blogged today, and only Snively mentioned this fact:


Leap Day, I’m sure you already know, comes from the fact that the earth’s revolution around the Sun is not perfectly 365 days. So, every 4 years (or, in the case of years that satisfy yr# mod 100 = 0, yr# mod 400 = 0 must also be true), we get one of these odd days.

Anyhow, I just wanted to point out and celebrate the 5th Leap Day in my life. Going wayy back…

(1988) – I was born on a leap year, but I guess it doesn’t count because my birthday is in December, and I have already missed Leap Day. =(

1992, 1996 – Probably playing in the sand pit somewhere and crying because I hated getting shots.

2000 – Mm, 5th grade. Got pretty excited because I can now write the date as “2-0-0-0” rather than “1-9-9-9.” Went to sleep at 9:30 every night because staying up past 10:00 was a crime in my young mind.

2004 – Ah – finally I remember something >”<. It was freshman year of high school. I was obsessed with AMC 10 – I spent 2 months preparing for it and was so depressed when I got 116, 4 points away from making AIME. Other than that, I remember the long, 7-hour road trip back to school because all the roads were clogged from Chinese New Year (the trip normally takes 3 hours). I didn’t know what SATs were (honest! – I didn’t find out about SATs until the summer of freshman year, when I was in Mathcamp – ah, the naivety of young minds).

And now, 2008:

12:00 – woo! midnight!


4:10 AM – completes 14.01 (economics) pset.

(ever want to know what a study room looks like at four in the morning?)

4:30 AM – returns to dorm.
5:40 AM – completes 5.111 (chemistry) pset.
6:15 AM – welcomes in the sunrise of the leap day.

One of my dormmates come up:

“Hey Chris, good morning! You’re up early today!”
“Actually…I haven’t gone to bed yet. =/”

1:10 PM – wakes up, and thus begins my Leap Day (which wasn’t eventful, unless you count the fact that I almost couldn’t turn in my pset because it was overdue (it was due at 12:00) – but everything’s fine now)

Four years from now, I (hopefully) won’t even be at MIT anymore. It’s kind of curious how my last Leap Day was my freshman year of high school, this Leap Day is my freshman year of college, and next Leap Day…?

Where will you be, when February 29 rolls around again?

Keep 2/29 special. Until 2012!

(and happy birthday to the “Leaplings”! Hope you had a good one. You’re my hero.)

42 responses to “Just Because It’s 2/29”

  1. milena '11 says:

    Psets are horrible. See, if you stay up til 4am doing something, you want it to be something fun, like partying, not homework!

  2. Ana says:

    I want so badly to spend the next February 29th as a senior at MIT…

  3. BB says:

    Hopefully I’ll be at MIT!

  4. OmarA says:

    That study room looks really cozy. Is that all your stuff on the table?!?

  5. Ana2 says:

    You’re awesome. Happy Belated Leap Day!

  6. Davorama says:

    2012? C’mon! I’ll be in my senior year @ MIT!

  7. Cody Dean says:

    Great post! ‘Twas a great day indeed.

  8. MITDad says:

    Very nice post. Wonderful photography. We need to hear from you more often!

  9. Anonymous says:

    “The application tracking portlet will no longer display in your MyMIT account, as it is now too late to submit any additional or missing application components.”

    so what next??

  10. Anonymous says:

    “The application tracking portlet will no longer display in your MyMIT account, as it is now too late to submit any additional or missing application components.”

    so what next??

  11. Anonymous says:

    oops!! I didn’t mean to post the same entry twice. Sorry !!!

  12. Rachel says:

    Duh, I hope I’ll be at MIT.

    OMG, you didn’t know what the SAT was until you were a freshman in HS? Be glad. I’ve known about it since forever (well, ok, since 6th grade which was 3 years ago).

    HA! My first leap year was in 1996. ;_;

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can someone remind me what a PSET is?

  14. Terry Finley says:

    All that study will pay off.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t:

    “except in years that are divisible by 4 but not by 400!”

    actually be:

    “except in years that are divisible by 100 unless they’re also divisible by 400!”

    For example, 2400 is a leap year. 2500 is not =-]

  16. Steph says:

    “Hopefully I’ll be at MIT!”

    I second that.

    Happy Leap Day.

  17. Oasis says:

    Yeah, what I meant to say was that, similarly, 1900 is not a leap year while 2000 is. I was running out the door and I guess my logic didn’t flow very well.

    I stand corrected. smile

  18. My uncle had his 15th birthday yesterday (i.e. he turned 60). When my parents originally got an invitation like “GUESS WHO’S TURNING 15?!” with rainbow polka-dots and ribbon .. I was very confused .. and then I was like .. “oh yea .. right”. And then I found $10.

    The End.

    ~Donald Guy.

    P.S. I didn’t actually find $10, I’m just in the group of people that adds that at the end of a story that needs to be made more exciting.

  19. Anonymous says:

    What exactly are P-sets

  20. “so what next??”

    We wait for Matt to post the admission announcement date and then come back and crash the server. smile

  21. Anonymous says:

    Haha, when I was in middle school, I thought the SATs were the same as STAR testing (standardized testing at the end of each year to see how well schools teach and whatnot) and then I opened this SAT book that I randomly found, there were all these vocab words I didn’t know. I totally freaked out and thought, “STAR testing was never THIS hard. It was always super easy!”

    Yes, I was pretty naive too.

  22. Khaled Saad says:

    Problem sets….they’re kind of like hw at highschool

  23. Oasis says:

    @ Omar –
    All the stuff on the table are mine and Mary’s (the girl sitting next to me). Notice the bottles of Vitamin Water. heh. smile

    @ Anonymous –
    Umm, you just wait? wink


    I have an entry prepared in my mind. I’m probably going to post it after my barrage of exams next week (death week next week – 4 exams out of my 5 classes!). I will make it as interesting and as painless as possible =p (as opposed to the painful psetting sessions).

    pset (n.) – problem set, the MIT equivalent of homework (brief definition)
    psetting (v.) – the act of doing problem sets
    pset party (n.) – a social gathering of different students who come together to do a pset together. often involves food and collective procrastination.
    tool (v.) – the act of studying, doing a pset, working, or doing academic work in general. marked by increased mental stimulation and often bouts of intense frustration.
    punt (v.) – the opposite of “tool.” excessive punting would lead to undesirable results, such as unsatisfactory performance on exams and last-minute, desperate all-nighters.

  24. Susan says:

    Problem sets are to homework as mountain is to _____.

    A. Molehill
    B. Small hill
    C. Not enough information. Must see courseload before deciding.
    D. None of the above

    Answer: C. Not enough information.

  25. Shruthi says:

    ^ @Susan: Is it really that bad? :D

  26. Hyun Jin says:

    Hm I can picture myself doing a little punt- .. I mean tooling…

    Gotta learn the nomenclature in advance!

  27. Shruthi says:

    @Snively(Actually anyone at MIT): I heard someone say that the decisions are slated for release on the 22nd? :O And something about a new blog????

  28. baggy says:

    well I knew about the sat only this year and I am in my last year of high school.

  29. Snively says:

    @Hyun Jin

    “I can picture myself punting

    It’s a verb, but trust me, you’ll definitely pick it up really quickly once here.

  30. Snively says:

    @Anybody Who Reads Shruthi’s Last Comment

    There was a misunderstanding, release date has not been announced yet, nor will it be announced by anybody but Matt or Ben.

  31. PBAnonymous says:

    Hopefully, i’ll be starting my second year at MIT. But thats just a hope. God knows if I’ll make it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    the application tracking thing is no longer active on MyMIT.

    Does that mean we get decions soon?

  33. Anonymous says:



  34. Paul says:

    It should be within 2-3 weeks, but only the actual admissions officers, like Matt and Ben, can say for sure.

  35. Oasis says:

    ^ Yeah, that was what I was going to say. If I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath for a day before March 15.

  36. nyu'11_Jen says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed your leap year. Hmm.. you’re in the same year as I am… Class of 2011. Awesome-. I was casually checking MIT’s undergrad website and came upon your blog. Great pictures :D

    zai jian

  37. Peter says:

    so is it Emptyness or Emptiness….

  38. Shruthi says:

    @Snively, Paul and Chris: Thanks!

  39. Hopeful'12 says:

    Oh man, the wait is killing me…2 more weeks (hopefully)!!

  40. Anonymous says:

    In which dorm do you live?