Hi again! Hope you’re ahving a great holiday season no matter where you are in the world!
I happen to be at home in the great north: Canada! Life here is just a tad bit different from life on the sunny west coast of California. For one, there’s snow, and lots of it too. The temperature here gets pretty cold so I’ve been holed up inside most days, usually wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Today the weather is slightly better at -12C (or about 10F) so I decided to go out for a walk in the woods. There’s something quite fresh about seeing your own breath and feeling the chill in the extremities of your fingers and toes. While heading back home I even saw some people out for a run, braving the cold. That’s a little taste of Canada for you!
Other than lounging around, I’ve been trying to improve my cooking skills. At Caltech we get food on the weekdays provided by Caltech Dining Services but on the weekends we are left to fend for ourselves. Over the course of first term I have experimented with many different ways of coping with the weekends. I survived some days solely on goldfish (those crunchy, cheesy, delish smiling fish-shaped crackers). Other weekends I feasted on chicken salad sandwiches from the C-store. Only later in the term, did I finally decide to check out the quaint little restaurants on Lake Street (about a 5 minute walk). There were also the occasional days when I was feeling especially productive and walked to the grocery store and came back to cook dinner. Cooking was really fun because it would usually end in a group of four or five frosh trying to figure out how to open a can without a can opener. We would always make a mess but in the end, we did manage to feed ourselves and that’s all that matters!
This was a particularly successful attempt at making pasta. Yum!
I’d like to think that my cooking skills have improved slightly over the break. I have been cooking a bit and baking a bit. I added a few of my creations below: dark chocolate pomegranate bark and lobster tail!
Hopefully I’ll find the time to put my cooking to the test next term and perhaps there will be less midnight expeditions to the C-store for goldfish! That will be my goal for next year/term.
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.