Our house had a Secret Santa Gift Exchange last week. It’s a house tradition where we are randomly matched up with a person to gift, and someone else gives you a present as well. Depending on how well you know the person you’re gifting, sometimes people will gift gag gifts as a “Secret Satan”. The gift comes with a hint to help the receiver guess the person that gifted them. We open all the presents together in our house lounge, and it’s hilarious to see whom people guess as their gift giver and the actual gifts.
So for my gift, I found this neat DIY gift idea over break. Turns out, Sharpie marker will become permanent on porcelain if you bake it at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Something about the glaze will melt together with the ink and keep it there. I found a porcelain cup at home and drew on his initials. My sister thought it was cool so I made one for her too!
My sister’s is the one on the left. This photo was just taken on our countertop at home, and with the flash you can’t see the dishes I hadn’t washed in the background, yay.
I had put chocolates in the cup, but when my flight was delayed flying back to Tech from the storms, my friend and I sat at the terminal and ate all of them. But then I just bought more so it’s okay.
The gift I received is quite special. An international student gave me a box from his home country wrapped in a scarf! And written along with the gift cleverly was “the hint is the box”.
This is perfect because now I have a place to put my earrings!
Fleming is really like a big family, as are the other houses. The description as our home away from home is actually true. Here’s to us!
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.