I finally finished writing up my CS 123 (projects in databases) project from this term. I’ve posted about it a few times, but I wanted to share with you the entire thing!
There are a ton of amazing art museums in the Los Angeles area. If you don’t have a car, many of them are difficult to visit from campus. My freshman year, I had the luck of being able to visit the Getty Museum twice! The Getty is a private art museum which holds tons of classical and contemporary art. The same family which built the Getty also built the Getty Villa, a museum in Malibu, CA which houses exclusively classical antiquities (think ancient Greek and Roman art). I didn’t get the chance to visit the Getty Villa until just last week!
Two weeks ago, the CMS (Computing and Mathematical Sciences) department held their annual Meeting of the Minds mini-conference. This event is held every year during alumni weekend as a kind of showcase of student work for the visiting alumni (some local tech companies attended this year as well). The event begins with a keynote talk, which is followed by a two-hour poster session of student research and projects.
A few weeks ago, the Caltech Feminist Club hosted our third annual Take Back the Night event. Take Back the Night exists to support victims of sexual violence. It is held around the country every year, and often involves a rally, a candle lit vigil, and a march. Our event was a little smaller than usual, with about 30 people in attendance, so we didn’t hold a march. Instead, we organized a night where students and other Caltech community members can share their stories of encountering sexual violence and listen to those of others.
This past week I played hooky from Caltech. I skipped an entire week of classes and flew to the east coast for two major events: my boyfriend’s graduation from his university, and our new apartment search in New York!
I flew out on a Tuesday night and we took a train from Philadelphia to NYC the next morning. We checked into our Airbnb apartment early Wednesday afternoon and explored the Brooklyn neighborhood we were staying in. Around 3pm, we met up with a realtor to search our favorite neighborhood for apartments. And we found one on the first day!
I was shocked that we found a place so quickly. We are both worked fairly close together, so we knew the general radius of neighborhoods around our workplaces that we wanted to live in, in order to keep our commutes as short as possible. I also wanted to be near a park so that it would be easy to run before work, so that helped us narrow down our neighborhood search to one or two. We found a place in the first group of seven apartments we saw, and we got our application in the first day. Since we found an apartment on the first day, we spent the next two days of our trip to NYC doing more fun things! We were able to go to the Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art, and try a few amazing restaurants (and bakeries, of course).
This event counts a little as an on-campus and off-campus adventure. The Pasadena Playhouse, about a mile from campus, is currently running a play called “The Originalist,” about the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia was a proponent of Originalism, a constitutional interpretation that rose in popularity while he was on the bench. The Caltech Center for Diversity (CCD) arranged 50 tickets for Caltech community members. Wouldn’t you know it, but the play on that night was followed by a discussion led by Caltech History professor Dr. Kousser, who is teaching the Supreme Court History class I am currently taking. What luck! :P
A few exciting things have happened on and around campus recently that I wanted to share with you :)
I hope you all enjoyed Prefrosh Weekend! We love having prefrosh on campus for PFW. One of the highlights for me is always the activities fair, where we get to meet prefrosh who might join our clubs and teamsnext year. This was the Feminist Club’s table:
I wanted to share the rest of my Spring break with you before I forget it all!
Did you know that Caltech offers a cooking class? It’s called Cooking Basics and it’s taught by Caltech’s Director of Student Activities, Tom Mannion. Tom lives in a Caltech-owned house just off campus, and the class is held in a huge tent in his backyard. The class is only pass/fail, and it counts for credit towards your general institute requirements (but it doesn’t fill Core requirements).The class is held from 6:3opm-9:30pm on Thursday nights.
Spring break was two weeks this year, and I packed a ton of sleeping and reading into those two weeks! I also got off of my butt in order to do a few fun things with my family, including visiting the Philadelphia Flower Show with my mom. We used to go every year when I was little (and I meanreally little- as in, I don’t actually remember ever having attended before). My great aunt even presented there once or twice (she used to be a flower farmer and artist, and is now retired).
Before finals last term, I was able to squeeze in a few more off-campus adventures. My boyfriend came to visit (he attends another University), so we rented a Zipcar for two days and drove all over Los Angeles, eating as much food as we could, basically.
Happy belated International Women’s Day!
A few weeks ago, my Aunt and Uncle brought me along on a trip to see Fun Home in Downtown LA. There is a huge complex of theaters at the Performing Arts Center inDTLA, and there were several productions there on the night that we went. There is a theater for dance and opera, one for musicals, and one for the orchestra (when it doesn’t perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is across the street from the Performing Arts Center). All of the theaters are connected by a large concrete courtyard, which houses a “permanent taco truck,” which is where we grabbed dinner before the show.
Procrastibaking: baking delicious foods because following instructions to create new products is almost like doing your coding homework, but allows you to put off doing your homework for at least one hour while still feeling productive.
Have you heard of the Caltech bubble? It’s a very, very real phenomenon where extremely busy students, splitting their time between homework and lectures and research and limited personal time, stop reading the news and rarely become aware of current events beyond what happens on their own campus. While understandable, it’s rather annoying and somewhat dangerous (do you want the people you are training to go forth and change the world to not be aware of what is going on in the world?). Not everyone on campus lives in the bubble, however. There are a few organizations on campus that focus onsocial justice and activism, including the Social Activism Speaker Series (SASS), run by the Caltech Y, Caltech PRISM, the Caltech Feminist Club, and Women in Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy. The Caltech Diversity Center hosts talks through the Food For Thought program (I recently posted about a lecture on the politics of protest by Caltech professor Dr. Jennifer Jahner), andadvises manystudent clubs (like PRISM and the Feminist Club). These groups have becomemore and more active over the four years I’ve been here, and it’s extremely heartening to see that more and more students are getting involved in issues that don’t directly affect their everyday lives on campus.
The Caltech Diversity Center has begun a lecture series on campus called “food for thought,” where, as you may have guessed if you know any college students, they bribe students with food to convince them to listen to amazing speakers on interesting topics (you might think that amazing speakers and interesting topics alone would be enough to entice Caltech students away from their homework, but you would be surprised). This weekend, the CCD hosted a talk by Caltech English professor Dr. Jennifer Jahner, on the topic of “The Politics of Protest.” The CCD catered the event with our local and beloved Mexican food truck, Ernie’s.
A few of us bloggers (and some other ladies) visited the Langham Hotel in South Pasadena for afternoon tea this Saturday. Oh my goodness it was delicious. And very fancy. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you’ll notice that I wrote an almost identical post last year (2015 Fall) when I was studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh- my mother and I visited the Balmoral Hotel for tea when she flew out to Scotland to drop me off for the start of classes. This experience in Pasadena was nearly identical- there were fewer kilted men this weekend- and I enjoyed it just as much!
Ahhh winter. My long-distance partner visited campus this past weekend and while it was pouring rain (honestly this never happens in LA but if it does rain, it’s only between the months of January and March), we made quick work of all of our favorite restaurants, a few favorite recipes, and a few new choices!
Two weeks ago, the Caltech Feminist Club was honored to co-host a visiting speaker, Dr. Jennifer Musto, for a talkaboutthe technological methods used to combat sex trafficking. Dr. Musto is a professor of Gender Studies at Wellesley College, and is on sabbatical in LA at the moment, and graciously accepted our invitation to speak. The Feminist Club co-hosted with the Student-Activism Speaker Series (SASS, an organization run through the Caltech Y). About 60 people, both students and community members, attended the talk. It was an amazing turnout for a fantastic talk!