Hi readers! Sorry it's been a while; this new college life has taken me a couple weeks to get the hang of. After preseason and a long summer's worth of fun, my brain needed some time to be used to thinking again.
This term I'm taking 49 units; this might seem like a lot compared to other colleges where an average is about 18, but at Caltech, the number of units is how many academic hours total versus in class. Some frosh passed out of the first couple of core classes, but the majority of the frosh are on the same schedule, and most of us work on the sets together. Math sets are due on Monday, Physics on Wednesday, CS on Thursday, and Chem on Friday. Then we have quizzes and Humanities papers due throughout the week.
Attending school at Caltech, I didn't think the language and history departments would be that strong because it is a tech school, after all. But I was wrong. Right now I am enrolled in a class called Early Modern Europe, and it's a genuinely good class. We meet for an hour and a half twice a week; on Tuesday the prof gives a powerpoint lecture, and on Thursday we have a class discussion about the reading we've done. The amount of reading we are expected to do I don't like so much, but I've learned so much about the culture and religion of that era (16th century-ish) through the class. The prof just finished up with the Renaissance and we're starting the Reformation of mainly Christianity.
You may have heard already, but the first two terms of frosh year are graded pass/fail, cutting us some slack. Class isn't easy, but definitely manageable once you get used to it. Upperclassmen aren't bogged down with sets like I heard they were before I came here. Students here have time to do things outside of studying and homework. There are always a couple groups just hanging out at almost any hour of the day and on the weekends people usually get together to do something exciting.
Also, twice a week, the houses play dodgeball against each other in the gym. This is part of what we call Interhouse sports; basketball, football, ultimate, soccer, volleyball, and floor hockey also rotate in throughout the year. These sports are perfect if you're looking to play sports with a less competitive feel than the NCAA ones. It's always a lot of fun and good exercise.
A little while back, we had a club fair which doubled as a luau party. We got huge Hawaiian fruit plates and a cake that started out looking like a volcano!
For a full list of Caltech clubs, go here: https://websites.caltech.edu/club-association. I went after soccer practice and was late but some of the tables were still up. The Rubik's club blew my mind, just so many different shapes.
I'm really loving college right now. One last thing that's great about Caltech, unlike most high schools you can like learning and be cool at the same time.
After a year spent in “soft-lockdown” at home in Atlanta, and as Caltech students prepared to finally return to campus, I was aboard an eight hour flight towards Edinburgh, Scotland. Since my junior year plans were interrupted by the virus who shall not be named, I’m spending my first term of senior year studying abroad through the Caltech - Edinburgh University International Exchange program. I’ve only been here just over a week yet have been exposed to so many new people, perspectives, foods, and classes.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!
I visited Amsterdam for a brief two and a half days during my vacation. There were a few landmarks and neighborhoods I wanted to checkout, but did not plan the visit in detail. As such, when it came down to destinations with ticketed entries, I had to skip most of them, since they did not have day-of tickets left for sale. Fortunately, I was able to walk around most of the city and it was generally a good time.