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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Scenes From Admissions, Round Two by Ben Jones

What's going on in this picture?! Another installment of our new little game.

Occasionally I’ll show you a picture and give you some clues to see if you can figure out what’s going on in the scene. Welcome to Round Two.

White Circles – People:
1) Me (not shown, taking picture), Communications Manager, Admissions
2) Daniel Barkowitz, Director Of Financial Aid
3) Alice Waugh, Communications Manager, Financial Aid
4) Stu Schmill, Educational Council Director
5) Matt McGann, Celebrity
6) Jenny Rifken, Director of Recruitment

Green Circles – Objects:
1) Matt’s paper bag, which contains many secrets
2) A large noteboard
3) Daniel’s index finger, which has magical powers
4) Trippy art
5) Matt’s infamous “black book” which is rumored to contain all of mankind’s knowledge to date
6) Stu’s water bottle which may or may not contain water
7) Jenny’s notes, which she’s taking with an upside-down pen

So – what’s going on in this picture? As always, points will be awarded for creativity, not just for the right answer. :-)

29 responses to “Scenes From Admissions, Round Two”

  1. Anonymous says:

    That’s easy! You’re having a board-meeting on whether or not the new fingerpaint class taught on the wall was a success or not, whilst also trying to come up with the MIT version of the apprentice, where the catch-phrase will be:

    You’re too slow, you’re out-a-here!

  2. Merudh says:

    hmm interesting.

    well Mr. Schmill seems to be the only one paying atttention to the camera and well considering the fact that the noteboard is empty (hence a professional discussion hasn’t taken place on anything)—everyone (almost everyone) seems to be laughing at some joke Matt probably just said.

    See Jenny Rifken, she’s even smilling (internally laughing) while looking down at a probably empty notepad since she’s holding her pen upside down.

  3. nehalita says:

    After hours in the room of trippy art, Daniel Barkowitz has a revelation! The secret to life is in the paper bag!

    Matt seems to find this hilarious and says that actually, the secret to life is in his black notebook (duh!).

    Alice, after contemplating, says that Matt and Daniel have been staring at the walls too long and that they need to get down to business: Scott or Quilted Nothern toilet paper?

    Looking down at her notes, Jenny replies that “According to my statistical analysis, Charmin would be the best bet. Besides, how could you resist the bear? It’s so cute!”

    Stu suggests testing all of the brands out with his handy dandy…bottle of water. He hypothesizes that the strongest would be Bounty Paper Towels (perhaps they should consider comfort…?!)

    They volunteered Ben to right the data on the big noteboard but obviously, Ben ignored this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT responsibility and decided to take a picture instead of writing. Hence, the board is blank.

    (okay. maybe i’ve looked at the walls for too long too. but it’s so beautiful…)

  4. nehalita says:

    *write — can’t believe i did that….

  5. MJ Kamalov says:

    hey Ben

    i’m just making sure u got my gifts, did u?

  6. Gifts?! Are we talking BRIBERY here?!

    Meder. Tsk tsk. I’m ashamed of you.

    At least now we know how you got into MIT. jk smile

    Anyway, as for the picture, I believe it to be intuitively obvious that you are all discussing the revolution you have unknowingly started with these blogs.

    Consider the following: [yes, that’s a reference smile]

    1) The trippy artwork. Obviously indicative of the rebellious and revolutionary spirit contained within that room. I wouldn’t even be surprised if Benny himself photoshopped that in as he was feeling PARTICULARLY rebellious one evening.

    2) The presence of three bloggers, two communications managers, a celebrity, the director of the EC and recruitment (to both of which communications is a very important aspect of their work).

    Isn’t it obvious? smile Even the pen. Revolutionary way of holding it. FIGHT THE POWER.

  7. Let me hazard a guess…

    Matt’s showing off some of his favorite voodoo items from his trip in South-east Asia. However, he chooses to hide them away in his magically protected paper bag, so nobody can touch the precious objects inside (“My Precious (elongated pronunciation!)”)

    Daniel’s magical finger is trying to levitate the bag (“Wingardium Leviosa”); however, it tickles Matt into laughing at his futile attempts to do so. Following which, Daniel then tries to make it fly towards him (“Accio”), another trick which fails, not much to the amusement of the rest of the staff at the table.

    Apparently, Matt’s black book is enamating an aura that prevents magic from being casted, and hence Daniel’s unable to invoke the innate magical powers that he has. The disguised beacon of “magical jamming” in Matt’s book is just *that* powerful – enough to jam Daniel’s magic. As it does so, however, it engulfs everybody in the room in a plethora of colours, that self-assemble into images that enscribe themselves as illusions of the wall. The aura is simply *that* powerful.

    None, however, beat Ben’s power. One innocuous snap, and the entire scene is on his blog. The power of photography.


  8. benjones AT mit DOT edu

  9. sab says:


    I have some questions regarding admission into mit. It would be really convenient for me if I use email but was unable to find your email address in the blog page. Anyone plz help!

  10. Ajymurat says:

    hmm.I think you have finished all your works with appications and waiting for Marelee Jones,who is always busy.

  11. Rachael says:

    Everyone, (well, all the important people) is getting ready for the photoshoot of the trippy artwork. But there apears to be a large, rectangular white spot on the mural. Daniel claims that it’s Matt’s fault, he was the celebrity artist in charge of painting the mural anyway.

    “What?! How could it be my fault?” laughs Matt.

    “Well, unless you could pull a solution out of that brown bag of yours, today’s meeting is ruined,” says Daniel.

    “Look no farther, Matt’s black notebook is sitting just feet from your magical finger!” says Stu.

    After hours of carousing through the black book (with Jenny trying to steal its secrets onto her own notepad), Matt finds the solution:


    “Just so fortunate I have some here in my water bottle,” states Stu. He gets up and throws the bottle’s contents over the white spot.

    “Good job, Stu, you just ruined the pad of paper we were supposed to take our business meeting’s notes on after the Trippy Artwork photoshoot,” says Alice. “Meeting adjourned, then?”

  12. The Q says:

    Good to see that the round two room is getting funkier all the time and no more flux capacitator problems this time round smile


  13. CristenBlair says:

    They’re sketching up a new design for their wall. After the many meetings they’ve had there, the trippy art on the walls is beginning to drive them mad. Dan thinks the new design’s in Matt’s paper bag, while Matt continues to laugh hysterically. Does Matt really have the new diabolical wall design in his bag? To be continued…

  14. Saad Zaheer says:

    Hey guys, I am unable to think of anything abt this picture but i must say that the above commets are so funny, hahahahah!

    these days we are quite BUSY finding food all around the campus (we stands for me, and most of the 09ers who think that spending money till classes is a waste of it!) Its a lot of fun over here during the orientations! hope to see you all soon who arrived on yesterday and today!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Word Saad. Isn’t one of the things to do before you leave MIT to spend a week of REX without paying for food? I’m well on my way wink

    Where are you temped? Come visit me at EC Walcott 214 (my roommate hasn’t shown up yet actually) or give me a call on my cell (the number’s on my facebook).



  16. That, by the way, was me.

  17. Amy says:

    The Apprentice, MIT style!

  18. Ben says:

    You guys crack me up. grin

    This is actually a meeting of our new Admissions-FinAid subcommittee. Because we are need-blind, it’s become easy to think of ourselves as two completely separate offices. In some ways this is true, but there are still many ways that we can help each other. So we’ve recently formed a group to address this.

    We meet in the funky Stella room for visual inspiration. Plus it generally matches Daniel’s ties.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m not in the mind set to think right now, or rather, I’m lazy. I must say though, the walls… the mural I guess, I really like it. It’s nice to stare at. From afar. smile

  20. Saad Zaheer says:

    ben! YOU are exactly correct about daniel’s ties! raspberry

  21. Mia says:

    Darn…I could have sworn you guys are about to play Hangman and Dan just can’t bear going first. So, he challenges Matt, “If I can’t turn this paper bag into a time machine right now, you’re going to the easel first! Agreed? Agreed.” So much for Hangman; it looks like there’s going to be an upside-down pen fight.


  22. Farrukh says:

    Hey! i dont see any drinks or coffee smile

  23. Nicole R says:

    This is late but I couldn’t help myself. I need help though. Really.

    BEN: Are we all present?

    EVERYONE: Yes.

    BEN: Good, then I call the negotiations to order. Matt, you simply can

  24. vivek says:

    matt has come for admission and so people are taking about the financial aid he needs and Jenny is helping him to get a UROP so that he could contribute the 55oo$ self help component……smile

    right naa??:)

  25. Amandy says:

    Seems like Daniel just “got served” by Matt and everyone is laughing while Alice is still trying to get the joke, meanwhile Daniel is trying to come up with a witty comeback but can only get as far as pointing his finger. smile

  26. Jeanette says:

    I think that everyone was secretly jealous of celebrity Matt, but the trippy art work did something to their minds. So since the trippy artwork got them all excited, they decided that they’d put Matt back in his place, as none of them are allowed to bring their lunch bags in the room like Matt. Thus, Daniel points his finger at Matt and says “We have voted and decided to kick you off of admissions and make you an English 1 teacher. So take your stupid lunch bag and leave!” to which Matt replies, “Aw hell no!” The rest of the people are smirking and you, Mr. Ben, have decided to capture this memorable moment for the rest of your life.


  27. Anonymous says:

    That is a very interssting mural. Thats very creative abstract pice of work.

    I’m sorry what did you say about those people up front?

  28. Matt is asking for a financial aid to the top directors of that area. Jenny is writing about the meeting and also looking Matt