Is it possible to earn a degree from MIT in a single afternoon?

By Robert McQueen
Published: February 3, 2009

On Friday, close to 100 students, faculty, and alumni did just that during the 16th annual Charm School, held at the Stratton Student Center. And unlike MIT’s School of Engineering, Charm School boasted an admissions acceptance rate of 100 percent.

Charm School’s 20 classes covered topics ranging from “Flirting 101” to “How to Engineer Your Workout” and “Ballroom Dancing.”

The school marked its class-changing times the old fashioned way: Assistant Dean of Student Activities Jed Wartman rang a rusty bell atop the second floor stairwell.

Jeffrey Quinlan, friend of Stever Robbins ’86, taught a class called “How to Throw a Party” in the Coffeehouse Lounge. There, students learned how to be successful hosts, make conversation, and organize parties. Quinlan also offered tips on how to stay socially engaged at a party: “In order to keep any conversation going,” he advised, “just repeat the last two words someone says to you in the form of a question.” When making small-talk, Quinlan outlined allowed and forbidden conversation topics: while current events, the weather, and hobbies are all allowed, potentially controversial topics like religion are forbidden. --2/04/2009 NewsHammer