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Paranoia can be very unattractive. I say this as one who once watched “Survivorman” to prepare for a trip to a mountain resort, worries about incoming meteorites when stargazing, and brings rope to the circus to fashion into a makeshift whip in case something furry with sharp, pointy teeth breaks loose. But this time, I’m sure I’m on to something. Don’t look now, but I think the powers that be — the administration — are out to sabotage my grades.

Most conspiracy theories suffer from a chronic lack of proof, supported only by convincingly presented circumstantial pseudoevidence. Well, you know how we frosh-out-of-high-school hate to buck the trend, so in that respect, my conspiracy theory is much the same way. Still, if you hear me out, I think you’ll soon see things from my point of view. If not, I suppose I’ll have to present it in a way MIT students will find more believable, which doesn’t bode well for my savings account. Ad space in the Daily Prophet doesn’t come cheap, last I heard.

As corroboration for my theory, I offer first the obscene number of events and activities up for the attending. When one get-together after another promises delicious pastries or rampant video gaming marathons, my freshman lack of willpower and craving for social interaction (and munchies) can only succumb. It was cunning of them to whet my appetite with the onslaught of entertainment during Campus Preview Weekend, during Orientation, during fraternity rush. Then I, like the dupe I am, played right into their sinister clutches. Those sadists.

When those henchpeople of the administration, the upperclassmen, are in on the subterfuge, we younglings are virtually helpless in the face of the imperial march. Fundraisers and charity events, operating under the guise of philanthropy, tug on our heartstrings harder than watching Han Solo enter a carbonite jacuzzi. Emotionally wearied, what passion do I have left with which to chase down those C’s I never knew I’d be proud to get?

In a related vein, the upperclassmen don’t need to receive orders from their masters among the higher-ups to wreak their own brand of havoc with my freshman mind. “Don’t go insane your first semester,” they said. “Relax a bit, you’re on Pass/No Record, it’s your time to adapt.” How clever of them, fomenting the delusion that adaptation to the MIT lifestyle is as easy as it sounds. I’d bet my autographed copy of “Conspiracies for Dummies” by Ariel Fiftee-Wong (not to be found in any bookstore — Bigfoot has sole publication rights) that the upperclassmen knew full well how complacent I would become as a result of their so-called guidance.

I imagine they sat around a conference table in an underground bunker, cackling to themselves in malicious glee. I suspect they plotted exactly how innocent frosh such as I, with the right nudging, would naively believe that we’d be able to recover from the carefree nosedive of Pass/No Record just in time to slam on the afterburners of study habits and glide right into a letter-graded flight plan. Well, fear not, compatriots! I’m on to their little game. No, I will not kick back and enjoy my first semester, like you juniors and seniors so faux-nurturingly advised me. Just you watch as I self-flagellate my way to an A average and a nervous breakdown. How do you like them apples?

Of course, the more astute among you may ask what motive the administration and their lackeys could possibly have for this covert network of mayhem. Truth be told, I really couldn’t say. Perhaps they’re doing it to entertain themselves. Perhaps they’re indoctrinating us through torture to inflict the same troubles by the same methods upon our successors. Perhaps it’s part of a centuries-old pact between the Knights Templar, the Illuminati, and the Freemasons (because what’s a conspiracy without a secret society?) whereby every night, they try to take over the world!

Or not. I’m actually still trying to figure out the why and wherefore myself. If I don’t get black-bagged first, I’ll keep you posted. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s 2 a.m., the perfect time to break out the telescope and see if the human footprints on the moon are actually there. Have a happy Thanksgiving … and don’t drink the fluoridated water. It makes your teeth detectable by spy satellite. Really.