This past Sunday, the Page house RA’s and UCC’s organized a day trip to Huntington beach. We left Tech around 2pm, spent a few hours in water/on the sand, and ended the day with a bonfire, grilling hotdogs and smores.
The difficulty of organizing group trips from Caltech is a function of how many drivers you can find. If you bring a car to campus, get ready to chauffeur! Caltech also has a Zipcar program, with 4 Zipcars on campus, available to anyone with a membership. Drivers being a limited resource, heading out of Page at 2pm turned into 2:45pm, given the complexity of trying to avoid n+1 Pageboys in a car that can hold n passengers.
We finally got out and headed to the beach, realizing as we were loading the car I was riding in that we had forgotten to buy veggie dogs (to go along with the meat hot dogs) for dinner. So, to Ralph’s we went! We got to the beach at 4pm and carried our buckets of soda, hotdogs, charcoal, and buns to the sand, only to realize that the “grills” described on the city’s website are really fire pits, and we had neither a grilltop nor sticks with which to cook hot dogs. Our house VP went out to shop some more, and we met up with the rest of the group, only to realize that 3 cars of Pageboys had gone to Huntington State Beach instead of Huntington City Beach.
Techers at the beach!Photo credit: Xiaomi Du
The sun set at about 6PM, and our house grill team got a fire started.
Our VP could only find short skewers at the Grocery store in Huntington, so that’s what we cooked dinner with.
Our house president noticed that this method took much too long, as the heat from the coals dissipated quite a bit before it reached the height at which we were holding the hot dogs…without getting burnt ourselves. So he took the drawstring out of his shorts, tied both ends to each end of a skewer, and made himself a hanging hot dog rotisserie.
Turns out desert weather applies in Huntington, too, so once the sun set, it got cold, fast. We hung out around the fire for a bit, then left at around 8pm. Got back to Tech with plenty of time to finish the problem sets we’d been putting off all day by going to the beach!
Even including all of our organization kerfluffles, our house trip was awesome! Our frosh got to spend time together, as well as with the upperclassmen, and everybody got free dinner :P The beginning of term seems to be the best time to take large house trips like this, because no one has had time to let too much work pile up, yet. We’d love to get off campus as a group like this more often. At the beginning of second term, we always go on a Ski trip to Mammoth (wayyy up North!), and during third term we might go to the beach again…or go camping.
SURF, short for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, is a quintessential experience for any Caltech student. It is a widely accessible research fellowship for Caltech students that funds your proposed research for one summer term. While many of my classmates did their first SURF the summer after their freshman year, I sent in my first application to the program as a sophomore. As a CS major, I was trying to chase meaningful work that intersected computation with the field of neuroscience. I ended up doing a SURF at the Stanford School of Medicine that first year, studying hand gestures in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since then, I’ve been working in the research space of applying computational analyses to ASD.
This summer, from the confines of my Brooklyn apartment, you could find me typing away on a tiny 13-inch laptop screen. At times I was looking for answers on countless Stack Exchange pages, editing a Jupyter notebook, or making blood flow measurements on a software called Arterys. This was my 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURF) experience.
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.