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MIT student blogger Karen F. '11

The Wall by Karen F. '11

A Lack of Color

I’m in my room in Senior House (which, before you ask, is not just for seniors) right now. My walls are an uninteresting shade of white.

I arrived on Saturday from Florida, where I was spending time with my family for the holidays. I had other plans for break, but they fell through, so I decided to come back here a little early to go see an AMAZING concert and spend New Years in a place that I wasn’t allergic to.

(No, really, I’m convinced I’m allergic to Florida. I’ve never had allergies anywhere else. They started when I arrived and were gone hours after arriving back in Boston. Too bad – it turns out that Florida is a pretty cool place, despite the heat. I really like how much nature is accessible there.)

As I was saying. The walls. My room.

I have a single, and strangely shaped though it may be (there are…fourteen corners in my room, but it’s still pretty much a rectangle. Have fun figuring that one out), I quite like it. I have a view of the Media Lab and of the construction next to the Media Lab, which was great for waking me up at 5am back in the fall. My single is in a suite. This can mean different things across dorms – I think Burton-Connor suites make up different floors and have kitchens or something like that – but in Senior House, this means I share a lounge with three other people. Normally, it’s several more – something like five or six, but my suite is somewhat of an architectural anomaly within Senior House.

One of the cool things in this dorm is that we’re allowed to paint the walls (and have cats and smoke, if you’re into that). As a result, there are a myriad of cool murals and interesting decorations in Senior House. One of the not so cool things is that recent renovations resulted in a lot of walls being painted over and murals lost.

Anyway, I’m still new here and don’t know for sure whether my suite was ever painted. But at this very moment – right, you remember. Uninteresting walls.

My suitemate and I considered painting in the beginning of the year, but we were far too lazy and decided to leave this endeavor for IAP, which you’ll hear more about as it occurs.

Now January is fast-approaching (actually, it’s here. Oops), and I have to decide whether this is something I really want to do. Interesting walls do not make a person, and the money could honestly be put to better use on a lot of things, but at the same, well, I love color.

The point I’m trying to emphasize here is that I really appreciate the fact that I have so much freedom to choose what I do here. I can paint the walls, I could have a cat (theoretically. But only cats. And fish), I could live in a double or a single or a suite, I could paint a mural on the walls. Just another thing to think about when it comes time to choose your living groups (because, you know, it’s only eight months from now ;)

This has to be the most awkwardly timed blog entry in the world. All of you have finally submitted your applications and probably celebrated the coming of the New Year, and here I am talking about my walls.

I have a lot to say about the end of first semester, and I plan on actually saying it soon because I have time now, instead of thinking about saying it but actually falling asleep like I’ve been doing for the past month.

Of course, by “I have time” I actually mean that “I have more time than I did before, which was none, so it’s not actually saying much because I still have an Arabic final a week from now, but I’ll still have plenty of time for you all, my pretties.”

(Harvard’s finals schedule does not correspond with ours. Which, if I were you, would be a huge deterrent for taking classes there. But don’t worry, that’s changing soon, so it won’t affect you much.)

Anyway, the time that I have happens to be running out for tonight because I still have a lot of studying to do.

I hope you all have a relaxing break, and a great start to your last semester of high school. :)

24 responses to “The Wall”

  1. Paul says:

    Speaking of posters, I currently have just two things on my wall – the 2011 version of “101 Things to Do Before You Graduate” (you can see the 2008 version here) and the “Online Communities” poster from xkcd.

  2. Shannon '12 says:

    Wait! You’re taking an Arabic class at Harvard? How is it? Logistically, how hard is it to make taking a language class at Harvard work with scheduling back at MIT? Would you doing it again? Are you?

    Lots of questions. Sorry, I’d just really like to take a few language classes there and have been wondering how hard it would be to make it work.

  3. Shannon '12 says:

    @Anonymous- Check this out. That’d be a good place to start to get some of your questions answered.

  4. Edgar says:

    Very nice and interesting entry! =)

  5. Anonymous says:

    can anyone just take classes at Harvard as an MIT student?

  6. Hank R. says:

    First, I was gonna paint my room like the Batcave, but I’m not that artistic at all. Now I’d probably end up just painting it black, which would only turn my room into more of a cave than it already is.

    So I’m staying with white…for now.

  7. Lemon '11 says:

    Are you going to the Strauss and Mussorgsky?

  8. Nihar says:

    Absolutely no chance that dogs could be allowed in the dorm??
    I love dogs!!!

  9. Jess says:

    Wait, did you always live in Senior? Where in? For some reason I thought you lived in New.. but I guess that was Chris. ack.

  10. Ginger says:

    Paint your wall a bold color! And put fruits and tropical things on it smile Then that’ll remind you of Florida.

  11. Piper '11 says:

    I might paint my room over IAP. Or I might just be lazy and not. I don’t know yet.

    Anon, yes, MIT and Harvard (and some other schools?) have an agreement for easy cross-registration. I’m not sure how that works. Karen can probably answer that =P

  12. Keri says:

    Jess –

    Karen lives in the Haus with me because we’re better than everyone else. Or something like that.

  13. Muz says:

    I’d just paste a few free posters on it, as lazy as I am, lol. My bedroom wall’s been white + posters & graffiti since I moved in my house.

  14. I asked back when you first talked about your Arabic class.. is there any social stigma (facetious or serious) in taking classes at Harvard? (You know, associating with Harvard people at all)

    Also, Shannon covered some other questions.. so I’ll look for those answers.

    Let us know how those walls come!!

    ~Donald Guy

  15. Rena says:

    I would definitely paint my walls on the first day i move in… i tried it once with crayons when I was young and it did not work out to well

  16. Carolina says:

    <3 Senior House! Best wishes to Maita from Carolina, if you see her =]

  17. milena '11 says:

    damn straight, Keri.

    I thought about painting my walls too because I have four days of doing absolutely nothing and I don’t want to go out and spend money I don’t have buying stuff I don’t need. But I’m lazy and don’t wanna have to paint my room back to white later.

  18. phreaker says:

    @donald: From the mit, harvard alumni i know, no social stigma. Seems like they’re siblings on rival teams, each would joke, tease and ruthlessly compete with the other, but there’s a healthy respect and acknowledgement of the other’s ability.

  19. Anonymous says:

    not only cat and fish but fe… oops.

  20. Karen says:

    Donald: Sorry I missed your question last time! I think what phreaker said is true, though I can’t recall anyone even ever talking about it jokingly. It just doesn’t come up. Most people just think that it’s really cool that I’m taking Arabic when they find out, they don’t really react to the fact that it’s Harvard, except for a couple times when some people have asked me “what it’s like there,” which I find mildly amusing.

  21. Jorge says:

    “A lack of color”…isn’t it a song by Death Cab for Cutie?

  22. Piper '11 says:



    I should paint my room, and yet I know laziness will win out. Oh well.