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MIT student blogger Evan B. '10

The Meaning of August by Evan B. '10

It's time for classes, moving, colorful dorm rooms, and new bloggers.

What does August mean to you? For me it used to mean that school was starting, summer was over – all kinds of depressing things like that. This time around, summer is over and school is starting (although not for a little while longer), but it’s not depressing, because I’m taking classes that I want to take, classes that I find interesting. August is exciting, because I’m moving back into my dorm. And most importantly, friends that I haven’t seen in 3 months are coming back to campus. This is what August means to me right now, and it’s kind of weird, because I’m not used to August being exciting.

This, I think, is the point where I break to throw in the stereotypical self-introduction. Hi! I’m Evan. I’m in the Class of 2010 (which makes me a sophomore), and I’m Course VI (i.e. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science). Specifically, I’m VI-2 (i.e. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, as opposed to just one or the other). Most of my waking life is spent in front of a computer, an electronics bench, or a Guitar Hero controller. I’m pretty much the stereotypical MIT Course Sixer.

I live in Burton-Conner, along with way too many other people. Unlike most of those people, though, I live on Conner 4, not Conner 2.

And yeah…there’s my intro. Back to the other interesting stuff now.

The one unfortunate part of August is packing and moving. Although all of the dorms at MIT remain open for summer residents, my floor was closed down, so I decided that I wanted to experience living at East Campus, so I moved to Tetazoo, home of yet another blogger.

I had a good time, but I’m pretty ready to move back. Actually, I’m really excited because my room is no longer Institute Off-White (yes, that’s a designated color around here). Different dorms have different rules about painting, but at Burton-Conner it’s pretty easy: you tell the Housemanager that you want to paint and he always says yes. Then at the end of the year, you have to convince the person moving into your room that they like the color…or paint the room back to Institute Off-White.

Even though the approval process is easy, the painting process isn’t so great. I spent most of the summer unsure of if I wanted to bother painting or not. But I decided about a week ago to go ahead and do it. My decision process went something like this:

(sitting around with some friends)
Me: Should I paint my room?
Megan ’08: Yeah, you should. It makes it feel more awesome.
Me: Meh…I don’t know…it’s a lot of work for a room I’ll have for 8 months…
Megan ’08: Here – have my awesome tools that make painting really easy.

So I ended up painting my room. I made two trips to Home Depot (conveniently located a block away from a Red Line stop on the T), took down anything on the walls that would come off easily, took a day off of work (I’m UROPing at the Media Lab, but more on that some other time), made another trip to Home Depot (for the stuff I forgot), and then painted my room (it’s now Athenian Green with Windsor Haze accents – check them out on Behr’s website if you really want to know).

I’m not quite done yet – there are still some areas that need to be touched up, and I need to figure out how I’m going to paint on top of the “elephant” and “armadillo” – which is what we call the dressers. I’m pretty sure I need to climb on top to get to everything, but I feel like getting down will be really challenging, especially when I’m surrounded by wet paint.

(Here’s a picture of an elephant and an armadillo, but they’re not from my current room:)

But I’m done enough that I can start thinking about the rest of the moving process. I’m starting to pack up my stuff, and this weekend some friends and I are going to split the cost of a Zipcar, move my stuff back to Burton-Conner, and then go to IKEA, Costco, Target, and just generally stock up on stuff we need for the beginning of the school year.

Oh – one more thing that you guys should know before I go. NO FIRST POSTS!

Seriously – I’ll delete them myself if I see them. Go find a life…or something productive to say.

I’ll be following this up with some various entries on what I do for fun, money, and class credit, but as always, feel free to leave questions, comments, suggestions, complaints, and ideas of what you’d like to hear more about.

28 responses to “The Meaning of August”

  1. Okay, no first posts.
    I am glad to know that we’ve finally got another blogger–with four bloggers graduating, it really is a high time to get more. I am looking forward to reading your entries, and if it isn’t much trouble, please post a picture of your room when you are done painting.

  2. Ssnake says:

    Hi Evan, nice entry. Your blog is still not accessible through the menu (4), though… smile

  3. Wings '11 says:

    THANK YOU. No first posts, indeed.
    So you stayed at MIT over the summer? How does that work?
    Thanks =)

  4. Paul '11 says:

    Hey Evan, happy to see your first entry! Be prepared for countless prospectives to start stalking your blog. raspberry Hopefully the other ’11s and I will stop stalking the site once we get on campus – IN FOUR DAYS!

    Which reminds me, I need to get back to packing…

  5. Ben says:

    To clarify (because I’ve already gotten an email about this!) we have not chosen this year’s bloggers yet – the application deadline is still 2+ weeks away. grin

    Evan was actually hired last year but he decided to live in Burton Conner so we made him take a gap year (because, as he notes in his entry, there were already too many bloggers living in BC).

  6. Hawkins '12 says:

    Thanks for blogging! My heart is set on EECS, so if you could talk about VI as much as possible without getting sick of it (which I realize might not be very much), I would be your biggest fan. F’serious.

  7. Evan says:

    Someone –
       Sure! I can do pictures, although you’ll have to wait until I’m at least kind of moved in, which will be at least a week from now.

    Wings –
       It’s not hard to stay on campus if you want to – lots of people do. All of the dorms stay open in some part to students, although usually parts of each dorm are closed down for maintenence/summer programs/etc.
       If you don’t want to stay in the dorms, you can also stay at many of the fraternity houses, although I’ve heard mixed opinions about that.
       If you do stick around, it’s usually for a UROP or job. I don’t think anybody really stays if they’re not doing anything – it would get boring pretty quickly.

    Hawkins –
       Don’t worry – you’ll get your fill of Course VI around here!

  8. Hawkins '12 says:

    Muhahaha, I deferred so I have another year to stalk the site. Paul, congrats on winning that writing contest! Good luck in your first year! I’m visiting in late September, so you must have something cool to show me by then… =O

  9. Karen says:

    I would strongly recommend that you use masking tape for around your Elephant so that you don’t get paint on it…it seems like the sort of thing that your housing people wouldn’t like. Aside from that, the only thing I can think of that would make painting on top of it easier is one of those long-handled roller brushes, like they use for ceilings, but it might be hard to angle in properly… I like the green though smile

  10. Paul '11 says:

    Haha, thanks Hawk. Sweet that you’re visiting. Hm, something cool to show you…That’s a tall order, but I’ll try! :D

    I love how this blog is already being hijacked for personal conversations that have nothing to do with August, or Course VI, or anything. Sorry Evan! smile

  11. milena '11 says:

    Yay, a new blogger!!

    I’m totally with you on the first post thing. THEY SUCK.

  12. Hawkins '12 says:

    Blogjacking is fun… =) I’ve always loved August… I was usually ready to go back to school. Isn’t that weird?

  13. Hawkins '12 says:

    WHOA, Evan I just realized you are from Nashville. I am from Nashville too! What are the odds??

  14. Paul '11 says:

    Blogjacking…nice word. I think I’ll steal that for myself, if you don’t mind. :D

    And I’d be careful about asking an MIT student “what are you the odds?” They may just tell you. raspberry

  15. Hank R. says:

    Hi Evan. You are new. You are Course VI. So am I. But I want to be VI-3, and you are not.

    For some reason, I felt like typing all of that in short sentences and phrases. Yeah, I’m cool.

  16. Thomas says:

    Wooot! Evan! You got a blog! Finally man! What took them so long? This is great!

    oh, and nice to meet you…. btw

  17. Evan Broder says:

    Wings –
       I’m not sure what the deal is with sororities – you might want to ask Melis. However, most of the frats are co-ed for the summer.
       Summer housing rates are about 2/3 the rates for term. If you’re not earning credit you don’t pay tuition; I believe you do pay tuition if you’re earning credit, but I’m not sure how that works.

    Thomas –
       It’s not their fault, really. I just kept putting off getting a photo until after I could get a haircut so I wouldn’t look like I hadn’t gotten a haircut in 5 months.

  18. JKim says:


    now i’ll go back and read your entry.

  19. JKim says:

    Can I have Megan’s awesome tools for making painting really easy?

    And I don’t live on Conner 2! They wouldn’t have me :(

  20. Wings '11 says:

    Do sororities allow people to stay over the summer too? If you stay on campus, I assume you just pay housing unless you’re taking classes… then you pay full tuition?

    Thanks =)

  21. Sauza says:

    I’m in BC too..will we have time to paint our rooms and stuff after orientation or is it going to be too hectic?

  22. yay! I’m glad to see a course sixer blogging. I hope to be VI-2 .. so .. like Hawkins said, give us some interesting info!!! Also, what you up to at the Media Lab .. I’d like to UROP there, I think

    *sigh* for all these hopes.. I need to get into MIT first

  23. Anthony says:

    Hey Evan, glad Tetazoo gets to keep a blogger! I moved out after the spring and will now be living with some Tetazoo crust across the river… so the world will be relying on you to blog about EC rush and 3E happenings. I am sure I’ll meet you sometime after classes start when I drop by hall for a visit. smile

  24. Anthony says:

    Okay, I guess I missed the point – you were only there for the summer. Alas. Try to get some EC rush pictures if you can, though, even still. smile

  25. Edgar says:

    Finally, a course VI blogger! What could be more awesome than that? I, as well as two other awaiting people above, will be anxious to see more about your course six adventures!

  26. Cam T. says:

    Hey Evan, you didn’t tell us last week when we ran into you that you got a MIT blog! Congrats.

  27. carlos says:

    hey evan..have u done well at the spelling bee at any time..i thought i have seen someone like u on tv.