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Articles by Michael T. Lin

April 15, 2008
Forget all that nonsense about the Ringling Bros. — Campus Preview Weekend is officially the ‘Greatest Show on Earth,’ and I mean that in a very good way. I walked out of the Infinite Corridor (which I overheard referred to as “the Really Long Corridor”) onto Massachusetts Avenue Thursday afternoon and received something of a shock — MIT campus central looking like the college brochures I received in the mail oh so long ago. The benches in front of the Student Center were filled in spite of the singular aroma of fresh mulch, and Kresge Oval was alive with flying Frisbees. It’s virtually never like this during the semester — the people frolicking about couldn’t all be admitted pre-freshmen. What is it about CPW that gets us out of our rooms and into the sunlight?
April 8, 2008
It’s hard having a significant other at a distant school. Maybe not as hard as, say, upgrading your computer to dual-boot BSD, but challenging all the same. Being an ickle freshman with no independent cash flow and a consistent homework load sort of precludes the possibility of regular travel for the time being, and our vacations don’t seem to line up properly, rather like Red Leader’s proton torpedoes. (Case in point: her spring break was three weeks before ours. Curse you, Massachusetts weather that’s only hovering above freezing, even after the vernal equinox!) I continue to be thankful that MIT is so well and fully wired that staying in contact in the electronic age is especially simple here. After all, that’s what the Internet is for, right? Sending enough Facebook music dedications to fill dozens of mix tapes? I’ve actually been several blocks up Mass. Ave. and wondered where the nearest Athena station was, but that’s for another article to address. My comedy well is only so deep, and I need to keep a good tab on what few funny subjects I can manage to conjure.
April 1, 2008
I’m going to miss spring break. I realize that’s true for all but the most masochistic among us, but after such a long and lustrous on-campus vacation, telling myself to return to the academic schedule is like asking Robinson Crusoe to vacation in the Bahamas. He’ll do it, but don’t expect him to leap for joy at the opportunity. Especially not after he’s had a week to get used to sitting at home eating processed snack foods and leftover pizza in front of a perpetual YouTube header.
March 18, 2008
On the long and not-so-distinguished list of things that we do even though we know we shouldn’t, daydreaming is bound to be in the top ten. Daydreams, also known as longings, fantasies, or delusions (depending on the subject matter), serve as a way of withdrawing from the world around us. We daydream because we’re uncomfortable, or because we’re bored, or because we think that the person sitting in the next row in math class is attractive enough to merit additional mental attention.
March 11, 2008
Decorating my dorm room poses a peculiar problem. On the one hand, I don’t trust myself to nail anything to the wall that won’t bleed. On the other, the surfaces in my dorm, for some cosmic reason, are incompatible with duct tape and render it completely unsticky — which, if what you’re trying to hang is a) above your head, and b) heavy, is bad.
March 4, 2008
I can’t be the only one who’s noticed the absence of the formerly-famous clam chowder that used to be served in on-campus eateries every Friday. I can’t be the only one who came back from winter break aching for some proper clam chowder only to find that it’s nowhere to be found on campus. So where has it gone?
February 26, 2008
People have declared for ages that, for a man to be a proper boyfriend, he has to be willing to watch an occasional chick flick with his significant other from time to time. As a point of policy, I’ve responded by proclaiming how wonderful it is to be dating a woman who doesn’t even like chick flicks, thereby negating the cookie-cutter advice. Yet I’ve recently come to the horrifying realization that I may be gravitating more towards the genre than I thought I would.
February 12, 2008
It’s about the time of year that the sound of a “cough, cough” may mean more than an incoming innuendo. In spite of the abundant medical resources here on campus, sometimes one simply cannot help getting sick. The extended, close-quarters communal experience of college, by my reckoning, constitutes a trial-by-fire for the human immune system. As with other adversities, the inevitable rampant pestilence requires longer to adjust for some than for others. I mention this because I’m sure that neither I nor anyone else who has managed to dodge the illness bullet this far into the winter wishes to get sick now, so in the interests of self-preservation, I offer some at-home measures for avoiding disease like the plague. Or, you know, diseases such as the plague.
January 16, 2008
Ah, it’s good to be home. My sibling is toiling away at high school and my classmates are trudging 15 miles uphill both ways through the less-than-tropical climate of winter in Cambridge. Meanwhile, I’m warming my toes in luxurious Virginia. Sure, it’s not sunny California or Hawaii, but it’s where the heart is, no doubt about it.
December 11, 2007
Boy, when people sing about a winter wonderland around here, they ain’t kidding. I’d wager that with the first major snowfall of the year comes an increasingly enthusiastic populace with ideas aplenty as to what to do with it. The fact that many here are from toastier climes and may be unfamiliar with some key properties of snow (such as its effectiveness in projectiles) only adds to the potential for hijinks.
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