Here’s an understatement: Fluid Dynamics is busy! In a month, we will perform at Absolut, an a cappella competition with some of the best groups in SoCal. (Ever heard of last year’s international collegiate a cappella champions, the SoCal Vocals? Well, they’re competing at Absolut. Oh great.) A few weekends after, we’ll be hosting our annual Valentine’s Day concert called Love Sucks, where all performing a cappella groups sing at least one break-up song.
Fluid Dynamics needed something new for these concerts, so over winter break, two of our group members arranged new songs: “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson and “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. Plus, we bought a new song called “Mercy.”
Here we are, learning new music:
Learning how to sing songs is tough, but singing is something we all love to do and practice outside of rehearsal, i.e. in the shower. By competition time, we will have nailed the tuning and rhythm, guaranteed.
So what’s our biggest challenge going into these competitions? Dancing. A lot of us are a little awkward on the dance floor– maybe we break out into swing dancing, or occasionally, DDR moves. So it’s not easy to dance to the songs that we’ve painstakingly learned without looking awkward or boring.
Solution? Planned movement. I would say choreography, but that would imply much more complicated dance moves. What we do is more like, “Okay guys, when we sing this part, let’s bob up and down. And if we get that working, maybe we can bob up and down in a synchronized manner.”
Luckily for me, we’re not close to deciding choreo– we haven’t even chosen what songs to sing for these competitions! Right now, all the focus is on making brighter vowels, darker vowels, happier vowels… you get the idea.
Here are some more photos of us looking happy:
That’s my roommate, Sally! She’s a chemical engineer/runner/soprano.
Usually, while writing this post, I would be at Caltech playing volleyball. I begin school eith preseason, which for those unfamiliar (or are planning on joining women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s waterpolo, or cross country) is a 5 week long period before school begins where the sports teams I listed before practice and compete. My life during preseason is basically volleyball 24/7. Two practices a day (during school only one) and game days three days a week. No school work to worry about, spending time with my teammates all day, a nice refresher before school begins.
Every year, the Caltech Society of Women Engineers attends the National SWE conference to network with other SWE Chapters and to hustle for jobs. Last year, the event was in Minneapolis, and the year before in Austin. This time around, it’s in Anaheim which is much more convenient for us. Since it is much closer, we were able to send many more delegates to attend and miss fewer classes in the process of doing so.
It’s truly Autumn in Scotland now. It reached 0 degrees Celsius today, or 32 Fahrenheit for you yanks. They’re setting up the Christmas market downtown (as thanksgiving isn’t a thing here they just skip directly from Halloween to Christmas). Snow isn’t falling, but it does seem to be raining every other day. And it’s pleasant, quite pleasant. The rain turns Edinburgh into even more of a dramatic and beautiful city than usually is.