Hello hello hello. I know it’s been a while since you’ve seen me post anything… and I apologize for not being there to make your day. Here’s what you can look forward to on this edition of “International Perspective” (or as I secretly call it “The Chad Scribbles Experience”): Ditch day 2012 recap, why in the heck I haven’t posted anything in so long, where I am right now (you may or may not be surprised), and other musings. Here goes!
I’m sure you’ve been thinking, “Why haven’t you been making with the entertainment Chattergoon? My life is so void without your blog posts.” The short answer is… drum roll… I really dunno. There’s just been one thing after another coming up from finals to travelling to settling into Harvard (yes, Harvard. I’ll explain that in a future post). You can think of it as me going out and doing cool stuff to tell you about… so really my lack of a post in a while is really all for you guys… yeah that’s what I’m gonna stick with.
Ditch Day 2012!
So I kind of failed my first Ditch Day ever… I fell asleep at noon and didn’t wake up until 5 hours later… I know, I know- Mega lame. I did however participate for half of it and the half I did was pretty cool. Page did three stacks this year: Sherlock Holmes, The Hunger Games, Indiana Jones and the Shrine of the Seniors. I ended up picking (or rather having it picked for me) Indiana Jones. It was a perilous stack filled with rope jumping, slippery caves, poisonous (plastic) animals, and dangerous ledge walking.
The day starts off pretty regular except that everyone is actually awake for a change. We waited around until around 8 when the seniors gave the all clear for the start of Ditch day and then headed upstairs to pick stacks and get our stack t-shirt. I was on the blue team for the Indiana Jones stack along with Muneeb, Andy, Mia, and I think Ritwick and Juan. There might have been more people but I forget.
Our first objective was to get to the map room, located in the building that the Gene pool is in front of. Unfortunately when we got there, the map room had been tampered with! Dramatic drum roll As a result the seniors had to direct us to where the activities were. The first event for blue team was to navigate the slippery cave (aka slip and slide). The next challenge was to use rope swings to jump across the bottom less pit and then we had to tip toe across a thin ledge to get to a magnetically sealed box containing the first of 4 totems that was our goal to collect.
Our next challenge was to dig through mud banks to locate the clue, which was a series of transparent flash cards each with a small piece of a drawing on it. Combined the pieces formed a picture that we were to use to determine the location of the next totem. This part definitely took a while. We were wondering around for quite some time and also trying to get help from the other teams on this. As it turned out we had to get to an elevated position for our view finder to help (thanks Green team for telling us). We got the totem and were off to the pool!
We just kinda chilled at the pool to be honest. There was nothing for us there although we were able to watch one of the other house’s stacks: they were on floating mattresses in the pool and beating each other with noodles. It was quite a show. This is the point where I petered off and went to bed… But when I woke up I heard legendary tales of water fights and candy.
So that’s basically my experience with Ditch Day. I would have liked to been awake for the rest of it but when you get a chance to nap… it’s hard to say no.
Here’re some pro tips for Ditch Day:
Don’t go shower if the start of Ditch Day will occur while you’re showering cause then someone else will pick your stack for you.
Go pick your stack as soon as you can because the t-shirts aren’t unlimited and trust me, you want a t-shirt.
Wear comfortable shoes; you’re going to do a lot of walking.
Don’t wear anything that you’re too attached to, some stacks can be on the dirty side.
And as always go to bed early frosh! Ditch day is tomorrow!
I think that’s enough to digest for now so I’ll talk to you guys soon.
It’s been over three months since my trip to the Galapagos, and I am still thinking about it. For seven days, we all woke up at 5:30 am on the boat, ate breakfast together, and went out as the sun was rising on our morning hike to catch frigatebirds mating or iguanas spewing salt from their nostrils. Our days were spent snorkeling with turtles, sea lions, and schools of fish, and our nights were spent sitting on the bow of the ship, talking all together under the stars. It was truly a spring break I will never forget.
Four weeks before graduation! While I’m looking forward to the summer and all the fun it promises, I’m also reflecting on my undergraduate experience over the past few years. This is a blog about my favorite classes during my time here, some expected and others less so. As a Computer Science major, no CS classes actually make my final cut, but my top three favorite classes all fall into the realm of Neuroscience, my other primary academic interest.
I remember being a junior in HS and my APCS partner, Brooke, had just gotten accepted into Caltech. She was looking at the course catalog for humanities courses during class (instead of working on our project) and shaking her head at the offerings. When May rolled around, she told me part of the reason she didn’t choose to go to Caltech was how the humanities courses seemed to be “too scientific,” with classes that integrated history with quantum physics, etc. A year later, when I was in the same situation, I decided to matriculate to Caltech for its strong STEM offerings, but felt some anxiety about how my love of the humanities would be fed during my four years of undergraduate education.
One of the most well-known benefits of being a Caltech student is the infamous 3:1 student to faculty ratio, which implies a personalized, interactive undergraduate experience with world-class research scientists. It was a primary reason why I chose Caltech above other schools as a high school senior. Now as my time at Caltech comes to a close, I can reflect back on my interactions with different professors and consider if this 3:1 ratio really “lives up to the hype.” I believe the answer is yes.