Tiny Crossbows, Silly String Lava War, and 2am Topology: Crashing MIT Campus Preview Weekend

MIT Gangnam Style
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Get down with nerds

Even the most seasoned Harvard partiers need a break from Mount Auburn Street once in a while. If you’re looking for a new vista this weekend, you’re in luck—just a few miles down the road, MIT is holding its annual Campus Preview Weekend for admitted students, an event chock-full of nerdy delights of epic proportions. If you’d like to take a walk on the geekier side, or at least indulge your curiosity, it’ll be well worth your time to go get down and nerdy as an undercover Harvard student. Here’s your guide to an unconventional—and surprisingly educational—three days at the trade school down the road.

Thursday

12:17pm: Dumpling Hylomorphisms

For the uninitiated, “hylomorphism” is the building up and consumption of a structure, in this case a dumpling.  At any other school, people would call this making and eating dumplings. But hey, at least we know these dumplings will be well-engineered.

3:29pm: Speed Friending

Making friends with other prefrosh can be awkward, especially if your new acquaintances spent their high school years building nuclear reactors in their basements rather than attending social gatherings. Never fear, as this event will help you make instant superficial friends with whom you can spend the weekend running around campus and wearing MIT lanyards.

6pm: Tiny Crossbows + Circuit Face Painting

Irritating enemies and siblings alike has never been easier, now that you can attend this event and learn to construct “tiny pocket-sized crossbows that shoot toothpicks.” This invention also doubles as a distraction tool in lecture, where you can surreptitiously shoot toothpicks at your professor’s back to the amusement of all around you. And don’t miss the opportunity to “become .002% cyborg” with “electronic face painting.” Make sure those photos go on Facebook.

10pm: PowerPoint Karaoke

Forget karaoke at the Cambridge Queen’s Head! Instead of testing just how tone-deaf you are, this game will grill you on your skills at BS-ing your way through school presentations. The concept, according to the organizers, is to “think on your feet as you give a presentation you’ve never seen before.” Prep for your days giving business presentations on Wall Street and hope the slide text isn’t in Comic Sans.

11:59pm: Sporcle Party

In what might be the most adorable/wholesome/nerdy event of the weekend, gather with your fellow techies to take quizzes on Sporcle, the “awesome quiz website with random quizzes about everything.” Quizzes range from pop culture to geography to naming all the elements on the periodic table, but take three guesses which category your new classmates are likely to excel at.

Friday

2am: FIREHOSE: Algebraic Topology

The only thing better than 2am algebraic topology is drunk 2am algebraic topology. Unfortunately, since this is prefrosh weekend, that won’t be happening. Nevertheless, you’ll want to show up so you can finally find out why “a topologist is someone who can't tell the difference between a doughnut and a coffee cup.” Don’t ask us, we go to a liberal arts school.

12:59pm: Silly String Lava War III: The Reckoning

After dreaming sweet dreams of n-dimensional eigenspaces, wake up and arm yourself with silly string for an epic battle. According to the organizers, “Your mission: Survive. You're a prefrosh on the edge that doesn't play by the rules, except ours...we have bubble wrap.” Thank God for nerds.

2:17pm: Deep-Fried Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

This is MIT, so obviously the obligatory pre-frosh liquid nitrogen ice cream party trope must be taken to its furthest extent. “What happens when you subject ice cream to a 400K temperature gradient?” Do it for science!

3pm: Miracle Berries

Yet another wonder of science, synsepalum dulcificum (also known as the miracle fruit) contains the chemical miraculin, which causes sour foods to taste sweet. Go to this event, taste limes, grapefruit, hot sauce, and mustard, and be amazed, because… well.... SCIENCE.

4:47pm: Nerf Chess

Yes, you guessed it. This event is chess with nerf guns. How could this possibly go wrong?

9:59pm: CAFFEINE, CAFFEINE, CAFFEINE, CAFFEINE!

Your guess is as good as mine.

10pm: DKE Black Lights and Lasers Party

With all of the topology and pocket protectors and hackathons, it’s possible to forget that MIT is a real school with real jocks who belong to real fraternities that throw parties. But it’s true. And they’ve got lasers.

Saturday

1:30pm Giant Snickers Bar

It’s true that after eating this giant candy bar, you’ll have to detox with kale juice for twenty-four hours. But then again, YOLO.

3pm: Python Bee

A weekend at MIT would truly not be complete without a joust of coding skills. Be prepared for the person sitting to your left to wipe the floor with you as they rattle off the perfect syntax for list after function after dictionary ad infinitum. Don’t feel bad; they probably sold their latest app to Google for a couple million. On second thought, MIT could afford to make the competition a little thicker by holding it in Objective C.

3pm: Professor Talent Show

If coding is not your thing (if it isn’t, you might want to reconsider your school choice), you could always go to watch a Nobel Prize winner play the recorder. Why don’t we have an event like this at Harvard? Mankiw doing an Irish jig, anyone?

8pm: Really Bad Movie Trailers

“Featuring such gems as Piranhaconda, Sharknado, and the entire Mega Shark series, come see some of the most entertainingly terrible trailers of all time.” This is adorable.

10pm: Top of the Sponge

Before you return home to your non-MIT high school buddies (or take the T home to your Harvard dorm), this is your last chance to get turnt. The “Sponge”—also known as the Simmons dorm, whose modern architecture vaguely resembles a deconstructed SpongeBob—will feature a party on an “iconic outdoor terrace with a view of the Cambridge and Boston skylines.” It’s time to get sweaty with your future classmates, before you realize next year that this sort of thing gets a lot less awkward with alcohol. For now though, soak up the light shows and free glow sticks, and live it up.

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