(Everything is an adventure.) Too often do I stay in the house during weekends and eat BCD tofu starter packs or C-store udon (both amazing options, believe me). I try to switch it up — tofu soup for lunch, udon for dinner on Saturday, then the opposite the next day. It’s mundane, but it’s decently good, and it sustains me amidst rehearsals, events, and homework. And it also makes anything out of the ordinary pretty exciting. Over the past year, occasionally, upperclassmen have taken us out to eat over the weekend — ramen, tofu soup, boba…
And sometimes people cook food, like my neighbor Sirus, who treated all the Koreans in the house (plus some) to his labor-intensive Seollongtang (beef bone soup):
In the past two weekends, we’ve taken our weekend cuisine to new levels (partly because we didn’t have much work). Last Sunday, a few of us dressed up and walked to Daisy Mint, a Thai restaurant, for dinner. It was less than 20 minutes away, and some of the best food I’ve had in walking distance of Caltech!
Chloe’s tofu soup:
Janice’s green curry:
Shrimp fried rice:
My glass noodles with shrimp:
I was so very happy. Yesterday, Chloe and I tried out Veggie Grill, just 15 minutes away walking:
Then today, seven of us Ubered to a nearby Indian restaurant, Bhanu’s. I had the non-vegetarian Thali, which came with chicken tikka masala, lentils, some curry thing, yogurt, rice, and naan:
Here’s a couple of fools happy about their food:
Janice and I were the only ones at the table to finish all of our food, of which we were quite proud:
Next week is midterms week, so it won’t be very conducive to food adventures, but I’m sure we’ll start again once that grind is over!
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to do a 10-week internship at Gilead Sciences in Foster City, CA. For those unfamiliar, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines.
With 45 Nobel Laureates on its Faculty Roster, it’s not surprising that research is an integral part of the Caltech undergraduate experience. One of the programs that promotes such research is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). There is no minimum knowledge or experience required to participate in a Caltech SURF. In fact, students can participate in a SURF as soon as the summer after their freshman year. It is not difficult to get a SURF. All you need to do is find a mentor who is working in an area of research that interests you and willing to mentor you through a research project. The mentor can work in a Caltech lab, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or at another participating institution. Once you find a mentor, you work together to write a project proposal that you later send to the SURF office for review and approval. About 98% of the SURF proposals get approved. This fellowship is a great way to explore various fields of research and obtain real, hands-on experience where you get to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve learned in class. Not only do you get to work and learn alongside your mentor, but you also get compensated for your time. The length of the SURF is ten weeks, and it starts at the beginning of the summer. However, it is not uncommon for many students at Caltech to continue their research project throughout the academic school year.
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.
Research at Caltech looks different for every student, and can often vary term by term. As a chemistry major, my course requirements are on the lighter side for a Caltech major, and many chemistry majors take advantage of the lighter course load to join research groups. This can be whenever the student wants, but many people join labs during their freshman or sophomore years. Some may work in one lab only, and some may switch between labs during the course of their undergraduate studies, depending on if their interests change.