Only at a place like Caltech. Only at a place like Caltech can you run into an international academic celebrity like Stephen Hawking in the bookstore. And sometimes you just have to seize an opportunity when it appears - even if you start shaking when you walk up because you're seeing one of your idols in real life for the first time.
But there's more to this post than me getting a photo with Stephen Hawking. There's an amazing feeling of community at Caltech where even a prefrosh can walk up to nobel laureate professors or even Dr. Hawking himself. And that - I think - is what I really fell in love with.