A couple weekends ago, we drove to the Ventura area to play in an invitational tennis tournament. It was difficult to finish up all my sets to leave Wednesday night, but the trip was 100% worth it! From the women’s team, Rebs and I played in the tournament, and the six players from the men’s starting lineup also came.
For Easter, the UCCs organized an egg hunt for the house. The eggs were hid around the house and at noon, we were given colorful baskets and set free to pickup eggs! There aren’t many good hiding places for eggs in a college dorm room, and also we wouldn’t want the candy to rot in the case the egg wasn’t found, so they were placed in obvious places. But it was still really fun! And funny to see eggs about various places:
The conference tournament that we call SCIACs (that’s just the name of our conference) was this past weekend, concluding our season. It was especially hot this weekend, but as my coach always says, the sun shines and the wind blows on both sides of the net: what you’re feeling your opponent is as well. And after three matches, Caltech earned 7th place out of the nine teams in conference, which is quite an achievement and improvement from past years. You can read more about us here.
This past Tuesday I watched the lunar eclipse! A bunch of us sat in the Fleming Hovse courtyard watching the Moon. The house provided snacks and we sat on our artificial turf. I imagine the atmosphere would be similar to an outdoor movie, though I have never actually been.
While we travelled to Texas, we weren’t the only team to skip town; the baseball team played games in Arizona, and the men’s basketball team travelled all the way to Spain and played there! Also, the week before finals the men’s tennis team played in Palm Springs the same time as the BNP Paribas professional tournament was happening. So on one of the days they didn’t have a match they went to watch the pro matches, meeting Djokovic, the Bryan Brothers, and Kevin Spacey! Hardly a surprise, we, the women’s team, were quite jealous when they came back with photos and everything. But then we went to Texas and had quite our share of fun.
This Spring Break, the women’s tennis team travelled to Texas! We played two matches against Texan teams; you can read about the matches here. And in addition to improving our regional ranking, we saw new sights and ate yummy food! (Fellow blogger Jenny is also on the tennis team so some of this might sound familiar.) I was surprised by how flat the land around Dallas is. And everything is so spread out; instead of having stores and houses lining the sides of the road, there’d be clusters of buildings here and there. And the UT Dallas campus is huge! We discovered that when we were trying to find the tennis courts for the first time; thank you satellites feature on googlemaps! Their facilities are super nice; I couldn’t help but take a photo of their tennis courts.
Every house has a ski trip sometime in January. It’s always a lot of fun to be off campus for a couple days just with your house. For Fleming, we went to Big Bear that is about a two-hour drive from Caltech. I’m from Colorado, so the standard for ski resorts doesn’t quite match up. But this was my second ski trip and it’s always tons of FUN!!!!! Most people went snowboarding or skiing during the day, and the people that didn’t went on an adventure of sorts! Big Bear is not as rugged as we imagined, but we were still able to sort of become closer to nature. We drove to the lake where there were lots of ducks!
Our house had a Secret Santa Gift Exchange last week. It’s a house tradition where we are randomly matched up with a person to gift, and someone else gives you a present as well. Depending on how well you know the person you’re gifting, sometimes people will gift gag gifts as a “Secret Satan”. The gift comes with a hint to help the receiver guess the person that gifted them. We open all the presents together in our house lounge, and it’s hilarious to see whom people guess as their gift giver and the actual gifts.
Just a little background, Caltech’s undergrad population is divided into eight houses, each with their own uniqueness. Each house has their own social team, a group that’s in charge of planning events for that house each weekend and sometimes we do joint events with other houses. Combined with Interhouse parties and ASCIT organized events, weekends can get quite busy. So contrary to the nerd stereotype, us Techers like being social.
The Friday before finals week, the band Wallpaper. performed at Caltech! It was one of those online competitions for which college had the most votes, and we won! Their music falls under the hip hop/pop genre, and if you haven’t heard them yet you should check them out. The concert was a ton of fun; they had a small stage setup on campus and we were able to get right up to the stage. Actually, someone walked on stage while they were performing, but then was taken off by security… Point is, we got to see them really up close! I could see all their facial expressions, sweat, and all. At one point they had prerecorded the song and band members reached out into the crowd giving everyone high fives.
Hi readers! It’s good to be back blogging again! I didn’t realize how many prefrosh read the blogs until they came to Tech and recognized me from them. It was a little surprising, but I hope what I write here gives you some insight into what it’s like to be a student at Tech, and maybe even convince you to come!
This past weekend was our Interhouse party BFP, also known as Big ‘Fleming’ Party. It was similar to the other Interhouses, but this time, since I’m part of the Social Team, I took part in preparing for it. There were some ups and downs, but for the most part I enjoyed the process. Apart from the organization aspect and getting food and drink, the preparation was the building and painting of the dance floor area.
For Alumni Weekend, our house organized a dinner with Tom Mannion. The food was delicious, as always and I finally got to meet the alums that graduated a couple years ago I always hear about from the upperclassmen. But of everything, I found the older alums the most interesting. Back then, wrestling against other houses in the dining hall was not a common experience.
From May 17 (sorry for the delay) One of arguably the best traditions at Caltech is Ditch Day. It started back when the seniors would pick a day to go off campus, skip classes, etc. But the underclassmen didn’t like this so they started pranking the rooms of seniors, flipping furniture upside-down and stuff like that. And so, Ditch Day evolved into a day that the seniors have planned a day filled with activities for the other students. It’s treated as a holiday where classes are cancelled and assignments aren’t due. The date of Ditch Day is supposed to be a surprise, and in response to us asking the date, seniors always say it’s tomorrow, regardless of the day. It’s funny when if the frosh are up late with sets or something, a senior will come by and say, “go to bed frosh, Ditch Day is tomorrow”. This is because Ditch Day starts at 8am, which is quite early considering my earliest class this term is at 10am.There have been a couple fake Ditch Days, when the seniors will bang pots and pans, literally, around the house at 8 to wake everyone up. This past Friday we had a fake Ditch Day, but the seniors had still planned a little something for us though it was fake. At around 8:30, a bunch of seniors broke out of this walled up portion of the Olive Walk. Our task was to use duct tape to catch as many seniors we could and tape them to trees and pillars in a designated location. Each house was given duct tape in their house color to keep track who got who. I enjoyed it a lot because the event was light-hearted and fun, with groups of underclassmen chasing seniors with long peices of tape.
So I’m in a lab class this term; we have take home physics labs which involve deriving equations, building circuits, and measuring values from them. Last Sunday, my partner and I were in the SAC doing our experiment and saw something through the window blinds. Pulling up the blinds, it was a peacock! Like what?
At an academically oriented university such as Caltech, we probably spend more time with schoolwork here than at other places. But this is not to say that it’s all we do. Roughly one-fourth of Caltech undergrads participate in an intercollegiate sport, and I plan on playing soccer and tennis all four years. With tennis in season, a typical day for me still looks similar to one of a typical Caltech student. If I wakeup early enough, I’ll grab some breakfast from open kitchen before class. The kitchens are open to get food 7-11am, then 3-7pm. My favorite part about it is the berries. Everyday they provide blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, and I love berries! There is also a toast/bagel station with jars of different spreads, juice, milk, Chobani yogurt, and other fruit like bananas. So anyways, depending on the day, I’ll have one or two classes starting at 10am. In high school, ten seemed super late because we would have already had three classes by then. But it’s a lot different now.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve accumulated a couple of photos on my phone from a range of events. And here they are! Every term each house has formal dinner. It’s like a house dinner, but we typicallydress up and the food is much better than that from usual dinner.
It’s been a while since I last blogged, and it feels good to be back! First off, I’d like to congratulate the regular decision admitted students. If admissions accepts you, that means you can handle the workload. So don’t worry about it! I was intimidated by the academic rigor of this school before I came as well. Hopefully you all come to PFW; it’s a ton of fun!