Skip to content ↓
MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

Samuel Maurer’s Day Off by Sam M. '07

MIT moves pretty fast.

DID YOU KNOW? When the cartoon “Underdog” was syndicated in the 1980s and 1990s, all scenes that showed Underdog taking his Underdog Super Energy Pill were edited out because censors thought they suggested drug abuse.

Wow, Super Energy Pill would be an awesome band name.

Uh, sorry about that last blank entry. I’m looking for the “rebuild” button to get rid of it from all your displays, but I can’t really find it and it’s 2:43 AM, so that’s probably not going to happen. I’m kind of tired because I just spent the day with Ruthie ’07, Lauren ’08 and Jeff ‘G playing hookey in New York City. Ruthie scored some tickets to The Colbert Report because she is lucky and I am not, and since New York is only a 4-hour Fung Wah Bus ride away from Boston, we decided to head down for the most awesome school-skipping adventure of all time.

Actually, Senior Skip Day at my high school was pretty sweet too, except in a different way, because it ended in a Red Robin in Central PA rather than Rice to Riches, New York City’s hippest $5 rice pudding joint.

But it was all worth it, if for no other reason, because I got to have a 13-word conversation with Stephen Colbert–before the show, Stephen takes a few questions from the studio audience, who are instructed to all have really creative questions beforehand. A lot of the ones around us were kind of stupid, like, “Why don’t you mention GOOGLE BOMBING on your show? The Colbert Nation would LOVE that because they totally haven’t done enough ridiculous things, like that bridge in Norway!” and “If bears are the number one threat to America and Bill O’Reilly is ‘Papa Bear,’ does that mean HE’S the number one threat to America?”

I mean, once you hear my question it’s kind of a judge not lest ye be judged kind of thing, but still.

Since I was young, or at least since I wrote my biography for this blog, it’s been my dream to have a unit of measurement in the metric system named after me. Now, my floor is amazing, so one day when I was not home they decided to define one. The maurer is a unit of awesomeness, equal to the awesomeness of me playing one note of Trogdor on Guitar Hero II. The entire song, including the wild scream of “…and the Trogdor comes in the niiiiiiiiiight” at the end, is equal to 0.8 kilomaurer.

This eventually became a convention that we extended to every member of the floor. For example, the dizzle is a unit of innocence, the lopez is a unit of dedication, and the miller is a unit of bad decision making. Perhaps my favorite is the tang, which measures orthogonality to conversation direction.

Anyway, we’re interviewing new GRT’s (like RA’s at other colleges, but they’re graduate students and probably cooler) for next year, so we decided it would be a good idea to ask them this question at every GRT interview we conduct. We’ve gotten a variety of very revealing responses, such as “a unit of old-man clothes” or “a unit of taking people’s vices and addictions and enabling them just to see what happens, but not in a dangerous way.”

Really, I don’t think either of those people is going to be our GRT next year.

So Ruthie ’07 decided that this would be our question to Stephen. Anticipating his migration over to our side of the studio audience, I raised my hand excitedly and looked RIGHT AT HIM. Luckily, I was wearing my flamboyant red corduroy jacket specifically because I thought such an occasion might arise today. Also because it’s an awesome jacket and cost only three dollars. And so we had the following discourse:

ME: “If the colbert were a unit of measurement, what would it measure?”
STEPHEN COLBERT: [pensively] “Ball.”
ME: [pfft]

If I’m being honest, it wasn’t the most brilliant comedic answer ever given, but since I was expecting “freedom” it was a nice surprise. Also, you know the old adage–ask a stupid question, get a CHANCE TO TALK TO STEPHEN COLBERT!

Ruthie ’07 only later came up with the idea that I should have asked him whether to pick Berkeley or Stanford for grad school. That would have made this whole decision business a lot easier (shoot, three more days!).

Anyhoo, I’m going to be covered in fur in, uh, oh snap, five hours, so I think I’m just going to wash some dishes and head off to bed. If you’re coming to CPW, check out the international panel at 4 PM. I think it’s in 34-101 on Thursday and 32-141 on Friday. It’ll be great and eye-opening, and not just because I’ll be speaking on it.


6 responses to “Samuel Maurer’s Day Off”

  1. Ling says:

    I like the tang – because add three letters and you get “tangent”.

    What about my measurement unit? Too bad “tu” sounds like the number 2.

  2. Colin says:

    Wow, I hate when people do the “first post!!!!!!!!!” thing, but I think “Kurt Vonnegut died!” is a bad replacement. What if that became the new trend?

    I’m glad you got to talk to Stephen Colbert! That is awesome, even if his answer is a bit disappointing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kurt Vonnegut died!

  4. Daniel '12 says:

    Great question, stupid answer…

    If my name were a unit of measurement, it would measure causticity of conversation (and accidental alliteration).

  5. Evan '10 says:

    By the way, if you use the coupon code NYSBOR on, Greyhound tickets to New York are the same price as the Feng Wah. Very convenient when you want to arrive in New York in a reasonable amount of time.

  6. Ruth '07 says:

    Yes, Greyhound is of comparable price, but it requires advanced purchase, has much longer lines, and isn’t near the rice pudding place.
    But it is good to tell your parents about.