If you were following my previous post, you know that I went to the Galapagos as part of the Evolution class I took last term.
In the afternoon of the second day, we visited a beautiful little cove, with a lot of frigatebirds and boobies nesting. The male frigatebirds have a red sac on their breast that they can blow air into to attract females. Whenever a female flies overhead, they start to warble, shake their head and sac back and forth, and flap their wings. It’s pretty amusing and also amazing :)
There was also a yellow-crested night heron drying off on a rock, baby sea lions playing in the water, and adult sea lions sunning themselves on the beach. We also went snorkeling in this cove, just walking out straight from the beach
The next island we visited was the island of Santiago, where there was a very young lava field. Most of it was pahoehoe lava, which is this ropy, wavy looking lava, and we could spot some lava lizards scuttling around. All the islands of the Galapagos were created by volcanoes beneath the ocean floor, so the greenery has all grown on lava fields like this after hundreds or thousands of years of pioneer species (small plants and lichen) have degraded and turned into soil.
At the same island, we snorkeled and saw penguins swimming in the water with us! We did a lot of snorkeling on the trip, almost every day and sometimes several times a day.
We went snorkeling off of Rabida and saw many white-tipped reef sharks. There were maybe 4-5 swimming below us, circling a particular rock, and there were a few swimming further away from the rock. We also spotted sea turtles, and the most amazing part was that three sea lions swam right past me while I was snorkeling! Sea lions are very curious, and extremely fast in the water, so it was just amazing to see.
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.
Usually, while writing this post, I would be at Caltech playing volleyball. I begin school eith preseason, which for those unfamiliar (or are planning on joining women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s waterpolo, or cross country) is a 5 week long period before school begins where the sports teams I listed before practice and compete. My life during preseason is basically volleyball 24/7. Two practices a day (during school only one) and game days three days a week. No school work to worry about, spending time with my teammates all day, a nice refresher before school begins.