I have never looked forward to relaxing on the weekend as much as I have here at Caltech. At the very least, without anything due the next day, Saturday is the day to just do nothing. This weekend since I had not been hiking, or even off-campus, for a long time, I decided to attend the Caltech Y trip with a few friends to see the monarch butterflies migrating in Santa Barbara and the wind caves in Gaviota. It was great to be able to relax and not care about any work (or midterms) I had coming up. Here’s a few pictures from the outing:
We went to a monarch sanctuary to see the butterflies, and though I don’t have a picture of it, the sanctuary was a stand of eucalyptus trees with an open area in the middle. (Don’t ask me why eucalyptus trees… I have no idea.) The butterflies flock to these sanctuaries because of the combination of light and water present in the open circle.
There were actually two areas of butterflies, but my camera lens doens’t have that much zoom, so I couldn’t get very detailed pictures of the literally hundreds of butterflies resting on this one tree in the more dry place. Instead, I spent forever trying to take a photo of a butterfly flapping its wings in the more wet area where the butterflies came to the water. I eventually got a decent one:
We stayed at the sanctuary until around 12, at which time we left for Gaviota where we ate lunch on the beach before we hiked… and did a little pre-hike climbing. (You must understand, my friend Renee is a little crazy. And yes, I know I’m blindingly white, I hurt my eyes too.)
Renee and I climbed up a rail-road trestle near the beach. I was pretty hesitant to climb since my shoes were at the other side of the beach, but we were leaving in 10 minutes, so what the heck, I climbed up. Admittedly, the real reason I did was because Renee just started climbing- and I can’t let a girl show me up! It turned out ok, no need to check the tetanus shot records.
Now for the beautful scenery from the hike:
Now for an actual wind cave (meaning it was carved by wind since the rock is so easy to erode). The contrast of light makes this one look like a painting on a wall. I could have gotten a better angle of the background to increase the effect, but I’m sure you get the idea.
At Caltech it is a graduation requirement to take a “menu” class, courses which introduce you to areas of study outside of your major. This year, there were three courses offered in the third term: ESE 1, Ay 1, and Ge 1. I took Ge 1: Earth and Environment for two reasons. First, ever since the first term I have been interested in the idea of minoring in geology (I might major in it instead!) and the class piqued my interest. Second, the class has an awesome multi-day field trip. While I’m not usually a fan of the outdoors, preferring to stay inside and read books or watch anime, this trip was the highlight of my term. As we went up the 395 along the Eastern Sierra’s, the geological makeup of California was revealed before my eyes. So come on a journey across California with me through my Ge 1 field trip photo gallery.
I’m starting a new miniseries on the blog – Film Club! Each episode, I’ll share a short clip from a popular piece of media, and then completely dissect and overanalyze it, because let’s face it, I’m doing it in my head already anyway. You say “buzzkill.” I say “science.” We’ll kick things off with a clip from Gravity Falls I discussed a bit in my previous post: Season 2 Episode 12, A Tale of Two Stans. If somehow you haven’t watched this show yet (?!)… spoilers incoming!
It’s crazy to think that I began applying to college almost three years ago. I still remember spending hours looking at college websites, admissions blogs and reddit pages to try to get a sense of what college is ACTUALLY like. To help you get through these stressful times, here are a few tips that I wish I had listened to. Hopefully, these will ease your worries and maybe even make the process more enjoyable!?