Winter at Caltech

Winter at Caltech

I’m sure all of you must have heard about the harsh winter that Southern California experienced. Luckily, I had my truly terrible phone camera on hand to capture the “truly terrible” weather we witnessed this “winter”.

Figure 1:I have a particular fondness for pictures around sunset, as this collection will probably demonstrate. Early on in term, I was running by the gym and athletic center when I stopped for a bit and caught this view.

Figure 2: This is what Venerable House Courtyard looks like from my window at sunset, and one of the reasons why I particularly love my room. Two reasons to dislike it? The first is that such a beautiful sunset view means that, as is typical for rooms facing west, we get blasted with sunshine every morning. The second: as you can see in the picture, our interhouse party gets built in the courtyard, meaning that the lovely sounds of miter saws and impact drivers permeate our Saturday mornings. Although sometimes, I’m the source of the noise rather than the receiver - I tried to chip in with construction near the party, because power tools are fun.

Figure 3: **As I mentioned, my phone camera is a masterpiece of ineptitude. I applied no filter for this shot - I thought the purple tint and slight inversion looked pretty cool, though, so I kept it. This is the back of Venerable House, by the way, popularly known as RLZ (Venerable Loading Zone); it provides a handy parking place for people with cars and a quick route to Chandler Cafe.

Figure* 4:Yes, clouds do sometimes visit the Golden State - and, seeing the precarious state of California’s water supply, they couldn’t be more welcome. I really like cloudy days every once in a while, since campus just looks and feels very different from its normal sunny, golden retriever-like self. I remember walking up here by the biology sector in between review sessions on Midterms weekend - feeling pretty spontaneous, I decided to roll around on the lawn a bit. Sure, I got a few stares, but…it was worth it.*

Figure* 5:I should note that this isn’t Caltech - this picture is at Occidental College, our neighbor and occasional sporting cross-town rival (although we beat them at women’s basketball this year - go team!) I was there volunteering for the regional Science Olympiad competition, in the Bungee Drop C event. It was a blast - if you’re interested in reading about it, I would highly suggest checking out Emily Mazo’s quality post about it here:*/2015/03/science-olympiad.html

Figure* 5b:Caltech students write and grade the Science Olympiad regional tests - sometimes our expectations get a bit high. I competed in the LA regional myself as a high-school student, so I knew exactly where these kids were coming from and couldn’t help giggling a bit as I found this while grading.*

Figure 6:As Finals Week dawned on us, the weather became intolerably beautiful, with temperatures in the 80s and no non-cirrus clouds in sight. While chasing a squirrel around Beckman Lawn (see my previous post for more about squirrels), the albedo from Beckman Auditorium struck me in the eyes and deterred me from my quest. In vengeance, I snapped this photo.

Figure 7: Theweekend before finals began in earnest, I decided that, as a California student, wasn’t it my right - no, my *duty - to enjoy the weather I was lucky enough to get? Therefore, I did a lot of my studying (and blog-composing) sprawled on the grass.*

Figure 8:As I left my study place to take the first of my finals, California gave me one last tantalizing reminder of what was in store for me once I finished my exams. So, that’s what our winter experience here at Tech was like. And, as pretty as people say snow is…I think I’d rather have this.

See ya on the flip!Vasant