We had lunch at Legal Seafood in Kendall Square - a predictable conclusion.
We then wandered over to the new building 20. I should mention that everything at MIT has an affectionate numerical identification. I have heard people, particularly in course 15 (management), complain that even the people at MIT are reduced to numbers. And, the fact that my freshman dorm room number and course 2 were more meaningful in my introducing myself as a freshman than my own name, might lead you to the same unfortunate conclusion.
An MIT conversation might sound like this:
“So, where is the freshman in 501?”
“The one in course 2?”
“She’s in 26-100, but I’m meeting her in lobby 10 at 2 after 8.01.”
“Great. 2.70 isn’t until 3.”
At MIT, people are not reduced to numbers, but elevated by them. Let me offer that the preciseness of numbers offers a common understanding on a campus otherwise so diverse and so unique that, well, understanding may even be beyond the grasp of those in course 16 (that would be rocket science).
And so we toured the new building 20, built in the place of the beloved old building 20 (creative, no?) that had seen the birth of radar, and so many other revolutionary technologies. Old building 20 had shaky walls and an excessively warped floor and an incredible history. In its place is a fascinating and unique building built by the very same architect who built the Peter B. Lewis building in Cleveland. This new building is named after someone too, but being an MIT alumn I have already forgotten (proof left to the student), preferring to call it building 20 anyhow.
Building 20 sports a great number of blackboards. Feeling creative, we decided to write our names on the wall. And then, we had a much, much better idea.
Unlike the 8.01 (physics) problem sets of yesteryear, the next step was in fact obvious: 26-100.
And so, we did, we wandered over to our beloved freshman lecture hall, where every MIT student for decades has studied freshman physics, among the core freshman requirements of physics, calculus, and chemistry. We call the room 26-100.
Like so many alumni and students before us, we wrote on the wall.
And, unlike 8.01, it was really, really fun.
Thank you Mommy bytes! I had a great time – and appreciate the ride to the airport.
This is probably not the greatest picture, but had to post it for Jess. If you ever walked along the Charles in the morning, (or ran, as I often did) you know what I mean.