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Articles by Michael T. Lin

December 4, 2007
Many people at MIT are nerdier than most, and some have and continue to spend hours at a time playing video games instead of talking to anything with a pulse. So, it’s self-explanatory that social skills, at least among us freshmen, may be a smidgen underdeveloped. As impressive as our LANs are, we are not, by and large, a party school. By that, I mean that when people hear “MIT,” they generally don’t think of us as the “Planet of the Witty, Friendly, and Appropriately Hygienic Students” so much as they do the “Planet of the Slide-Ruling Apes.” Tragic, no?
November 20, 2007
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.
November 6, 2007
Once upon a time, I had no problem whatsoever getting up at 5 or 6 in the morning before heading to school. Obviously, I generally didn’t get much in the way of rest that way, but that was during a time when I would prefer being able to eat my Lucky Charms without having to rush out the door. Plus, I also got the chance to see some very lovely sunrises.
October 30, 2007
You cannot begin to imagine how thrilled I was to find that multiple thrift stores exist within half a mile of my dormitory. You see, my mother is an expert bargain hunter and my dad loves to buy shiny electronic doodads. (With a Radio Shack just up Massachusetts Ave. and a Best Buy down it, I suspect I’m poised to follow in his footsteps.)
October 23, 2007
There’s nothing like the lack of supervision, combined with a healthy workload, to help me realize how I work best. I’ve already taken great joy in flouting virtually every study habit I’ve ever been told about, like not listening to music with lyrics, or working at my desk instead of on the dinner table (although due to a lack of adequate cash flow for furniture, the two are the same as often as not). When better than college to twiddle with different ways to tool in search of the optimal learning method?
October 12, 2007
The other day, I encountered a tour passing the Student Center. The tour group, as near as I could tell, consisted largely of wide-eyed parents and nonplussed teenagers apparently unimpressed with the Infinite Corridor (I guess they’d never seen anything infinite before and were still recovering from the shock). At any rate, the parents seemed enthused about exploring campus, and, after passing a group of sorority members, the more hormonal of the male high school prospects seemed to perk up as well.
October 2, 2007
Somewhere out there, the culinary gods are weeping. As someone who would probably make a better meal by being cooked than by cooking, I dare say I have been less than vigilant regarding my nutritional needs. Freezer-burned waffles, Gatorade, and a granola bar? Most important meal of the day. Cheese crackers and ginger ale? Dinner, third course. (For anyone who’s curious, courses one and two were a red gummy bear and orange gummy bear, respectively.) Since I don’t have the necessary patience for in-dorm agriculture, and the only game to be hunted around campus are squirrels and mysteriously human-like six-foot beavers, it appears I will have to start preparing my own food before my cash flow gets dammed.
September 25, 2007
MIT has one of the most notoriously rich campus cultures in the ’verse. I still have a photo from Campus Preview Weekend of a Ghostbuster standing at the Massachusetts Ave. crosswalk as proof of the fact. The unfortunate side effect? An onslaught of incoming freshmen who are under the impression that the MIT of lore and the MIT of daily life are one and the same.
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