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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

Profiles in Courage by Sam M. '07

My neighbor could kill you or save your life with her bare hands.

DID YOU KNOW? There are at least two KISS cover bands in the world consisting entirely of “little people,” and at least two of them are apparently engaged in some sort of war.

Hey all, sorry about the relative dearth of blog entries recently over the past week. Let’s just say that today I turned in a problem set that was 47 pages long.

CPW rocked it, yo. Special thanks to my prefrosh George for being really independent and finding his way home at 6 AM without my help, to Kristin R for her wonderful (if slightly awkward) compliment at Meet The Bloggers, to “Joooliyah” for preventing the theft of my laptop, and to all of the lovely prefrosh I had a chance to meet over the weekend when I wasn’t slaving in lab, passed out on my couch in the midst of 10.32, performing some blog-related duty, or running 3 miles. You kids are my American Idols.

Also, thanks to Kappa Sigma for letting the marching band crash their barbeque in front of Kresge–although, really, you guys should be thanking us. As fine a piece of art as “The Thong Song” is, I personally think that it was simply taken to another level with our improvised marching band accompaniment on top of it.

So I woke up Monday morning to find that there was a five-foot tall trophy in my suite. Now, this isn’t actually such an uncommon occurrence, because I happen to live next to the president of the MIT Sport Taekwondo club. Competing against such worthy adversaries as Cornell, Princeton, and West Point, the five-year-old team has accumulated so many points in competition this year that they could skip the next competition completely and still win first place in their league.

That’s pretty rowdy.

My neighbor Alicia (Course 7 ’06) is the president of the club and is only slightly taller than the trophy recently won by the team:


I was going to get a picture of Alicia with the five-foot-tall trophy, but she took it away last night. Well, this is what it would have looked like, had she won a golf tournament.

Alicia came to MIT as a white belt and joined the club her first semester. She just earned her black belt two months ago in a truly beautiful display of stamina and finesse. Among her many accomplishments, Alicia has a perfect 5.0 GPA, is headed into the PhD program at Harvard (with Mollie next year), lives next to me, and has performed cancer research for the past three years in a UROP with Professor Robert “I discovered the first human oncogene” Weinberg. This semester alone, she organized the national collegiate taekwondo championships, served as an undergraduate TA for freshman biology and beat all three Donkey Kong Country games for the Super Nintendo with her boyfriend. She also bakes delicious sugar cookies and shares my obsession with Food Network personalities.

Alicia and I were sitting in the suite one morning discussing, among other things, how amazing she is, how amazing the trophy is, and Trader Joe’s High Fiber Cereal. Alicia noticed that she’s actually the perfect height for the trophy, because the little guy kicking on top of it is exactly at her eye level. Then she noticed that the little guy was kicking with really terrible form, and concluded that he must be a white belt or something.

Such is the way of all Taekwondo trophies.

Anyway, I thought it was time to blog about somebody other than myself and Rachael Ray, and Alicia is better than both of us put together! She is a prime example of how to totally rock at life. Also, she goes to MIT.

Correlation implies causality.

11 responses to “Profiles in Courage”

  1. Mitra says:

    I think my 14.32 professor just had a heart attack. Maybe Alicia can perform CPR on him….

  2. thekeri says:

    When I first saw the trophy, I thought, “Since when does Taekwondo involve swinging a golf club?”

    …yeah. I didn’t read the caption. Go ahead and commence with the mocking.

    47-page psets sound painful to no end.

  3. George says:

    yo thanks for an awesome CPW!!! hope to see you in the fall =D

  4. Kristin R. says:

    I meant every slightly awkward word!

    And what class has a pset that can be 47 pages? (prepares to avoid such a class)

  5. Sam says:

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Philip Oreopolous did NOT have a heart attack. Mitra was just being weird.

  6. Mollie says:

    Re: sports that don’t have appropriate trophies

    Adam always complains that the skiing tropies he gets are all of people holding skis in totally ridiculous positions (over their shoulders, like golf clubs, etc), because there are no skiing tropies, so the people running the competitions get baseball/golf tropies and break off the bats/clubs and glue on little skis.

    True story. And kind of sad.

  7. And I didn’t know that Alicia was going to the Harvard program, too!

    That makes at least three of us MIT alums who are going. Represent!

  8. Mike says:

    I just learned that physicists use PV=NkT for the ideal gas equation rather than PV=nRT. That’s like PiVNekT. No one can remember PiVNekT. PerVneRT is the best mnemonic device is the history of everything! Why would physicists change that?

    Sorry that this has nothing to do with this entry. I think you mentioned PerVneRT a month or two ago or something though.

  9. Sam says:

    thekeri — I think even if somebody were to attack Alicia with a golf club, she would deflect it and then deliver a reverse turn kick that would shatter his ribcage.

    Kristin R — Haha, thanks. The class is 10.37 (Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design). Granted, the majority of my work was matlab code and graphs, but it took me over 15 minutes to print it all.

    Mollie — That’s awesomely sad. I’d like to see somebody holding skis instead of a football, or surfing on them.

    Mike — Physicists are stupid and impotent.

  10. Andrew says:

    Oh my gosh. She beat all three of the Donkey Kong Country games? That is the most amazing accomplishment ever. </sarcasm>

    Sorry, I just had to comment on that mention since no one else had. I actually don’t even own the second game — isn’t that horribly pathetic?

    But yeah. Wow, what amazing people. :D

  11. Britt says:

    It seems to me that someone watches Tucker Carlson. I miss the bow tie.