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MIT student blogger Vincent A. '17

REX at Random Hall by Vincent A. '17

ice cream, epic meals, water wars and turing tests!

Pre-frosh have descended into campus, making the rest of us feel very very old. They will spend the next several days learning about MIT, departments, resources and culture. It turns out where you live can strongly influence what slice of the Institute’s culture you experience, especially with the dormitories being so self-selecting. You get to choose where you live. I chose Random Hall, a decision I’ve never regretted.

MIT’s REX (Residence Exploration) Program is a way for each incoming freshman to figure out where they belong. Breathe easy knowing your decisions are not binding, but you do wanna think about them quite seriously, and give each living group–from the dorms to the FSILGs (Fraternities, Sororities and Independent Living Groups)–a decent attempt at trying to understand what living there would be like.

REX is already in full swing at Random, and this is what the schedule looks like:

Tuesday, August 25th
Cards Against Humanity Pictionary
Why play regular Pictionary when you could be drawing things like MechaHitler, being on fire, a middle aged man on roller skates, raptor attacks, children on leashes, or chainsaws for hands? A hilarious mix of Cards Against Humanity and Pictionary! Shenanigans will ensue.
20:17 – 21:47

Wednesday, August 26th

You left kindergarten, but it will never leave you! Come relive the glory days!
20:17 – 22:17

Thursday, August 27th

Random Hallsmeade
Come and watch Harry, Ron, and Hermione face werewolves, dementors, and escaped convict Sirius Black while enjoying some of the treats you may find in Hogsmeade!
20:17 – 22:47

Friday, August 28th

Random House of Pancakes! Is it early, or is it late? All we know is that we have delicious pancakes to feed you.
3:17 – 6:17
Pecker Board Game Night and Teach you Tichu
Build a Dominion in Puerto Rico comprised of Seven Wonders, then Race to the Galaxy and help the Twilight Imperium crush the Resistance. Through the Ages, board games have been an Innovation Random Hall has enjoyed. Come and play the various board games we’ve acquired!
20:17 – ???

Saturday, August 29th

Espresso and Latte Art
Come to Random Hall to learn the mysteries of high-pressure coffee.
9:47 – 11:47
Nacho Average Nachos
Nachos with meat! Nachos with vegetables! Nachos with nachos! Maybe even a nacho castle!
11:47 – 12:47
Liquid Nitrogen Truffles
Let’s see just how many uses LN2 has.
12:47 – 14:47
PowerPoint Karaoke
HELP! The board of directors will be here in a minute, and Arthur has deleted the company performance review slideshow by accident! Here, we’ll put on some PowerPoint slides we randomly found in the company servers – help us convince the directors that *we know what we’re talking about*!!
(Come and watch! Or, are you ready SAVE THE DAY OR DIE TRYING? I mean, die laughing)
14:17 – 15:47
Cookies and 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!
15:47 – 16:47
Sledgehammer Croquet
Play croquet with an extremely heavy mallet normally used to demolish things!
16:47 – 18:17
How to Not Starve
So your mom left you here with a pineapple, some plastic wrap, and $20 for food. Come learn how to fend off the hunger once the free food events run out.
18:17 – 20:17
Almost Life-Sized Settlers of Catan
Come play (almost) life-sized Settlers of Catan! Hoard (and eat, when it’s not your turn) marshmallow “sheep,” pretzel “wheat,” oreo “iron,” and graham-cracker “bricks”! Trade them with your neighbors, or foil their plans and keep everything for yourself. Build roads, villages, and cities!
19:17 – 23:17
Spooky Scary Videogames
Possessed animatronics? Spooky scary skeletons? Ghosts!?!?!? Let’s discover all these and more through the power of horror video games!
20:47 – 22:17
Ever wanted to be a teenage girl? Well now’s your chance! Come join us for a night of nail painting, hair braiding, stuffed animals, and watching chick flicks.
22:17 – 24:17

Sunday, August 30th

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.
10:47 – 12:47
Dumpling Hylomorphisms
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 to make them, or just perform a metabolic reduction on food. (Vegan + Carnivorous options)
12:47 – 15:47
Math and Tea
Learn some fun and intriguing math,
with snacks to fend off brain death.
Some sugar from cookies,
and caffeine from tea,
will power the fun we will hath!

14:47 – 17:47
Random Swords Adventures!
Having trouble making frenemies? We can fix that! Come play Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, a “cooperative” game where you have to “work together” to rid Hyrule of evil.
16:47 – 18:17
Build a Pizza
BUILD A. PIZZA. Make your own pizza and set. it free. BUILD YOUR. PIZZA. FIND YOUR. PIZZA. . YOUR PIZZA.
19:17 – 21:17
Swiss Cheddar Brie Cottage Parmigiano Reggiano Gouda Chevre Camembert Provolone Ricotta Colby Jack Pepper Jack Monterey Jack Mozzarella Muenster Blue Havarti Limburger Feta…
20:17 – 21:17
How to Zephyr
Chat with friends the MIT way! Zephyr is an internet chat protocol (like AIM or Messenger) developed at MIT, back when things were more hardcore. We’ll show you how to use Zephyr to hang out with friends, get help from classmates, and keep your finger on the pulse of life at MIT! You’ll need to bring a laptop; any OS is fine.
20:47 – 21:47
Nerdy Sing-along
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.
21:47 – 22:47
Telephone Pictionary
Is that a rampaging dinosaur breathing acid on a girl eating a hot dog? Or is it a dragon trying to make friends with a guy playing a harmonica?
22:47 – 23:47
Spinning on the Roofdeck
Did you know spinning socks around your head is actually an ancient art form? Poi come from New Zealand, and you, too, can swing them through a variety of geometric and rhythmical patterns.
23:47 – 24:47

Monday, August 31st

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.
13:47 – 16:47
Infinite Loop and Bubble Party!
Hula hoops! Fruit loops! So many loops! What’s a loop in 3 dimensions? A sphe-BUBBLE! Come hula hoop, meet cool people, play in our gazillion bubbles, and eat loops until you feel cozy in our version of the MIT bubble!
15:47 – 17:47
Clam Preheat
Grab your favorite pot and satisfy your munchies on Clam. We’ve got the brownies, the hash (browns) and more!
18:47 – 19:47
Ice Cream and UROPS
Eat delicious Toscanini’s while listening to excited people be excited about their exciting UROPs!
19:17 – 20:17
Fiddler on the Roofdeck
Do you love latkes? Miss matzah ball soup? Come eat home-cooked, out-of-season, traditional Jewish food on Random Hall’s roofdeck. Being Jewish not required.
20:17 – 21:17
Reverse Turing Test
Can you be the next Cleverbot? Compete with other humans and robots to see who can imitate a chatbot the best, or help us tell the real computers apart from the impostors! Please bring a laptop if you’d like to compete, preferably with an IRC client installed (we can help you get set up).
21:17 – 22:17
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Some like it hot; some like it sub-zero.
22:17 – 23:17
Battleship Twister
Blue 4! Red 2! You sunk a frosh! Play a game of battleship where you’re the ships and the grid is a twister board.
22:47 – 23:47
Rocky Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Have beloved memories of Dr. Horrible? Not after this event, you won’t. Come join us in yelling obscenities at a perfectly nice Sing-Along Blog that has done absolutely nothing to deserve it.
23:47 – 24:47

Tuesday, September 1st

Random House of Pancakes
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.
3:17 – 6:17
Ceiling Tile Painting
Throughout history, magnificent masterpieces have been painted on ceilings. Unlike Michaelangelo though, you can just take a ceiling tile down at Random instead of having to lie on your back in the Sistine Chapel.
Bring your own ideas, paint from our photo references, or replicate your favorite art piece in ceiling tile form!
9:47 – 11:47
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream
Some like it hot; some like it sub-zero.
12:47 – 13:47
Chemistry and Cake
Cake is yummy. Chemistry is fun. Come eat cake and learn chemistry and about course 5!
16:17 – 17:17
Random Party Light Construction
Come construct an LED ornament to add to Random’s SUPER COOL PARTY LIGHTS. Learn the wonder that is laser cutting and amateur electronics.
16:17 – 18:17
  17:45 – ???
Epic Mealtime of Destiny
“Bacon is a cookin’. Meat is a roastin’. Sauce is a flowin’. The only thing missing is you. Cuz guess what? You’re gonna cook it and devour it. It’s mealtime b**ches”
19:47 – 20:47
Nerf Chess
You know what chess needs more of? NERF GUNS! Shoot your opponent to make it your turn. Guaranteed to be cognitive overload.
20:17 – 22:17
Kittens, Tea, Cat Ladies, Oh My!
Release your inner cat lady and make experimental toys for the cats of Random! Kittens, tea, and light snacks provided.
22:17 – 23:47
Philosophy and Phyllo
Does free will exist? Can machines think? These questions and many more will be definitively, conclusively answered forever. Come debate with us and eat delicious baklava!
23:17 – 24:17

Wednesday, September 2nd

Random House of Pancakes
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.
3:17 – 6:17
Physics and Coffee
Our theory holds that in a physics lecture, students exists in the lowest energy state. However, if bombarded by a caffeine ray with stimulation from advanced physics topics, it has been shown to raise students to an excited state. Come enjoy caffeine, sweets, and physics with us in our experiment to verify this!
9:47 – 10:47
Tessellation Celebration!
Make your mark on Random Hall by helping to complete a gecko tessellation mural on one of Loop’s doors! Paint, brushes, and mess galore! No art experience required. :D
10:47 – 12:47
Fry Everything!
Can you fry cheese? Yes! Can you fry meat? Yes! Can you fry candy bars? Yes! Can you fry ice cream? Yes! Can you fry fries?
12:47 – 13:47

May the Hunger Games begin!

I, for one, am now Jason Hernaka,  non-bespectacled Ugandan pre-frosh. Let’s see how long I can keep up the facade of “being new to the US” and wondering who a waffle is before my cover is blown, or I trip over something and land on my face and break all my teeth because I’m not wearing my glasses.

With that horrific image now glued for all of eternity to your minds, Happy REXing!