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What’s On Your Desk?

I feel like a person’s desk or workspace can tell you a lot about them. So, I’ll reveal my darkest secrets and take you on a tour of my desk at Caltech! To begin, I’ll note that the dorm rooms have varying sizes/types of desks, so not all of them look like this; for example, bunk bed rooms in some houses have a desk as the bottom “bunk”, and so the desk spans the entire length of the bed. In comparison, mine is a standalone desk with some shelves on top of it. Regardless, I think what matters more is what a person chooses to put on/around their desk, so it’s time to show you all the nerdy things I have decorated my desk with.

When I first moved into Caltech, I had a fun time figuring out what stuff I would bring to decorate my room. I wanted to bring things to remind me of home, but I also wanted to have some new stuff. Let’s start with the overall desk. There is a main tabletop, a shelf on the back, four drawers, and a chair.

If we zoom into the main desk area, you can see another one of my blog posts open on the screen (go check it out: https://caltechadmissions.blog/sending-a-high-altitude-balloon-to-space/) and you can see the Google Docs editor that I’m using to write this very blog. I know right, that’s pretty meta; we’re doing next level stuff with this blog. I really enjoy having a dual monitor setup, using my laptop and an external monitor, and would definitely recommend bringing an external monitor to Caltech.

Next, the shelf above my desk houses miscellaneous things. Right now, I have a bag of masks, my San Diego Comic Con badge, a fancy watch from my grandparents, a lamp, some keychains, and a sheet of Pokemon silhouettes. The Pokemon are for a game I organize on the whiteboard outside my room where I put up a new Pokemon every day and people write down the name (or give it a fake name). I’ll probably make that into a blog post at the end of the academic year too!

Above that shelf is where I display all the cool stuff. I have two Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series (UCS) Lego sets, the X-wing and the A-wing. The X-wing wears an Indiana Jones hat, because why not? I also have to rep my favorite team, the Golden State Warriors.

There are also smaller things below those two big models, like the mini X-wing, TIE fighter, and Millenium Falcon models, along with some turtles. There is also a Lego figure of myself back there. And, a Lego rose. It definitely looks kinda real from far away.

Behind that on the wall, I have a big Star Wars poster that was gifted to me by an alum. There is also a smaller Star Wars poster on the left that I got at Comic Con, and an R2-D2 drawing on the right that my girlfriend made. If you can’t tell, I like Star Wars.

You probably noticed the right half of a large Indiana Jones movie poster in the prior image. I also have more posters on the wall next to my desk, shown below. The Indiana Jones poster was gifted to me by another alum, like the Star Wars poster. Both posters are items that are passed down through my house, so I will pass them on when I graduate as well. I also have a “rally towel” that I got from a Warriors game I went to. And below that, I have a poster of the people in my dorm alley (go Alley 3!) that is themed like the Avengers: Endgame movie poster.


For the last pieces of decoration, I have some things on the shelf next to my desk, such as a Warriors hat, JPL hat, and JPL swag box. Then, I have a map of Caltech that was made on a printed circuit board (PCB) that was gifted to me by an alum. I also have a photo album of my family and a paint by numbers picture of my girlfriend and me.

Now that we’ve seen what’s around the desk, I’ll show you what’s inside. The wide drawer on the front is a shallow drawer that I use to hold my internship laptop.

The top two side drawers I use to hold miscellaneous supplies like pencils, pens, scissors, and other school supplies. They’re kind of messy right now, so I will spare you all the view inside.

Lastly, the bottom drawer is larger than the top two, and it houses my prized possession: my Warriors hat signed by Draymond Green (see: https://caltechadmissions.blog/the-golden-state-warriors-visit-caltech/).

That’s pretty much it! I hope you all enjoyed it. I think writing this blog post made me realize I like Star Wars too much. And, I need to clean out my desk drawers…

Tyler Colenbrander ’23

Hi! I’m Tyler and I’m an alum (Class of 2023) in Venerable House and I studied Electrical Engineering. I am originally from Novato, CA. I was on the Caltech Ultimate Frisbee Team, a Peer Advocate (PA) for my house, and a Teaching Assistant (TA). I am really interested in solar energy research, and I worked part-time at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) researching solar cells for deep space missions. In my free time, I enjoy 3D printing, playing Pokemon Go, Star Wars, Rubik’s cubes, Hamilton, Lego, and airplanes!