comScore
  1. Mediaite
  2. Gossip Cop
  3. Geekosystem
  4. Styleite
  5. SportsGrid
  6. The Mary Sue
  7. The Maude
  8. The Braiser

What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Buckle Buckle Swash Swash

MIT Has Had a Secret Pirate Program This Whole Time


For the past 20 years, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — better known as MIT — has unofficially been offering a super secret athletic “program” for students who take a certain group of courses. Upon completing all of these course, they achieve a certain “scurvy-scum” status amongst their less inclined peers. Indeed, students who take and pass courses in “pistol, archery, sailing, and fencing” are deemed pirates. And while this was done by students just for kicks, MIT has decided not to ignore the swashbuckling that’s been going on and will now issue these students actual, physical pirate certificates.

Oh, it’s true. There are undergraduate students earning real, live pirate certificates at MIT, surely making their parents truly, deeply proud of them. All as part of their requirement for four physical education courses. And now, they’ll have documentation to show for themselves (on top of the gun, archery, swordplay, and boat know-how):

As of this school year, the physical education department is formally conferring pirate status on students, printing certificates on faux parchment with diploma-esque calligraphy. Each paper, authorized by the “swashbucklin’ ’’ Massachusetts Institute of Technology, certifies that the named “salty dog’’ is entitled to a Pirate Certificate “with all its privileges and obligations thereof.’’

After 20 years of having to break it to everyone that this was merely a fun thing the students came up with, the physical education department eventually came to their lily-livered senses and made it official. And last fall, six students were given the official MIT certification of “pirate.”

But seriously, these classes are not for the faint of heart. They all fill up really fast and are only offered at 8:00 AM. So the people trying to become pirates at MIT are not messing around. They use actual weapons for archery and pistol shooting, and then they go sailing on the Charles River. In the not-at-all-tropical waters of New England. Then again, it’s a small price to pay to become an actual bloody pirate at MIT.

Once a student does become an actual bloody pirate at MIT, there is a small ceremony that takes place in the physical education office. They receive their fancy certificate and take an oath, the words of which have not been disclosed to the public, so as to preserve some of the “secret society” aspect of the program. There was a serious debate among students whether to keep this secret pirate program private among those in the know or have it recognized by the school. In the end, the school had proved itself a worthy ally. But to be sure, there is a clause that says the students’ newly attained pirate skills are “for entertainment purposes only.”

“We don’t want to give [the impression] we’re giving permission to go out on the Charles River and commandeer boats,’’ said Cheryl Silva, an associate physical education professor who teaches archery at MIT.

Admit it: When you saw the words “pirate” and “MIT” in the same headline, you thought it was about hackers, didn’t you? And now, pirates make hackers look so boring, don’t they?

(Boston.com via Neatorama)

TAGS: | |


  • http://twitter.com/birkland birkland

    LOL. I totally thought MIT+Pirate=Hackers. Good call!

  • Anonymous

    Show me a pirate that gets up at 8AM, I dare you. I defy you.

  • http://twitter.com/IvidiaKt Ividia Kt

     oh no, not getting up at 8 AM…still up from the pirating debauchery the night before!  :D

  • A Talbot

    I Totally know what college I’m going to now.

  • Anonymous

    “One never GETS up at this hour, one only STAYS up”
    –Duke Ellington

  • http://www.smallfish-bigpond.com/ Kerensky97

    I still don’t see why people pretend to be pirates when there are plenty of people living and dying as real pirates off the coast of Somalia.

    If you really want to be a pirate, buy a plane ticket and see if you can hang with the big dogs.  Just wrap up your affairs before you go because real life isn’t a game.

  • http://twitter.com/Riviare Kimberly

    Umm, because playing around isn’t the same as doing the real thing? I do Talk like a Pirate day like anyone else, and things like archery would be fun. Doesn’t mean I want to rob ships and kill innocents for a living.

    It’s like saying the people who play guitar hero should learn to play the guitar, or people who play DDR should take dancing classes. Some people simply like to play at things, not go out and do the real deed. :)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7GVNIKWG3S2UTHEQOMSZXT4M4 Anna B

    What? No one said it? Okay, I’ll say it.

    BUT WHERE’S THE RUM GONE?!?

  • Anonymous

    My university offers Archery, Fencing, and SAILING and its in the tropics (Florida) now I just need to find pistol shooting class and I can “pirate” myself an MIT pirate degree!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R7GVNIKWG3S2UTHEQOMSZXT4M4 Anna B

    I’ll let you know what I think of it when I’m basking on the decks of those Somalian pirate ships, Chuckles.

  • Anonymous

    HOLY FREAKIN GOD!!!!! I have never wanted to go to school so bad

  • http://twitter.com/jediSwiftNinja jediSwift

    The ECU Pirates need these courses and this certificate!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gbruck George Bruck

     so nobody should do civil war or revolutionary war  re-enactments?  Especially the “bad guys”?  What a miserable point of view.  just a guess….conservative?

  • Kelli Halliburton

    Nope. I’m a liberal, well, 95% liberal anyway, and I can tell you only we have that level of wet blankets in our ranks. :)

  • Anonymous

    Time for a reality check: http://manhood101.com

  • David Nicholson

    Perhaps MIT has a buzzkill certificate…

  • Randroid
  • Anonymous

    Or perhaps these MIT pirates could challenge those Somali pirates.

    Because you know they could come up with some amazing weaponry.

  • Charles Ulysses Farlie

    I can, within twenty steps, lay my hands on more than ten swords, in my domocile. A woolen long-coat, a doublet, a feathered hat, a buckler, a dagger, and Royal recognition for my skill with a blade.
    I will stand against any three of your short-panted neophytes with degrees in piracy, and lay them each out.
    Piracy taught at MIT, indeed.

    Falderall!

  • Princess Mom

    Isn’t Skull and Bones at Yale, not MIT?

  • Anonymous

    Is this a joke? Because if it’s real it would be too sad…

  • Anonymous

    what Brian implied I didnt even know that anyone able to earn $8684 in 1 month on the internet. did you read this website w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • Princess Mom

    It certainly would have!

  • Mark Brown

    Or even more fitting for being at the wrong school…

  • Mark Brown

    That’s in the Business Admin course.