A few weeks ago, my Aunt and Uncle brought me along on a trip to see Fun Home in Downtown LA. There is a huge complex of theaters at the Performing Arts Center inDTLA, and there were several productions there on the night that we went. There is a theater for dance and opera, one for musicals, and one for the orchestra (when it doesn’t perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is across the street from the Performing Arts Center). All of the theaters are connected by a large concrete courtyard, which houses a “permanent taco truck,” which is where we grabbed dinner before the show.
The show itself was incredible. Its a musical based on the graphic memoir of Alison Bechdel (you may recognize her name from hergraphic novels and comics, and from the “Bechdel test,” an idea that two of her comic characters discuss, which tests movies by whether or not two named female characters talk to each other alone about something other than a male character). Like Bechdel’s childhood, on which the show is based, the musicalis tragic, and emotional, and frenetic and joyful and confusing and beautiful.
I think the show is still in town on tour for a few more weeks, so perhaps it will overlap with Prefrosh Weekend! I highly recommend you see it when it tours to your town, if you can.
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.
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: