I didn’t have all that many friends in high school. I was kind of a weirdo – nerdy, outspoken, and well, not straight.
When I visited MIT over CPW I fell in love, specifically with the east side. It was a place that was a home for people like me. It was full of freedom and art and trying things and acceptance. I came to live in East Campus and I was absolutely ecstatic when the majority of people I met just seemed to accept me.
I’m a tour guide – I know that MIT strongly believes in the influence of place, so to speak – the way an architectural setup can influence the culture that goes on there. Well there’s more to the places of the east side than just architecture but I think the same principle applies. The freedoms we’re given allow all sorts of people to thrive, allow a culture to spring up. The ability to paint on the walls, for example, to be surrounded by art of our own creation, gives us a sense of permanence and continuity. It allows us to shape the space we live in, it’s a visual extension and support of the cultures we make. And it’s that culture that gives me a home. I wouldn’t love the place if it weren’t for the people who live here and the things we’ve created together. My life would be poorer without it all.