Sorry for the long absence. I have been busy with midterms and other classwork (yes, even as a senior I still occasionally get some work). Last week we had Mexican food night, widely considered by those in my group and the rest of the class to be the most delicious day so far. Among the dishes we prepared were chicken in traditional chocolate mole sauce (Tom uses guajillos here, which are a bit harder to find countrywide and less hot than the adobo I usually use to make mole at home), and seafood enchiladas, which were the biggest hit, although very mild, as well as your standard chicken enchilada filling. But I promised pictures, and pictures you shall have.
When we finish our bit of the cooking and are waiting for the TAs to
take over and finish the bit involving ovens, (all our TAs are
undergrads who have taken the course before and spend hours before and
after prepping ingredients and cleaning up), we can relax in Tom’s
awesomely appointed living room. Below is Tom’s dog, Murphy.
Behold the man himself, Tom Mannion, who gets his hands dirty almost every class.
A pot of baked beans the kitchen staff was making for the vegetarians in our class to accompany the meal.
This is Gilberto, a member of the CDS kitchen staff who cleans out dishes for us. Without him, we would never be able to get stuff done on time, and he is the real power behind the cooking class.
For the mole recipe, we had to deseed the guajillos and toast them in the pans very briefly. They tried doing so over open flames and apparently it went badly. :(
Here you see the front living room of Mannion’s house, where we all gather at the beginning of class to hear lectures about cooking technique and practice and eat our delicious creations afterwards.
And here were our results for that class, you can see the mole on top and the seafood enchiladas on the bottom.
I hope to join you next when Stephen Hawking vists us for Indian food night!
It’s been over three months since my trip to the Galapagos, and I am still thinking about it. For seven days, we all woke up at 5:30 am on the boat, ate breakfast together, and went out as the sun was rising on our morning hike to catch frigatebirds mating or iguanas spewing salt from their nostrils. Our days were spent snorkeling with turtles, sea lions, and schools of fish, and our nights were spent sitting on the bow of the ship, talking all together under the stars. It was truly a spring break I will never forget.
Four weeks before graduation! While I’m looking forward to the summer and all the fun it promises, I’m also reflecting on my undergraduate experience over the past few years. This is a blog about my favorite classes during my time here, some expected and others less so. As a Computer Science major, no CS classes actually make my final cut, but my top three favorite classes all fall into the realm of Neuroscience, my other primary academic interest.
I remember being a junior in HS and my APCS partner, Brooke, had just gotten accepted into Caltech. She was looking at the course catalog for humanities courses during class (instead of working on our project) and shaking her head at the offerings. When May rolled around, she told me part of the reason she didn’t choose to go to Caltech was how the humanities courses seemed to be “too scientific,” with classes that integrated history with quantum physics, etc. A year later, when I was in the same situation, I decided to matriculate to Caltech for its strong STEM offerings, but felt some anxiety about how my love of the humanities would be fed during my four years of undergraduate education.
One of the most well-known benefits of being a Caltech student is the infamous 3:1 student to faculty ratio, which implies a personalized, interactive undergraduate experience with world-class research scientists. It was a primary reason why I chose Caltech above other schools as a high school senior. Now as my time at Caltech comes to a close, I can reflect back on my interactions with different professors and consider if this 3:1 ratio really “lives up to the hype.” I believe the answer is yes.