Figuratively of course. Well for me at least. This past weekend, the SURF program sponsored a trip to Santa Monica beach, so of course my friends and I, being the car-less and poor students that we are (or believe we are), decided to take full advantage of this opportunity. The morning before I went however, I checked the forecast which reported a rather gloomy high of 65 degrees. Seeing this, I decided not to wear my swim suit (I mean, if the weather was 65 degrees think about how cold the water would be!!)
And at first, was I glad to have brought my jacket! When we first arrived at the beach around 11am, it was still very chilly and very gloomy looking. Some of my friends decided to brave the waters, only to come shivering back just a couple of minutes later. Well, all except for the one from Alaska, who marveled that the water was the “perfect temperature for swimming”.
So instead, we decided to check out the pier near by. Santa Monica pier isn’t your usual fisherman’s pier, although there were many people fishing from it. Instead, it’s filled with restaurants, a mini amusement park complete with a Ferris wheel and carnival games, and of course the usualsouvenirshops as well as many street performers.
Here’s another view of the pier from the Ferris wheel. It wasn’t huge but it was just the right size to stroll through casually and have fun while waiting for the weather to warm up.
Nearby the beach, just a couple of blocks or so, was a huge outdoor shopping mall where my friends and I decided to check out and eat lunch at. While most of my guy friends decided to go straight back to the beach after eating lunch, my girl friends and I (and one guy friend) decided to look at some of shops. Funnily, none of us bought anything except for my guy friend who decided to buy two new outfits…. We certainly teased him appropriately for his girly excitement about buying new clothes.
By the time we finished up shopping, it was the perfect temperature for going to the beach! It was definitely way above 65 degrees…. Of course the weatherman would lie. But swimsuit-less as I was, I just decided to lounge around on the beach, burying people in sand and making sand castles as my friends decided to try swimming.
And what day at the beach would be complete without any jumping pictures? This one took at least five tries before we got all three of us in the air… but I’ll blame completely on our cameraman :)
The next day, my friends decided to pig out (yes once again) by going to an all-you-can-eatKoreanbbqrestaurant. At only $10 per person ($12 with tax and tip) it was perfect for the starving college student. And not only is there unlimited meat, Korean barbecue is also known for serving plenty of side dishes like kimchi (a kind of spicy, pickled vegetables), seasoned bean sprouts, salad, etc for the purpose of….
Making a delicious wrap of seasoned meat, salad, other such side dishes, and spicy sauce all wrapped up in a sheet of rice paper. And of course eating an unlimited portion of meat wasn’t enough for my starving friends. We decided to pig out even more by….
Eating shaved ice and boba afterwards (with the excuse to get the smell off of our clothes)! Can you believe that this is actually the small serving? My friends and I were, since there was eight of us, debating about getting the large size, worried that there wouldn’t be enough for all of us. However, were we glad that we got the small size when this monstrosity came out. And to top it off, since one of my friends actually new two of the waitresses at the cafe, we got free ice cream and condensed milk as well. Let’s just say, none of us went back hungry that day.
But, it’s time to digest all of that good food and get back to working seriously: Next week is my presentation at group meeting. Wish me luck!! Till next time
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.
Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the mentorship of senior research technologist Dr. Xiaoqing Pi. Dr. Pi’s guidance and mentorship has been instrumental to the development and success of my internship at JPL, where I use machine-learning to enhance the accuracy and integrity of navigation and communication signals. In addition to helping me develop an understanding of atmospheric and ionospheric remote sensing and machine-learning, Dr. Pi has often offered his insights on how to improve my researching skills. Dr. Pi was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions regarding his research and advice for future student interns. I believe many students can benefit from some of the lessons that he has taught me:
The transition period to remote learning was a very uncertain time, especially for research and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program. Many hands-on projects had to pivot at the last minute to facilitate off-campus contributions. However, many Techers were able to take advantage of the research opportunities offered at Caltech and JPL to make the best out of remote learning and research. To paint a picture, I’ve interviewed a few talented Techers for some insight on what researching from home looks like for them.