Pass Me No Records, Tell Me No Lies.

William Saulnier '16

It's T-2.5 months and counting, and to be even more specific, T-2.33 repeating months, T-10.3 weeks, T-72 days, T-1728 hours, T-6.22*10^6 seconds between now and when you step onto the now almost eleven year old grounds of the school I consider the greatest institution in the world. You will arrive before the upper classfolks, get to know each other, spend long days and sleeping before we arrive and hail you with calls of "Pass no Record"

Pass no Record is a rallying cry of a generation, or rather, of an incoming freshman class. It is an excuse, a safety net, and a challenge rolled into one simple three word phrase. To some, it is a foreign concept. To others, they have heard it spoken by other institutions who deal in measurements called Smoots and are known by a three letter acronym. But to you, it is a way of life, a mandatory rite of passage that each class has gone through and each class beyond yours shall as well. It is my job to inform you of what this means, in a different perspective from what you may have heard before.

See, I am willing to wager that most of you have never simply "passed" a class. You're some of the best and the brightest folks out there, and so it's safe to say that you don't merely "pass", you excell. But excell as you can, the Olin environment is quite different from High School. Heck, any college will be. But what makes Olin so different is the expectation going in is that you will not know everything. This was shocking to me. Most of you are probably the smartest person in the room on a lot of issues. You're the person that your classmates turn to for help after class, you're the one with the best notes, you're the one so well prepared for the test you don't even need to look over your notes. You have answers, and will work. Walking into week one at Olin, I will bet you five bucks you will find something you do not know... yet.

And that is part of the brilliance of Pass No Record. You enter at a level playing field, and are introduced to the Olin world of collaboration and cooperation over competition. You may not know everything, heck, you may feel like you don't know anything! But it's okay, because your first semester is all about learning all the things you don't know, and helping everyone else to learn the things that you know. And you will and are expected to stumble and fall, but you now have a family of over 80 passionate, interesting, and intelligent siblings, and 240 older brothers and sisters who are ready, willing, and able to help you stand yourself up again.
But there is another side to Pass No Record, one that is probably hanging in the back of your mind right this very second. And it's one that we must talk about. See, Pass No Record means that you either Pass, or No Record the class. There are no grades to be working for, only turning in your work to as best you can. So, the challenging part of Pass No Record comes here. You must fight your urge to spend hours on your ModSim problems, stop agonizing over your AHS paper, and instead do things. What those things may be could be anything. It could be 4 AM trips to IHOP. It could be staying up all night watching movies in someone's dorm room. It could be joining a project team and spending all night finishing up one stage of the projects. It could even be sleeping. Whatever you find interesting, you have freedom and license to drop your homework and go do it. If you're late, you're late. The only grade that's being threatened is the one thats in your head.
So when us sophomores come storming down the stairs and scream Pass No Record, put down your pencil, shut your laptop, and come join us. We're getting ready to do something awesome, and we always need more friends to do it with.
Posted in: Class of 2016