Hello, Java monsters! If you couldn’t tell from my EXCELLENT punning, I’m taking CS 2 this term, a computer science course about the wonderful world of Java. That’s one of my new classes for this term. Also included: plate tectonics, seismology, field geophysics, physics lab, and a design-your-own English class about American minimalism as a prep-course for my thesis (which I’m hoping to start next term).
So far, it’s shaping up to be a great term. It doesn’t look like I’ll have any midterms (the perk of being in all graduate-level geosciences courses) and my homework load seems mostly… doable? I’m glad that it is after a couple months of not really having formal homework in Scotland.
Anyways though, this post is more about my weekend than it is about my week. I spent the entire weekend cooking with the Caltech Senior Director of Activities and Programs Tom Mannion. First up, we made… more fruitcake?? Yes, I did just make fruitcake like last weekend. But hey, I never say no to more delicious combinations of fruit, sugar, and coffee. Plus, Tom did the intelligent thing and ordered our fruit for the cake off the internet, so I didn’t have to candy any peels this time around.
Next up, sorbet! The University president has orange trees and had sent over a delivery of a bunch of oranges from them. Us, being the savvy chefs, we are, did the reasonable thing and made many iterations of orange and lemon sorbets. We mixed fruits, sugar, and a menagerie of everything else to end up with a few delicious icy combinations, although it wasn’t all too fitting since the weather was actually a wee bit chilly for Pasadena (a shocking 50 degrees!). To celebrate a day of hard work, we went to the home of the original French dip for some delicious sandwiches.
Sunday, we baked out fruitcakes, and prepared live lobster and crab for a proper New-England style shellfish dinner. It was my first time ever having whole lobster, and man, was that a delicious dinner. Also, it was much easier to dissect for its meat than the crab was. I can see why people are a fan of this lifestyle. We also served it with some scalloped potatoes that Tom made, and a bit of a vegetable medley stir fry that Susan cooked up.
My favorite part about Caltech is the Houses! The easiest way to describe them is as Hogwarts houses: each has their own personality and group of people and the first thing you do at Caltech is go through a “sorting” process. The people are what makes the Houses at Caltech so great. As a frosh, it’s amazing to be able to come in and immediately have a group of 100+ people to support you. Because the Houses have students from every grade, you make friends with upperclassmen and can ask for help on tons of things like:
It’s crazy to think that it has been four years now since I was applying to college. I remember it vividly. This week we’re spending some time reflecting on our personal admissions processes, and how we ended up at Caltech. There’s one question though that I wanted to spin out into a separate post: “what advice would you give to the admitted class of 2025?” And I think the best way to do this is to tell a more detailed story than I did in my other post.
These past six months have been a whirlwind- from having to move out of Caltech housing in March within a week’s notice due to COVID-19, to starting the first term of my junior year, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of change. When I went home in March, it was to a completely new state-my family moved from Chino, CA to New Jersey in January (great timing, huh?). While I missed seeing my friends from home, it was fun to have the chance to explore a completely new place. The pandemic obviously limited what I could see and do, but I got to experience walks through nature and along rivers normally foreign to a SoCal native and had some time to focus on bioinformatics research for the lab I work with on campus.