For Caltech’s Prefrosh Weekend last term, some people in my house decided to build a boat to give prefrosh a tour of Caltech. (The slogan was “See Caltech the way it was meant to be seen…from a boat!”) The best place to sail the boat is in Millikan pond, which is probably the deepest non-swimming pool body of water on campus - it’s somewhere between calf and knee level.
The boat itself is a piece of plywood with six plastic storage containers on the bottom for flotation, and 2x4s for railings. The lids aren’t even close to watertight, but the containers are taller than the water depth. This also makes it really hard to fall out of the boat, and impossible to tip. If it isn’t balanced properly, some of the storage containers hit the bottom and the boat just slants a little. It even makes standing up on the boat pretty easy!
Kevin and Sven sailing around Millikan Pond. The boat barely doesn't touch the bottom.
Sven steering and me standing
We used a PVC pipe to steer and push off of the buttom of the pond. Since we were also filming a few clips about the "Dabney navy" for the house rotation video, the person who isn't steering has a Nerf gun. We got more Nerf guns for an amphibious assault later:
We did get a few strange looks from some visitors just walking around the campus, but mostly people were just surprised that it floated. While we were at the Millikan Pond, Sven rescued a turtle that somehow was trapped in the pond. Caltech has a turtle pond right next to Millikan Pond, so Sven returned the turtle to its friends in the turtle pond.
When we think of Caltech and the Avengers, most of us would not make any sort of direct connections between the two. The only connection that comes to my mind is that many Caltech students enjoy Marvel and the Avengers. But what if we made another sort of connection. Where instead of Caltech students liking the Avengers, the Caltech students WERE the Avengers. If this was the case, what major would each Avenger be? (Note: For my emotional well-being, in this scenario, everyone is alive and happy with their lives at Caltech)
On May 8, the Washington Nationals came to Los Angeles Angels for a lovely Mother’s Day Game. I, being a D.C. native and avid Nationals fan, of course had to attend– the Nationals play the Angels very rarely because they play in different leagues and on opposite coasts. My dad and I have a goal of going to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, and we had to take advantage of our home team being in L.A., so my mom and dad both flew out for the weekend.
As I write this blog, I’m sitting on a grassy knoll on Pomona-Pitzer’s campus. It’s the last match of my final season of tennis here at Caltech. It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling to be done with my college tennis career (unless I decide to use my final year of NCAA eligibility, granted to athletes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic). Being a part of the women’s tennis team here has been a defining part of my identity and where I met my community on campus. In this blog, I want to discuss a bit of the process of becoming an NCAA athlete, the Caltech experience of handling schoolwork and a sport, and my take on how it affected my growth here.