It's not a huge campus at MIT, but one that is very narrow north to south and long along the Charles. I used to walk all around Lincoln, from my apartment at 11th & G up to campus, to classes, work and back. But after a summer of cycling around Madison, my soles have revolted and I feel like I did following my first days of working at Subway when I was 16 and had never stood up on a hard floor for 8 straight hours.
I found the holy grail of Ashdown. No, not the pub, but I'll get to that. The TV room, featuring a colossal big screen and DirectTV with, thank ye gods, ESPN. There are TV lounges on each floor which receive basic cable, but for some reason that does not include any of the sports channels. The massive TV room, however, has not only ESPN and its little sisters but also the international soccer channels and anything else you could dream of. For a poor boy who hasn't had cable in two years, it's a bit much to handle at first.
I went down randomly last night and met a pretty cool guy in nuclear physics, Nate, to watch the Sox and go to the pub with. My dorm bar, the Thirsty Ear, is actually quite nice. $10 for a pitcher of Newcastle, trivia nights on Monday, funny basement bar smell -- it's got it all.
Today I met my six classmates -- all girls, and all pretty cool. We attended the welcome speech for graduate students, mainly because it preceded a free lunch. But I've never felt so complimented in all my life. The provost and professors know full well where they teach, and they want you to know it too. Entering Nebraska I don't remember Chancellor Harv promising me that I and my peers would be making world-changing scientific breakthroughs. Nor did they worry too much that UNL students literally were going to work ourselves to death. Sometime soon I'll start longing for those days. Send me an email and tell me to get over it.
I'm already feeling the MIT anxiety though, that I'm unprepared and I don't belong here. Both of those things might be true, but here I am, and even the genius engineers feel that way. It's intimidating. I mean, at this welcome speech they weren't really talking to me at all. It took me to wondering if I'd fit in better down the road at Harvard, but I'm no more an Ivy League legacy than a math whiz.
I have to find a fridge. We share kitchens, but there is no communal refrigeration space. I have to find a fridge, and fast. That and get my loan money, so I can get an actual computer and an actual bike and start living an actual life, or a close approximation thereof.
Program orientation tomorrow. So...we'll see.