First I want to apologize for not posting for such a while. This Term has been very colorful and therefore busy and you’ll soon see why.
At Caltech, I often find myself starting a week and thinking that this will be the toughest and craziest week of Term. I get through that week and start the next one and think that actually, this next week will be the craziest week of Term. So, I conclude now that every week is packed and the degree of how pleasant the week ends up being depends on your time management and attitude.
Around the same time, Interhouse parties started up for this Term. We haven’t had any in a while and now we’re having one every Saturday night. In short, there are eight undergraduate student houses and each one hosts and Interhouse party in their courtyard for all the other houses once per Term. My house, Page House, kicked the year off with the first party last Term.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay for the whole dinner because I ran off to an 8pm Physics lecture. Our professor was out of town one day so he held a make-up lecture at night – not the first time and it really makes me appreciate his devotion!
I loved the play and thought it was great when we saw a video of our Caltech President dressed as a king giving the audience instructions on how to behave in the theater before the performance started projected onto the curtains.
That’s it for now since I should get back to work but I promise to post again soon!
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.