The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 9.0°F | A Few Clouds

Imminent Collapse The Lab of the Rising Sun

By Bill Andrews

For most of the world, witnessing the sun rising is a glorious event, a good omen even. It’s even kind of a spiritual thing, further proof that God exists and He loves us since He did not, after all, let us stay in eternal darkness. There’s a new dawn: everything’s pretty and bright, the night is over and the new day has begun, etc. etc. etc. Basically, the rising sun is a good thing.

I hate it, though.

It’s not that I’m anti-spiritual, anti-fresh start, anti-light, or anything like that (quite the opposite, in fact). No, I hate the rising sun because I’ve been seeing it all too often, and not in a good way. You could say that I haven’t been seeing sunrises in the best light recently. And somehow, I suspect I’m not the only one. This school has a bad habit of keeping us up so late it gets early. There’s nothing so disheartening, so dreary and depressing, as watching the sun come up after hours and hours of toiling away at something and knowing you won’t be done for a while yet.

I’ve heard the best way to prevent this feeling is to prepare beforehand and to plan things out. I couldn’t agree more. Now, I know that when I’m gonna pull an all-nighter I should go to the Building 66 cluster or the one in the basement of Building 2 since they don’t have windows and thus do not present one with the difficult situation of realizing the night has come and gone and you’re still workin’ away. I think those clusters were designed that way on purpose, actually, as a suicide prevention measure. As the Allies learned during WWII, the Rising Sun can be quite deadly.

Of course, in keeping with the work hard/play hard mentality of the ’tvte, I’ve seen the sun coming up as many times recently because of non-work related reasons as not. It still sucks, though. I don’t know how it is with your friends, but with mine, whenever we see the sun come up, we know it’s probably time to go to bed and that we’ll be sorry when we have to wake up. In that respect, watching the sunrise is kind of like getting drunk: you probably didn’t mean to do it, and even though it’s kind of cool, you feel like crap and you’ll regret it in the morning.

In fact, my life was once in jeopardy because of the sun coming up. I won’t go into lots of details now, you can ask me later if you want, but suffice to say, there were roofs and cops involved. And lives flashing before eyes, too. All because the sun came up earlier than we had expected, which you can imagine certainly didn’t endear sunrises any more to me.

Of course, this all assumes we can even see the sun in the first place. Now I know this is Boston (and Cambridge), so railing against the weather is an exercise in futility, but still! I mean come on, the weather around here makes even the more spiritual among us wonder if God really does love us all that much. The cold and snow seem like an ill omen of things to come and are a perpetually demoralizing end to the semester.

I long for a miracle, that the weather changes for good, and we get a nice summer going here, complete with free picnics, free barbecues, and free food of all sorts. I know my clothes are praying for it, for a new dawn of nice, care-free weather.

Just my luck, though, I’ll be stuck working when it happens.