Cocoa

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The beloved cocoa monkey, "Bear".

Every school night (Sunday-Thursday), promptly at 11 pm, one can hear the cacophonic calls of "Cocoa! Cocoa!" echo through East Campus. Or at least we hope you all can hear us. The idea is for everyone to take a break from Tooling, to come out and join their fellow slugs for a hot mug of cocoa (bring your own mug and spoons, we provide the rest) for a few minutes. Come on, join us and our chocolatey goodness. You know you want to.

The process of heating water for cocoa will be automated with the Cocoa Pot project.

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Cocoa Lore

A 4E resident from 1971 - 1975 told us that the nascent "Cocoa Hour" was held for a time in Mark Rognstad's room. As it grew in popularity, it outgrew his room.

On Sep. 21, 2006 Mark Rognstad visited for Cocoa. According to his account, Cocoa began when one resident started drinking coffee nightly at 11pm. Another resident, decided to join him, but since he didn't like coffee, he would bring cocoa. He got the cocoa in packages from the campus dining in Walker, which he had a meal plan for. As more people joined, more cocoa packets were needed from Walker, and an underground supply route gradually built up. Unsurprisingly, more coffee was never necessary. As the number of cocoa drinkers grew in size, they outgrew any individual room on the hall, until it ended up in the Walcott Lounge, where it remains until this day, and will remain for as long as it passes the budget and we have freshmen to call it.

Cocoa Pot

We plan to automate the heating of the Cocoa water every night. The cocoa pot will be controlled by a PIC that will also monitor temperature and water level and send data over the 4E Network. The server will calculate the heating time based on the water level and ensure that there is hot water for cocoa every school night.

Currently, the two Cocoa Chairs do it manually. Every school night.


Happy Cocoa

Whenever it is (approximately) a slug's birthday, the hall Baking Chairs bake a cake (or other extravagant dessert) to be served during nightly cocoa. On the night of a Happy Cocoa, the Cocoa Chairs scream "HAPPY COCOA!!!" while calling cocoa. It is hall tradition to scream the "Happy Birthday Song" as cacophonously as posssible rather than singing it. Those slugs whose birthdays are during times of no school may select an "unbirthday" to celebrate instead. See a schedule of whose Happy Cocoas are when.


Formal Cocoa

Traditionally held at the end of the semester, Formal Cocoa is a celebration of fine chocolates and the end of term. All attendees are required to dress up or dress down. Back in the day, it was tradition to attend formal movie night following Formal Cocoa. The celebrants would go watch a movie in a lecture hall while still dressed in their Formal Cocoa garb. Secret Anthony, a nondenominational Secret Santa, is usually held during the winter Formal Cocoa.


Special Cocoa

We are planning to start a new hall tradition of inviting faculty and staff members, as well as other notables, to cocoa. We hope Special Cocoa promotes closer interaction between students and faculty members. Below is a table of whom we have contacted and have accepted, their responses, and planned Special Cocoas, if any.

Accepted Invitation

Notable Invitee(s) Scheduled Cocoa Comments
Professor Jeremy Wolfe 02/21/06, 8 p.m. SUCCESS!!!
Harmonix Software Developers 02/27/06, 7 p.m. Discussed startups and the future of the gaming industry.
Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis and Dr. Mary A. Turzillo 03/13/06, 7 p.m. SPECTACULAR!!!
Dr. Robert Granetz First week in April "candy, you say?"
Markos Hankin Pending ... Mark A. has further details...
Professor Joe Haldeman September 06? "I'd love to come, but will have to put it off till fall." (currently in Florida)
Senior Advisor Kirk Kolenbrander 04/11/06 Discussed East vs West at MIT, benefits of a hall environment, rush, hacking.
Electronic Max, 6.034 TA Night of Formal Cocoa Talked about 4e way back, discussed grad school, looked at Max's AI research
Richard M. Stallman 09/20/06 11 p.m.

Declined Invitation

Notable Invitee(s) Date Contacted Comments
President Susan Hockfield January 06 Never!
Cory Doctorow 02/13/06 Regretfully declined and now residing in London.

Waiting for Response

Notable Invitee(s) Date Contacted
Professor Charles Vest January 06
Strong Bad 01/16/06
Professor Max Tegmark 01/31/06; 02/02/06
Professor Eric Lander 02/13/06
Professor Donald Sadoway 02/13/06
Professor Noam Chomsky 02/22/06

To Be Invited

People we want to invite for Cocoa (feel free to invite any of these people and move them to the above table):

  • Dean Larry Benedict
  • Professor Junot Diaz
  • Professor Suzanne Flynn
  • Professor Sheldon Glashow (Harvard/BU)
  • Professor Alan Guth
  • Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
  • Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
  • Andrew Ryder
  • Professor Alex Slocum
  • President Larry Summers (Harvard)
  • Professor Gerald Jay Sussman
  • Professor Alar Toomre
  • Max Van Kleek
  • Professor Derek Walcott (BU)

Please add anybody else to this list if you would like to invite them to Special Cocoa.

Interhall Cocoa

We have begun inviting other halls of East Campus (or maybe even other dorms?) to Cocoa, every Thursday night at 11 p.m.

Hall Scheduled Cocoa
Third West 02/09/06: Success!
Fifth East 02/16/06: Massive Turnout!
Second East 02/23/06: Success!
First East 03/07/06: pending...

Budget Spring 2006

$28.14 Boxes of Cocoa

Total Cost: $28.14


See Also