Ditch Day was great!…for the underclassmen! My first look into Ditch Day as a senior was…hectic. But a TON of fun to plan. There were three stacks in Page House - Mario, Zelda, and Training Day, and they all had really awesome activities planned. I worked on Training Day with six of my friends, and we had a lot of fun things for our group to do. There were two teams - Denzel Washington (dirty cops) and Ethan Hawke (clean cops), and after we fed them breakfast they headed over to the North Fields for some exercise-ball activity. There was a ring and four giant bouncy exercise balls, and the idea was to bump each other out of the ring.
As far as I know, there was no injury incurred during this process - success! Then we bought four water balloon launchers and filled up 700 water balloons (which took FOREVER, my fingers are still sore from tying those little guys), and had them shoot water balloons long range at each other. That was great, and I have freshmen, sophomores and juniors proudly displaying their epic bruises from that one. They all went to the pool after this, where we had scattered 500 playpen plastic colorful balls, and they had to collect all of this “money” and find the ones with letters written on them, then solve an anagram which spelled out “Chicken Fight then Mannions,” after which they all ate lunch at Tom Mannion’s house.
FINALLY, we had a “brute force” stack, which means the next activity was to break down a doorway into a senior’s room, a traditional part of Ditch Day. That is really why the events are called “stacks” - so we cemented up the doorway, and when we took off the wood border the night before we (the seniors) were all really worried because the top layer was very crumbly and easily came off. We thought it would be too easy to break into. However, the group was unable to knock it down the day of Ditch Day, and 48 hours later (today) it is only broken down enough for one person to crawl into the room! Which…is probably a problem. We’ll see how that goes taking the rest of it down. Altogether, everyone had a TON of fun, and even the seniors who stayed up all night working on it had a great time - we went to an apartment afterward, had some orange juice, went out to breakfast at a nice restaurant together, and promptly fell asleep.
Our senior trip is scheduled for Tuesday June 9th, we’re all going to Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor, wooo!! Hopefully they will provide giant busses for all of us, so we can be together and run down the hallways and everything. Tom Mannion is hosting a Senior dinner the Friday before that on June 5th, and I just bought my graduation cap and gown!! And Caltech-flavored (orange) tassle! So I’m almost there. Personally though, I need to finish my thesis in exactly seven days and two hours, so I’m not quite “almost” there in work-time. But I am in physical time. Excellent.
We also had a fun farewell-senior-tour-guides Tour Guide Barbecue a few hours ago, and that was really fun also. I will miss being a senior tour guide and doing odd jobs for the Admissions office (like blogging about being a senior!) but I’ll come back to visit of course.
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.
A few days ago, I wrote a blog post for recommendations of boba around Caltech. This follow up includes a far more comprehensive list of boba shops in the 626/SGV area. Now, I’ll admit that I have a rather extensive spreadsheet of boba stores and drinks that I’ve tried and enjoyed or disliked. However, I’d rather not bore everyone with a full spreadsheet, especially when it reveals just how much boba I’ve had each year. However, if I attempted to write about all of the shops I’ve tried, this post would get too long, so it’s instead compressed into a much more easily digestible format: a Tiermaker list. Obviously, this is the most sophisticated possible presentation of this information and 100% objective. Definitely tested via the scientific method and not subject to personal bias whatsoever.