From May 17 (sorry for the delay)
One of arguably the best traditions at Caltech is Ditch Day. It started back when the seniors would pick a day to go off campus, skip classes, etc. But the underclassmen didn’t like this so they started pranking the rooms of seniors, flipping furniture upside-down and stuff like that. And so, Ditch Day evolved into a day that the seniors have planned a day filled with activities for the other students. It’s treated as a holiday where classes are cancelled and assignments aren’t due. The date of Ditch Day is supposed to be a surprise, and in response to us asking the date, seniors always say it’s tomorrow, regardless of the day. It’s funny when if the frosh are up late with sets or something, a senior will come by and say, “go to bed frosh, Ditch Day is tomorrow”. This is because Ditch Day starts at 8am, which is quite early considering my earliest class this term is at 10am.There have been a couple fake Ditch Days, when the seniors will bang pots and pans, literally, around the house at 8 to wake everyone up.
This past Friday we had a fake Ditch Day, but the seniors had still planned a little something for us though it was fake. At around 8:30, a bunch of seniors broke out of this walled up portion of the Olive Walk. Our task was to use duct tape to catch as many seniors we could and tape them to trees and pillars in a designated location. Each house was given duct tape in their house color to keep track who got who. I enjoyed it a lot because the event was light-hearted and fun, with groups of underclassmen chasing seniors with long peices of tape.
The seniors that participated had a pink ribbon on them so we wouldn’t accidentally tie up someone that wasn’t part of the game. Some seniors struggled and turned the activity to a wrestling match which was pretty entertaining. There was also this one girl that once we caught her we just walked her over to a tree and wrapped duct tape around because she didn’t want a struggle.
I was too busy to take pictures during, but here is kind of what the aftermath looked like:
Then this Friday we had Ditch Day for real! Just the same as last week, pots and pans banged at 8 then we woke up to sign up for stacks. The seniors get into groups to make these stacks; all of them looked interesting, but the one I ended up signing up for was Die Hard themed. Other themes included Ghostbusters, Finding Dory, and Robinhood. I’ll leave the rest of Ditch Day out because it’s probably best to experience it personally, except for our stack did involve riding on hovercrafts.
Finally, after almost a whole school year, the seniors said, “wake up frosh, Ditch Day is today!” and it was definitely worth the wait.
On May 8, the Washington Nationals came to Los Angeles Angels for a lovely Mother’s Day Game. I, being a D.C. native and avid Nationals fan, of course had to attend– the Nationals play the Angels very rarely because they play in different leagues and on opposite coasts. My dad and I have a goal of going to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums, and we had to take advantage of our home team being in L.A., so my mom and dad both flew out for the weekend.
As I write this blog, I’m sitting on a grassy knoll on Pomona-Pitzer’s campus. It’s the last match of my final season of tennis here at Caltech. It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling to be done with my college tennis career (unless I decide to use my final year of NCAA eligibility, granted to athletes affected by the COVID-19 pandemic). Being a part of the women’s tennis team here has been a defining part of my identity and where I met my community on campus. In this blog, I want to discuss a bit of the process of becoming an NCAA athlete, the Caltech experience of handling schoolwork and a sport, and my take on how it affected my growth here.
A few days ago, I wrote a blog post for recommendations of boba around Caltech. This follow up includes a far more comprehensive list of boba shops in the 626/SGV area. Now, I’ll admit that I have a rather extensive spreadsheet of boba stores and drinks that I’ve tried and enjoyed or disliked. However, I’d rather not bore everyone with a full spreadsheet, especially when it reveals just how much boba I’ve had each year. However, if I attempted to write about all of the shops I’ve tried, this post would get too long, so it’s instead compressed into a much more easily digestible format: a Tiermaker list. Obviously, this is the most sophisticated possible presentation of this information and 100% objective. Definitely tested via the scientific method and not subject to personal bias whatsoever.