It’s truly Autumn in Scotland now. It reached 0 degrees Celsius today, or 32 Fahrenheit for you yanks. They’re setting up the Christmas market downtown (as thanksgiving isn’t a thing here they just skip directly from Halloween to Christmas). Snow isn’t falling, but it does seem to be raining every other day. And it’s pleasant, quite pleasant. The rain turns Edinburgh into even more of a dramatic and beautiful city than usually is.
I spent a gorgeous, proper fall day taking the train over to Durham for… you guessed it… a fencing match! It was actually a rather long rain ride, with the leaves just at the end of turning colors. We passed to Berwick (apparently a different place than North Berwick) and Newcastle Upon Tyne as well, but the end destination was the prettiest. I’m not going to go too much into detail about Durham now as I’m planning on going back in a couple of weeks. TLDR: there is a beautiful castle, a beautiful city, and traffic. Funny enough, Durham is the only place that I’ve run into traffic in my entire time in Scotland, much in contrast with Los Angeles where if you say the word “traffic” three times an accident happens on the 110 and everything is backed up past Chinatown.
The fencing salle (place for the tournament) in Durham was a bit in the middle of nowhere. But it had some beautiful trees. The photo above doesn’t actually do it justice, but it was one of the most gorgeous overlooks I’ve seen outside of a fencing area. It was a tough loss to the Durham team; we were short a few people and they were very much not, but it is what it is. The strangest thing that’s happened now that it’s Autumn is that it gets dark ridiculously early. Like 3 PM early. It’s a bit absurd, so really anything we’re doing after class these days occurs in the dark. It’s a bit wild and honestly is a major decrease in energy just because it’s hard to find motivation when it’s dark out.
Oh, and my injury in Nottingham last week caused an urgent safety reminder to be sent out by British fencing, so cheers to that. I still stand by saying an 800N glove wouldn’t have made a difference in where he hit me.
…Or, How a Disciple of Bethany Ehlmann, a Former Desert Militiaman, Moore Lab Subbasement Dwellers, Roblox’s Newest Intern, a Florida Man, and a Luminous Plasma Scientist Went to War with the Caltech Mail Center, Got Double-Crossed by AirGas Corp., Survived Three COVID Outbreaks, and Nearly Stranded Themselves in the Mojave in order to Send a Bag of Peanuts to Space (A True Story).
Every midterm week and final week, Page House Peer Advocates (PAs) put on a de-stressing event. This term for midterms, the PAs hosted a painting night in conjunction with a Page dessert night. (Every Thursday, the House gives $60 to a pageboy (a member of Page) to buy a bunch of dessert and snacks for the house for dessert night.). They provided canvases, paint brushes, and a variety of paint colors for the night. It was a really fun and relaxing time to stop working on sets or studying for midterms for a bit and hangout with friends.
On the weekend of April 16th, my friends and I participated in the first ever Southern California College Poker Tournament! The tournament was for college students in the SoCal area with a $0 buy-in that doubled as a recruiting event for quant and finance firms. A senior friend of mine (Vanessa, a fellow blogger) put together a team of five girls who had no interest in being recruited and just wanted to have fun playing poker.
One of Caltech’s many clubs is the RISE tutoring program, where undergraduate students connect with local high schoolers and provide tutoring in various STEM subjects. I only became a tutor this academic year, but the experience has been so rewarding for me and, hopefully, also for the students I tutor.