When I say we, I mean Blacker. At some point in the past that I have no knowledge of, some members of Blacker decided that it would be a great idea to build a potato cannon. And it was. It’s used for shooting out many different things at high speeds. However, potatoes seem to fit the best in the canister and are both cheap and plentiful. Hence, its name was born.
The way it works is a little beyond me. I haven’t taken the time to learn anything about it other than we use an air pressurizer to put said air into a small tank which is closed off from the mouth of the cannon. When the tank is sufficiently pressurized - we don’t usually do too much - there is a release lever to allow the air to rush through the cannon to spit out the potato (or whatever else) in the canister.
More recently, we have had new frosh that are excited to try fruits on our cannon. A pineapple was our most recent idea. However, the pineapple didn’t fit in the canister. So, they just put it on the front of the cannon. It was very amusing. Check out the video to see what happened (and spoilers underneath it)!
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.
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: