culture

Pictures from Venerable Interhouse 2017

As promised, here are some pictures of Venerable OPI 2017.

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Vienna - Spring Break Pt. 2

Next stop: Vienna, Austria! We took the train in the morning from Budapest to Vienna. We had a pretty hard time because we couldn’t find the international ticket office, but once we located that everything was smooth sailing from there. Pro tip:Be careful about buying Eurail passes and make sure you are actually saving money. We did not buy passes beforehand, and saved about $100. We had no problem buying tickets on the day of, even for the next departing train.

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global

Budapest - Spring Break Pt. 1

This year, Caltech gave us two weeks for spring break instead of one. My friend (also a Techer) and I decided to spend the first week abroad and the second week at home with our families. In one week, we went to three countries - Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic! I’m doing one blog post per country, so stay tuned for the rest. :) We flew from LAX -> BUD the Monday that spring break started. We landed in Budapest on Tuesday in the late afternoon. That day, we explored the area around our very affordable Airbnb and took some pictures with the Danube River in the background. I also tried kürtőskalács, which is Hungarian chimney cake. Imagine a round cylindrical loaf of sweet bread that was hollow in the middle, and you’ll have a rough idea of what chimney cakes are. Since we were tired from traveling, we decided to call it a day and rest up for the next day.

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Visiting Grad Schools

Saturday morning!

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Visiting Grad Schools

The Friday at UChicago continued! The dinner event, allowing for more mingling, would be a banquet on the 95th floor of one of the tallest buildings in Chicago, the John Hancock Center.

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culture

Party at Chandler Interhouse

Each of Caltech’s eight houses hosts an interhouse party each year, but some would say that none of them compare to “Chandler Interhouse”. “Chandler Interhouse” is a nickname for Midnight Madness, where Caltech Dining Services (CDS) opens up Chandler Cafe around midnight for a few hours of breakfast foods during finals week. In recent years, the staff have gotten into coming up with different themes for this quarterly event. The decorations for Midnight Madness rival that of the interhouse parties: there was often loud music, large paintings, hanging papier mache decorations, and dimmed lights.

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research

Visiting Grad Schools

Fridaybegan with breakfast at the hotel, where I got to know some more prospective students over conversations about where to find the coffee (it was not located with the rest of the food) and which breakfast sandwiches were the most delicious. Then we bused over to the University. The day was divided into 40-minute chunks. I had meetings with five professors and one free period. Since this was my first visit weekend, I didn’t really know what to expect at these meetings, whether I should bring a notepad or not, etc. I decided to just wing it and use my ears and mouth.

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research

Visiting Grad Schools

I flew out to the Midwest last week for the University of Chicago’s chemistry visit weekend. Grad school visits are organized by department, unlike undergrad visits where it is the entire admitted class. It’s really nice that in a STEM Ph. D. program, the institute reimburses all travel costs and puts you up in a good hotel for the entirety of your stay :) When I mentioned I was going on a grad school visit to my chamber music coach, Delores, she said incredulously, “Wow, they never flew us out or treated us to anything for music grad programs!”

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clubs

The Not-So-Silly Goose

Geese are not silly. They are savage. Last weekend, my friend and I spotted some by a pond. One was curled up cozily on the ground, its velvety black head resting on its back. It looked so elegant that I had to get a picture. Squatting down, camera in hand, I inched toward it. Hesitantly, it began to lift its head and wings, but if I could just get a step closer without frightening it away, I could get a better picture… So I took the step and squeezed the button, my eye pressed up to my camera.

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culture

Mercado la Paloma

It’s finally spring break!! Before I jet off to Budapest, Austria, and Prague (which I will definitely blog about), I spent some quality time with my family. We went to Mercado la Paloma in DTLA to eat lunch and also pick up food for later. We ate at Holbox (lunch), Chichen Itza (dinner take-out), and Azla (dinner take-out). Mercado la Paloma is a warehouse style building with several independent shops and restaurants inside. It’s a super cool place to visit when you’re in LA.

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culture

Pi Day

Some photos from Pi Day!

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culture

Attend a New Media Arts Exhibition

E89 New Media Arts in the 20th and 21th Century, a class taught by Hillary Mushkin, had its annual student showcase. The course goes over major art movements and pieces stemming from around WWI such as Dada-ism, surveillance art and mediated realities. Each lecture is an exploration and discussion of various pieces, and the course culminates in a student-designed art piece that relates to the themes coveredover the term.

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culture

Tour of Chandler Dining Hall

Learn about all the different dining options at Chandler Dining Hall! Chandler is where most students and faculty eat lunch, so this blog post is solely about the different stations open during lunch hours. Also, I didn’t take a picture of the coffee/pastry/dessert section, but there is one!

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local

A Morning in the Arts District

The Arts District is an artsy, up-and-coming area in DTLA. It’s about a 20 minute drive without traffic. My friends and I went to Manuela, a Southern-style restaurant, for brunch. Manuela is located in the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art gallery. There is also a courtyard with cool art and chickens! We walked around the neighborhood after and checked out a small farmers’ market, some boutique stores, and got coffee. Check out the pictures below. :)

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culture

Hollywood Hiking

School stress had me feeling mopey, so I called my mom. She told me that she loved college—she went on hiking trips and other adventures all the time. So I planned one with my friends.

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research

Learn to glaze ceramics

Background:

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research

Be a "hacker" at Hacktech 2017

The Hacktech organizer team. "So the reason I organize hackathons is to inspire people to build cool things. When first-time hackers come to Hacktech I want them to see the different kind of projects that people build and get ideas, experience building things, and an understanding of how large the realm of possibility in building things is (even in just 36 hours)."
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local

KazuNori, Midori Matcha Cafe, and The Counter

Hi readers, I’m back with anotherfood post. Seriously, I think more than half of my blog is about food these days. This week, I’ll review KazuNori, Midori Matcha Cafe, and The Counter.

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College Cooking

Ah, nothing like two hot gooey slices of chocolate-drizzled, chocolate-chip-embedded mocha chocolate cake to keep me up past my bedtime. I planned to sleep early and wake early to work on a project for my electronics class, but it’s not every day that my inner Bruce Bogtrotter gets to shine through.

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Strange Sights Around Campus

Let it not be said that nothing crazy or exciting ever happens in Pasadena, the sleepier sister of the City of Angels. It is true that we do not have the glitzy glamour of Hollywood, nor are we in possession of the multitude of museums and parks and town squares that comes with the traffic of the downtown district. But we do have our own charms, quaint and unassuming as they may be. For example, the Rose Bowl Parade takes place on Colorado Blvd every year on January 1st, the same street where my friends and I venture to grab a bite of Thai food on the weekends. Before Beverly Hills, the stars of Hollywood bought houses on Arden Street, the street on whichthe Caltech Health Center and Counseling Office are currently located. And every once in a while, as I walk around the paths on Caltech’s main campus, I’ll see things like

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Food food food and special guests

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.

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Enjoy Donuts

Excursion #4: Enjoy donuts

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Pokemon Go and the Pokemon Club

Pokemon was a huge part of my childhood. To give you an idea, I lined up at Gamestop for the midnight release of Pokemon Sun and Moon earlier this school year. In this post, I’ll talk about Pokemon Go, the popular augmented reality game that came out less than a year ago, and Caltech’s very own Pokemon Club.

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global

Unicorn Cafe, Macarons, Green Soba, and Tofu Pudding

Unicorns and mermaids are my favorite mythical creatures. When I found out there was a cafe (Creme & Sugar) that served unicorn milkshakes, unicorn hot chocolate, unicorn bark, and other fanciful, magical, delicious desserts, I had to go. Creme & Sugar is in Anaheim, which is a little less than an hour south of Caltech depending on traffic. I dragged some of my friends with me, and we decided to make a day out of it and go to other places in Orange County as well. After Creme and Sugar, we drove to the Irvine Spectrum for super cute character macarons from Honey & Butter! There is always a line, and the character macarons run out soon after they are released (12 pm on the dot). Check out the pictures below.

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Throwback to Venerable Interhouse 2016

The third installment of Venerable OPI continues. In this post, I will be sharing with you memories of OPI from my junior year, where the theme was Star Wars and everything was truly out of this world.

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15 Murals and Much Papier Mache

The Venerable OPI sequence continues in this installment of “4 Years and 4 Seasons.” In this post, I will be talking about painting all of the murals to go on the dance platform, so turn on your artistic ears. (Are those even a thing? I must be tired, writing this at 3 a.m.)

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Triple-Story Dance Floor and a Spiral Staircase

My House is hard at work building OPI, which stands for “Our Private Interhouse.” Interhouse parties are open to all the undergrads on campus (and, unofficially, graduate student and non-Caltech guests as well as alumni), and each of the 8 student Houses hosts one for the campus each year. Back in the 70s, they allhappened on the same night–I can only imagine what a rave that must have been. The generic term is “interhouse,” but each party tends to have a different nickname associated with it depending on the identity of the House, and this is mostly used in case one finds the entire phrase of “___ Interhouse” too much of a mouthful to use in casual conversation–so basically, evolving like any type of slang.

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Walking Around Alhambra

Excursion #3: Walking Around Alhambra

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culture

Dumpling Night

Dumpling night is a termly tradition I have with my Caltech friends. Caltech’s meal plan doesn’t provide dinner on weekends, so we usually pick a weekend evening to hold dumpling night. My friends and I go to either 168 Market or 99 Ranch, both Asian markets about a 15 minute drive away from Caltech. Frozen dumplings at these markets go for about $2-$4 per bag, and there are about 25-30 dumplings in a bag, so it’s very economical.

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Wine and Candlelight

Fleming House has an annual Valentine’s Day formal dinner called Wine and Candlelight. This year’s dinner was my fourth and last Wine and Candlelight dinner. Many students go with dates, but it is not required and plenty of people go alone. The attire is formal, and people love to take pictures before the event.

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Pinkies Up

On Saturday, my friends and I went to The Langham for afternoon tea. The Langham is a fancy hotel in Pasadena, and some people’s parents stay there when they visit their kids at Caltech. The afternoon tea is a bit pricey (it starts at $46), but there is plenty of food and it’s well worth it. The hotel itself is gorgeous as well. It’s a great place to take pictures.

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Activism

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.

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Participate in student activism

Excursion #2:Participate in student activism

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Birthdays at Caltech

At university, students often are away from their families, so it is up to those we live with who have become our adoptive family to step up on special occasions and fill in the blanks. Like birthdays, for example. It is a tradition for my whole House to come together and celebrate someone’s birthday at 12 a.m. the day of. In the general sense it is a terribly unhealthy practice, this business of eating at midnight, but in all practicality, if you are part of the plurality–if not majority–that goes to bed after 2 a.m. (and this spans a wide windowfrom 2-6 a.m., if not later for the truly nocturnal), then it is not so bad.

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That one time I sang at Disney

Hi friends,

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culture

The Politics of Protest Lecture

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.

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global

Tea at the Langham- Treat Yo' Self

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!

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A Life in the Day of a Chemistry Major

Hi friends,

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local

Food food food!

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!

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culture

Homemade Buche de Noel

Hi everyone! Welcome to “Four Years and Four Seasons.” As a refresher for anyone who has read my profile, and an introduction for all the new faces to this blog, my name is Anita and I am a chemistry major in my last year at Caltech. My other academic love is English, and in fact, the name of this blog is a line taken from a poem I wrote last year about my holistic experiences as a Techer. I will go into details of my not-so-simultaneous journeys down the paths of chemistry and English another time, but for my first post, I’d like to share a memory from my winter break this year–making a Buche de Noel, a.k.a. a Yule Log Cake.

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Celebrating Caltech's Basketball Teams

Excursion #1: Celebrating Caltech’sBasketball Teams Let’s go to the ball game! There are few places that highlight Caltech’s school pride as much as our basketball games. Tonight was doubly special: it’s Senior Night as well as Orange Out. Senior Night celebrates all the seniors on the team. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee organizes one Orange Out event for each of the sports teams and provides entertainment, free goodies, and food. The women’s volleyball team volunteered at the event, handing out free pizza, orange T-shirts, frisbees, and more.

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academics

My Trip to the Galapagos!

It’s been over three months since my trip to the Galapagos, and I am still thinking about it. For seven days, we all woke up at 5:30 am on the boat, ate breakfast together, and went out as the sun was rising on our morning hike to catch frigatebirds mating or iguanas spewing salt from their nostrils. Our days were spent snorkeling with turtles, sea lions, and schools of fish, and our nights were spent sitting on the bow of the ship, talking all together under the stars. It was truly a spring break I will never forget.

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culture

Caltech Food Tour

Caltech may be a small campus, but it has a large variety of food options. There are three main dining locations on campus — The Lee F. Browne Dining Hall, the Hameetman Center (which houses our beloved Red Door Cafe), and the Broad Café.

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academics

Some Late-Night Stress-Saving Food Runs

Midterms kept up its unrelenting attack on my sanity this week – at least a little bit. And how did I solve this? Two words.

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Caltech Art Gala

Every year, Caltech’s literary and arts magazine Totem hosts the Art of Science competition.

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global local culture

Quick Trip to the Beach

Although there are a lot of smaller things, such as midterm smoothies and milkshakes (Blacker does something similar to this) and some larger things like Faculty Dessert Night, the soc team usually agrees that beach trip is the most work.

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