One of the nicest places in Pasadena you can visit is The Huntington, a nearby library, art gallery, and botanical gardens. Most people I know have only been to the gardens, which are absolutely beautiful. They have all different types, from desert plant life to a Japanese garden complete with huge koi. I thought the fish on campus were big, but they don’t compare to these guys.
A few weeks ago I was at the Huntington for an English class, British Romantic Literature, with Professor Kevin Gilmartin. He got us into the library to see some very old books from the period we were studying. We were able to see original William Blake watercolor prints and first edition Jane Austen novels. There was also an introduction on the method scholars believe Blake used to make his engravings. It was amazing to be able to see the original works in person. The amount of detail in the engraving and the colors blew me away. There are few classes that go on trips like this. The last one I went on was with my Irish Literature class two years ago, also with Gilmartin. There are some art history classes that go on trips to the art galleries and other English classes that may get you into seeing old books, but I haven’t taken any others. When you get here and it is time to fill those upper division humanities requirements, I highly recommending asking upperclassmen what classes go on trips to the Huntington. Not only do you get to see things that normal visitors don’t get to see, but you also get a free pass into the gardens for the rest of the day.
There is a free student day every month, but you have to register at least a month in advance, so it isn’t a last minute decision you can make without spending money. I’d say it is a very nice place to take a girl on a date winkwink
My classmates, Carolyn and Pranay, and I sitting on a fountain with tons of lily pads
Starting college can be a big transition. You’re moving to a new place, starting a new school and classes, and faced with making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. And, of course, there’s that whole “becoming an adult” thing. But, you’re also leaving a lot behind. Every new beginning means that an old chapter must come to an end. Leaving behind our friends at home may seem difficult, especially if they’re going to be a long distance away from you during the school year. Something I made sure to do was to spend a lot of time with them during the summer after high school. Of course, going to college doesn’t mean you’ll never see your friends again, or that you will no longer be friends with them. Good friendships will last if you put effort into them. It may seem hard initially. Coming into Caltech, it’s a sharp adjustment and many are caught up in the excitement of Orientation, Rotation, and starting classes. It may be hard to remember to check your phone frequently and to make time for phone calls and such. Rest assured that if you have other friends going to college, they’re probably going to go through similar things you will. In this transition period, it can feel like you’re going to immediately lose touch with people that mean a lot to you.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
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!