Being in Southern California, there is really no shortage of boba or boba places. I personally haven’t explored a ton of them, relying on friends’ favorites as my own go-to places. And at those places, like Factory Tea Bar and Half & Half, I really can’t go wrong. But with another one of my friends, who is only a little more clueless about boba than I am, we decided we wanted something different.
The way we settled on trying LaBobatory was quite simple really. She saw the name, neither of us could even fathom how great it was for Caltech students to go there, and the destination was settled. Our expectations were not disappointed.
First of all, the interior decorations are cute, and fit with the name to a T. Sciencey flasks are on all of the counters, some empty, some with tea leaves inside, others with stuffed animals. The boba itself is of very high quality, with a not-too-firm, not-too-soft consistency, and in my drink, I could actually taste the honey in the boba. The drinks themselves are also far more adventurous than other places: while I got an Horchata boba (yummy), my friend got a drink that was Cookie Butter flavored. Amazing right?
SURF, short for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, is a quintessential experience for any Caltech student. It is a widely accessible research fellowship for Caltech students that funds your proposed research for one summer term. While many of my classmates did their first SURF the summer after their freshman year, I sent in my first application to the program as a sophomore. As a CS major, I was trying to chase meaningful work that intersected computation with the field of neuroscience. I ended up doing a SURF at the Stanford School of Medicine that first year, studying hand gestures in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since then, I’ve been working in the research space of applying computational analyses to ASD.
This summer, from the confines of my Brooklyn apartment, you could find me typing away on a tiny 13-inch laptop screen. At times I was looking for answers on countless Stack Exchange pages, editing a Jupyter notebook, or making blood flow measurements on a software called Arterys. This was my 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURF) experience.
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.