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MIT staff blogger Kellen M.

The Experiment… by Kellen Manning

featuring Emily '22, Felix '23, and Alison '23

All right, story time.01 You’re telling me we don’t even deserve a once upon a time?? -Alison I was hired to work in admissions last July, and by mid-July I was part of the team to help find the new crop of bloggers.02 Wow, imagine being a blogger, couldn’t be me. – Felix As I was combing through applications, an idea slowly started forming in my head. Well, more like three ideas, created by three separate blogger applicants.

The first idea came from an application centered around playlists. Not only did this particular student03 Humans are 70% water but Felix is 70% creativity 😩😩 -Alison provide a consistent catalog of vibes,04 more like sporadic brain dump of sounds but follow me on Spotify @fe.lix.li 😉. - Felix but there also was a written piece where every sentence was taken from a line in a song.05 i remember last-minute deciding to apply to be a blogger and coming up with this piece the day before the deadline. here's the jank tumblr blog i made (https://nightwriting.tumblr.com/). now i have a job! sometimes procrastinating gets you places! - Felix Everybody, meet Felix.06 THAT'S ME 🥴🥺😩 -Felix

The next idea came from a student who drew an image of herself chasing away tourists07 Let me also add these were not your regular tourists!! They were European government officials :’DDD -Emily who were trying to sneak into Kresge08 Wait, that’s hilarious 😂 - Felix even after telling them that they weren’t allowed inside. The best way to describe it was super detailed stick figure art. Everybody, meet Emily.09 FUN FACT Y'ALL emily shadowed my practice tour during which i highkey forgot what i was supposed to be talking about and she saved me with her Pro Tour Guide Skills™ on a related note did you know that the green building is named after cecil howard green bc i sure didn't ha -Alison

The final idea came from a particular student who started an email list for her math10 she a math star 😩 -Felix league11 lmao who’s this nerd? -Alison that featured memes and a voice that I found oddly intriguing. Everybody, meet Alison.12 our favorite nerd -Emily

With these three in mind, I hatched a plot to create what would be affectionately called, The Super-Secret Student Admissions Communications Team™.13 Can our official payroll titles be changed to super secret communication agents? -Felix So, after Petey told them that they weren’t going to be bloggers14 so funny story. Petey’s rejection email actually ended up in my spam folder bc I guess my email decided that it doesn’t accept constructive criticism, so I actually didn’t know about this until the follow up - Alison , I followed up, like the generous soul I am,15 wOw sO gEnErOuS but yes this job is quite excellent so thank you -Emily and told them my idea and asked if they’d be interested in meeting me. 16 I was very shook when Kellen emailed me. i was really excited to meet him but lowkey thought it might’ve been too good to be true. Honestly didn’t know what to expect and the job seemed kinda wild -Felix They all seemed excited, well… except Alison.17 HEYYYY I was excited!!! This is slander! -Alison She had no idea what I was talking about18 TO BE FAIR you were like can I subscribe to your mailing list and I was like “uh. You want to join a high school math team. -Alison but agreed to meet anyway.19 XDDDD -Emily

After meeting them individually, we came together to meet as a team, and I gave them their first assignment. We wanted them to create two emails: one would be sent to high school sophomores, and another to high school juniors. Each email would have original art, a playlist, 20 I can’t get over how much T A L E N T Emily and felix have T_T. – Alison and most importantly, whatever they wanted to know when they were in those positions. These emails weren’t scheduled to send for another six months, which would prove to teach us all a very valuable lesson, 21 wait. What was this lesson? -Felix but nonetheless, they did great.

So, what next? Well, it was early action season so…

We wanted them to write the “You’ve been accepted” email22 possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever done tbh – Alison to the class of 2024.23 I mean WE basically accept all those students if u think about it -Emily And, just like the previous two projects, they created a playlist, original art, and wrote whatever they wanted. When I explained our idea at the next team meeting, they were pretty hyped. So hype in fact, Alison almost24 I can’t believe this is my legacy. I am the definition of grace I will have you know. – Alison had an unfortunate run-in25 this could’ve been her https://vm.tiktok.com/JehW7Hy/, but I don't support the abuse of animals. - Felix with Felix’s skateboard. 26 wat is this story? -Emily

Come to think of it, this was also the meeting where they told me about their list of 50 ideas for future projects.27 y’all aren’t ready for all the spicy ideas we have (although half of that list was us figuring out ways to monetize MIT clout w/ youtube adsense and making us takeover the blogs) -Felix What stood out the most was them saying they wanted to take over the newsletter because they could do it better.28 really??? It wasn’t the part where we wanted to takeover the entire admissions office and replace essays with a meme submission form -Alison

So, while the thought of a newsletter takeover was running around in my head, two more ideas came up. The first came about after finding an unused, little known admissions Tumblr account. I gave it to Alison29 this girl will solve all your deepest questions!! Ask her the things your teachers can’t answer and all the things your parents won’t. -Emily to do whatever she wanted30 I still don’t know how y’all keep thinking this is a good idea but… -Alison , and she dedicated the channel to STEM/MIT-memes, recipes, and MIT-related questions. The second came because of an obsession I have with lo-fi study playlist YouTube videos. I tasked Emily to draw MIT-inspired art similar to what you would find on Chilled Cow or Chillhop, where everything in the background subtly tells a story about MIT students and resources.  Jeremy later took these pieces and created an actual lo-fi mix for your studying/reading/sleeping31 this mix+art is one of the best things to grace this earth pls experience it for yourself if you haven’t already. I am obsessed with it. -Alison pleasure.32 this was and is beautiful -Felix

Around this time is when CoVID-19 closed MIT33 I cri. -Alison and just about everything else, which to me meant there was no better time to see what would happen if we handed over keys to the newsletter. So, I reached out to Felix and put him in charge of this project with only two instructions: make the theme about social distancing and make sure it’s done before the last week of March. I left everything else up to them. And, just like the previous projects, they did an amazing job. 34 you guys I gotta tell you the cutest thing!! After it sent out, a high schooler who I had met through admissions shadow a student (which you guys should all check out, it is a great program) sent me a pic of our newsletter in his inbox and I was like awwww!!!! He remembers me uwu uwu uwu. – Emily

In fact, they did so well that we asked them to run it back and do the following month’s newsletter, but this time we only gave them a deadline date. Everything else was completely up to them. 35 you’re relinquishing control. It’s all going according to plan. It’s only a matter of time before the meme portfolios become a reality. -Alison

And here we are. Back to present day. This was quite the experiment. We wanted to see what would happen if we took three talented students and gave them assignments and goals with very little guidance. 36 sounds like MIT in general. Jkjk professors and TAS and advisors and other sourse of support are amazing and I’m very glad they exist -Alison Just to see what happened.

So, what next? Honestly, I have no idea… stay tuned… 37 👀👀 -Alison

  1. You’re telling me we don’t even deserve a once upon a time?? -Alison back to text
  2. Wow, imagine being a blogger, couldn’t be me. – Felix back to text
  3. Humans are 70% water but Felix is 70% creativity 😩😩 -Alison back to text
  4. more like sporadic brain dump of sounds but follow me on Spotify @fe.lix.li 😉. - Felix back to text
  5. i remember last-minute deciding to apply to be a blogger and coming up with this piece the day before the deadline. here's the jank tumblr blog i made (https://nightwriting.tumblr.com/). now i have a job! sometimes procrastinating gets you places! - Felix back to text
  6. THAT'S ME 🥴🥺😩 -Felix back to text
  7. Let me also add these were not your regular tourists!! They were European government officials :’DDD -Emily back to text
  8. Wait, that’s hilarious 😂 - Felix back to text
  9. FUN FACT Y'ALL emily shadowed my practice tour during which i highkey forgot what i was supposed to be talking about and she saved me with her Pro Tour Guide Skills™ on a related note did you know that the green building is named after cecil howard green bc i sure didn't ha -Alison back to text
  10. she a math star 😩 -Felix back to text
  11. lmao who’s this nerd? -Alison back to text
  12. our favorite nerd -Emily back to text
  13. Can our official payroll titles be changed to super secret communication agents? -Felix back to text
  14. so funny story. Petey’s rejection email actually ended up in my spam folder bc I guess my email decided that it doesn’t accept constructive criticism, so I actually didn’t know about this until the follow up - Alison back to text
  15. wOw sO gEnErOuS but yes this job is quite excellent so thank you -Emily back to text
  16. I was very shook when Kellen emailed me. i was really excited to meet him but lowkey thought it might’ve been too good to be true. Honestly didn’t know what to expect and the job seemed kinda wild -Felix back to text
  17. HEYYYY I was excited!!! This is slander! -Alison back to text
  18. TO BE FAIR you were like can I subscribe to your mailing list and I was like “uh. You want to join a high school math team. -Alison back to text
  19. XDDDD -Emily back to text
  20. I can’t get over how much T A L E N T Emily and felix have T_T. – Alison back to text
  21. wait. What was this lesson? -Felix back to text
  22. possibly the coolest thing I’ve ever done tbh – Alison back to text
  23. I mean WE basically accept all those students if u think about it -Emily back to text
  24. I can’t believe this is my legacy. I am the definition of grace I will have you know. – Alison back to text
  25. this could’ve been her https://vm.tiktok.com/JehW7Hy/, but I don't support the abuse of animals. - Felix back to text
  26. wat is this story? -Emily back to text
  27. y’all aren’t ready for all the spicy ideas we have (although half of that list was us figuring out ways to monetize MIT clout w/ youtube adsense and making us takeover the blogs) -Felix back to text
  28. really??? It wasn’t the part where we wanted to takeover the entire admissions office and replace essays with a meme submission form -Alison back to text
  29. this girl will solve all your deepest questions!! Ask her the things your teachers can’t answer and all the things your parents won’t. -Emily back to text
  30. I still don’t know how y’all keep thinking this is a good idea but… -Alison back to text
  31. this mix+art is one of the best things to grace this earth pls experience it for yourself if you haven’t already. I am obsessed with it. -Alison back to text
  32. this was and is beautiful -Felix back to text
  33. I cri. -Alison back to text
  34. you guys I gotta tell you the cutest thing!! After it sent out, a high schooler who I had met through admissions shadow a student (which you guys should all check out, it is a great program) sent me a pic of our newsletter in his inbox and I was like awwww!!!! He remembers me uwu uwu uwu. – Emily back to text
  35. you’re relinquishing control. It’s all going according to plan. It’s only a matter of time before the meme portfolios become a reality. -Alison back to text
  36. sounds like MIT in general. Jkjk professors and TAS and advisors and other sourse of support are amazing and I’m very glad they exist -Alison back to text
  37. 👀👀 -Alison back to text