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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

Slow down, fast train. by Sam M. '07

Take me with you!

DID YOU KNOW? In Guam, Hawaii, and Saipan, you can get SPAM at McDonald’s.

This week sucks. Well, for everybody else it sucks, because they had finals. Ruth ’07, Mitra ’07 and I ’07 tried to make that a little more tolerable for our floor by preparing one of Conner 2’s patented senior finals breakfasts–every year, it’s tradition that the seniors on Conner 2 make breakfast for the rest of the floor on the first day of finals. Since we can’t half-ass anything on Conner 2, unless it’s every problem set I turned in this semester, we totally blew every other senior breakfast in history away and rocked our floor with eggs benedict, a frittata, fresh fruit smoothies, maple-glazed bacon, homemade coffee cake, and fruit salad served in portable hollowed-out melon bowls. Basically, it’s the greatest breakfast ever seen at MIT.

But after that? I’m at the start of a pretty big downer. First of all, finals are over, so I’ve just been sitting here watching everyone else on my floor leave MIT forever and their rooms get scrubbed clean by Rosa, our friendly Portuguese cleaning assistant. Second, my parents are here this weekend, and we’ve started packing up my room–never to be unpacked in Cambridge again. And finally, my beloved high school friend Shana stopped by to visit in Boston this week. Now, that’s normally not such a big downer, but on Thursday I took her on a ten-hour walking tour of Boston that basically touched on every place in Boston I have ever been to, ever, including every random hole-in-the-wall restaurant that I’ve fallen in love with over the past four tears. And that, I have to say, was a little wistful. Like how Tim Gunn cries at the end of every season of Project Runway.

I think it all hit home last night, when we were standing in Toscanini’s, which they New York Times has claimed, in some context-free quote, to serve “the best ice cream in the world.” Seriously, it’s not even the best ice cream in Boston–that would be J.P. Licks, but it was too hot to walk across the river last night. Anyway, I was enjoying the utterly bizarre avocado tequila ice cream when Shana noted that they had a Sunday brunch menu on the wall. “Yeah, I’ve never tried it.” I said. “And, oh, nor will I ever, because I’m not going to be in Boston for the next two Sundays. Oh well.”

So with all this going on right now, the moving and the packing and the touring, I feel kind of like a lonely Neko Case, standing onstage with my backing band and just sort of wailing “Blacklisted” into a red sky as an apocalypse of piano chords rains down around me. Slow down, fast train. Take me with you. That is what I am wailing.

Seriously, y’all. High School was slow. Slow slow slow! Slooooooooooooooow. S L O W. Okay, enough Lulu. But seriously. It was slow! Like, I was in high school for probably one thousand years, two hundred of which were spent just listening to our vice principal ominously call names to the office. MIT is like the craziest, bumpiest, fastest ride you will ever get on. Seriously. Wikipedia tells you Kingda Ka is the tallest, fastest, and most amazing roller coaster. And I hate to denigrate anything from New Jersey for fear of retribution by the mafia, or Laura, but the tallest, fastest, and most amazing roller coaster is an MIT education. I can’t imagine anywhere else where I could have done more to pass the past four years more quickly or more ridiculously.

I remember this like it was yesterday–I had just met Ruthie ’07 the previous night when I was walking to my room for only the second time ever and somehow ended up going across the river for terrible greasy pizza at 1 AM. I saw her again at the activities midway, and I didn’t know anybody at MIT because I didn’t go to CPW or do any pre-orientation programs (let that be a lesson, prefrosh), and I totally forgot her name. But whatever. There were balloon animals, she made a squirrel, but we pretended it was a monkey, and she named it Bruce, because it was green and had hulking arms. Then we took it back to her room, which was 222A at the time, and hung it up in the window, probably much to the amusement of her roommate, which at the time was Nicola ’07.

I remember standing in the admissions office, mere steps from Ben Jones’s door, and having a conversation with Sue and Mitra ’07 about fingerling potatoes, and somehow turning that into a joke about how Mitra and I were going to run the Boston Marathon. And then I remember my first marathon, when my heart was just a-flutter as we walked a quarter mile down the street so the policemen wouldn’t see us jumping in, and having an Odwalla Super Protein bar in my left pocket, which I ate while going over a bridge, and how Mitra basically carried my sore legs through the last 6 miles of the 2007 marathon.

I remember Lynn ’05, and how she gave me my nickname, Spammy, within seconds of meeting me, and how she is still the most aggressively bizarre person I have ever met, and how we used to go on play-dates to restaurants in Harvard Square and Chilli Duck, and one time it was going to rain, and I thought that an insect crawled up my butt while I was walking down the street, and she was seriously concerned for me, but then it turned out everything was okay and we watched Zoolander. Then I remember saying goodbye to her after her graduation, and I only got to do that because I randomly saw her in the Prudential Center, and all she said was, “Okay, bye Spammy, by the way, take all my dishes! All my dishes, yah?”

I remember voting against Rick Santorum in Killian Court under what must have been the bluest sky in history. I remember taking differential equations homework on a ski trip Freshman year, and learning about laplace transforms while we melted skittles in a saucepan just to see what would happen. I remember meeting French Horn Guy within my first 6 hours at MIT, then never talking to him again until a beautiful reunion in a senior seminar. With Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison. I remember buying a pair of pink pants on my first trip to Garment District, then destroying them because I forgot you don’t iron polyester on high.

I remember taking my first two exams, 5.112 and 18.022, on the same day, and thinking I failed both of them, and having a weekend of terrible suspense and then finding out I got a 98 and 99 on them. Conversely, I remember getting a 40 on an exam and stapling a hole in my finger on the same day, and then blogging about it like two hours after that. I remember an exam with an average of 44, and a final that made people cry, that nobody was even working on when I looked around. I remember drawing a picture of one of my TAs playfully impaling the professor for that class with the flag of Italy and swearing at him in her delightful broken English. That was during a kind of boring lecture.

I remember losing at DDR during orientation in the basement of Random Hall to a guy who was wearing something like a roll of paper towels on his head. I remember the first time I went to Pour House, not on a Saturday because I didn’t know any better, and Ruth got two hamburgers and I ate all the french fries because they’re my favorite food. I remember walking across campus with Stella ’07 to deliver one of her problem sets and retrieve my bike, and she saw some ice on the ground that someone had dumped out of a refrigerator, and she asked if it was snow, because she’s from California and it was hilarious.

I remember when there used to be this really awesome fountain at the Christian Science Monitor building and the water shot out in a perfect torus, so if one of the spouts wasn’t working you could crawl inside and run around under a spray of water, and how I’ve tried to go there on like five separate dates, but it’s never turned on anymore.

Okay, so this has just turned into some stupid list of all my sad memories, like I’m some sort of emo Walt Whitman. But seriously, my point is that this is all one gigantic stupid sad memory in my mind, like I really just got here yesterday and made a green balloon monkey and bred fingerling potatoes while running a marathon and then started failing tests, and then I visited the Mary Baker Eddy library after a night at Harvard and then Ruth ate two Kansas’s, much to our waitress’s surprise, all before I pulled three consecutive all-nighters and my TA had to wake me up after a biochemistry lecture.

Readers, readers. Seriously, enjoy every single second you have at MIT, because there are far fewer than you think. EVERY SECOND! No pressure or anything.

Whoa, I just realized that an emo Walt Whitman would actually be pretty awesome.

I have Heard of a Glass, that can only spill that which in It is Contain’d.

There’s more to say about leaving and what I’m thinking right now, but this entry is long and depressing enough, so I’ll try to post an entry on American Idol or something in between.

Seriously, have you seen Kelly Clarkson’s new video for “Never Again”? Love it!!

27 responses to “Slow down, fast train.”

  1. Amelia says:

    It’s actually spelled “verklemmt”.

    But now you know! Hooray!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good luck buddy! Hope you’re super successful at Berkeley.

  3. Christina says:

    The ice/snow thing made me laugh for a bout 4 years. OR WAS IT ONE DAY. (Did you see what I did there?)

    Oh Sam. The ice/snow thing made me laugh for a bout 4 years. OR WAS IT ONE DAY. (Did you see what I did there?)

    Oh Sam. <3

  4. It’s so strange to think that you’re looking at us the same way many of us are looking at the soon-to-be-high-school-freshman. I just keep thinking, “Wow, that went fast – and they get to start it all over” – but we get to start all over, too. Time just gets faster and faster.

    But we’ll live it up.

  5. Laura says:

    I have, sadly enough, never been on Kingda Ka (but El Toro is like the greatest coaster EVAR), so you only have to fear the mafia for now.

    And I also like to think that I gave Sam some moral support during the ’07 marathon too!

    You rock, Sam! =)

  6. Where will you be going after MIT, Sam?

    (1st Post!!)

  7. Basant'11 says:

    pretty emo!!!

    (and BTW, first post :D )

  8. Basant'11 says:

    Oops! That was the 2nd post and it’s the 3rd one!


  9. (Haha…looks like we have the same philosophy of writing something significant before we type in “first post”. Don’t worry, you’ll get your chance. =))

    Oops, Sam, I forgot you just wrote in your previous post that your choice is UC Berkeley. So will you be continuing on with chemical engineering? Or will you be branching off to, say, environmental engineering or bioengineering?

  10. Manisha says:

    Spammy, don’t be so blue.
    You make us all feel the way you do.

  11. Manisha says:

    Instead.. make us feel brand new!

  12. Anonymous says:

    i don’t like that song or video hmmm
    however i love this entry and all your previous ones. have fun, be blessed ! :D

  13. JKim says:

    SAM. I didn’t get to say goodbye to you!! Come to Berkeley this summer!

    and “I have Heard of a Glass, that can only spill that which in It is Contain’d” made me laugh. A lot. You tend to do that to me. COME VISIT NOW.

  14. jenn '11 says:

    they really do serve spam in hawaii. there’s a breakfast platter and they serve scrambled eggs, rice, portuguese sausage and spam. yum…..

    i think i can relate to your graduation-blues. i’ve been going to my school for 12 years now, so it’ll be quite a change going to college. to make it worse, my favorite teacher is moving to maui.

  15. Jon '06 says:

    Aww, Sam!

    I’m so ferklempt that I can’t even laugh at emo Whitman.

    I’ll just imagine Lynn mispronouncing “buffet” and insulting people’s eyebrows. Ah, that’s better. Dammit Sam, you’ve made me more nostalgic for your MIT experience than mine… how is that even possible?

  16. milena '11 says:

    I had one of those emo moments like 10 minutes ago. Well, I actually get them every hour or so.

    I hope everything goes well for you, you should keep blogging!

  17. milena '11 says:

    btw, I saw three deelish-looking Ina Garten recipes on this month’s Cosmopolitan. yay for barefoot contessa!

  18. Anonymous says:

    So are you, Mitra, Jessie and Bryan all going to be blogger alum now? Please keep blogging once in a while. You are one of the few people who can make me laugh after I got 40% in my chem quiz. Hope you have a good time at UC Berkeley. At any rate, I know you are going to give other people good time here, there, and wherever you go. So cheers.

  19. Manisha says:

    Cure for graduating blues – By Manisha Sinha

    Spammy, don’t be so blue.
    You make us all feel the way you do.
    Instead, make us feel brand new
    Or go buy a new pair of running shoes!
    For your life is a marathon
    And then, to cure the blues you can sing the song
    “Hey I put some new shoes on……..”

    what say, Sam?

  20. Adam S. says:

    …”Your toast has been burned, and no amount of scraping shall remove the black stuff.” – not quite sure from where.

    Good luck with life after MIT, Sam! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blogs. I’m also curious what you’re planning to do now, let us know please!

  21. Adam S. says:

    Ah, I didn’t notice that you are going to Berkeley for grad school; scratch my last question. grin

  22. Anonymous says:

    YOU HAVE FAILED MY FINALS Sam you are suppposed to introduce me to MIT NEXT YEAR. BYE , ALL THE SAME.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Despite never having met you, I will still miss you and your blogs (and I’m not even going to MIT!). Please keep blogging if at all possible.

  24. KantoKid says:

    that is a pretty impeccable memory u got there, what are u gonna do now?

  25. KantoKid says:

    that is a pretty impeccable memory u got there, what are u gonna do now?

  26. Yuki '11 says:

    I’m sad to GET to MIT now, let alone leave…

    I doubt it will be even remotely as poignant getting out of HS (partly b/c HS is bullshit?), but now more than ever I want to just be done…

    Good luck with everything Sam, come back and visit us next year!!

  27. Becca says:

    So I don´t know if you still want to think about the whole MIT academic side, or even still blogging anymore, but if you are, I am wondering: is everything at MIT research based, or is there still some design/hands-on based classes for freshman and sophomores? Especially pertaining to Courses 1 and 2. I know that isn´t exactly your area of forte, but I haven´t moved onto the other blogs yet… Thanks!