What the heck is Formal Cocoa?

The hall I lived on when I was at MIT, had a longstanding tradition of having cocoa (always Carnation, not Swiss Piss) every Sunday through Thursday night at 11pm. I'm sure that sounds pretty lame to non-hall members, but it was fun. We spent many evenings taking a break from tooling and socialized, probably a bit too loudly for some people's taste, but if you really expected to go to sleep at 11pm, you were definitely in the wrong school! The downside for some of us was that we didn't even start studying until after cocoa. Hey, we all graduated, for the most part. Cocoa was called by the cocoa chairs, who either yelled "cocoa" as they walked down the hall or sang "cocoa songs," which were popular tunes changed so the lyrics were all about the hall and cocoa. I was a cocoa chair all four years, and wrote at least fifty cocoa songs. Unfortunately, the "cocoa album" seems to have been lost by subsequent cocoa chairs. That was some of my best work at the 'tute!

Formal Cocoa was held each term, and, as the term suggests, was a dressed up version of cocoa. The cocoa was made with milk and Ghiradelli chocolate and there were lots and lots of sugary desserts. People were encouraged to dress up, but wearing a crazy costume was OK, too. Formal Cocoa was my domain the entire time I was on the hall. While I was running the show, the cocoa song "The Sound of Cocoa" (to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence.") was the formal cocoa song.

Some more Formal Cocoa pictures can be found here.