So Prefrosh Weekend is winding down now, which is very sad. I’ve enjoyed meeting you guys over the past few days!
On Friday I was in charge of the Concert Band’s booth at the ASCIT Club Fair. ASCIT–the Associated Students of Caltech–is our student government, and they help fund a large number of the clubs on campus. Therefore, for the prefrosh, they organized the fair so that all the interesting organizations on campus had an opportunity to present themselves to a new generations of impressionable Techers.
So if you were around for Prefrosh Weekend, you know that there was some confusion as to how long the weekend’s events were. Unfortunately, a whole bunch of prefrosh left early on Saturday morning…but for those that stuck around, there was a full day of events planned. I know about this from emails; I spent almost the entire day getting dinner ready for pretty much the entire campus.
Winter term my freshman year, my house president approached me and asked if I’d be interested in taking a special vegetarian section of the popular cooking class. While at first I was hesitant, I soon realized what an amazing opportunity it was and joined. After having taken the class, I was completely hooked, so now I am a cooking class TA.
Being part of the cooking class means supporting one of the most popular classes (if not the most popular class, Bi 10 lab notwithstanding) on campus.Cooking classis always filled to capacity and then some–Tom Mannion, who runs it (and is also a student life administrator) just can’t seem to say no to people who ask to be in the class.
Being a cooking TA also means I get to help provide food to my fellow classmates. Why is this at all fun, you ask? Why slave over a hot grill for 6 hours cooking ears of corn? Call me crazy, but it’s a great feeling to know that you’re partially responsible for bringing people together over the most universal interest: food.
Of course, post-dinner is my absolute favourite part of cooking…clean up. It was made slightly more enjoyable by the music and comedic stylings of Grand Buffet, making their reappearance at Caltech after opening for Third Eye Blind earlier this year.
Now, more than ever, I miss actually TAing the cooking class–I did it first term, but since it changes days (from Tuesday nights to Wednesdays and then Thursdays), I haven’t been able to TA since. I’ve hear along the grapevine, however, that there might be enough interest to have another vegetarian section–and that I’d love to TA!
In any case, it’s going to be hard to go back to normalcy after the excitement of Prefrosh Weekend (of course, that’s also what I said after going to Disneyland last weekend!). I hope that everyone who came got to know all about Caltech and is psyched to be part of the class of 2014. And, of course, if you were unable to make it, please give the admissions office a call, make an appointment to spend the day here, or just ask your questions in the comments.
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to do a 10-week internship at Gilead Sciences in Foster City, CA. For those unfamiliar, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines.
With 45 Nobel Laureates on its Faculty Roster, it’s not surprising that research is an integral part of the Caltech undergraduate experience. One of the programs that promotes such research is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). There is no minimum knowledge or experience required to participate in a Caltech SURF. In fact, students can participate in a SURF as soon as the summer after their freshman year. It is not difficult to get a SURF. All you need to do is find a mentor who is working in an area of research that interests you and willing to mentor you through a research project. The mentor can work in a Caltech lab, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or at another participating institution. Once you find a mentor, you work together to write a project proposal that you later send to the SURF office for review and approval. About 98% of the SURF proposals get approved. This fellowship is a great way to explore various fields of research and obtain real, hands-on experience where you get to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve learned in class. Not only do you get to work and learn alongside your mentor, but you also get compensated for your time. The length of the SURF is ten weeks, and it starts at the beginning of the summer. However, it is not uncommon for many students at Caltech to continue their research project throughout the academic school year.
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.