Well, the past week consisted of a very interesting assortment of runs! We ran in sunshine, we ran in pouring rain (and almost thunder), I missed a turn and split from the group which resulted in running through Old Town Pasadena, today we stopped twice at a grocery store and did core exercises in the carpeted hallway of an apartment building, and tomorrow is our first meet of the season!
Here’s a view of the pool (and you can see Mia way in in the center).
Here you can see the rain from my window.
Anyway, Wednesday was even more interesting. I learned that if running, Coldstone Creamery is 2 minutes from campus; Trader Joe’s, the Corner Bakery, and Macy’s are 3 minutes away; Walgreens and Anthropologie are 4 minutes away; our weekend dinner destinations (like Panda Express, Jamba Juice, Chipotle, Soup Plantation, a sushi place, and several more) are 6 minutes away; Williams Sonoma, LA Fitness, and Cafe 140 are 7 minutes away; and Target is 9 minutes away. How did I learn this? Well, our team plan was to do a long run that day. We went in small groups and I didn’t really know where exactly we were going so I missed a turn behind some bushes and ended up modifying my run to fit a route that I already knew. This new route eventually led me over a bridge to the West end of Colorado Boulevard and then to its cross street Lake Avenue that leads you right to campus. Colorado Blvd is a stylish street in Old Town Pasadena filled with great shops and restaurants. Lake Ave is extremely close to campus and provides us with many of our weekend lunches and dinners. Anyway, I was running alone and by the time I got to Colorado Blvd I was pretty tired so I found a way to amuse myself. I timed how long it took me to run past the most important places and now I realize just how well-situated Caltech really is!
Today we had an easy pre-meet run. The girls went West of campus with more than simply running on our minds. We stopped by the nearby grocery store Fresh and Easy to buy flowers for Susan. Susan coached us last term for Cross Country but is taking a break now (although she occasionally makes us very happy by running with us). She lives close to Caltech and today was her birthday, so we decided to pay her a surprise visit. However, she wasn’t home when we got there but we decided to wait for a while. All of us being very time efficient, we got on the floor of the hallway in front of Susan’s door and did core exercises (crunches, leg lifts and so on) hoping that she’d come home before we left. However, we got pretty tired from all the exercises that we came up with to take up time so we had to leave (also, we were afraid of causing too much commotion). On our way back, we stopped by the same store again to buy a cake for our teammate who also had a birthday today. However, we did not find him when we returned to the gym but we refrigerated the cake and he’ll enjoy it tomorrow.
Tomorrow is our first Meet of the season! It’s not a very serious meet since it’s all-comers, so we are treating it as part of training for the real meets that will start in two weeks. However, after this week’s workouts, I think we’re ready for almost any unusual circumstances that might pop up. Wish us luck and shout “Go Beavers”!
Whenever I tell someone that Caltech has an undergraduate population of less than one thousand people, their first reaction is disbelief. “Really?” they exclaim. “You must know everyone! How can you get a real college experience with so few undergrads?”
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.