Saturday, January 22, 2011


Many colleges these days have campuses abroad - in exotic places like Europe, Asia and even the Middle East.  MIT's campus abroad in 1975 was Wellesley.  MIT has had a long, intimate relationship with Wellesley - which can also be said of some of the students at both campuses.  In my day it was possible for students to cross-register for courses at the other campus, which allowed a few fortunate souls at MIT to gain exposure to art, literature and even nature (In exchange, Wellesley students had the opportunity to geek out on some really complex engineering).  Nature had its allures; Wellesley was out in the woods beyond the 128 Beltway, and many MIT students had not seen a single tree in their four years on campus.
MIT and Wellesley undergrads could also be seen at each others' mixers.  In fact, the whole social scene at Boston-area colleges was one big party every weekend.  If you took time to read the flyers on the bulletin boards (and if you had a car), there was something going on at some college somewhere - and that did not include the bars and discotheques on either side of the Charles River.  For me, it was all a blur - which was made embarrassingly clear to me when I chatted up one co-ed at a mixer who told me she went to a college that all MIT men were familiar with.  My first guess was Simmons - and after I had exhausted all the other choices, she told me in a huffy voice that she went to Wellesley.

I was not much for mixers.  Unlike several of my classmates, I never encountered Roxanne Ritchie and Susan Gilbert until after they'd authored the Consumer Guide to MIT Men.  I soon decided that if I were going to appear at a Strat's Rat (a beer and chips mixer put on every two weeks by the Student Center Committee in the Stratton Rathskeller), I preferred to be the DJ.
These days, I understand there are DJ's who get paid tens of thousands of dollars to spin records - especially if they wear a big felt mouse head.

No comments:

Post a Comment