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I’ve been thinking about the past few weeks and although they seemed rather peaceful I’ve realized that actually many things have happened and many more are about to happen. Midterms are over and there are only a few weeks left until not only the end of the year but also until the end of an entire year at Caltech! Things are getting busier and busier as summer is approaching. We’ve picked rooms for next year, tonight those of us in my House staying here for the summer are picking summer rooms and I’ve already started my SURF! Starting a SURF early isn’t expected of students but I decide to start visiting my lab every now and then before the Term ends to get a head start and also because my graduate student mentor will be doing her qualification exams during the summer so she is worried that she won’t be able to spend enough time with me during the actual SURF season. So, last Friday I went into the lab, acquired proper lab attire and some basic lab tools and then I was put to work! However, as a change of scene, after four tiring but exciting hours in lab I went to Hollywood to see the Broadway production of Chicago. It was a nice deal because the tickets were sponsored by a campus organization called the Caltech Y. Every now and then they buy tickets to shows and set up a lottery for students and those that win get those tickets at a great discount.
However, I’d like to backtrack to SURF for a bit. You happy seniors, be sure to enjoy finally knowing where you’ll be next year but don’t slack off! Being in lab on Friday, I realized that if I hadn’t done two summers of internships the summers after my Junior and Senior years, I would be completely lost in my lab here. Therefore, if you have a good chance to work in lab this summer, do it! As you’ve probably heard many times already, Caltech is unique for its undergraduate research. Of course you’ll have the opportunity to be in a lab once you get here but the better prepared you are before you get here, the more you’ll get out of Caltech. That’s not to say that you should work 24/7 this summer. Not at all! Definitely relax and try out some new things you haven’t done before or that you’ve always wanted to do. Once you get here, you want to be in prime shape and mood so you can enjoy you Frosh year.

Speaking of Frosh year, it is about to end for us. There are many signs of this besides the end of Midterms and the coming of Finals and grades. Ditch Day is also coming up. My House has already had several fake Ditch Days when seniors wake everyone up early at 7am saying its Ditch Day and making us do mini stacks (once the senior slept in and woke us up at 8) but now we all know that something is really cooking. Black tarps have gone up in certain areas of our House that say "Seniors Only". Presumably this is where the Seniors are building the stacks. So far, all this means to us is that some people have to walk through some extra hallways to get to the bathroom.

All we know about the coming Ditch Day is that "Ditch Day is tomorrow!". (Seniors always say that it is tomorrow when asked about it.)
Well, my House’s summer room picks are about to start so I’d better run now.

Nina Budaeva