This entry is dedicated to my brother, who claims that I’m better at blogging than he is. Maybe this will prove him wrong?
As I hinted at a few days ago, lately I’ve been struck by an overwhelming urge to get away from MIT. Unfortunately, this is coupled with an even more overwhelming inability to convert that urge into action. (Circumstance, circumstance, circumstance…again, it’s mostly self-imposed, but I probably take self-imposed restrictions more seriously than those that are externally imposed.) So, in an effort to maintain my sanity, I’ve been doing my best to steal away from MIT in snippets, bits, and pieces. I’ve been taking refuge in places on campus where I don’t normally tread in an effort to rediscover my three-year home, and I’ve also been sneaking away off campus as much as I can. For example, right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Central Square (1369 Coffee House, for the locals).
There’s so much thinking going on here it hurts. Everyone with a computer has a Mac. It’s…a complete embodiment of every college-saturated self-portrayed-as-intellectual community stereotype. Bisecting the road from MIT to Harvard, this place seems worlds away from MIT. People at MIT just don’t do this—this being sitting in a coffee house reading, writing, relaxing, observing, anything. MIT coffee shops are meeting points and waysides, places to hash out important details, places to get a cup of coffee that is a necessity rather than a luxury, places to breeze through but not to linger.
Hanging on the wall above me is a painting (at least, I think that’s the right word) where the artist has meticulously and deliberately glued dozens of bright orange earplugs onto a bright yellow canvas. They form a footprint around a black painted shoe—or rather, an archetype of a shoe. Some of the silo-shaped insulating sentinels are standing at attention, others are teetering indecisively at an angle, and others have resigned themselves to a prone position. It’s the middle group I associate best with right now, oddly. (This is a very ironic analogy seeing as I’ve been in desperate need of a pair of earplugs in order to fall asleep lately.) At this point I feel like all MIT has given me is an acute sense of my own masochistic tendencies and a bad taste in my mouth whenever I think of engineers. It’s taken from me my writing skills, my reasoning abilities, my confidence, my sense of direction…should I even go on?
At least I’m running well, though. That, I think, has nothing to do with my level of fitness, but everything to do with finally figuring out how to compete instead of just run. Maybe I’ll be able to apply my newfound ability to focus on my goals during a cross-country race to the rest of my life. But first I have to figure out what those goals are.