The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 72.0°F | Overcast


MIT Specimens

Devdoot Majumdar

Dear Freshmen,

If you will, allow me to typify each and every one of you while this temporary period of saccharine and smiles called pseudo-rush lasts. Whereas it’s quite possible that you are an individual, and that a certain Dean Jones would agree with you on that, for the time being, it’s fairly certain that you fit some mold quite comfortably.

First among you, and without doubt most prominently among you, you will find the flirtatious, sometimes bodacious, soon-to-be-sororitized. In some sense, these are perhaps the most socially skillful folks you’ll ever meet at MIT. They’re the first at the roofdeck parties with the plastic Solo glass in their hands. In fact, they’re probably the first ones to ask you if you’re going to the roofdeck party in the first place.

Sista Sally, as we’ll call this fine specimen of MIT life, is a born nonconformist. She probably was the first woman to do something or another, and you can bet that she put that in her college admission essay. What always made her special though is that she has a little nerd in her, bottled up somewhere. But she’s very Princetonian about it, and unless you happen to be in class with her, you’ll have to be content knowing more about her romantic life than her academic life.

Moving on, and to be gender fair here, we have the sea of boys who are good at nodding and being profoundly nondescript. Perhaps the only defining feature is that they all have something odd to them. Maybe it’s a twitch every eight seconds. Maybe it’s a speech impediment. Or maybe it’s a penchant to refer to himself in the third person. In any case, you quickly overcome such superficialities should you be socially ambitious enough with Maestro Wisconsin.

There’s no question that he’s an absolute genius, and a hard worker at that, but if you do end up coming face to face with Wisconsin, be prepared to talk about the weather, what state you’re from, and of course, your intended major.

Next are the Harvard rejects especial. These are the folks, male and female, that had wet dreams involving John Harvard in their more formative years. Without doubt, they need an audience, and so explains their fond recollections of Model United Nations, Debate Club, and the like. They’ll probably spend the next four years searching unsuccessfully for a niche, and finally realizing that they’re not at Harvard.

Oftentimes, our uppity Tracy Flicks of the world will be found at office hours, multicolored writing implements in hand. And should you ever be sadistic enough to want to see a nervous breakdown, be sure to become good friends with Tracy. It should only take about a year or two.

Continuing on the narrow spectrum of MIT types, it is impossible to ignore the boisterous unpleasantries of the fraternity-destined. Whereas they might have to live in West Campus for a year, their hearts are at the communal showers that line Boylston St. and Commonwealth Ave. Undoubtedly Abercrombie, these are the guys who go to parties to get their geekiness “freaked on.” Because of course, we’re still talking MIT here.

So, when you little vixens are sitting out there and Urination Station heads your way, do me a favor and ask him how many cups of lard he used to get his hair that way.

Now, to fully capture MIT, one must do as much justice to East Campus, as one does to the West. And among your freshmen cornucopia, you might find one or two ungainly odorific people who remind you of none other than the comic book salesman from “The Simpsons,” exposed belly button included.

He can probably tell you everything there is to know about every character from Captain Kirk to Boba Fett, and undoubtedly was disappointed at the advent of midichlorions. In fact, he’ll probably dress up as an elf at the epic premiere of the next “Lord of the Rings” film. But entertainment aside, should you ever encounter him at an Athena cluster, as long as you can excuse his sass-master persona, he will do things to your “.login” that no ordinary man can fathom.

Finally, you have the disoriented artist. Unfortunately, the Freshman Arts Program will be his or her best experience at MIT for the next four years. Over Orientation, these folks will have the hardest time smiling back at you, because frankly, you can’t write, paint, take pictures, or play an instrument. That’s right, you belong at MIT!

So, my little freshmen, enjoy your weeks of artifice and codependency. I hope I have helped you hone your discriminatory skills just a wee bit more.

And despair not, as you slowly begin to realize that all the friends that you make in the next few weeks will be your shortest lasting!