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MIT blogger CJ Q. '23

Tech is Hell by CJ Q. '23

we are happy, tech is hell

newspaper clipping fading in from top. "Who was it that said Tech is hell? Well he was right." the phrase "Tech is hell" is highlighted with a yellow box.

The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor.

"to freshmen", an editorial in the tech, with "tech is hell" highlighted in yellow

a paragraph from the tech, quoting an alumni saying "tech is hell", highlighted in yellow

an editorial published in the tech welcoming freshmen to the institute. highlighted in a yellow box is "tech is hell".

You have already grasped that Sisyphus is the absurd hero. He is, as much through his passions as through his torture. His scorn of the gods, his hatred of death, and his passion for life won him that unspeakable penalty in which the whole being is exerted toward accomplishing nothing. This is the price that must be paid for the passions of this earth.

article describing the 1914 cheer, with the line "we are happy, tech is hell".

a column describing "the tech freshman lament", including the line "now we know why tech is hell"

article describing how the cheer "tech is hell" is "full of spirit and easy to learn"

article describing how mit students chanted "tech is hell" to drown out harvard students also cheering

article excerpt. "tech is hell" according to the well-known cheer.

a resolution published in the text discouraging the use of the cheer "tech is hell"

At the very end of his long effort measured by skyless space and time without depth, the purpose is achieved. Then Sisyphus watches the stone rush down in a few moments toward the lower world whence he will have to push it up again toward the summit. He goes back down to the plain.

article, headline ending in "find support outside of living groups". part of it says "Yes, Tech is hell, an epithet that alumni know well. But you're here because you can and will make it through and enjoy yourself."

article excerpt. "Ida is from Pittsburgh, and although she has a fine scholarship, she has already found out that Tech is hell."

letter to editor with title "comments on registration". quote: "Whoever it was that first said Tech is Hell must have uttered these fitting words on Registration Day."

excerpt from editorial. "Hand in hand with Tech is Hell and IHTFP, the phrase evokes images of a hulking machine: the students are the rodents surviving between the cracks in the walls."

It is during that return, that pause, that Sisyphus interests me. […] That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock.

article excerpt. "Before the building was completed, somebody painted across the front of the store in large letters, Tech is Hell. This is an affectionate translation of the Institute's motto, Mens et Manus."

"New Coop Desecrated". picture of the coop with TECH IS HELL painted on top.

headline "Car Hoisted To Roof of Dormitories By Enterprising Student In Prank". there is a picture of the car. "Tech is Hell" is painted on its roof.

Happiness and the absurd are two sons of the same earth. They are inseparable. It would be a mistake to say that happiness necessarily springs from the absurd. Discovery. It happens as well that the felling of the absurd springs from happiness.

article titled "Drinking controversial topic at MIT during 1930s", reprinted from the 1930s. "Any man who goes to Tech must drink once in a while for Tech is Hell."

excerpt "Too much of the time, learning is an unpleasant procedure, as is testified by the existence of the expression that Tech is Hell."

headline "Alumni discuss education". excerpt: "Their stories were different, but there was basically the same theme—Tech is Hell—as students unveiled the pains of the MIT black student today and as the alumni shed a guiding line from the MIT black student of yesterday."

There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night. The absurd man says yes and his efforts will henceforth be unceasing. If there is a personal fate, there is no higher destiny, or at least there is, but one which he concludes is inevitable and despicable. For the rest, he knows himself to be the master of his days.

article. headline "Conference to discuss myth, image, changes." excerpt "The participants will also ask if students are getting what they want out of their MIT experience, and to what extent the Tech is Hell attitude influences a student's experience at MIT."

excerpt "The phrase hidden curriculum refers to latent effects of such factors as bull sessions, life styles, and the Tech is Hell syndrome. Snyder believes that one cannot change the educational climate while ignoring the hidden curriculum."

article section with title "Old image survives". excerpt "Various members of the group pointed out a number of manifestations of this attitude: the Tech is hell slogan, the drink from a firehose characterization of the MIT education, and the students who feel compelled to take an overload if they can handle their regular work."

Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

excerpt "But, by way of explanation, The Lounger would announce that the real purpose and excuse for the existence of this series of Technology scenes is to furnish the Freshmen with the means of illustration to fond parents the depth of meaning and vividness of expression contained in the classic lines: We are happy, Tech is hell." highlighted is the phrase "We are happy"