culture

The Tasty-est Recipes

Making dumplings from scratch seems really intimidating at first. For me, it’s mostly because I’ve never look at what goes into gyoza. I just eat it in one bite :P While we didn’t make the whole thing from scratch (I bought the skins), a few friends and I got all the ingredients for a delicious filling together, and started up. In the recipe, it seems like there’s a lot of different ingredients - and there are. The longest part was definitely cutting up all of the cabbage, chives, mushrooms… everything needed to be finely diced, if not minced completely. After we finished the filling, it was onto my second favorite part: folding! Some people may think that it’s tedious but I really like folding dumpling skins. When I was younger I used to try and fold my dumplings in all sorts of different shapes. Now I think it’s relaxing to try and get the perfect evenly spaced gyoza folds.

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local

Newport Beach Whale Watching

Just a 2 hour drive away from Caltech is the sleepy town of Newport Beach, where you can go whale watching for $15-20! It’s a really cute and quiet town, with a nice calm vibe. It was my first time going whale watching since I was a kid, so I was pretty excited.

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local

Sequoia National Park

During a random weekend in 3rd term, my boyfriend and I visited Sequoia National Park. It’s a 4 hour drive north, but it’s totally worth it. It was beautiful!

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research

A Boba Reunion

I made a couple of really good friends last year during FBU, whom I have featured in at least one blog post before. We all decided to take our return offers from FBU for the full internship in MPK (Menlo Park). So we have gathered once again!

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global

Huntington Gardens

During the last week of school, I visited the Huntington Gardens. It’s less than a 5 minute drive away from Caltech, and the admission is $21 for a student on the weekday, and $24 on the weekend. Inside, they have several art museums and a library. They also have themed gardens – there’s a desert garden, an Australian garden, a Japanese garden, a Chinese garden, a rose garden, and more.

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clubs

Fourth of July in Seattle

For this Fourth of July, I met up with another Caltech senior in Bellevue, which is located on the opposite side of Lake Washington from Seattle. Thankfully, there’s a bus running from U-District, where I live, to Bellevue, so it only took about 30-40 minutes to get there.

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local

Disneyland Pixar Fest

During the last weeks of school, I went to Disneyland! Right now, Disneyland is holding Pixar Fest, where they have a Pixar themed parade and special Pixar merchandise. I hadn’t been there for several years, so I was really excited to go! It was a weekday, so the lines weren’t too long. We also used our Fastpasses effectively, so we only really had to wait in line once :) The costumes for the parade were all really well designed! I especially liked the Up costumes :)

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global

Pike Place Chowder

Pike Place Chowder is a chowder shop near Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle that was featured on Buzzfeed. Naturally, there was quite a long line, but it moved pretty quickly. In addition, if you don’t want to wait in line and only want soup (they also sell sandwiches), you can order in the app and pick up at the kitchen in 10 minutes. However, If you order online, you can’t get a seat inside. We wanted to sit inside since it was drizzling, so we waited in the line for about 25-30 minutes.

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culture

Ditch Day

Go to bed frosh, Ditch Day is tomorrow! Well, the real Ditch Day finally came around! Before Ditch Day, the senior class hosts a series of ‘fakes’. The fake right before the real Ditch Day involves underclassmen chasing seniors around and taping them to trees, pictured below. I think it’s pretty weird, but it’s a tradition of sorts.

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culture

The Tasty-est Recipes

As a continuation of my obsession with Tasty, I decided to try out making this spinach and artichoke mac and cheese recipe. One, because its mac and cheese, two because it’s spinach and artichoke, and three, because it’s Tasty.

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culture

Exploring UW

I started exploring UW when I was going out for a run. I initially wasn’t intending to run to any specific place, just around the neighborhood, but I happened to be running towards the campus. Once I reached UW, I realized how huge the school is. It spans many blocks – maybe 7-10+ on each side. I felt like I needed a map if I really wanted to explore campus, so I kind of just ran around randomly depending on if I wanted to go uphill or downhill :P I can’t imagine going to a school so big – I feel like the students must bus to get around campus often, or maybe they just walk? I ran through a few plazas/quads and also through some smaller walkways between buildings. I saw a lot of cute bunnies! I was running around sunset (9pm), so I guess that’s the time they come out to eat. I also spotted one right outside my apartment when I came back :) From one of the main plazas, at a point I later found out was called Ranier Vista, there’s a huge rectangular lawn with a view of Mt. Ranier in the horizon, and a fountain in the other direction. You can’t really see it in this photo, but Mt. Ranier is the little grey lump near the middle of the horizon in the photo below. It was a bit foggy that day, but the view of the mountain was beautiful. I came back here another day, so there’s a better photo below!

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global

Food-lover's Paradise

Although Caltech is in a great area, and downtown Pasadena has a bunch of food offerings, sometimes nothing can beat going to the mall for some Din Tai Fung. I went with a few friends I had made in the intro functional programming class; our plan was to eat Din Tai Fung, look around at a few stores, and go back home. It turned out to be a little larger in the food scope than we had originally planned.

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research

Starting Work at the Allen Institute

This summer, I’m interning at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. They aim to create an open database of information about the brain, one of their most well-known projects is trying to make a map of the brain, or a connectome. The connectome would have all the neurons of the brain and their synapses (connections) mapped out. Currently, the only organism whose connectome is fully reconstructed is the roundworm C. elegans. Parts of the mouse brain have also been mapped out, which is what some people at Allen are working on. We have a long way to go!

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local

Trip to San Diego

During 3rd term, Page hosts a beach trip to Carlsbad, which is about 2 hours south of Caltech and 30 minutes north of San Diego. Everyone stays in a huge beach house, and we go to the beach during the day. Over the same weekend, my boyfriend and I visited San Diego since I’d never been! San Diego has amazing tacos (and amazing Mexican food in general). I ate so many fish tacos over that weekend, and they were all delicious. I keep thinking about them now that I’ve come back to Pasadena :P

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academics

Graduation

The graduation of the class of 2018 was on June 15th. A lot of my friends are seniors, so it was a bit bittersweet for me, but I’m very happy for all of them :)

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research

SFP <- outlier(Chandrew)

Time for week two of the SURF updates!

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clubs

Techstock Music and Art Festival

At the end of third term, Caltech hosts the Techstock music festival, where multiple bands perform to compete for a prize. There’s usually also an artist invited to the event – last year, the Mowgli’s came to Caltech, and the year before, Bowling for Soup came.

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local

Hiking Temescal Canyon Trail

Temescal Canyon lies in the Santa Monica Mountains, right next to the beach and about an hour away from Caltech. The trail itself is a 3 mile loop, with 860 ft elevation gain. After climbing to the top, we could see the Pacific ocean!

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global

Ge 136c Field Trip

Every term, the geology department offers a class called Ge 136: Regional Field Geology of the Southwestern United States. A 3 unit class, the entire class consists of writing a 1-2 page report, going on a field trip, and presenting on your report during the field trip. The class is open to everyone, not just Geology and Planetary Science (GPS) majors. But it’s quite a popular class, so it fills up quickly.

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academics

Caltech Ceramics

Spring term, I took Ceramics for the first time. It’s held every Wednesday night from 7-10pm at the neighboring Polytechnic School. The first few weeks, we practiced making bowls, plates, and other shapes on the ceramics wheel, and now it’s finally time to put our creations into the kiln for firing and glazing!

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research

Finishing Up Intro to Graphic Design

After weeks of hard work, we’ve finally finished up our graphic design projects! Our assignment was to create a specialty store identity system – a store concept, a store name, logo, business card, letterhead, envelope, and additional applications (menu, aprons, tshirts, bags, etc).

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culture

Superfluid Helium

Although Core requirements generally end freshman year, there are many options that require general classes from other departments. An oft-taken class in the breadth requirements for majors is Phys 2c - which is stat mech. In 2c, they recently did a demonstration for a superfluid, which was actually liquid Helium at temperatures below 2.5 K.

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culture

Ditch Day

It has finally arrived! One fateful day, we were awoken from our slumbers at the ripe time of ten to eight (that is, 7:50) in the morning. The members of Blacker House arrived in the courtyard to find Big Glossy Posters with the stack themes. In Blacker, there is a tradition for seniors to hold chained announcements the night before showing off their stack’s theme. This year, there was everything from Ready Player One to The Hobbit, even Space (the stack).

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local

Beachin’ around

While I don’t always enjoy the beach, I had a ton of fun going with friends. The first evening, we just enjoyed the views offered by the sunset (and took a ton of photos in the meantime). However, the second day was really when the majority of people had arrived to enjoy playing at the beach.

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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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local

Acapalooza

Acapalooza, the final a cappella concert of the year, happened recently. The event is free for everyone, and four groups performed: Out of Context, the Keytones, the Pipettes, and Fluid Dynamics. Since it’s the last concert of the year, each senior in each group usually gets a solo. As usual, all the groups performing makes for an amazing show. Below are some photos of my friends performing their solos :) To join these a cappella groups, auditions are at the start of the year, and everyone is really welcoming. Some (or maybe all) of the groups also have retreats, where they go off campus to practice and have fun. It’s a great opportunity for those who are interested – last year, the Pipettes performed at Disneyland!

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culture

At the Faire

At the Faire, there were a ton of new sights to behold. It was held in a nice wooded area, with a lake on one side of the enclosure. There were a ton of shops, selling a large variety of things. There were selections of pewter objects and cups; quite a few clothing stores with dresses, corsets, tunics, pants and a ton of variety for what one might wear to a renaissance faire; jewelry, knifes, children’s toys, and so much more.

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local

Off to the Renaissance Faire!

This particular Renaissance Faire is held every year at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area. It’s actually called the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire - because that’s what it is. It was started in 1963, and was moved around the Los Angeles Area a few times before settling in their current spot. They now have 200,000 people come to visit every year - and they only open for 7 weekends out of the year. It’s pretty amazing.

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research

Learning Poster Design

Our first big project in Introduction to Graphic Design at the Art Center was designing a poster for a cause. We were to pick an organization or a cause, such as the WWF or ocean protection, and design a poster tailored to that cause. We were shown an example from a student who made a poster for the Garment Worker Center, which advocates for worker’s rights in the LA garment industry.

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culture

Events on Campus

Every Spring, there’s international week where every day, there’s a different internationally-themed event. On one of the days, there’s a food fair, where students set up booths to serve food from their home country. It costs $5 to get a plate, but afterwards, you can line up for as many different stalls as you want, as many times as you want, for food.

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research

Going to the Galapagos for Class Part 3

After spending 3 days onGalavan, we were sad to leave the boat. We were headed to Santa Cruz island next, one of the few inhabited islands of the Galapagos. There, sea lions come up to people’s boats, jump in, and start sunning themselves!

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research

Weekend Trip to the Huntington, Part II

Hi again, friends!

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clubs

Going to the Galapagos for Class Part 2

If you were following my previous post, you know that I went to the Galapagos as part of the Evolution class I took last term.

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global

Going to the Galapagos for Class

As part of Bi/Ge/ESE 105 Evolution, everyone in the class (16 students and 2 professors) got to go on a trip to the Galapagos during Spring Break. We spent 8 days traveling, and since the Galapagos is a series of islands, we spent about half of the trip living on a boat, and half of it living on land. As for cost, we had to pay for the flights, but nothing else.

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academics

Midterms Baking of Cupcakes

As a UpperClassman Counselor (UCC) in Blacker House, we always have an event called Midterms Baking - and although I call it an event, it’s more like UCCs just bringing baked goods around the house during midterms week. However, this term is the last term that Midterms Baking will be offered - at least as part of the UCC program. UCCs are being replaced with another role: Peer Advocates (PAs). Although they might have Midterms Baking in the future as well, this was the last time that I will participate in it in any official capacity.

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research

LaBobatory Exploration

Being in Southern California, there is really no shortage of boba or boba places. I personally haven’t explored a ton of them, relying on friends’ favorites as my own go-to places. And at those places, like Factory Tea Bar and Half & Half, I really can’t go wrong. But with another one of my friends, who is only a little more clueless about boba than I am, we decided we wanted something different.

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culture

Tasty-est Recipes

I’m relatively obsessed with Tasty; I watch a ton of their videos (sometimes multiple times), and if that wasn’t enough, I even have the app - it’s the first sign of madness. So I’ve made some of their recipes before, but nothing as ambitious or as obviously “Tasty” as the Chicken Parm Lasagna Roll Ups.

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research

Pirates

Each of the 8 houses at Caltech hold their own Interhouse: a party that they plan, build, and put on as a house. In third term, there are 3 parties: Lloyd’s, Blacker’s, and Fleming’s. Blacker’s Interhouse was this past weekend, with the theme of pirates. While the structure itself was pretty awesome (project leads decided to build a boat) the party was also really fun. It started off slowly, like all Interhouses do, but by 12 it was a great party, with the boat being crowded with people dancing, talking, and enjoying the music.

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research

Norton Simon Visit

Although Pasadena is not that large, it does have a nice museum called the Norton Simon Museum, which houses the previously private collection of - and you can probably guess this - Norton Simon. It has a pretty wide range of works from Europe, with selections from before 1700 all the way up to the present.

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clubs

Room Escape LA

Every now and then, ASCIT puts on small social events for students to go and do something off-campus. Last term there was a Color-Me-Mine excursion; groups of students were chosen by lottery to go to a session at a place called Color-Me-Mine, where groups can go and paint, chat, snack, and even drink if they are old enough (this would depend on what was reserved for the group though). They either paint something on a canvas (like a landscape or a still life) or they paint pottery.

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culture

Blacker Pop-Up Restaurant

Early in the term, some moles sent out an invitation to Blacker members to come to their Pop-Up Restaurant. They wished to prepare and serve a fancy meal to their fellow house members - for experimenting with fancy food. In a concerted effort with Tom Mannion (who has had previous experience with this sort of stuff), they completed a nine-course menu which we were served for dinner.

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global

Caltech Dance Show

Although the Caltech Dance Show is put on every year, this is the first year I went (1 of 2, not too bad I guess). A few moles gathered together to walk over and get tickets to watch the show; it was split into 2 parts, with an intermission in between. There were quite a few groups and dances - a lot of cool hip hop, but also more specialized dances such as ballet, a Chinese fan dance, and a few different types of Indian dances.

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Spotlight


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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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.

By