We had to simulate everything, and the final project was to take the professor's Basic program and execute it correctly, and compile his other program and then execute that correctly.
That class was the absolute best thing I ever did, I learned so much in that class. It was the only class that I went to every day and took seriously, I got the only A in the class.
I had started programing back in the mid-70's by the time I got to college in 82 I had a bunch of side jobs writing code. I didn't focus too much on my college career, I was working my side programming gigs, and I was tutoring other students. That class got my attention and I loved it.
MIX was, in theory, supposed really to be the opposite: so universal/generic that you'd ignore the language and focus on the lesson. Similar to the motivation for using Scheme in SICP. Obviously times have changed :-).
Sort of the difference between putting on eyeglasses to see the world better (MIX) or putting on eyeglasses to learn about how lenses work.