Every year, the seniors take an organized school trip somewhere for a night after senior finals week, which in 3rd term is a week earlier than everyone else’s finals. Last year they went to Catalina. This year we went to Vegas.
The weather being so nice out lately, my roommate and I began to think of having a picnic one of these days. So we gathered some of our friends in the alley and planned a potluck for a Sunday lunch right before finals week, as an energy booster and a last hurrah before graduation (though I was the only senior).
At around 4 in the afternoon we went to check in to our Airbnb, then went to Balboa Park, SoCal’s analog of Golden Gate Park. It is similar yet completely different–much more cozy-feeling and warm than Golden Gate, in my opinion.
The week after Ditch Day, a few of my close friends in my year and I took an overnight trip to my hometown, San Diego. We left at 10:30 in the morning and arrived in Old Town San Diego sometime into the noon hour. We had lunch at a classy Mexican restaurant, Cafe Guadalajara–I’d forgotten how much more Mexican food there is in SD than LA.
The Sunday of Ditch Day weekend, my alumni friends and I decided to take a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park, located a few hours south in the Mojave Desert.
My cough and allergies were hitting hardcore on May 25th, the night before Ditch Day, but there was still a lot of work to be done and limited time in which to do it. Before dinner, Anjali, Bolton and I went shopping for last-minute supplies, such as sugar and butter for baking, wrapping and construction paper to build the arch after the jello idea failed, and yarn for weaving wristbands and bracelets such as the one shown below after stained glass proved to be too pricey:
Caltech alumni generally come back to help out on their friends’ stacks for Ditch Day. We had invited 8 people for our stack, and they were all going to be actors in the Town Market section, as the merchants. I came up with the idea of using cardboard trifolds, like the type one sees at high school science fairs, for stalls. While the other members of my group took care of the other stations, I spent a lot of my time for the past 7 weeks of this term shut in the library painting. Here is how each of the trifolds turned out:
When I mentioned in my previous post that for the underclassmen stackees, Ditch Day began at 7:45 a.m. on May 26, 2017, I left out the other half of the story: that for the senior stackers, Ditch Day began a long time ago. Technically, my friend Anjali and I knew we wanted to do an original theme sometime in our junior year. By the beginning of winter break, we had assembled our team, and by the beginning of third term this year, preparations were already on their way.
My friend Jagriti and I decided to make paneer tikka masala the other day. Paneer is an Indian cottage cheese-like type of protein. Jagriti and I have cooked together since freshman year, but we’ve never made Indian food up till now, in part because it can be a very involved process but also because I’m fonder of cooking than Jagriti is and all I know is what my mom makes, which is mostly Taiwanese food.
As one of the UCCs (Upperclass Counselors) of my House at Caltech, I take my alley (hallway) off campus once in a while for edible excursions. On Saturday I decided to do a dim sum trip to Full House Seafood Restaurant in Arcadia, California. Our little group of 6 that could make it had dim sum experiences ranging from none (Karim) to “first and only time last summer” (Sarah) to “have been 3 times in the last 3 months with various groups of people” (me). It would be a lunch outing ripe with adventure and shared experiences.
The advantage of having friends with cars, who are foodies, is the near-unlimited opportunities that arise forpursuing delicious eats and drinks. In Southern California, this means good Asian places around the Monterey Park area in terms of food, and a plethora of boba tea shops in terms of drink. My current car-owning friends are mostly vegetarian so it isn’t often that I can bribe them to take me out for meat-heavy Chinese food, but every time the recently-graduated alumni return to visit, we go out to our favorite haunts.A time-withstood favorite of ours is this place called Spicy City in San Gabriel, California.
There’s been a video circulating around Facebook recently on making “aquarium cookies.”
Hi all, Sorry for my prolonged absence from the airwaves. I’ve been working a lot on my senior thesis this term, and as a matter of fact I’ll talk about what it’s like to do research during the year in this blog post.
Friday! It was starting to feel very familiar, this Thursday-Friday-Saturday pattern of grad school visits, so forgive me if I gloss over what happened at Northwestern more than I did at the University of Chicago. Of course, it is no less important…
As a rebellious teenager, I skipped all high school dances. Some of my friends and I had been thinking of an anti-prom party senior year, but I think we stayed home to study for the APs instead. Yeah, I know. Super boring. Not that the sole middle school dance I had attended, if it was any accurate indicator of the future, had been at all promising in terms of showing me what enjoyment I might milk out of an evening spent stuffed into a school venue like the gymnasium with a crowd of sweating, half-crazed teens or preteens.
For the last part of spring break, I headed off to Chicago again for my other grad school visit. I flew Southwest Airlines into Midway Airport, and so took the train for 2 hours from downtown Chicago into the suburbia of Evanston, IL. (The airport of O’Hare is closer to Evanston, but Southwest is not serviced there.) It was raining hard that day, the water being blown sideways in whippish long streaks and wetting my lower legs as I walked along the platform. A kind stranger gave me an extra train ticket he didn’t use. I sat on the train and watched the rain drip from the roof of the cart as the brick buildings passed me by. I had to make two transfers, Red Line to Orange and Orange Line to Purple, but luckily all of them were underground and safely out of the storm.
My parents bought a box of masala chai tea at the local Indian grocery store to try. This brand, Tea India, had more spices and less tea flavor than other chais I’d tried before. There was ginger, cinnamon, cardamom… We made a pot every night with hot milk and sugar, and the spices in the tea nursed my entire family back to health in just three days! I know what my next cold medicine is going to be.
As promised, here are some pictures of Venerable OPI 2017.