Now the subject of this post is long since past, but I only recently got the pictures, so you’ll have to forgive my delay…
During Rotation (that thing that came after frosh camp), we had a Carnival one day. It was a nice break from the constant meeting and greeting that Rotation is. For a brief reminder, Rotation is the process where the prefrosh visit and dine in all the houses, so they can get a feel for the different personalities. At the end of the week, the prefrosh rank their favorite houses, and some magic sorting happens, and then everyone ends up in a house. And they end up happy.
Anyways, that whole process requires lots of effort on everyone’s part. The upperclassmen need to make sure to be there at all times so the prefrosh can ask questions and have someone to hang out with - plus we’re all trying to represent our houses in as true a manner as possible (note: this doesn’t mean we’re trying to get everyone to like us. It’s really about honesty and giving the prefrosh everything they need to know in order to make an informed decision). Likewise, the prefrosh need to visit all 8 houses and spend a lot of time being asked questions, introducing themselves, and all that nitty-gritty of trying to learn about decades of culture in a few short days.
Luckily, this year we had a break in the middle with this Carnival. Instead of a house rotation dinner on Sunday, we had a giant outdoor carnival. There was all the standard carnival-esque stuff: caramel corn, a bouncy house, a slip-n-slide, carnival games (I didn’t see anyone win the one where you smash a hammer to ring a bell), and, of course, a dunk tank.
Now, the dunk tank was manned by yours truly for the entirety of the 4-hour carnival period (then the carnival closed, we had food, and we were treated to an awesome laser show on the lawn at dusk). Fortunately for me, it was over 100° out (Fahrenheit - for all you international or nitpicky people, that’s about 38°C or 311 K). That’s pretty dang hot - and I got to sit around in a swimsuit and get dunked in cold water all day. Talk about refreshing.
There’s not much more to say about that, but here’s a couple of pictures of me as the ball hits the target, and immediately after as I start to fall!
When packing for college, the first thing on your mind is likely not about celebrating your birthday. However, months later, as the inevitable birthday approaches, you may actually start to wonder what a birthday looks like without the friends and family you’ve likely spent every year with. Thankfully, at Caltech, there are many opportunities to make sure that a birthday away is just as good, if not better, than the one at home. One example is the Venerable house birthday tradition.
Studying at Caltech is a lot like crewing a spaceship. You get to work alongside some of the most talented people on Earth, you’re constantly doing science in order to survive, and the environment tends to keep you under a lot of pressure. It’s an incredible experience, and also a very challenging one, to be sure. Sometimes you’re left feeling like an impostor among your crewmates, having failed to complete every task you think is expected of you. But fear not! These feelings are not based in reality; they are merely symptoms of a benign condition known as impostor syndrome. Think you might be affected? This post is for you.
Always not quite organized, my desk is a constant, yet subtle reminder of why I ultimately chose Caltech: the people. (sigh… I bet you haven’t heard that one before!). It’s no secret that Caltech has a small undergraduate population but, in my experience, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find your people, it means you’ll be able to find them faster!
With the third term fast approaching and the status of COVID on campus pushing all major events to the spring quarter, students of the houses of Caltech were excited. The reason? Interhouse season had arrived. Interhouses, a longstanding tradition of the California Institute of Technology, are summarized as parties hosted by each respective house, usually with a theme, in which the entire undergraduate population is invited to attend. As every undergraduate house of Caltech has its own personality and characteristics, these interhouses too have their own flair depending on the house who hosts them.