Skateboards, trick boards, long boards, Pennyboards, electric skateboards — Lloyd house has them all, and you, too, can learn how to ride a skateboard indoors on its carpeted hallways.
There was something about the increased friction and semi-soft cushion of the shag rug that made zooming through Lloyd’s alleys on an old skateboard a somewhat safe learning experience. It was just after Rotation during my first year at Caltech, and a sophomore in the house had left his Pennyboard in the hallway. Since he lived on the first floor, that skateboard became a mini shuttle for the 30 feet from the Lloyd entrance to the Llounge. After a couple weeks of learning to balance, pedal, and make turns, I was cruising around the first floor and having a blast. I ended up getting a Pennyboard of my own once I became comfortable enough to ride the communal longboard outside. It’s an R2-D2 themed board I customized with a painted white trim, and you can still find me zipping around campus on it today (just don’t be surprised if you see me wipe out on the Olive Walk after hitting an olive pit).
I picked a Pennyboard for its easy portability, as its small size allows you to carry it by placing it horizontally across your backpack straps, but many people in Lloyd prefer longboards for their increased stability. My friend Eric has even motorized his longboard by 3D-printing and attaching a remote-controlled motor to its wheels. Regular skateboards are also popular for learning to do tricks, since trying to do an ollie on a Penny is, in my opinion after many attempts, basically impossible :)
Riding a skateboard around campus is most useful if you, like me, work in a lab in basically the direct opposite side of campus. I work in Braun, so what is usually a 10 minute walk can be pared down to either a mini-workout of pushing uphill or an incredible 3 minutes of riding downhill on the smooth sidewalks along Holliston.
Honestly, you don’t need a practical reason to start skateboarding — it’s simply fun to ride around by yourself or with friends. Just maybe be prepared to fall a bunch of times before you’re comfortable cruising on the new, smooth-as-butter concrete by the Chen Neuroscience building. But hey, isn’t all the fun in getting back up again?
On May 8, the Washington Nationals came to Los Angeles Angels for a lovely Mother’s Day Game. I, being a D.C. native and avid Nationals fan, of course had to attend– the Nationals play the Angels very rarely because they play in different leagues and on opposite coasts. My dad and I have a goal of going to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, and we had to take advantage of our home team being in L.A., so my mom and dad both flew out for the weekend.
As I write this blog, I’m sitting on a grassy knoll on Pomona-Pitzer’s campus. It’s the last match of my final season of tennis here at Caltech. It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling to be done with my college tennis career (unless I decide to use my final year of NCAA eligibility, granted to athletes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic). Being a part of the women’s tennis team here has been a defining part of my identity and where I met my community on campus. In this blog, I want to discuss a bit of the process of becoming an NCAA athlete, the Caltech experience of handling schoolwork and a sport, and my take on how it affected my growth here.
A few days ago, I wrote a blog post for recommendations of boba around Caltech. This follow up includes a far more comprehensive list of boba shops in the 626/SGV area. Now, I’ll admit that I have a rather extensive spreadsheet of boba stores and drinks that I’ve tried and enjoyed or disliked. However, I’d rather not bore everyone with a full spreadsheet, especially when it reveals just how much boba I’ve had each year. However, if I attempted to write about all of the shops I’ve tried, this post would get too long, so it’s instead compressed into a much more easily digestible format: a Tiermaker list. Obviously, this is the most sophisticated possible presentation of this information and 100% objective. Definitely tested via the scientific method and not subject to personal bias whatsoever.