Gloria


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Thai Food and Greenhouse Gases

This term I’m enrolled in Bi1, Principles of Biology. The first half of the term was focused on basic biology – transcription, translation, three kingdoms, what defines life – and biological techniques/experimental design. Some of the topics were review, and it all went really well with the lab work I was doing in preparation for my SURF. The second half of the term has been focused on metabolism, which is quite a bit more complicated, and new to most of us. We discussed the molecular mechanisms of oxidative phosphorylation (respiration and photosynthesis), for example, drawing out the electron transport chains and redox reactions involved. After delving into those details, we applied the concepts of metabolism to different organisms and communities of organisms, understanding symbiosis through metabolic processes.

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culture

Walking a 5k

Back in high school, we ran 2.5 miles every other day, and the whole school ran a 5k at the end of every year as our final fitness test. Keeping up with running in college is a little harder. First term, I ran every morning with two of my friends, waking up at a bright and early 7:30 a.m. I also occasionally ran in the evenings/middle of the night with Avery Running Group. Second term, I ran very occasionally (due to an injury), and same for third term. Can you see the negative trend here? When I saw the emails about the Caltech Beaver 5k, an event put on by Caltech’s health education advisory league (HEAL), and Catalina Community Associates (CCA), I thought it would be a great way to get back into running. Then I saw that walking was also an option, and decided to do that instead.

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culture

Trying New Things, Noms Edition

I like having default things – default favorite color, favorite food, favorite book, favorite movie – and I don’t step far out of those boundaries. Moving from Illinois to California hasn’t shaken most of those, but it has changed my food boundaries. For the most part, it’s been different Asian foods. Before I came here, I never knew of the existence of niangao, a Shanghainese, stir-fried rice cake dish. We use rice cake, or “dduk,” a lot in Korean cuisine. There’s rice cake soup, or ddukgook, and spicy rice cakes, or ddukbokki. I was intrigued to see rice cakes, in the shape used in rice cake soup, in another cuisine. I’ve been wanting to try this for at least 1.5 terms, after hearing raving reviews from some upperclassmen. Two weeks ago, I was walking back from Teaspots with some people in my a cappella group, when a car stopped by (John from Avery, champion of niangao) and asked if we wanted to come get dumplings. I shrugged and joined, and was delighted to learn that the dumpling place (Juicy Dumpling in San Gabriel) also had niangao. It was delicious!

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culture

What do Snoop Dogg, Alice in Wonderland, and a German heavy metal band have in common?

Friday, May 22, 2015 was the real senior Ditch Day, and it was glorious. Below I will chronicle the day’s events.

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clubs

Inter A Cappella Funtimes, Part 2

Ever since the Pipettes began, we’ve been looking forward to watching Pitch Perfect 2 together. All girls group, a cappella, mashups? Right down our alley. The May 15 premiere seemed infinitely far in the future, but as the months flew by, our dreams of singing all the way to the theater didn’t seem so distant. There were also thoughts of somehow organizing all of the a cappella groups to go together, but that seemed like a scheduling mess, considering the pains it takes to schedule one rehearsal for one group (see: The Pipettes).

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research

Inter A Cappella Funtimes, Part 1

A cappella funtimes, you ask? Isn’t a cappella always a fun time? Well yes, we have our rehearsals twice a week, occasionally hang out at Teaspots or Chouse afterwards, and have a lot of fun singing and chatting as a group. Recently, however, we’ve had some inter a cappella events thrown into the mix.

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culture

Feeding America(PI)

Every year, Ruddock frosh hold a party during third term. Since the workforce is purely frosh, it’s much less ambitious/involved than Ruddock interhouse. This year’s theme was America. Each category of the party was headed by one or two frosh — some of my friends put together 4 hours of music, some toiled away at constructing a mini White House, and others painted wallboards with flags and eagles. Chloe and I signed up to be in charge of food, so we had brainstorming sessions on quick and easy red, white, and blue recipes over the months before frosh party. When we learned of our limited budget, we cut down our plans (fresh berries are not cost-effective) and headed to Costco.

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research

Grading Woes, CAPSLOCK EDITION

My last post on the delights and despairs of my graded work had an assortment of first and early second term examples. Halfway into third term, I bring you the latest installment.

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clubs

Welcome, Class of 2019!

Freshman year has passed by so quickly — I repeatedly find myself surprised that events happened at my high school already. One of those milestone events was May 1. Last year, I was pretty set on attending Caltech after Early Action decisions, but for many people, the college decision struggle was real.

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culture

Alley 3 Does Second Dinner

Two Tuesdays ago, to celebrate “the third week of the third term and us being the third alley both in number and alley rankings,” Alley 3 drove to Denny’s for Jim’s UCC office hours. It was our first major food outing since walking to The Counter first term, and once again, the promise of free food garnered a staggering 11 members of Alley 3 (past and present and then some), all of whom somehow squished into 2 cars. My neighbors Gregory and Julian weren’t too pleased with their seating arrangement:

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research

Weekend Food Adventures!

(Everything is an adventure.) Too often do I stay in the house during weekends and eat BCD tofu starter packs or C-store udon (both amazing options, believe me). I try to switch it up — tofu soup for lunch, udon for dinner on Saturday, then the opposite the next day. It’s mundane, but it’s decently good, and it sustains me amidst rehearsals, events, and homework. And it also makes anything out of the ordinary pretty exciting. Over the past year, occasionally, upperclassmen have taken us out to eat over the weekend — ramen, tofu soup, boba…

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clubs

Dhamaka

At the beginning of the year, we had club fair. Excited first term frosh as I was, I went around signing up for all of the clubs (there was a lot of free food…). I must have put my email down for at least 15 clubs, from Chemistry Club to French Club to literally every single dance group. I even signed up for Dhamaka, a Bollywood dance group, because they were super friendly at club fair. I was bracing myself for an influx of promotional emails, and was planning to try the different dance groups out before committing to anything. But from the beginning, Dhamaka stood out as the most well-organized of all of the groups. Right at the organizational meeting (mango lassi and samosas!), fearless captain Meera had everyone sign up on a spreadsheet, listing their contact information and dance experience. The dance rosters were sent out soon after, and then the rehearsals began.

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culture

Alley 3 Does Ruddock Greens

I was not a very active prefrosh, so I went to very few of the house events during Prefrosh Weekend and Rotation. My participation in Ruddock Greens, a mini golf course that goes through all of the alleys in the house, consisted of me walking over mini golf course obstacles on the way to my host’s room on Friday night. Two days before Prefrosh Weekend this year, I was talking to some UCCs about rescheduling Ruddock Greens, and I learned that in Alley 3, frosh are responsible for setting up Ruddock Greens.

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culture

n+2ing our room

Many rooms have couches or huge beanbags or other extra sleeping areas. We have the floor. Despite this limitation, my roommate and I both signed up to host prefrosh for Prefrosh Weekend. Last week, when we were confirmed to have prefrosh, we started planning. Chloe had a big blanket that we laid out on the floor, and we tried sleeping there with our sleeping bags one night:

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academics

Spring Break Food Tour!

What did I do this spring break? Eat… Here’s the rundown.

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global

The Official Make Food and Eat it Class

This is how cooking class went last term. Every Tuesday night, I and my fellow Rudd frosh, Tim, would walk over to Tom Mannion’s house at 6:30 p.m. Our group would sit around, listen to Tom teach a short lesson on the theme of the day, watch his demos, then go to work. We would fry chicken and cut tomatoes and whisk sauces. I would eat way too much and barely be able to walk on the way back, swearing not to eat so much next class. This would be repeated every week until the end of term.

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research

The Sweetest of Birthdays

This year, I celebrated my first birthday away from home. On top of that, it was the first day of spring term. Happy birthday to me! But thanks to friends and family, it was one of the best ones yet.

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research

The Pipettes

One day, I was having breakfast in Fleming dining hall during rotation. A girl I had talked to once before came up to me and asked, “Hey, wanna start an all-girls a cappella group?” And so the Pipettes began.

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culture

Spun Sugar and Wings

Soon after Ruddock Interhouse was Avery Interhouse! This year, Avery’s theme was “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” so basically, everything was pink. Pink cotton candy, pink runway, pink wallboards, pink balloons, pink dance floor, pink streamers…pink no longer looks like a real word. As a member of Avery, I received all of the emails, from the theme surveys, to the runway ideas, to the pleas to help with construction, art, and food. In less than a month, Avery pulled together a really impressive party! Avery is known for having great food at their Interhouse, and this year was no different. There was of course the cotton candy, expertly manned by John:

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culture

Manners and Multicourse Meals

This past Friday, I was planning to attend Avery formal dinner. It turned out that the infamous Manners 101 dinner was scheduled for the same night, and since the chances of being randomly selected for such a popular event were slim, I entered the lottery. Unlike my course lotteries (sob), I was actually selected for this one. During cooking class on Thursday night, many of us were recruited to help out with the dinner. There was prep, cooking, plating, and waiting to be done in this large operation. Since I was going to participate in the dinner, I went and helped out from 5:30-6:30. I picked thyme (with three of us, it took a good half an hour to get a cup’s worth) and cut butter pats. As I went to get changed into business attire, I saw the impressive plating endeavor begin with the tomato tartare:

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