Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hackers Wish Students "Merry" Finals

For the past two months or so, I've been meeting regularly with a group of friends to work on our 8.012 p-set. (8.012 is the advanced mechanics class for freshmen. It's...not impossible. But when you're a freshman and not used to such an intense workload, it can be pretty brutal.) We generally met on Thursday nights - and since the p-sets were always due Friday, this tended to produce a lot of late late late nights.

The last official p-set (on gyroscopes, which frankly boggle my mind) was due this last Friday. Happily, we were also assigned one "optional" p-set, which could net us up to 2 extra percent on our grade.

2 extra percent?! Despite the fact that "optional" usually means mandatory here, I was definitely up for some extra credit - so last night my fellow 8.012ers and I got together for a special 8.012 p-set party. It kind of is a party, actually - a bunch of us bring (junk) food, generally things like Oreos or chips - and we all sort of keep each other sane as we try our best to work through the problems.

Due to a combination of issues, I ended up staying later than was probably necessary to actually finish the p-set. But I did finish it, so I was in a pretty good mood as I walked back from the Infinite Corridor towards Simmons. (We meet in a classroom off of the Infinite because we come from all different dorms, so it makes sense to meet somewhere central rather than someone's dorm.) At the time, I happened to be walking with a friend (she lives in MacGregor, so it made sense for us to walk back towards home together), when suddenly we saw a bright flash of white light coming from the Christmas tree in front of the Student Center. At first, we both wondered why there was a "strobe light" on campus - and then we soon realized that the light was, in actuality, the flash of a camera.

Eric Schmiedl's camera, in fact.

Seriously, this guy gets everywhere. Those of you who know Eric can guess why he was there - a hack! I don't have any pictures (yet - I'll try and get some as I head over to class), but basically hackers put up a large sign saying "MERRY FINALS! (and a happy end of term)" - in gentle mockery of the traditional "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." They also hung a bunch of textbook covers as "ornaments" on the Christmas tree.

My 8.012 textbook was among those included, which amused me. ;)

By the way, today is the last day of first-semester classes.



Eric said...

That wasn't the only hack last night, either. Hackers also placed a "Queen of Hearts" with Hockfield's face above her door and left a note. (in other news, I didn't get to bed until ~7:30AM...)
Photos from last night:

katekalb said...

Paul! You're back! I was beginning to think that you had disappeared from the blogosphere. :)