Snowboarding with my friend Cecilia is an annual occasion when I go home for the holidays. Cecilia and I actually learned snowboarding a few years ago. We signed up for these intro lessons, but arrived at the slopes early and thought that we would try a run before the lesson to see where we at. We were slightly confused, so took the lift to a green run instead of the bunny hills. We got down that run 80% on our butt and 20% on our feet, but it was a great start. By the end of that day’s lesson, we were getting down that same run 80% on our feet. Of course, now we are much better.
We chose to go during peak season. Even though we had purchased lift tickets and rentals well ahead, we had to wait about an 1hr in line to pick everything up. There were just that many people that day. I was almost concerned that they would run out of equipment. Anyways, if you visit Cyprus, I would highly recommend purchasing online ahead of time since there is at least a 10% discount and it saves you so much hassle on the day of. Also, for adults, rentals do not include a helmet, but if you value your head and its health, you should probably rent one for an additional 10 dollars.
Getting back on the slopes felt quite strange. I feel like I never use my quads that much in real life, after a few runs, my legs felt like jelly. Also, since there were a lot of people, it was difficult trying to go fast and avoid everyone. It’s terrifying going down a run with inexperienced snowboarders and skiers since you don’t know if they will suddenly slide to a stop or will lose control and come flying at you. In addition, it was sunny that day, so the conditions were rather icy. Another hinderance were the clouds that eventually became fog. Not being able to see far ahead on a crowded slope was quite a challenge.
I think I was able to get about 6 runs in before we had to take the bus back home. I also don’t think I could go for any longer since I had taken a few falls by that point and my entire lower body was sore. Although the conditions were not ideal, it felt good to be back. I wished I could go a couple more times, but I had other plans for the remainder of my break. Perhaps I will visit Big Bear or Mammoth in the new year, or will go more next winter.
Always not quite organized, my desk is a constant, yet subtle reminder of why I ultimately chose Caltech: the people. (sigh… I bet you haven’t heard that one before!). It’s no secret that Caltech has a small undergraduate population but, in my experience, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find your people, it means you’ll be able to find them faster!
With the third term fast approaching and the status of COVID on campus pushing all major events to the spring quarter, students of the houses of Caltech were excited. The reason? Interhouse season had arrived. Interhouses, a longstanding tradition of the California Institute of Technology, are summarized as parties hosted by each respective house, usually with a theme, in which the entire undergraduate population is invited to attend. As every undergraduate house of Caltech has its own personality and characteristics, these interhouses too have their own flair depending on the house who hosts them.
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.
About a dozen frosh sit and stand in a semicircle around a whiteboard. Various Lloyd-themed interhouse names sit on a list awaiting their fate. One by one, possibilities are discussed and voted on, until four remain.