Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 16, 2009

My Ruined Morning (Part One: The Hackers)


So, I wandered over to Barker after finishing my overnight shift in Hayden with the intention of getting the library ready to open so I’d have plenty of time to head across the street to the gym, get a revitalizing shower and grab some lunch.

Unfortunately, that would not be the case.

No, no…there was one large obstacle standing in my way—HACKERS!!

Now for many of my Faithful Readers, the term “hacker” only applies to the evil dude’s who sneak onto your computer and steal your credit card information. To be honest, until I started at MIT, that’s what I thought too.

Then I learned all about the rich and storied tradition of hacks at MIT. Apparently it is some sort of age-old rite of passage for nerds to break into the library, climb their asses up onto the dome and put random crap up there.

Well today, I think I caught a few of them in the act.

I didn’t actually see any hackers, mind you…but I did have quite the rigmarole, especially considering my complete lack of sleep.

When I got to Barker, I came upstairs and flipped on all the lights on the upper floors and then came down to the main floor and I was walking through the dome when I saw someone’s coffee sitting on one of the tables. I didn’t think much of it—nerds tend to litter like crazy—until I went to pick it up to throw it away and realized that not only was the cup still full…it was still warm.

As one might expect I immediately assumed I was in some sort of sweet-ass action movie and I’d discovered terrorists. I promptly went on the prowl and noticed a bag with pajama pants and flip-flops also in the dome.

…I continued my prowl…

In our media room, we have a window that has a gigantic padlock to keep it shut—you know, so hackers can’t meander onto the roof at will. Well that padlock was removed and the window was wide open swinging in the breeze.

I stuck my head out peered around, but saw no one traipsing about on the roof. So I recoiled back inside and locked the window back up with the padlock. At this point I was anticipating stumbling across a whole pack of sleep-deprived, over-caffeinated nerds just cowering under a desk, but there was no one. I did, however, notice a big ole footprint on a chair while I was walking past and realized that another of the windows—that are normally screwed shut and painted shut—was open and unlocked as well.

Realizing I hadn’t seen anyone on floors four through seven—but had discovered warm coffee—I zipped immediately to the currently abandoned eighth floor. It was there that I found both doors to the vaunted machine room wide open and unlocked. I also noticed what appeared to be blankets, coffee cups, more footprints, a chair and other supplies that would imply hackers were afoot!!

I didn’t, however, see any of those buggers. Like Jennifer Aniston side-boob in a PG-13 movie, they are very elusive, yet amazing if/when you find them.

Whilst meandering about the machine room—which is pretty much the background from every horror movie, ever—I could swear that I heard people whispering, but again…I haven’t really slept since Wednesday either, so it’s also possible that was in my head.

At this point I did what all good library employees are supposed to do in this situation and I called campus police…

(to be continued)



  1. it’s nice to know that the new alarm system is working well.


  2. […] the past, I’ve mentioned the infamous hackers at MIT with mere annoyance and a bit of intrigue. I’ll admit there’s something impressive and […]


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