An underground novelty has surfaced into official MIT culture. Although student pirates have existed informally for some 20 years, the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER) has issued the first pirate certificates to six students who have completed the requirements. The arrrrr, arrrrr, arrrrr'ing must have been heard across the river because the Boston Globe just covered the news with an article and a video.
What are the requirements? Students must complete four physical education courses: pistol, archery, sailing, and fencing. There is also rumor of a secret oath.
Sophomore Jacob Hurwitz, featured in the video, says pirate lore fits nicely into MIT's campus culture.
"In geek culture, there is a big pirates vs. ninjas war," Hurwitz says. "I'm on the pirates side. I think pirates do a lot more. They do sword fighting, sailing, collecting treasure. All ninjas do is hide."
And what do the students receive? The certificates, authorized by the “swashbuckling" Institute, are printed on faux parchment and affirm that the named “salty dog’’ is entitled to a pirate certificate “with all its privileges and obligations thereof." And surely they celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19.
Don't expect to see these newly hatched pirates commandeering boats up and down the Charles River. The certificate limits actual pirating to “entertainment purposes only.”
Thu, 08/08/2013 10:41pm
Well that, and the Barbary and French Corsairs.
Wed, 04/04/2012 7:26pm
That's a relief. So MIT is not glorifying murderers. Just terrorists.
Sun, 03/11/2012 10:34pm
False: Pirates have existed at MIT since 1912, although our letters of marque were forcibly merged after 2007. Long live XIII !
see here for proof, matey: https://plus.google.com/photos/104975530142387068209/albums/5718142354436501457
Fri, 08/02/2013 11:32pm
Of course there's a ninja certificate. We just like to keep it a secret.
Fri, 05/03/2013 2:34pm
i would like to become a pirate
Tue, 08/07/2012 4:58pm
Nice to see that parents and grantors money being well spent, after graduation the students will be well set for a life in high finance, politics or perhaps lobbyists
Fri, 03/09/2012 6:28pm
Do Somalia pirates get these certificates? Do you also certify murderers, thieves, other types of criminals?
Wed, 03/28/2012 10:36pm
Historically, pirates a lot less actual murdering than you might think. They had such great PR -- that is to say that they projected such a fearsome image and were surrounded by sufficient lore -- that most of their targets surrendered without shots being fired or blood being shed (it helps that their targets were usually hired crews of merchant vessels carrying plenty of insurance). It could be said that this was one of the first uses of "terror" and "terrorism" to achieve a specific goal -- intentional or not.
Sat, 07/06/2013 8:51am
What about distillery? Rum must be made.
Fri, 09/06/2013 5:37pm
Someone wasn't hugged enough as a child.
Wed, 05/10/2017 12:01am
No business, language, history, explosives, or literature classes required? As fun as the listed classes may be, I'd think it would be a little more in depth than a few phys ed classes.
Wed, 11/21/2012 11:09am
Ahhh the perils of alliteration...
Tue, 08/07/2012 6:04am
They need a "Ninja" certification too! (would focus more on physical endurance/agility):
*Some sort of Martial Arts course*
Ultimate Frisbee (yeah, it doesn't sound that impressive, but closest thing I could think of to throwing something)
Tue, 08/07/2012 4:48pm
@ Jeff, except that torrent does not automatically equal pirating.
Sat, 01/14/2017 11:59am
You definitely need to pick a cool pirate name, Marvin Murdock - Murdock the Murderdeck Master, or something more bad arse
Sat, 01/14/2017 11:55am
Well these days there are a lot of vocations that are making comebacks
Sat, 01/14/2017 11:52am
You're correct, if the wind was in David of the pirate aggressor the merchant ship would strike their colours and hoist/loose a flag of terms, once terms were agreed it was a surrendering of cargo but sparing the crews lives and in a lot of cases they could keep the ship, too much attention for British pirates to be sailing a French or Spanish man of war or privateer ship.. also just as a bonus piece of historical knowledge, the first forces to use terror, terrorism and psychological tactics were the hashashins, aka assassins who were alawhite Muslims, lived in the mountain stronghold of alamut and spared Salahadin... also pirates were notorious for dabbling in homosexuality
Sat, 01/14/2017 11:45am
You raise an excellent point, also the art of wenching mustn't be forgotten nor ignored
Sun, 11/08/2015 9:47pm
Student life is important too. With such notoriously rigorous academics, without silly things like this to take the load off, most of the MIT students would probably go insane.
Nancy DuVergne Smith
Mon, 03/12/2012 11:50am
So MIT pirates have an even longer and richer history! Thanks for letting us know.
Tue, 08/07/2012 2:17pm
I'd just like to point out that there are three different types of pirates:
1) Treasure Island variety (see article)
2) Terrorists (including Somalian sea-terrorists)
Wed, 02/15/2017 8:03pm
OMG these comments are HILARIOUS!
Sat, 01/14/2017 11:54am
Hahaha... they try, but the Navy Seals are the ones that 'grade' their final exams, is very tough and has a lot of bullet points in the presentation
Wed, 03/23/2016 11:30pm
how do I obtain such ninja certificate
N.P Griffin, Q…
Tue, 05/12/2015 8:37am
Get a grip Dimitry, it's a joke and in good fun. There is always one wet diaper to ruin the fun...and you'd be it matey......
Fri, 04/24/2015 10:50am
Dmitry needs to push himself away from the computer and go for a walk. The fresh air will do him good.
Sat, 07/06/2013 10:53am
Comedy equals tragedy plus time
Wed, 01/25/2017 1:02pm
Is there an option to complete the certification online? For activities in shooting, boating etc, students could upload video as evidence of them completing the requirements.
Or, there are things like conceal and carry permits that show evidence of firearm training and competence.
Fri, 12/13/2013 11:46pm
You forgot the fourth kind of pirating... butt pirates...
Sat, 01/14/2017 11:43am
I'm very interested in becoming possibly the first international correspondent student who was born in a country where the first police forces members were the best behaved criminals
Tue, 01/03/2017 11:56pm
Hi I would like to acquire a certificate, how much is it and where are you located?
Wed, 09/14/2016 6:56pm
The "Sailing" part of this kept me SANE in 1958-9 ---- Thank you Sailing Master...
Thu, 08/27/2015 3:29pm
Can I get Pirate certified online?
Iara La Sirena
Tue, 07/21/2015 9:51pm
Arrrr! Is this offered in OpenCourseWare? :D
Fri, 10/25/2013 6:01am
Is there a way to MOOC this??
Thu, 08/08/2013 8:58pm
Do they do correspondence courses? or Proficiency tests?
Fri, 10/19/2012 2:47am
do you have to be an MIT student to enroll in the pirate program?
Wed, 03/28/2012 8:36pm
Can pirates receive their certificates retroactively? I've completed all of these courses and would very much like to be rewarded for my harrd work.
Thu, 03/08/2012 1:23pm
That's fantastic -- what a great idea!