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MIT student blogger Lydia K. '14, MEng '16

REX at Random Hall by Lydia K. '14, MEng '16

Pancakes, LN2 ice cream, board games, game theory, math, raves, staying up entirely too late, time travel but not to sleep.

Three years ago I was in the room I’m still in now, and just like today it smelled like the boxes stacked on the furniture and the floor and stacked on each other, full of stuff my dad and I had bought my last week home on 2 am trips to Wal-Mart through empty dark streets in my pick-up truck. I spent the next week missing my family like crazy, and I spent it waking up to the smell of food from surrounding restaurants that always inhabits the streets of Cambridge in the morning, and I spent it wandering slow bridge loops with Mika B. ‘14 and David D. SM ‘08, and I spent it eating upperclassman-cooked pancakes with too much syrup at four in the morning. I was on my own for the first time and not feeling alone at all. Now it’s your turn.

Here is where Random Hall is:

If you’re an MIT freshman you should come by, even if you don’t live here yet, because you might want to live here, and if you don’t want to live here you might want to hang out here.

Below are the events happening at Random this Residence Exploration period, starting with those you might not have already missed. We’re furiously unpacking the dorm and getting excited to see you. One of my best friends Ami G. ‘14 is out to find yellow paint for the dragon on Black Hole. Cory R. ‘14 just bought food for the roofdeck barbeque and prizes for billiards and is mixing ice cream for the LN2 events. Here are our tireless rush chairs YQ L. ‘16 and Eric M. ‘16 and our RLAD Michael and all the food they got for you:

Friday, August 23rd
Mural Painting
Leave your own mark in Random Hall by painting murals with us! No artistic skill needed!
20:17 – 21:17
Pool is a laid-back game that gives you a great chance to socialize while you play. Play a tournament for bragging rights, or make a fool of yourself trying to recreate trick shots.
21:17 – 22:17

Saturday, August 24th

Random House of Pancakes: I’m a delicious warm pancake smothered in maple syrup. Bite me. We have almost as many pancakes as the International House of Pancakes, and you don’t have to drive to get here. See how much maple syrup you can fit on one plate.
03:17 – 06:17
Epic Meal Time of Destiny!
Epic Meal Time of Destiny Random Hall cooking show! What up haters, today we’re gonna unleash another furious beast of baconstrips (and baconstrips and baconstrips) for you to shove down your food holes. Get ready to get lost in the sauce with the Sauce Boss!
13:47 – 15:17
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we all scream for 77 Kelvins.
15:17 – 16:17
Game Theory and Chocolate
Do you like game theory? Do you like chocolate? Do you like learning about some fun problems while eating chocolate? I thought so. Come to Random to join us in two of our favorite things: learning and chocolate.
16:17 – 18:17
And The Beat Goes On
“A BEAR ON A BULLDOZER COMES THROUGH THE DAMN WALL EVERYBODY ROLL INITIATIVE.” Come dance your way through an insane one-shot tabletop roleplaying game based on the system written by the author of the webcomic Leftover Soup.
16:17 – 20:17
Comfort Food
You’ve just left home, possibly for the longest time you’ve ever chosen to do so. Come snuggle up with some comfy blankets, eat some comfort food, and appreciate the homey atmosphere of Random Hall.
18:17 – 19:47
Your Wibbly Wobbly Guide to Time Travel
What happens in your future if you attend this event? Come find out! No time travel experience necessary.
19:47 – 21:17
Intro to Electronics
Come build circuits capable of sending audio over infrared light, and learn some electronics in the process. No experience necessary, everyone is welcome—just BYO headphones and audio source!
20:17 – 24:17
Random Hallsmeade
It’s not quite Hogsmeade, but it’s close. Come taste a few of the yummy treats you read about while we watch Harry enjoy his first year at Hogwarts. Butterbeer will be served.
21:17 – 24:17

Sunday, August 25th

Random House of Pancakes. Why are we up this late? To feed you pancakes of course! Pancakes pancakes pancakes pancakes pancakes pancakes pancakes. Wow, pancakes is a really weird looking word.
03:17 – 06:17
Curry Curry
You can curry favor by having all the expansions for Race to the Galaxy. You can curry favor by teaching someone about exoplants. You can curry favor by helping someone mod their nerf gun. You can curry curry by showing up to Random Hall and eating brunch with us. We will have golden curry with lots of vegetables and rice. Vegan and vegetarian options available.
10:17 – 12:17
Video Games in Destiny Lounge
You’ll meet many people this week, and friendly competition is an amazing icebreaker. After a day spent running all over campus, work out your arms while your feet rest.
10:47 – 12:47
Swinging on the Roofdeck
Back in 1920, when Random Hall was just some apartment buildings in Central Square, its residents knew how to DANCE. Come repopulate the dorm with more Cool Cats (we already have cats of the feline variety). Learn to Swing Dance! No partner nor experience necessary.
12:17 – 13:47
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Sure, you’ve had ice cream before. But now you’re at MIT—it’s time for the real stuff.
12:47 – 13:47
Physics ‘n’ Coffee
If mathematicians turn tea into theorems… do physicists turn coffee into awesomeness? Caffeine, physics, and cookies all in one place.
13:47 – 16:47
Dumpling Hylomorphism
Anamorphism: the building up of a structure. Catamorphism: the consumption of a structure. Hylomorphism: both an anamorphism and a catamorphism. This event? A hylomorphism on dumplings. Come learn the basic fold, or just perform a metabolic reduction on food.
13:47 – 15:17
Spinning in Enclosed Spaces
Random Hall has thin, topologically convoluted, claustrophobia-and-vertigo-inducing hallways. Come learn and practice the creativity of applying centripetal force to poi and staff in time to music. Let’s see if we can involve stairs in this bad idea somehow.
15:17 – 16:17
Rocky Horrible
Think Dr. Horrible is a beautiful, amazing, inviolable work of perfect art? Please go somewhere else. Anyone else? Come join us in yelling obscenities at a perfectly nice Sing-Along Blog that has done absolutely nothing to deserve it.
16:47 – 18:17
Bubble Tea and Electroswing
It’s electroswing night at your friendly neighborhood bubble tea parlor! We’ll provide basic and exotic bubble tea ingredients, and you get to formulate delicious new concoctions.
17:17 – 18:30
Roofdeck BBQ
Winter is coming, but it’s not here yet. Come socialize outdoors while the weather is still nice. You’ll find ribs, sausage, pulled pork, and more! Vegetarians and vegans, we have you covered as well.
19:47 – 21:17
Ice Planets
Do you ever get bored with ice cream? Ever wish it could be problematic? Come chill out with us as we use ice cream, string, and dowels to make everyone’s favorite impossible-to-eat food, ice planets!
20:47 – 22:47
CS and Juice
Bobby walks down the isle at Shaw’s, trying to pick the optimal set of juices to buy. He can’t buy pomegranate juice without something sweeter to mix it with, like apple or orange, but if he buys orange juice, he won’t buy orange mango as well…uh oh. Bobby smells a boolean satisfiability problem to solve.
21:17 – 22:17
Pecker Board Game Night
Build a Dominion in Puerto Rico to prevent your Descent into Revolution. Through the ages, board games have been a leading tradition of Random Hall. Come play them with us through the night!
22:17 – 30:17

Monday, August 26th

Cookies & Smut
Listen to the finest Viking romance novels and eat delicious warm chocolate chip cookies. Feel the horriblehorriblehorrible sensation of rivulets of chocolate dripping down your throat and discover Thor’s magnificent hammer!
09:47 – 11:00
Yarn Theory
Yarn has one dimension. Fabric has two dimensions. Plushies have three dimensions. See how many dimensions you can make with a ball of string and some handy sticks!
09:47 – 11:00
Come join the Random faction as we prepare to march to victory at the water wars! Cover yourself in war-paint! Prepare flying aqueous projectiles! Create funnelators of doom and deathiness! Unleash your inner berserker!
14:00 – 14:30
Come join the Random faction as we prepare to march to victory at the water wars! Cover yourself in war-paint! Prepare flying aqueous projectiles! Create funnelators of doom and deathiness! Unleash your inner berserker!
16:00 – 16:30
Nerdy Singalong
It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction with how much this event is fulfilling in creative way. If hopes and dreams are shattering apart, remember it’s gonna be the future soon, so apply forgetful functors to the past and be still alive.
16:17 – 19:17
PCB Design and LED Displays
Have you ever wondered how printed circuit boards (PCBs) are manufactured? Have you ever wanted to design a circuit and lay out a circuit board? Come help us finish our homemade fridge-mounted RGB led display and learn about how we designed it.
18:47 – 20:47
My Course is Better than Your Course
We all love our majors. But whose major is truly the best? Come listen to us argue. Delicious home cooked Hispanic food will be served!
18:47 – 20:17
Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Shadowcast
Whether you’re here to sing along or just take over the world, come join us as we act out Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog live! There will be love, drama, and freeze rays galore! Hosted at Simmons.
20:17 – 21:17
Guided Meditation
Ever wanted to experience meditation? Come to this guided session, where Alison, our friendly GRT, will walk you through a couple special breathing exercises to reduce your heart rate and calm your body, and show you how to meditate. Non-thinking lets your mind recharge, so you can refocus, and get back to doing all the amazing things you do.
20:47 – 21:47
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Served steaming cold.
21:17 – 22:17
A Night of Space Westerns
Do you like SPACE? Do you like COWBOYS? Do you like SPACE COWBOYS? Come to random to watch a few animated and live action Space Westerns. Why camp out and stare at the stars at night when you can fly through them?
21:47 – 23:47
Sweet Rave Party
Rave (noun). An underground party in which electronic music is played, dancing occurs in a very free-form fashion. The dress of the partygoers is quite unrestrained.
22:17 – 25:17

Tuesday, August 27th

Random House of Pancakes! Is it early, or is it late? All we know is that we have delicious pancakes to feed you.
03:17 – 06:17
First, Breakfast. And then World Domination!
Up in the morning, ready to seize the day, watch your enemies quiver in fear and make the whole world tremble with the power of your footsteps? Before returning to Doomsday devices and explosives and the rest of the deliciously mad world, come have some breakfast. We have the classic waffles-smoothie combination, but also chocolate-covered strawberries and s’mores, for the discerning sweet-tooth.
09:47 – 11:17
Disney Sing Along
You just can’t wait to be King. No one will tell you no, or where to go, or say you’re only dreaming. Come to Random Hall to rediscover tales as old as time and songs as old as rhyme. We don’t mind if you sing along. We know all of the words, too.
09:47 – 11:17
Fantasy Feast
The lovely ladies of Fortress Awesome invite you to their castle for a glorious feast. Eat stews, breads, meats, and vegetables that you might find in fantasy movies or shows.
12:47 – 14:17
Nerf Warfare
Negotiations have failed. The shooting has begun. Both sides have vowed to fight to the death, and now the moment of glory is at hand. Do you have what it takes to be a hero?
12:47 – 14:17
Applied Knot Theory
An introduction to the art of tying knots and people in practical and ornamental ways. Our knowledge of knots is not for naught. I can knot understand how anyone could knot be excited.
13:47 – 15:17
Liquid Nitrogen Truffles
Tired of boring old chocolate? Come to Random Hall and try our truffles with flavors ranging from raspberry to pink lemonade to wasabi. That still too boring for you? Then freeze your truffles in liquid nitrogen!
14:17 – 15:17
Math and Tea
Math is beautiful, cookies are sweet, tea is tasty. Come enjoy all three as we discuss topics in math ranging from algebra to topology.
16:17 – 19:17
Almost Life-Sized Settlers of Catan
Come play (almost) life-sized Settlers of Catan! Hoard sheep, wheat, iron and bricks. Trade them with your neighbors, or foil their plans and keep everything for yourself. Build roads, villages, and cities!
16:17 – 18:17
Random: the Gathering
Come draft our custom Magic: The Gathering set with our resident Magic players. If you’ve never cast Global Thermonuclear War, now’s a good time.
18:17 – 19:17
Tuesday Night Talks
Secretly, this is TNT. But there won’t be any explosions. Come listen to upperclassmen talk about how not to explode at MIT and Random. It’s going to be great. Seriously. Food (including vegetarian options) will be provided.
19:17 – 20:47
Having problems being woken up at night by swordsmen breaking down your door? Well, you’ll be able to sleep easy after this event; come learn to make armor worthy of the thirteenth century! Also suitable for badass jewelry.
20:47 – 22:17
Storytime with Cruft
Cruft, n.: (1) An old piece of computer equipment, possibly useless, that keeps hanging around. (2) An old alum Come hear stories from back in the day, when things were more hardcore.
20:47 – 21:47
Star Trek Marathon
Beam up to Random and discover Star Trek at warp speed! If you want to live long and prosper at MIT, frosh, you want to come to this event—make it so!
21:47 – 30:17
Late Night Escapades
Night is the period where the sun vanishes beyond the horizon, decreasing the rate of solar energy being released onto land. Fortunately, humans are designed to be able to withstand this temporary decrease in solar energy. Join us in doing so by playing games of the board and non-board varieties and eating various foodstuffs.
22:17 – 30:17

Wednesday, August 28th

Hot Chocolate and Bananagrams
You’ve been running around doing exciting things all of REX—come hang out with us and relax a bit and play bananagrams! We’ll have hot chocolate and cookies, too—come ask any and all questions about life at MIT, classes, extracurriculars, etc. :)
09:47 – 10:47
Practical Cooking
Don’t be afraid of cooking for yourself. It can be delicious without taking tons of time and money. Come see (and eat) the kinds of food that your peers cook on a regular basis during the semester.
10:47 – 12:17
Chemistry and Cupcakes
Have you ever wondered how glowsticks work? Why bread browns when it’s baked? Join us for the answers to these questions and more, including “5 in 5” (a whirlwind tour of Course 5 in 5 minutes per class), and a live demonstration of the breakdown of sugars and carbohydrates (in tasty cupcake form)!
12:17 – 13:30
Chess is a Game Best Played With Nerf Guns
You know what chess is lacking? More projectile combat! Use nerf darts to skip your opponent’s turns and capture their king. Come play chess as you’ve never played it before.
16:17 – 17:17
Tea Time
This just came across the wire! The secret police has issued a new statement shedding more light on last night’s secret tea party incident. The time, location and purpose of this party have not been announced, but those who are interested should avoid the hooded figures by the dog park. The city council has only remarked, ‘What is tea? Tea isn’t even a thing!’
17:17 – 18:17
Boffing on the Roofdeck
Arm yourself with a weapon wrought of foam and tape, and strike with the fury of a thousand tigers! FOR THE GLORY OF RANDOM HALL!
18:17 – 19:00