HOLY TOLEDO ARE THINGS GETTING AWESOME :D
Why don’t I just start with something which I have amazingly not yet even mentioned on here: courir :D (English translation: running). For those of you that don’t know, I run at Caltech, and not only when I’m late for classes! I actually participate in cross country and track, sports I’ve been doing since 7th grade (almost 8 years of this stuff GEEZ times goes fast)… Anyway… so last summer I had your typical fair share of monkey attacks while running on trails in the Hong Kong mountainside; nothing AS exciting so far at Ecole Polytechnique (however, I did see something like a weasel or ferret on my run last night, which was fun for me because I would actually love to adopt a little mammal like that)…
Anyway, how could I get so lucky to figure out my living situation and even find a great place to stay in shape as well! :D I mentioned that massive hill that one must scale to get to Ecole Polytechnique, so I actually use that as part of my workouts! It’s hard enough to walk up let alone run up, but we runners understand that great :) feeling when you finally get to the top after ironically telling yourself the entire climb “don’t look up, don’t look up” :D
Well for those of you that don’t know Lisa from my London adventure blog, she will be a senior at Caltech next year majoring in biology as well as business/economics management. She will then apply to law school. AWESOME. For those of you that don’t know about Caltech parties, she is the one to talk to! Last year she and I co-organized Mashup Massive, a very successful party at Tech which hosted DJ Earworm, who flew all the way down from San Francisco to spin the decks for us!
Now she was staying way out in the middle of nowhere, so in order to make sure she got back to the hotel safely, I joined her on the way. After I got there though I realized two things: 1) I was almost as far as physically possible from Palaiseau that one can get using the metro 2) the metro’s last trains had already left… ZUT ALORS!!! Well no prob; the Zangs had no problem with me crashing on their floor and going back home the next morning, hair ruffled, tie askew, you know, typical walk of shame without any truly epic story to backup the appearance!
That Sunday inspiration struck again! I remixed Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” for kicks. More on her a bit later in this blog :)
Otherwise, this week I just kinda went to work and went to meetings at the housing and international students office; typical stuff. However, I found an amazing restaurant in Palaiseau last Friday, and one of my friends Amy was very keen on going to dinner at this restaurant. Well we got a little crew together and went to go eat, but the place is only open for lunch! :( So we went to find another place, and being about 6:30, nothing was open until 7! So we had to foolishly walk around for about a half an hour. That would have been fine if Palaiseau was lively and charming. NO. It is extremely dull and boring. Seriously the only thing that anyone excited about French culture would appreciate there is that they speak…. French. The restaurants were few and far between, there were very few nice little brasseries or cafes to stop at and have meals, and those that were serving food had weird settings with rude service or top ramen packs in the window sills (hahaha true “authentic” Chinese, right ;-)Ultimately, however, we found a quirky little Chinese place that in the end had tasty food, but let me just tell all those out there that are scared of Panda Express: in the small towns in Paris, rather than actually keeping the Chinese food warm in the metal trays (like at Panda) they actually just let them get cold, and then they put your dish in an “oven” also known as a micro-onde (in English: microwave!) So if I ever hear about what an abomination Panda Express is to Asian food, I don’t wanna hear it cuz little towns in the outskirts of France have you beat :P
That was Wednesday night. Thursday night something amazing happened: Lady Gaga, THE LADY GAGA came to Paris and I saw her for the FREAKING INCREDIBLE PRICE OF notthatmanyeuros. I’ll talk a bit more about the concert later. For now I’ll just add some photos of me with one of her three dancers and then her drummers/bassists/guitarists :) Pix were with my camera phone (remember my camera was stolen? Buying a new one this weekend prolly) so are pretty bad quality! But it’s ok; the photos were for the novelty more than anything else :P
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.
Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the mentorship of senior research technologist Dr. Xiaoqing Pi. Dr. Pi’s guidance and mentorship has been instrumental to the development and success of my internship at JPL, where I use machine-learning to enhance the accuracy and integrity of navigation and communication signals. In addition to helping me develop an understanding of atmospheric and ionospheric remote sensing and machine-learning, Dr. Pi has often offered his insights on how to improve my researching skills. Dr. Pi was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions regarding his research and advice for future student interns. I believe many students can benefit from some of the lessons that he has taught me:
The transition period to remote learning was a very uncertain time, especially for research and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program. Many hands-on projects had to pivot at the last minute to facilitate off-campus contributions. However, many Techers were able to take advantage of the research opportunities offered at Caltech and JPL to make the best out of remote learning and research. To paint a picture, I’ve interviewed a few talented Techers for some insight on what researching from home looks like for them.