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MIT blogger CJ Q. '23

Touching grass by CJ Q. '23

scenes of spring

Last week I saw someone screencap my blog post and post it on /r/ApplyingToCollege. I’m flattered for something I’ve written to get 211 upvotes, and I’m sad that I can’t keep the karma for my main. I’d have loved to comment with 👀, but do I want to dox my Reddit account to all of you? No.

reddit post, title "touch grass MIT", posted on /r/applyingtocollege

I suffer from being interminably on the internet. My parents always yelled at me for spending all day sitting down in front of my laptop, saying it’s bad for my eyes and my back and my body. Coming to MIT gave me an excuse to be interminably on the internet: Cambridge weather sucks. Why would I go outside and trudge through snow or suffer in freezing cold, when my room is nice and warm?

The first sign that something was going wrong was when I woke up and saw light streaming in from my window. Sunlight peeled my eyelids open, waking me from my sweet respite. Then Leigh K. ’24 knocked on my door, asked if I could water their plants over spring break, and then brought the plants to my room. Now they sit on my glass center table.

plants resting on a table in my room

My mind looked at the leaves. Those green and purple leaves. Why was my mind finding enjoyment in looking at plants? Was it that time of year already? What was going wrong with me? I went outside, and to my horror, it was sunny. Worse, it was warm. Twenty degrees Celsius warm. I was wearing naught by my shirt and shorts and I felt fine. Shorts!

The weather reminded me of scenes from around this time, two years ago. I tried to reproduce the first picture in the post I linked. But today was sunnier. And a tree’s now gone, apparently.

east campus courtyard

Look! Look at this tree. It’s right outside Building 66. Look how it has no leaves. Look at all the grass around it. Look at how tempting that grass is to touch. But I resisted. I knew that as soon as I touched the grass, it would lead down a slippery slope.

a bare tree

Now look at all these people sitting in the grass near MIT Medical, doing some sort of stretching.

a group of people doing yoga on some grass

What about these two people eating lunch on Hockfield Court? Are they having a good time, on the grass? Who knows?

two people eating lunch on grass

The powerful sunlight was too much for me. I receded into the basements of Stata to shield myself. I then walked to the other side of main campus to go to a class. The lecture hall was empty. Capacity over a hundred, but only a dozen of us were there. Spring break, it seemed, was already beginning in MIT.

After class, I headed toward Kresge Lawn with Matthew H. ’25. We walked up the steps to sight bare trees framing a partly cloudy sky, shadows stretching toward our direction. Groups of students lounged in chairs, walked around in the grass, some were even tossing frisbees.

I told Matthew that I’d touch some grass.

“Strong,” he said, before touching grass himself.

“So strong.”

a hand on grass