A Smart Blonde's Manifesto

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Real Baker House

This is going to be one of those entries I maybe shouldn't write because of a few possibly incriminating references, but I feel I should write it anyway. Baker House is an interesting place. It's the heart of West Campus culture as much as EC is the heart of the building/hacking/nerd power culture that makes MIT famous.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it - a lot of West Campus kids drink. But never in my life have I been around such a responsible group of (young) drinkers, and that's what this entry is about.

We readily reimburse one another for alcohol, so that nobody is "screwed over" for being nice.

We take careful care of one another - a roommate of mine who was being very affectionate with a boy she had just met ended up with a small posse of sober Bakerites trailing her to make sure he didn't take advantage of her. They physically restrained him from "walking her home." I happen to know him and he's a very nice guy, but it's very impressive that so many people wanted to protect my roommate. In high school, I was always the one taking care of others because they were irresponsible - now I'm in the majority (rather than being a flustered minority of one).

We dance to loud music here, with varying degrees of success. You couldn't tell the average IQ here is in the genius range - we aren't socially crippled.

We don't push anybody to do anything. We have people who don't drink for personal, health and religious reasons, and they aren't wheedled or pressured into it. Everybody says "there's no pressure", but it's actually true here - and we have people with the unmovable resolve of mountains. We didn't get here by jumping every time someone said "You should ___".

The culture is centered around loud, friendly parties and outings, and I love it. The Bakerites are kind without exception. You can talk to anyone here about nearly anything. If you're lost, someone will probably walk you to where you were going. This is true of the entire campus, but in this dorm, we don't just repond nicely when approached, we are outgoing and actually approach people we don't even know.

Generally speaking, we are a healthy group. We eat shockingly well for a group of teenagers on our own, and we work out regularly. (Mom and Dad, sorry I didn't do this back home - you yelled at me to eat well, but you couldn't peer pressure me into it!)

None of these things are unique to MIT, but within MIT, they're unique to West Campus culture. It's been said that everyone agrees West Campus is "normal" - but East Campus says it derisively, and we say it defensively. That statement is absolutely true, discounting the fact that every kid here is amazing. We don't have one damn kid on campus who fits the "external" definition of normal - so even though West Campus is known for its partying ways, we're still MIT students at the end of the day. I suppose that's us in a nutshell.


  • At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Dayne Homaee said…

    holy hell...

    I'm sorry?

  • At 5:21 AM, Anonymous maryschell said…

    Oh girl, I think I was one of the irresponsible people you had to take care of back home... sorry!

    I think the general consensus of our high school group is college=love, and I'm so glad. But I can't wait to see you over Thanksgiving.


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