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.
…Or, How a Disciple of Bethany Ehlmann, a Former Desert Militiaman, Moore Lab Subbasement Dwellers, Roblox’s Newest Intern, a Florida Man, and a Luminous Plasma Scientist Went to War with the Caltech Mail Center, Got Double-Crossed by AirGas Corp., Survived Three COVID Outbreaks, and Nearly Stranded Themselves in the Mojave in order to Send a Bag of Peanuts to Space (A True Story).
Every midterm week and final week, Page House Peer Advocates (PAs) put on a de-stressing event. This term for midterms, the PAs hosted a painting night in conjunction with a Page dessert night. (Every Thursday, the House gives $60 to a pageboy (a member of Page) to buy a bunch of dessert and snacks for the house for dessert night.). They provided canvases, paint brushes, and a variety of paint colors for the night. It was a really fun and relaxing time to stop working on sets or studying for midterms for a bit and hangout with friends.
On the weekend of April 16th, my friends and I participated in the first ever Southern California College Poker Tournament! The tournament was for college students in the SoCal area with a $0 buy-in that doubled as a recruiting event for quant and finance firms. A senior friend of mine (Vanessa, a fellow blogger) put together a team of five girls who had no interest in being recruited and just wanted to have fun playing poker.
One of Caltech’s many clubs is the RISE tutoring program, where undergraduate students connect with local high schoolers and provide tutoring in various STEM subjects. I only became a tutor this academic year, but the experience has been so rewarding for me and, hopefully, also for the students I tutor.