College, MIT

Baker House Baker Home (MIT 23 of 30)

There are ten dorms on campus. Each one has its own living arrangements and stereotypes. I want to pay homage to my home Baker House Baker Home. 

I think it’s an underrated and under-appreciated dorm. Situated in the middle of dorm row, Baker is one of the older dorms on campus and has a distinct brick vibe with the choice of exposed brick in all the rooms. The architect, Alvar Aalto, made some fantastic decisions. Rooms were adequately sized, filled with sturdy yet comfortable wood furniture (although some disagree with me on that), equipped with a sink in every room, and had riverside views for more than 70% of residents. That is hard to beat.

I lived in a front double every year except for my first (517!). It was fun to stare outside at the river and watch as the day became dark.

Here are some of my favorite memories from Baker:

Being Baker Social

I ran for Baker Social one year completely unopposed. Needless to say, I did a great job. My budget wasn’t too big, but I loved just buying food that I’d personally want. My favorite choice was boba. It was easy to coordinate and also allowed me to drink more boba. I also bought cheesecake from the cheesecake factory, ice pops, and also lots of canes.

Baker Piano Drop

On MIT’s spring drop date (which is after spring break for us), we would drop a piano from the roof of Baker!

Quite a fun event to watch, and afterward, people would rush forward and attempt to grab the piano keys from the wreckage. It was quite the mayhem. The week was packed with food and activities that distracted me from my work. One fun fact: each year, the piano is dropped on an object representing something from the year. The piano fell on a giant styrofoam cutout of Star Market my freshman year. For reference, Star Market closed its doors and made it harder to buy cheap groceries near campus.

Roof deck are nice

I loved the roof deck. Unfortunately, the doors weren’t cardable and weren’t not open 24/7. The days that I could go up were very enjoyable. I’d sit there and enjoy the beautiful view.

Baker Sinks aren’t trash cans

I lived in a quad of 3 other swimmers. It was a cozy fit, but we made it happen. One of my roommates would always drink a lot on weekends. Almost every week, I’d wake up to a nice cardboard box covering the sink in our room. At least he’d clean it up in the mornings tho.

Top bunks are dangerous

I was in a top bunk my freshman year. I had one exciting morning when I, half asleep, fell off the top of my bunk. Luckily I fell feet first, but it was quite a loud, rude awakening. My parents insisted on buying guard rails once they found out, but we resolved it by debunking the bed a few weeks afterward.

My roommate also threw up off the side of the bed and onto a pillow. Funnily enough, we didn’t find that pillow until spring, still with the stains from months before. I was happy I wasn’t on the bottom bunk, because honestly, I don’t want to be rained on by vomit.

Let’s have a Kikki (watch the video)

Every year students can use up to $5k in funding to host events in dorm rooms. The Baker 5th floor’s tradition is to “have a kikki” and buy tons of food. I think the last official Kikki we spent over $1.2k in food and decorations. Some of the rooms were decorated with the different holidays throughout the year. You didn’t have to worry about eating dining food that night.

Yooooo smash?

I lived right outside the lounge and was drawn to the constant sound of Ultimate Super Smash Bros. I never got that good, but there would always be someone playing at night. It was rather strange that someone was always available to play, but it provided an excellent background noise to the lounge.

Swim Team Assassin was intense

The name speaks for itself. I can’t say I was good at this, but it was a fun event at the beginning of the semester and getting to know where people lived. Bouke wrote some fantastic obituaries.

The great flood

This was hilarious. Apparently, one of the residents thought it was a clever idea to hang clothes on the fire sprinkler (cause it was horizontal). Well, it broke and caused a huge flood. It was soaking wet for three straight floors, and near the elevator shaft, you could see the waterfall.

Firefighters had to be called, and we just sat outside while everything was resolved. Multiple people were moved to temporary housing as their rooms had flooded entirely…

The worst part for me, though? The elevator was unavailable for a week. Thankfully that wasn’t bad.

Baker isn’t for everyone

If you still don’t know what dorm to live in, I’d recommend taking this sorting hat quiz. You’ll have an opportunity to try out different stuff. One of the stereotypes of Baker is that it is an frat/athlete dorm. It’s not wrong…

Note that this doesn’t include New Vasser and includes BC (which is currently under renovation, so who knows what the culture will be like afterward).

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