Let’s get one thing straight. I love whiteboards. Love scribbling all over them. And if you’re like me, and think whiteboards are where it’s at, let me tell you: One of the first things that hit me when I explored the houses during rotation was all the whiteboards. There’s one attached to the front of every door as well as a few scattered throughout the hallways. What’s even better than the whiteboards is the stuff on them. Walk through a Caltech hallway and check out each student’s whiteboard. You’ll find half-finished math proofs, the best way around the tricky step of that week’s phys set, advertisements, rants…anything really. But on my whiteboard this week was nothing but one gigantic finals week to do list. Some items include:
Not-so-fun stuff: math final, physics final, chemistry final (parts one and two), history final, history paper.
Much much more fun stuff: snake kits (awesome free food in the north kitchens during finals week), frosh wrasslin’ (in which the lounge is padded with mattresses and Ricketts frosh are pitted against each other for stress relief/entertainment), and an end-of-finals dinner out with a couple of other frosh girls.
And now every item has been crossed off, including “pack” and “go home!” No matter how many times I’ve celebrated it, I still find it amazing that a term has already passed by. Regardless, I climbed into my shuttle at 7:45 this morning, and after a few nervous hours (I’m still not used to flying), I touched down at New Orleans International, saw my mom and dad, and yes, got that po’boy.
I’ve been thinking about what to write about over the next three weeks while I’m at home, and I still haven’t decided, but something did occur to me. The best blogs are chock-full of photos, right? Well…I’m not going to be at Tech, so…no new photos of Tech. Fortunately, there’s the ever-wonderful Facebook. So I clicked around my Facebook for cool pics, and decided to share two with you:
First, my biggest brush with a celebrity since moving to California. Sure, Keanu Reeves came to Caltech last week to screen part of The Day the Earth Stood Still and sit on a panel with a few Caltech scientists to answer questions about the movie. But that’s nothing. Right before the event was over, Mike, a Ricketts sophomore leaned over and said, “Is that…is that Bill Nye?” Yes, it was. The Science Guy himself. By the time he got outside Beckman Auditorium, he was surrounded by Techers, and I managed to get a few pics with him.
Secondly, some pictures from our dress dinner. Each house (as far as I know) has a dress dinner once per term. It’s a fun excuse to act fancy together, and Dining whips up a special meal for the occasion.
So those were some fun things I wanted to share with you. If you have any ideas of some topics you might want me to cover in my next few blog entries, I’d love to know. Until then, I’ll be enjoying my holiday, and you guys enjoy yours too!
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.