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MIT student blogger Emad T. '14

Things That Aren’t Studying by Emad T. '14

If you think about it, I get paid to procrastinate

Two weeks ago, my life was studying. On three consecutive days, I had 7.013, 8.02, and 5.12. (My brain is still recovering from the trauma.)

So last week, I decided to make up for it by…doing a 9.00 essay? How, uh, relaxing. And now, to punctuate the beginning of this week, I’ve got a 5.12 p-set, an 8.02 p-set, and a 9.00 test – all to be taken or to be turned in on that same day.

If I start sounding unintelligible, it’s because my brain can’t do the think now because it thunk too hard and wants moosh made of it now blah. (Editor’s note: my spell-checker just insisted that “thunk” is actually a word. I hope they meant it was onomatopoetic…)

But luckily for me, I began procrastinating hardcore turned last week into a study break of dubious productivity. And I…

    • Gave people MRIs.
      It’s one of those things that you could feasibly learn to do before learning to drive. Purely hypothetical situation, ladies and gentlemen.

      Pictured: mad geek cred.
      Building 46, home of the Brain and Cognitive Sciences department, has its own fMRI machine, and at MIT, there always needs to be at least two people manning the controls. There are green/blue badges and yellow badges, which are to the A.A. Martinos Imaging Center what driver’s licenses and learner’s permits are to the roads. As with driving, practice makes perfect – so naturally, I’ve done 3 scans (and counting!)


    • Ate a burrito THREE burritos.
      Including a double golden burrito!

      What does it mean?!

      When I first got my grub (on Wednesday-ish of that week), I despaired, since I wasn’t quite sure whether it would turn into a triple golden burrito. But it did. (But on Saturday.)



    • …and moved on!
      That might not seem like such a big deal, but it’s actually harder to make it through auditions than you might think. Just ask guest blogger Susan Shepherd. Personally, I wrote a slam poem lasting roughly five minutes a mere two days before auditions, then lost plenty of sleep as I memorized every line. Despite the complex internal rhymes and references, the stiff competition meant I had to wait a little longer to see if I had been accepted – which, actually, is really awesome, since that means Engineers aren’t just engineers at MIT.But here’s a fun fact: both my roommate and I are performing that night. Coincidence? Or was our room blessed by the patron saints of art? I’ll leave that to wild speculation.

      It’s worth noting that if I win any prize at all, I still won’t be the first (prospective) doctor to make a living out of making rhymes.


    • Laughed at bad chemistry jokes, because that’s my life now.

      “When chemists die, we Barium.” – Found on the internet!

      And some others! Like, “Dead chemists are not remembered when they Argon…” – a gem from Alex, one of my friends back in high school.

      Or a brain-teaser: “If a bear in Yosemite and one in Alaska both fall into the water, which one dissolves faster? The one in Alaska, because it is polar.”

      Nyuck nyuck nyuck. So punny, all of it.


  • Binged on reading Reddit and various macros.
    I’m particularly a sucker for Joseph Ducreux ones, because at one point of my life, I sort of wrote like that.
  • Went 8-4-8 against a computer in Rock Paper Scissors. On Veteran difficulty.
    A hat tip to my boss, Chris Peterson, for finding this challenge. He equated it to playing Jeopardy with Watson – and it’s an apt comparison, because it was kind of hard to get even those eight wins in edgewise. It’s even worse when you consider that the program was probably designed to win or tie more than it lost.At some point, I may welcome the monopolization of RPS skills by robot overlords, but for right now, I still have a shred of pride. So for the time being, call me the Ken Jennings of Rock Paper Scissors.
  • Wrote this blog post, punctuating my inability to reason with this procrastination vice.

As comprehensive as this list seems, I know there’s so much more that I’m missing! So now, let me ask you, kind readers: How do you like to procrastinate?

18 responses to “Things That Aren’t Studying”

  1. Emad '14 says:

    @Vivek: I rephrased my post, because I just realized I was a little ambiguous about the Mic Check thing. I’m hoping to have Cydnie videotape a few of the performances, including mine, so everybody can hear my slam poem!

    Also, Captcha just gave me Academv. Thank goodness my spell-checker is marking that as wrong this time :p

  2. Friends, I’m breaking the news! It’s Pi Day again!

    Rejection will be heartbreaking :(

  3. No wonder MIT is MIT.

    @AdmissionsDecision- try and ‘act’ cool to deal with rejection(this is what i’ll do). read the above blog and thank god that you might (just, might) not have to go thru all that. pretend that MIT is not awesome and that u are pleased that MIT rejected u…justify to self that u were not the match for MIT (or even more heroically, MIT was not the match for u)……and blah blah blah!

  4. ^Yeah I’m gonna pretend that like MIT is missing out on a lot. Hahahahaah but for now, I do have a chance. Even if it’s mathematically close to zero.

  5. Vivek says:

    @Emad – Oh. So you *did* make it through! In that case, congratulations, and yes I’ll look forward to the videos too.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m fond of fooling myself into thinking I’m doing something useful and educational when I procrastinate, but in secret making those useful and educational things the most non-productive useful and educational things possible. For example, I once listened to Teaching Company lectures while playing Minecraft for 6 hours straight. (It was a beautiful, beautiful day.) This is a very good way to procrastinate more than you would normally let yourself but also not hate yourself for being such a lazy bum. (eg, “Well, I have two papers due in a few hours that I haven’t started and a test in Japanese tomorrow, but I know SO MUCH about opera now!!!! And look at this house made out of obsidian!!!”)

  7. This blog post is the story of your Facebook.

  8. James says:

    “How do you like to procrastinate?”

    Awesome question. I’ve never not procrastinated. Given that I pay attention in class (sometimes, anyway) this doesn’t usually affect my ability in tests, and my grades come out unaffected and are always steady. This results from years of practice and knowing when exactly is the last second to begin working.

    2nd semester senior year though, a day before a Chemistry test, I sat watching a sports/drama film on cable TV at about 10pm instead of studying. I had not attended a single Chemistry class for the material related to the test (not mentally, anyway) and knew nothing of the material. Started studying at 12am. Didn’t do so well (better than some of my friends, though…)

    I’m trying to get rid of this habit… It’s not working, really.

  9. thethinker says:

    I submitted ten puns for a pun competition in hopes of winning. Sadly, no pun in ten did. smile

  10. Banerjee says:

    Is it bad that I laughed at that joke? Haha 8)

  11. Vivek says:

    “mad geek cred” – lulz

    And it’s cool to know about what else MIT students get up to (ref. Mic Check) And, Emad, why don’t you share the poem (either in text, or as an audio recording, or as a video recording)? Even though you may not have got through the stiff competition, I’m sure we’ll give it a second opinion. wink

    I wish I’d read this post before I went out today. Had my last high school Chemistry exam. (The Boards are 2/5th over, people! Rejoice!) The jokes would certainly have given me a much needed snigger.

  12. Nikita says:

    Went 10-7-5 against the computer. On Veteran difficulty. smile Yayee! Its a nice thing, Emad!
    And it has been added to my list of top four procrastination options! :D

    Lol at the bad chemistry jokes.

  13. Richard says:

    Do those burritos happen to be from a certain mexican restaurant chain that is celebrating its 18th anniversary and had a special two-for-one deal? xD

    I prefer steak, but carnitas is fine, too.

    Also, Mic-Check sounds awesome! I’ll look into it if I get accepted in about 7 days.

  14. Norah says:

    The beauty of procrastination lies in the activities with which I achieve minimum productivity. An example? Instead of studying for tomorrow’s exams, I played 112 rounds of RPS and ended up trying to analyze the computer’s actions. Curious about the results? It’s 37-37-37. Epic failure! XD

  15. Alex S says:

    I love chemistry jokes! What do you call a clown in jail? Silicon. I use that at parties smile

  16. Nikita says:

    Whoa! I’m hooked to Rock Paper Scissors!
    Emad, you’re right. It does get pretty difficult as you move ahead. I’m now at 21-19-21. And I should *reeally* stop now!

    When is the Mic-Check thing taking place? Do you know when Alpha Delta Phi first started it?

  17. Anon says:

    Umm, I’m procrastinating now. Seeing as it’s 2:30 AM and I should be studying slope fields.

  18. The Beaver says:

    Aha – I think, sleep, think again, sleep, look at the sky and check out foaters, sleep, eat, sleep and so forth!