So I’m back home in Florida for Winter Break now and my family decided to take a trip to Orlando for a couple of days. What is in Orlando you might ask? Disney! Although we are Floridians, we don’t go to Disney World as often as you might think. Our family hasn’t gone there together since I was in elementary school and lines can get excessively long during school breaks. Luckily, the lines weren’t too bad when we went. We got parkhopper passes so that we could check out two parks in one day- EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. I didn’t remember the parks much at all, so it was refreshing getting to revisit and to explore the parks again. Plus, rides and attractions have been added or changed. Compared to Disneyland, I think Disney World is better because there are more parks and rides. I enjoyed the Star Tours ride that is in both Hollywood Studios in Disney World as well as Disneyland. I also found this funny door from Monsters University (see below). We didn’t end up staying late for the fireworks/lights shows. Instead, we went to Downtown Disney to have a late dinner at the House of Blues.I’m definitely enjoying the warm weather here, although I wish I could see snow :(See the snow…i mean sandman below from Disney? Or, perhaps it’s Olaf from Frozen? ;P)
We also went to Sea World the next day to check out their Christmas attractions and various animal shows. I really enjoyed the dolphins and the night ice skating show with lights, fountains, and Christmas trees. It was nice spending time with family and taking a break away from Tech. If you go to an out of state college, you realize how precious this time is with family, especially since plane tickets are expensive and you don’t have long vacations in between school, research, or summer internships.
I hope that you have a wonderful winter break as well- finish those college apps early and you can celebrate/relax!
SURF, short for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, is a quintessential experience for any Caltech student. It is a widely accessible research fellowship for Caltech students that funds your proposed research for one summer term. While many of my classmates did their first SURF the summer after their freshman year, I sent in my first application to the program as a sophomore. As a CS major, I was trying to chase meaningful work that intersected computation with the field of neuroscience. I ended up doing a SURF at the Stanford School of Medicine that first year, studying hand gestures in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since then, I’ve been working in the research space of applying computational analyses to ASD.
This summer, from the confines of my Brooklyn apartment, you could find me typing away on a tiny 13-inch laptop screen. At times I was looking for answers on countless Stack Exchange pages, editing a Jupyter notebook, or making blood flow measurements on a software called Arterys. This was my 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURF) experience.
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.