Skip to content ↓

COVID-19

Learn more about how MIT Admissions is responding to COVID-19 in this blog post from our Dean and new dedicated FAQs.

MIT student blogger Snively '11

Don’t forget to vote for me in the 2008 blogging scholarship competition! Thanks!

One of the biggest culture shocks coming to MIT for me, a kid out of a public high school in Salem OR, was the difference in conversation-snippits that I caught as I passed by people. In high school I was likely to hear things like “. . . at 6 and then head to the game . . .” or “. . . free for the night, what do you want . . . ”

Things are a little different at MIT. Not in a bad way at all, in a hilarious way. Since my first day here over a year ago I’ve heard some of the most entertaining bits of conversations as I pass people. Unfortunately I’ve forgotten a lot of them.

If I ended this entry now then you’d get all bent out of shape, because really, who writes a blog entry about conversations snippets at MIT without posting any of them? Lucky for you, there’s a Facebook group that you get to join when you’re a student here that’s called “Overheard at MIT” and it’s just a huge list of conversation bits that people have compiled online. I’ve gone through and pulled out a few of my favorites.

Keep in mind, these are dripping in MIT stereotypes, which is probably why most were posted. They’re still funny though, have a good laugh!

*****

“Boston has four seasons. Almost winter, winter, still winter, and August.”

*****

In the Student Center:

Guy #1: Today was a good day
Guy #2: Yeah?
Guy #1: Yeah. I went outside.
Guy #2: Nice.

 

*****

Course 6 Prof: “Today we will be talking about reproduction and evolution. Now, I know that many MIT students have a general idea of how that works…but are a little fuzzy on the details.”

*****

“I wasn’t alone. I was with my computer”

*****

“…so apparently [fruit punch?] is a good source of red-40…”

*****

on one of those “use revolving door to conserve energy” signs

Energy is always conserved.

 

*****

“the way he did that derivative, it was like he was a mathemagician.”

*****

“But… you don’t understand… it’s bounded… therefore it converges!!!” – a guy enthusiastically talking on his cell phone in front of the Stratton student center :-)

*****

“and then we got to lagrangian and it was so beautiful”

*****

person 1: aw they name the goldfish?! that’s so depressing!
person 2: it’s like naming your functions…and then erasing them
person 1:…
person 3: yeah, it’s like killing a friend
person 1:….

*****

Girl to group of friends: “You know what I hate? I hate MIT. People who get As are a**holes.”

*****

Girl: If you are a girl and you go to MIT Medical for ANYTHING, even like a broken leg or something, and you are sexually active, they diagnose you with pregnancy.

*****

some guy commenting on a Smash Bros. scoreboard: “That’s a singular matrix!”

*****

“He’s got a way with people. If he was in an RPG, his charisma would be… cheat code.”

*****

“I’m convinced that MIT doesn’t admit you based on your intelligence. They admit you based on how weird you are.”

*****

At the integration bee:

“it’s like watching sports, except I understand what’s going on better”

*****

 

…which gives you wildebeests squared over time. That can’t be right.

*****

Person 1: “That stuff is more polar than a bear,”
Person 2: “You realize that if I weren’t holding a vial full of toxic solvent right now, I would punch you, right?”
Person 1: “Yep.”

-Overheard standing in line for the nitrogen atmosphere pump in 5.310

 

*****

outside the Pappalardo Labs, one guy (loudly) to another: “What’s wrong with you!?! How the f**k have you never heard of the Biot Number!?!”

*****

“My mom was right, caffeine IS an anti-depressant!!”

“Caffeine’s like radiation: in small doses, it’s good for you. I bet there’s a parabola of benefits versus consumption…”

 

*****

“Vagina.mit.edu? And you wanna GO here???”

– Two prospectives in front of the giant Vagina Monologues poster in Lobby 7

 

*****

guy 1: “…dude i know, i made it up…infinigrals.”
guy 2: “…that’s awesome.”

*****

Person 1: This is why we can’t have nice things
Person 2: Well, you can’t put expensive things in public places and not expect them to get stolen
Person 3: Yeah, this is why no one goes around hanging diamonds on trees
Person 4: …(pause)…except ballers

*****

“So I’ll see you Saturday?”
“Saturday?”
“Yeah, I sent you a facebook invite, didn’t I?”
“Oh, so that was legit?”
“Yeah it’s totally legit! I completely wrapped my apartment in bubblewrap!”

*****

Person 1: Psh, why would you put the chainsaw behind glass? Everyone knows zombies can break glass.
Person 2: Yeah. They should put it behind a moat or something…

*****

8.02 lecture: Professor Hudson: When the flux due to a magnetic field is decreasing, the inductor tries to compensate and produce more flux. If instead the flux is increasing, the inductor works to decrease the flux. Inductors want the flux to remain constant; they hate change.
Student: Then an inductor would never vote for Obama.

*****

Girl at 77 crosswalk on cell phone: “he’s like DOS and you’re like Windows.”

*****

Sitting at a table with a lazzy suzan:

 

“No! your turning it the wrong way! Turn it in the negative k hat direction!”

41 responses to “Overheard at MIT”

  1. Banerjee says:

    That was awesome!! Probably the best post ever. Way to bring up the votes!!

    Except, “vagina.mit.edu”? What’s that?

  2. Ehsan says:

    Guy #1: Today was a good day
    Guy #2: Yeah?
    Guy #1: Yeah. I went outside.
    Guy #2: Nice.”

    That totally made my day!

  3. Monorina says:

    I wasn’t alone. I was with my computer:Sound’s like me.
    it’s like watching sports, except I understand what’s going on better:sounds like me again
    Girl at 77 crosswalk on cell phone: “he’s like DOS and you’re like Windows.”: Rolling on the floor laughing with this one.
    “No! your turning it the wrong way! Turn it in the negative k hat direction!”:This is just plain great!!!
    I realise now, why people love your blog so much, Snively. Actually, I’m a new Snively-admirer.:D

  4. bobbi says:

    Halarious! I liked this one

    Girl: If you are a girl and you go to MIT Medical for ANYTHING, even like a broken leg or something, and you are sexually active, they diagnose you with pregnancy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I actually got every single one of those. Hopefully that’s an indication that I’ll be admitted.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Boston has four seasons. Almost winter, winter, still winter, and August.”

    “I’m convinced that MIT doesn’t admit you based on your intelligence. They admit you based on how weird you are.”

    …but are a little fuzzy on the details.”

    ^Top three favorites :D. Although I can’t imagine what had been going through the professor’s mind with the last part… *dies of laughter*

  7. Nicole '10 says:

    My living group keeps our own list of these (said by our very own members!) – most of them are kind of sketchy, but here’s some that are relatively tame:

    1: Oh no! My computer’s not breathing!
    2: Reboot it?
    1: After taking 6.033, I can’t stop thinking about all the bad things that could happen if I do that! What if my kernel’s busy!?

    “The best thing about living in Simmons is that when you wake up in the morning and look out your window, you don’t have to look at Simmons.”

    1: (blah blah blah) …biotools.
    2: Oh, you mean the pre-meds?

    “Why should I believe a guy whose hair matches his shirt?”

    One of my favorites:
    1: How old are you?
    2: Well, it’s September now, and my birthday is…
    1: You don’t know how old you are?
    2: It keeps changing!

  8. karan says:

    “Boston has four seasons. Almost winter, winter, still winter, and August.”

    Girl at 77 crosswalk on cell phone: “he’s like DOS and you’re like Windows.”

    these 2 r the best….

  9. Barack Obama says:

    Second…….Woooot! Yay! Cool jokes…

  10. Paul says:

    Vagina.mit.edu? And you wanna GO here???”

    As the current webmaster of that site, this one really made me chuckle. smile

  11. Anon says:

    These made my night, totally. (:

  12. Anonymous says:

    These are hilarious. Keep ’em coming, Snively!

  13. Anon says:

    In lobby 7 cafe:

    Girl: So, I hear it’s official between you and [somebody]
    Guy: Well, it’s not November 1st, so it’s official, but not “official.”
    Girl: Wait how official?
    Guy: I don’t know, like, pretty official.
    Girl: Are talking “still drafting” or do you “have a solid model” official?
    Guy: ” I have solid model, I just haven’t quite put it on the .dwg yet” official.
    Girl: Ahhhhhh.

  14. lulu says:

    Dude, why this was not on your list, beats the hell out of me:

    —————————-

    – “How can it be called ‘Jamaica Plain’ if there’s a big hill in it?!”
    – “Well, a plain is really the same thing as a hill.”
    – “What? How?”
    – “Because it’s not a donut.”
    – “Oh, right.”

  15. Muz says:

    “I wasn’t alone. I was with my computer”
    That made me laugh out loud.

    The one about the zombie, chainsaw, and moat also made me laugh because it sounds like something I’d say, before facepalming.

    Heh, I could imagine Snively stalking around, eavesdropping on people with a notepad in hand.

  16. erik says:

    Woot! ^^
    INFINIGRALS ROCK!!

  17. hamsi says:

    hahahaha these are great – i can just imagine people saying these things at MIT =] my favorite one is “In the Student Center:

    Guy #1: Today was a good day
    Guy #2: Yeah?
    Guy #1: Yeah. I went outside.
    Guy #2: Nice.”
    LOLZ.

  18. Colton says:

    Muz: Nah, he has 4 microphones taped to a hat hooked up to a flash-based audio recorder.

  19. Ehsan says:

    @ First Anon

    Canada has one season, WINTER!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Is the ability to read and absorb all the details really that rare of a skill now?
    @ one who wrote this:
    All the quotes above are supplied via lots of MIT students through the Facebook group “Overheard at MIT”. Why ask Snively to “keep ’em coming” when you can just look at the group for yourself? Worse yet is the suggestion that any one person would be able to collect such a wide variety of quotable MIT-isms.

    Why must you spoil a nice thing? Everyone here is revelling in the MITness of the MITians and here you are, dampening all enthusiasm. Enjoy life,kay! Enjoy applying to college, if nothing else!! :D

  21. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, the formatting got jumbled up a bit:(

  22. Colton says:

    Ehsan: Pittsburgh has four seasons: Almost Fall, Winter, Still Winter, and Road Construction.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Is it sad that in response to this:

    some guy commenting on a Smash Bros. scoreboard: “That’s a singular matrix!”

    I said, “they have a Smash Bros. scoreboard???”

  24. Anonymous says:

    Is the ability to read and absorb all the details really that rare of a skill now?

    All the quotes above are supplied via lots of MIT students through the Facebook group “Overheard at MIT”. Why ask Snively to “keep ’em coming” when you can just look at the group for yourself? Worse yet is the suggestion that any one person would be able to collect such a wide variety of quotable MIT-isms.

  25. Anonymous says:

    @ last Anon

    Well, we can’t look at that group I guess it’s because only MIT students can see the group, I searched it already.

  26. Anonymous says:

    @ last Anon

    Well, we can’t look at that group, and I guess it’s because only MIT students can see the group, I searched it already.

  27. Anonymous says:

    @ last Anon

    Well, we can’t look at that group, and I guess it’s because only MIT students can see the group, I searched it already.

  28. Anonymous says:

    @ last Anon

    Well, we can’t look at that group, and I guess it’s because only MIT students can see the group, I searched it already.

  29. Chris says:

    @9:47 Anon: I’m thinking of the big scoreboard in the original smash where they keep the character records.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Oops, so sorry for the quadruple post, I don’t know what happened

  31. Ehsan says:

    Inductors want the flux to remain constant; they hate change.

    Student: Then an inductor would never vote for Obama.

    Funniest thing by far!

  32. Andrew says:

    THIS IS WHY I WANT TO GO TO MIT.
    Honestly, I’d have so much fun there..
    Applying to other colleges is actually really depressing.

  33. Andrew says:

    Haha seriously…I hate the other applications.
    There’s no personality, no reassurance..I already feel like I’m welcome and home at MIT, with this blog and that awesome pamphlet they sent us, etc.

  34. EJ Bensing says:

    “Caffeine’s like radiation: in small doses, it’s good for you. I bet there’s a parabola of benefits versus consumption…”

    Oh so true. Coffee is probably one of the greatest things ever made, until about the 4th or 5th cup of the day, then things start to get a little weird.

  35. Steff says:

    …which gives you wildebeests squared over time. That can’t be right.

    Haha, I totally have those moments in calc…
    Great post.

  36. Colton says:

    Steff: I have those moments too, but in AP English instead.

  37. Anonymous says:

    @Andrew:
    So this.. this is what being understood feels like… this is nice..

  38. Niki says:

    Well, at least I know the weather will be familiar.

    My (Ukrainian) host sister: How long does the winter here last?
    Me: Umm… how do you define winter?
    HS: When it’s so cold like this, with all this snow…
    Me: Oh. Until May.

    Ah, Minnesota.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Person 1: “That stuff is more polar than a bear,”
    Person 2: “You realize that if I weren’t holding a vial full of toxic solvent right now, I would punch you, right?”
    Person 1: “Yep.”

    “I’m convinced that MIT doesn’t admit you based on your intelligence. They admit you based on how weird you are.”

    on one of those “use revolving door to conserve energy” signs

    Energy is always conserved.

    Ah my top 3^
    It’s so nice to know there’s a place where these kinds of comments are acceptable

  40. Kaizad says:

    Hilarious! I got one.

    Guy 1: How can you tell when you’ve been around numbers for too long?
    Guy 2: uhh..
    Guy 1: When you look at the time, it’s 7:07, and you think, hmm.. 10sin45 ..

    (This isn’t MIT (I’m still in school))