Unlike myself, most Techers cannot invite all of their friends to their parent’s house for their birthday. So how do we celebrate?
Usually, some sort of scheming is involved, whether it’s securing a car so we can kidnap a friend and go out to dinner, or working with their parents to get a cake from Caltech Dining Services. At the very least, during the busiest times of year and when we’re all broke, we’ll pool together ingredients, secretly bake a cake, and then gather as many people from the house as we can find to sing happy birthday.
This last week, a group of us went to dinner atSakurain La Canada for our friend’s birthday. The chefs make a performance out of cooking your food, starting with some very impressive fire.
If you weren’t paying attention when your chef walked out, you are certainly paying attention after feeling the heat wave from that! The chefs perform all sorts of tricks with your food while they’re cooking it, most of which I was unfortunatelyunable to capture in pictures, although I did capture more fire in the form of this onion volcano.
If you’re at Sakura for your birthday, they also bring out a free slice of cake for you before you leave and let you ring the gong.
When we got back to campus, we had cake provided by Caltech Dining Services. Parents can contact Caltech Dining Services at any time of the year and have them make a cake for their student’s birthday or for other special occaisions.
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.