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!
For the glazing, there are many buckets of glaze to choose from (the yellow and white buckets below). The colors of the glazes are marked, but you never really know how it will turn out in the kiln.
After dipping our piece into the glaze, we can choose to decorate it using brushes and iron, copper, or cobalt glazes. This time, I made a cup and two bowls, and I just dipped them in glaze without decorating them since it was my first time glazing.
Here they are right after I’ve dipped them into the glazes – the color of the unfired glaze looks pretty different from how it looks after it goes into the kiln (below)!
I’ve really enjoyed taking Ceramics this term, and I’d recommend it to anyone who comes to Caltech! It’s a great way to destress after a long day.
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.
Four weeks before graduation! While I’m looking forward to the summer and all the fun it promises, I’m also reflecting on my undergraduate experience over the past few years. This is a blog about my favorite classes during my time here, some expected and others less so. As a Computer Science major, no CS classes actually make my final cut, but my top three favorite classes all fall into the realm of Neuroscience, my other primary academic interest.
I remember being a junior in HS and my APCS partner, Brooke, had just gotten accepted into Caltech. She was looking at the course catalog for humanities courses during class (instead of working on our project) and shaking her head at the offerings. When May rolled around, she told me part of the reason she didn’t choose to go to Caltech was how the humanities courses seemed to be “too scientific,” with classes that integrated history with quantum physics, etc. A year later, when I was in the same situation, I decided to matriculate to Caltech for its strong STEM offerings, but felt some anxiety about how my love of the humanities would be fed during my four years of undergraduate education.
One of the most well-known benefits of being a Caltech student is the infamous 3:1 student to faculty ratio, which implies a personalized, interactive undergraduate experience with world-class research scientists. It was a primary reason why I chose Caltech above other schools as a high school senior. Now as my time at Caltech comes to a close, I can reflect back on my interactions with different professors and consider if this 3:1 ratio really “lives up to the hype.” I believe the answer is yes.