Skip to content ↓
MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Live from Florida by Matt McGann '00

Hello from Tampa, Florida!

Hello! This has been perhaps my longest hiatus from blogging. I’ve missed you! After CPW, I was sick for nearly two weeks, and I got better just in time for a crazy week in the office. Now, I’m off on group travel in Florida.

Last night began the first of four presentations with my colleagues from Princeton, Swarthmore, and Wellesley. (Check out the rest of the meetings, and the schedule for upcoming meetings in California, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Carolinas here) We started in Miami with a nicely-sized crowd from throughout south Florida. It was a great meeting; the questions we got from the audience were some of the most thoughtful I’ve heard in my years in admissions.

One young woman asked a question about how our schools can help them change the world. I could have talked for hours on just this question, but I gave a short answer and deferred to my colleagues. I promised the student I would link to the latest ZigZag video podcast, because it is about D-Lab, one of the great ways MIT helps students to change the world. (Read more about Mitra’s D-Lab experience in Zambia here and here) Anyway, here’s the new ZigZag.

I’ve got lots more to say, but now I have to get ready for tonight’s presentation in Tampa. Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about email at MIT, and more!

35 responses to “Live from Florida”

  1. mntst says:


  2. Kevin '11 says:

    Thanks for blogging again Matt! Glad to hear that you’re spreading the word about MIT.

  3. Kari says:

    That zigzag video was really inspiring. I definitely want to get involved in D-Lab now. Actually I wanted to before I saw the video, too, but now I really do!

  4. anon.again says:

    When do you think it’s going to dawn on the people who, having absolutely nothing to say or write, feel compelled to indicate their existence with the depressing announcement of “first post?”
    Am I missing some existentialist drama?
    Does anyone else out there find such posts intensely irritating?

    Ahhh… venting feels so good. But anyhow, welcome back Matt. We missed ya. But I do think it’s time for another one of your starring roles on zigzag (complete with raised eyebrows!).

  5. In Agreement says:

    Yes. It drives me absolutely nuts. I’ve been wanting to write about it for a while, but never bothered to take the time. You summed it up very nicely. Thank you.

  6. Kari says:

    I love the “first post”s!
    They make me happy every time I see them. Once, I was the first poster and I didn’t say “first post” because I thought I was too good for it but as soon as I posted my relevant first post I immediately regretted it and made a completely irrelevant second post.

    One day, when you are wise like me, you too will experience such a revelation.


  7. anon.again says:

    Kari — please tell me you have not been admitted to MIT.

  8. Kari '11 says:

    admitted and going!!!
    you don’t have to hang out with me though…

  9. James ('12?) says:

    Hey, long-time reader, first-time commenter.
    It was a real shame that I missed you guys in Tampa last night. Yesterday was the start of my summer session at college here (Orlando-ian, here). You guys are coming back in the fall, maybe not in Tampa, but somewhere in Florida, right? I’m not going to miss that one!

  10. anon.again says:

    Congrats. But, yeah, thanks for the early release.

  11. elana says:

    the miami open house was ammaazzziinnggg!
    drove an hour and back just to see matt.

    the miami open house was ammaazzziinnggg!
    drove an hour and back just to see matt.

    <3 MIT (wanna be ’12)

  12. Snively says:

    Psh, first posts rock. Kari, we need to hang out next year.

    Quick shout out to Ben Jones:
    HEY BEN JONES! When typing comments the characters are monospaced, but when published they aren’t anymore. I’m thinking that publishing in a monospaced font would create a great medium to show off some killer ASCII art. Just a thought.

  13. anon.again says:

    Snively: pray tell, what on earth is the purpose of “first posts” — other than self-promotion/look-at-me entries?

  14. Keri says:

    First post. Why why why why why.

    Anyway, Matt, you are in Florida and I am here in SH studying for a 5.12 exam. What’s wrong with this picture?

  15. Ben says:

    Snively – noted! Perhaps we’ll lose the justification at some point, at least for the comments. wink

  16. First Poster says:

    The First Post is an amazing, enlightening, and selfless experience. If you don’t find reading it exciting, then sorry, but there must be something terribly wrong with you….

  17. JamesM says:

    Man, D-lab seems amazing. I especially liked the quote that they used at the end “Don’t change what they’re doing, just help them do it better.” It’s pretty incredible to see MIT’s influence on the world, not to mention the world’s influence on MIT.

  18. Sh1fty says:

    Ben, you could just add <ASCII> tag for ascii “mode”. just replace <ASCII> with <div id=”ascii”> and </ASCII> with </div> and build a style for ascii. that way monospaced font would be optional and the site would still look this good smile

  19. encore says:

    “The First Post is an amazing, enlightening, and selfless experience. If you don’t find reading it exciting, then sorry, but there must be something terribly wrong with you….”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I spend my days waiting for a new blog post. Of course, I have to be extremely diligent because, should I have to take a bathroom break, or get distracted by some extraneous reading material, then some other sycophant — no, delete that, I mean wunderkind, might beat me to the “first post.” I am greatly perturbed that some individuals here assume that writing “first post,” “second post,” or even twenty-first” post, lacks meaning. Nothing could be further from the truth; it is replete with meaning. Contrary to what some may infer, such entries do NOT convey that the poster has no interest in the blog entry and merely wants to tell the world that he/she lives a life of not-so-quiet desperation. Moreover, it should not be inferred that “first/second posters” have nothing of interest to write, or that said posters are devoid of intelligent thought. And, finally, such posts do not suggest that the posters’ sole aim is to ingratiate themselves with the Admissions Staff.
    No, “first post” entries remind us that MIT students are not in the least competitive, are capable of deep thoughts, and are ready to contribute in a meaningful way to society.
    Clearly “anon.again” has misconstrued the true character of the Institute.
    Thank you Kari and Snivelly for your exciting posts.

  20. Kari says:

    I resent that.

    If you must make generalizations about MIT students, why not infer that we are fun-loving and enjoy self mockery?
    And, please, you only need to read the blog to realize that not only are MIT students capable of making meaningful contributions, they do.

  21. Basant'11 says:

    Hi Matt! :D

  22. Thanks for Blogging Matt, I really appreciate the information that you give us everytime, and let me congratulate all MIT community for the zigzag project.

    MIT is a model for all student around the world who lives outside US.

  23. seriously says:

    Oh please, I was merely responding with the same degree of sarcasm as First Poster and Kari (7th post). I’m being mean because I think “first posts” are lame? What’s happened to the spirit of debate? We can’t disagree and still be friends (I AM being serious now)? We all have to be in lock step?

  24. anon.again says:

    Not being mean at all. I did say I liked the way Matt’s eyebrows move — and I meant it.

  25. jen says:

    @seriously: why start a debate over such an insignificant matter? it’s a waste of time and energy, seriously.

  26. Daniel '12 says:

    lol wow. Anyway…

    Thanks for blogging again, Matt! Good to see that the blogs are back in full swing… Quick question – even though I’m deferring to class of ’12, do I still get an MIT e-mail? (I know it’s superfluous, but I had to ask)

  27. Anonymous says:

    Wikipedia’s take on first post:


  28. Kevin says:

    Sh1fty: you mean ; the ID attribute should be unique and not repeated. wink

    Matt/Ben/Other Admissions People: any news on the waitlist?

  29. Kevin says:

    Ahem, my tags got removed. I typed [div class=”ascii] (with proper bracketing) before the semicolon in the last post.

  30. Anonymous says:

    why is anon.again being so mean?

  31. notfirst says:

    Has anyone seen this “first” video on Youtube?

  32. notfirst says:

    Has anyone seen this “first” video on Youtube?

  33. anon.again says:

    Video is hysterical — I loved it. Thanks for the link.

  34. Steve says:

    I live near Tampa. About an hour away. I guess I missed you.