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MIT student blogger Bryan O. '07

Short, Sweet, and to the Point: MIT in five senses or less (Guest Entry) by Bryan

Hear, See, Touch, Smell, and Taste MIT

By Robert Kapaku ‘12

We are, we are, we are, we are, we are the Engineers,
We can, we can, we can, we can, demolish forty beers,
Drink rum, drink rum, drink rum all day, and come along with us,
‘Cause we don’t give a damn for any old man who don’t give a damn for us!

1. Hearing
While at MIT CPW, I had the wonderful opportunity to sample all sorts of auditory goodness. I’m a musician myself, and met several awesome members of the MIT Marching Band and MIT’s vocal groups.

As it turns out, MIT has an active and talented a cappella scene, with many different kinds of music represented. The Chorallaries wow’d the crowd (yeah unintentional rhyme!) with the Engineers’ Drinking Song (see below). The Toons’ (I am biased towards them because they let me sing with them in Lobby 7) Boston was astounding. All other groups were also simply awesome beyond all reason (koodos to Cross Products, muy bueno Muses, first rate Resonance, and of course gotta love the ladie killin’ Logarhythms).

2. Smell
What could a man possibly talk about smelling at MIT? Well, you probably think he’d make some pathetic attempt to personify a big, philosophical theme into a “smell” in a sad justification of his self-imposed theme.

And you would be right.

Let’s just say I smelled the smelly smell of [Insert your own smell here, but it was probably a fusion of tangerine, liquid nitrogen ice cream, Spring weather, sweat from underground CTF, and a million other smelly smells] wafting throughout the campus. And it was all incredible.

3. Taste
Quothe the Bryan, “If you’re paying for your food, you’re doing something wrong.” The man couldn’t be more right. I happened to be staying at the ridiculously awesome Theta Delta Chi, which was chockfull of food and video games. I even ventured out to explore some frat parties across the river, and they were all awesome.

I could go into great details of Goldfish eating, glow-stick dancing, midnight raving, and Top Gun rocking, but instead I’ll just leave you with this crucial idea:
When they say Work Hard, Play Hard at MIT, they mean it. And it is awesome.

4. Vision
There was too much to see to really take it all in, and I think that’s what MIT looks like overall. If you’re not sure what I mean, allow me to tell you about my check-in experience.

Me: “Kapaku, Robert.”
MIT: “OK, here’s your folder, your booklet of 600+ activities, and this card to give us when you check out Sunday.”
Me: “Cool!

“Now what?”
MIT: “Haha, well, now you go wherever you want to go! Enjoy, and call if you need us!”

From Thursday check-in until Sunday check-out, I was free. FREE. For a kid with strict parents and curfews and schedules and day planners and high school and work schedules and this that and the other, this was truly bizarre. I’ve never truly felt freedom before, and besides, at home there’s only so much to do.

Suddenly I’ve got this kaleidoscope of crazy activities to do, and the freedom to do (or not do) whatever I wanted. There was a ridiculous amount to see and take in. I could sample any color or pattern from this kaleidoscope, and had to report to no one to do it. I think that’s what life at MIT is like. A million opportunities and possibilities, and only yourself as the ultimate guide (with a friendly MIT support staff there should you need a little help). See the sights!

5. Touch
Thus far I’ve only really addressed social-type things that I encountered at MIT. However, I’m told that the ‘tute is also pretty good at science and engineering and whatnot.

My goodness, they’re not lying.

Hearing Prof. Amy Smith talk about getting HANDS-ON (Get it? I’m writing about this under “Touch.” If you’re still reading and following my gimmicky theme, thank you and I’m sorry.) was positively amazing. D-Lab definitely sounds like the kind of place where I want to be: a place where you take your talents and then DO something with them.

This was just one example of many at MIT that contributes to how the overall campus felt (har har, more theme punning) to me. It was just this feeling that everyone there is bright, everyone there is capable, and (here’s where it’s different than other colleges) almost everyone there wants to DO something about it. People want to research on projects supervised by Nobel Laureates, people want to travel to small villages in third-world countries to engineer solutions, people want to create a thermite reaction in the backyard of their frat (Here’s lookin’ at you TDC!) just to see the molten explosion because it’s wicked cool and slightly dangerous.

In this realm of IHTFP, I don’t know if I’ll love or hate this effin’ place.

But I love the feel of it.

And now, a small sampling of my CPW

Vika ’12 at Simmons’ Instructables. Something about tattooing cell phones.

Yummy liquid nitrogen ice cream at Random.

Another photo blogger? Leanna ’12 at TDC dinner.

More ice cream with fellow prefrosh Mary ’12, Isaac ’12, and Phil ’12.

Authentic delicious burrito from Anna’s. Mmmmmmm.

Blogger alert! Snively ’11 raffles (as opposed to rofls?) at the Burton-Conner party

Scott ’12 and Lindsay-Paige ’12 cross the Smoot Bridge into Boston!

Maryam ’12 and Lindsay-Paige ’12 wait with me for a tour. A citrus tour. Something about tangerines… *ahem*

Kickin’ it with the other natives (I’m part native Hawaiian). Among the cool people here is my ridiculously cool host, LeVon ’09 on the far right.

John ’09 and Rob ’08 let me sing with them as Toons serenaded Lobby 7.

And finally, the MIT Chorallaries sing the Engineer’s Drinking song. Sorry the video isn’t great quality. The lyrics, by the by, are a couple of variations on some found here.


8 responses to “Short, Sweet, and to the Point: MIT in five senses or less (Guest Entry)”

  1. Abhishek says:

    MIT rockss…..

  2. Sam says:

    Oh man, I met you, Scott, Maryam, and LP in Baker on Friday night… and never saw you again. Oh, except for that one time at BotB. Are you matriculating to MIT?

  3. Judy '12 says:

    Oh Hey Rob! I remember you at the BBQ at BC. That’s was so fun!

    Snively pic is so funny. He ran around with a big roll of tickets, saying “Hey you guys, I’m Snively. Take a raffle ticket ^__^” So random, so amusing. Haha. Ball in basket game raspberry

    btw, Bryan, did you do double post???

  4. Anonymous says:

    shouldn’t it be “five senses or fewer?”

    great post, btw.

  5. Snively says:

    @Judy ’12
    Totally didn’t run around yelling my name, but I did definitely try to get rid of as many raffle tickets as possible. I believe the line was:

    “Take raffle tickets. No, I don’t know what it’s for. No, I don’t know when the raffle is. Also, go throw balls into those crates over there and take prizes out of our box of cheap plastic crap!”

    Good times, good times.

  6. Judy '12 says:

    @ Snively – opps sorry ^__^ I thought I heard voices saying “Snively” and I assumed they were yours (my bad).
    My first reaction was “OMG, isn’t that Snively the blogger!?!?!?”
    and then others were like, “Duh!!!”

    Haha, you’re name is too famous to not be mentioned raspberry

  7. Chris B.'12 says:

    Dude you were staying at TDC? So was I and I don’t think I ever saw you.

  8. JWC '12 says:

    I love the idea of sorting activities in a non-chronological order. It reads so nicely!