The Freshman’s Lament
Once upon a time, well into the last century, I hung
out in the MIT Science Fiction Society (MITSFS, popularly
known as MISFITS) where I absorbed a certain amount of
MIT, ahem, culture, including folk songs created by students.
The Freshman’s Lament is representative. Note the
reference to a slide rule (slipstick). As I said, well into
the last century.
To the tune of “The streets of Laredo”
As I walked out of room 10-250,
As I walked out of lecture one day,
I met a poor freshman with slipstick and pencil
With slipstick and pencil and so much to say.
“I see by your brass rat that you a senior,”
These words he did say as I slowly limped by.
“Come sit down beside me and solve this equation;
I’ve got a straight F and I’m saying good-by.”
“I integrate slowly, my quiz marks are lowly;
My themes are rejected – they say they’re too clear.
With farads and newtons and joules, dynes, and coulombs,
A hell of a future – a tech engineer.”
“I dream differentials and standard potentials;
My mass action constants are always the same.
My chem lab assignments are dry lab refinements,
And chemistry lectures are always to blame.”
“Let six tech coeds come carry my slide rule,
Let six happy seniors come help me along.
For I’m a poor freshman with nothing but failures,
A poor flunking freshman, and I’ve done no wrong.”
This 1.2 freshman then transferred to Harvard
Where he got the best grades that anyone had.
Now he’s making millions and living in comfort;
I wonder if Harvard will take me post-grad.
This page was last updated January 1, 2006.