Ask Acronym Part 2

Thinking EmojiWhat questions do YOU have this week? ||

IMSA students have questions. The Acronym has answers. From love lives to a two-line proof of the Jordan curve theorem, we’ve got your back in any of your endeavors. Here are a few of the problems we’ve helped solve in this week’s…


Check Yourself before you /TeX/ yourself

Dear Acronym,

As a student at a nerdy STEM school, it was only inevitable that I’d be introduced to math markup software \LaTeX\, which I’ve used to begin writing my SIR paper. I liked the way it worked, so I decided to write up my math homework in TeX as well. These were practical applications and all I’d really ever need to use TeX for, but things took a turn for the worse after I used it to write my Modern World Fiction essay. It’s not just this, however. Even my grocery lists are typed up in LaTeX now:

A LaTeX grocery list

The proof of uncountability of Lay’s flavors proved too large for the margin.

Is nothing sacred?

With a {\bf heavy} heart,

\sender{Stephen Walsh}


Dear {Stephen Walsh},

Studies have shown that the more time you spend formatting \LaTeX\ to make it look “fancy,” the less you actually understand the material. For now, try to make due with your sloppy hand-written notes.



A snorkeling intersession–at IMSA?


Dear Acronym,

After learning about the snorkeling intersession to Quintana Roo in México, I thought it sounded like a great idea, just not for someone like me who can’t thrive without the (occasionally) cold Illinois winters. For this reason, and my curiosity about whether or not IMSA truly disposed of its old asbestos ceiling tiles the way I heard it had, I thought it would be a great idea to have a “No-Pond Snorkeling” intersession! This would be an opportunity to learn about epidemiology, since I believe there are over 350 different species of deadly diseases (including 70 that have yet to be discovered) that can be found in No Pond. 




Dear V. T.,

If you’re determined enough to go diving in No Pond when it’s below freezing out, I’m not sure anyone can stop you. Godspeed, young Cousteau.




Dear Acronym,

My friends and I were wondering about IMSA superlatives besides the usual stuff (who was the youngest student ever, who’s been teaching the longest, which hall has the most rats, etc.) and we were wondering if you could tell us about some interesting IMSA records.




Dear Joe,

I’d be more than happy to answer your request, with some of our truly awe-inspiring records:

  • Most consecutive (sleepless) hours spent studying: 103, by Paul Jones ‘12. Paul spent an entire weekend and two other days studying for his ModPhys final, which he received a 92 on. Immediately after handing in the test, he fell asleep on the proctor’s desk and woke up in July.
  • Fastest IMSA running speed: 19.6 mph, by Christina Zhou ‘97. Christina achieved this speed immediately after she dropped a jar of her genetically engineered “Habañero wasps.”
  • Oldest organism on campus: George H. W. Bush, a 115-year-old snapping turtle who lives in No Pond and occasionally ventures above ground in search of ramen, his favorite food. He was named by the class of ‘91, along with the late, more controversially-named turtle Saddam Hussein.
  • Longest-distance basket: The Science Olympiad team used a catapult to throw a basketball 2000 feet from the end of the soccer field to the 02 basketball courts, with Luke Williams ‘09 catching it mid air and dunking it. Williams was considered for the Bulls’ 2008 draft, but was ultimately passed up in favor of Derrick Rose.


About the Author

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh is a senior from 04 C wing who is currently sleeping in the loft. He likes learning about history, math, and railroading. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends, drawing, writing, hiking, and playing exploding kittens.

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