Roses are red,Violets are blue,Go to bed Frosh,Ditch Day’s tomorrow.
Fri May 24th -Ditch Day!Wake up to the thunderous sound of percussion fire. Dive out of bed into nearby closet. Grab earplugs, and race out out your room to face an army of armed Seniors whow will use whatever means possible to get you out of bed. Including assaulting your rooms with concentrated dosages of high oscillation aerial destruction. (banging pots and pans) Race to the courtyard of your student house to find a mysterious bulletin, where it previously wasn’t. On it, themed signup sheets where you fill your name on the one you’d most like to participate in. Signup to more than one stack and you get kicked by discipline. (removed from one of them) Wait until the time marked on the sheet before beginning your ditch day stack, a day of puzzles, no classes, adventure, and fun! Basically, the Senior class forms teams that throughout the year plan and create a stack, which is a set of puzzles, and or, experiences, to occupy your ditch day with fun/entertaining happy-stuffs. Seriously, this would be the worst day to sleep in. This year, at Dabney’s Ditch day, in addition to the mysterious bulletin, a large black object, the size of a car, was set up.
Divergence font Countdown to end of lottery.And I got in! Otherwise, I’d probably be talking about a different stack :P
And not so much…
Well, the mystery drivers soon left and we were allowed to remove our blindfolds, to start breakfast while solving the first clue. In the room we were left in was a black suitcase, laptop, and puzzle.
Feel free to solve it again. The two codes corresponded to numbers needed to unlock the suitcase, which was probably the most important item that day.
The super OP suitcase contained: a blank notebook, disposable camera, more clues, deck of cards, mystery box, UV light device, a cellphone, and…
6 Nameplates! On each nameplate, was a character. The characters were, Rika, Sakura, Kurohime, Menma, Fate, Miku, Asuna, Madoka, Nanoha and someone I didn’t recognize…
I’m guessing each of our names had been inputted into a nameplate during the driving distraction. Each nameplate also had an unlock code, which opened more functionalities of these nameplates. The unlock codes had been written on our hands in ink invisible ink.
Back of nameplate. These can apparently be programmed with even more functions! Perhaps over some more relaxed weekend, I’ll figure out how.The clues in the suitcase, then led us to the Little Tokyo bookstore. We were given a code that turned out to be the ISBN to the book Murakami’s “Dance Dance Dance” that we needed to align to a transparency to get the next clue.
We also gained flashlight capabilities!
By the way, that’s not my hand or my nameplate. These are pictures from another person. I don’t have a camera :P
Here’s Vy-Luan advertising Skal. Also, check out the Trauma Team T-shirts! Every stack has themed T-shirts. From what I heard, they are historically meant as an offering to the stackees so that we don’t break into the Seniors rooms while they’re ditching. From my 2 ditch-day experiences though, that doesn’t seem to be the reason anymore, rather it’s just tradition to give out T-shirts.
At some point, the cellphone that came in the suitcase gained more functionality.
If you wanted to figure out the answer to the puzzle in the nameplate picture above, don’t read on. Othwerse, the answer’s in the picture below.
Group Picture! and one more person unfortunately entirely stuck behind someone’s head.
Dark creepy tunnel full of scary pictures. Good thing we had flashlights!
2 Hours to figure out the password and save Dr. Kimishima’s life! It turns out there were UV ink letters written on certain postits and they lined up to make the password.
Success! The password was “There is no way to know the future. But still. Look forward to living your life.”
(Soul Gems referring to the nameplates) After the stack, we hung around Raymond and Jomya’s place. Check out his merc!
Group picture with all the people! Including the Seniors that actually made the stack. Thanks Raymond and Jomya! (bottom two people)
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.