Hmm so it was Henry’s 22nd birthday this past
weekend, so several of us went to Sunday Bistro with him to celebrate. A lot of
seniors are on grad school visits, so we had kind of had a belated birthday
celebration for Henry. Because he dislikes cake and chocolate *gasp!* I made
caramel flan instead and we surprised him in one of the lounges of Avery. We
also stayed up to play cards and chat after a long week.
I didn’t end up going to either D-Day or the OASIS
Bollywood Dance Party because I was sore from tennis and catching up on work. I
heard both parties were pretty good and Ruddock’s OPI will be next weekend.
We played again Ohio Northern on Sunday and lost 3-6. We’re now 3-2 overall and
our next match will be against UT Tyler next Tuesday. A few of us on the team decided to grab dinner together afterwards at Mr. Baguette. It was my first time there and the vietnamese sandwiches were delicious. We got Half & Half boba afterwards (check out the crazy short cups). I'm glad to be a part of the team and get spend time with these amazing girls. The weekend has gone by
so fast and now it’s back to classes and sets. It’s the final crunch before
exams begin. Avery Formal Dinner will be Tuesday night, as well as the Chemistry
Option Tea, where students and faculty can discuss research, classes, and life
in an casual and open setting. Hopefully as a chemistry option rep, I’ll be
able to attract frosh to the wonderful world of chemistry, or at least check it
So this week I’ve been working mostly on my PS/SS 139 group
paper. Our topic is on analyzing the 2012 Ukraine parliamentary elections for
voting fraud. It’s quite an interesting class and definitely different from
anything else I’ve taken here at Caltech. I’ve also really enjoyed Ch 6a this
term and will be playing with lasers next week.
There have been so many social events this week. Midnight
Donuts happened on Thursday, and the most popular donut- strawberry- was back
in season for this term. People definitely tried to sneak their way through to
get one of those on the Olive Walk. Be a Kid Again Day was on Friday, where Tom
Mannion hosted a party at his house with a ton of Girl Scout cookies and
puppies! Sadly, I wasn’t able to make it…the women’s tennis team had their
first away tennis match at Cal Lu. It was a close match that took 6 hours and
we ended up losing 4-5. However, our team is much stronger than last year, so
our goal this year is to be more competitive and win other SCIAC conference matches.
:) As for Girl Scout cookies, Michelle kindly saved us some for after practice
the next day.
Although Avery Interhouse had been previously postponed, the
party finally did happen and all the hard work on construction and preparation
paid off. The theme was Wreck-It-Ralph. Have you seen the movie? I really
enjoyed it : ) There were lots of people on the dance floor by midnight and
people complimented on all the homemade cookies, cake, sandwiches, etc.
Other events coming up this weekend include Dabney’s D-Day and our match against Ohio Northern. Wish us luck?
Last Friday was Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (IGED)
hosted by the Caltech Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The name is pretty
self-explanatory, but we basically introduce high school girls to what
engineering and science is like through lab tours, demonstrations, design
contest, and more. As historian, I took photos during the design contest, in
which the girls were given some materials to construct a structure that could
hold to most weight (books). I think the girls had fun and hopefully some of
them will put some serious thought into becoming scientists or engineers
So this past weekend, we played against Biola on Saturday
and Arizona Christian University on Sunday. We won 7-2 for both matches. The
women’s tennis team is off to a good start undefeated (3-0) so far. Our next
match will be our first SCIAC match of the season against Cal Lu this Friday.
Wish us luck? It’ll be a tight match.
There were a ton of birthdays this past weekend. Avery has a
email list dedicated towards special events, which you can request to take the
“special” person off and plan surprises for them. Thus, there was lots of cake,
sweets, and card signings this past weekend.
It was Jessica’s 21st birthday this past weekend,
so a small group of us surprised her by kidnapping her from her problem sets
and taking her out for dinner. We went to Golden Deli, which is a typical
Vietnamese restaurant and has delicious pho. We visited D’ ange Bakery
afterwards to get her some egg tarts. It’s been a busy weekend, so it was nice
to take a break from Caltech and catch up with these girls.
So this past Sunday, the men of Avery made brunch for all
the ladies. Tom Mannion hosted the event at his house. The guys made omlettes,
eggs benedict, hash browns, and quiches. There were also croissants, bagels,
and fresh fruit. Our frosh UCC Saurabh also came back to visit, so that was a
nice surprise. He’s working for SIG in Philly now as a trader. I believe that
the UCC/house system here at Caltech truly makes this small community feel like
a family. Saurabh always took us on frosh walk and talks, and made sure each of
us were doing well. Now as a junior, I try to do the same unofficially by
walking around the house when taking a break from sets and talking to all the
frosh I didn’t get to meet last term while abroad. The class of 2016 is pretty
cool, and I can’t wait to meet all you prospective prefrosh in April for
Prefrosh Weekend (PFW)! :)
Anyways, Saurabh taught us a new playing card game, called
29. We ended up playing until 4 am. It was nice catching up with him and
hopefully we’ll see him again Tomorrow (for Ditch Day ;P).
Avery also had a hot pot event on Monday to celebrate
Chinese New Year. It was quite successful and there was a ton of food as you
can see from the pictures. I had a good three day weekend and I’m looking
forward to what this week brings.
Because midterms are over and it’s a three day weekend, a
few of my friends and I decided to go to Universal Studios Hollywood, which is
about 30 minutes away. I’ve been to the Florida theme park countless times, but
I’ve never been to the one here in California. The rides are different and I
believe that the one here focuses more on what Universal Studios does: making
films and movies, while the Florida one is mostly just rides. As a Caltech
student, we got $15 off and an annual pass with the purchase of a one-day
ticket. Sweet deal right? We started off the day early in the morning and
stopped by Pavillions to get sandwiches for the day because food in theme parks
is always overpriced. But, we did get strawberries and cream funnel cakes as a
snack later on. We started in the lower lot to go on the new Transformers ride,
which was amazing. We were also able to take a studio tour and got to
experience some sets and see King Kong. The special effects show and waterworks
show was neat as well. My favorite ride was the Mummy.
At the end of the day,
we were planning to eat in the Citywalk, but the restaurants were packed and
waits were long; hence, we decided to go to BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in
Pasadena for dinner. Of course we ordered the famous pizookies for dessert,
trying a trio of cookies and cream, Ghiradelli chocolate, and white chocolate
and raspberry almond. It was pretty awesome day and I look forward to the
So midterms week is now over- I had one midterm for Ch 21b
(Physical Chemistry), which was a non-collaboration problem set. The Honor Code
here gives us the freedom to take home exams. Until UCL, I forgot how it felt
taking an exam with a proctor announcing how much time you had left every 5
minutes, people sneezing, coughing, and rustling papers.
It was Chinese New Year, so a few of us went out to
celebrate and ate dinner together. Jessica and I also made nian gao, or rice
cake, which is a traditional dessert eaten during the holiday. We also made
black sesame tangyuan, which is like mochi but placed in hot soup. Chandler
also has a celebration with a themed dinner. Caltech likes to have themed
dinners once in awhile, and it’s nice to see all the houses eat dinner together
On Valentine’s Day, the guys of my house surprised each girl
with a card and an invitation for a brunch at Mannion’s this Sunday. They also
gave us an “Avery Guys Calendar” for us, which was hilarious and well made.
It's sweet that they do this each year and I really appreciate their efforts.
We also had a girl’s night for Valentine’s Day, hosted by our
Faculty-in-Residence’s (FIR) wife Keren. She brought a ton of ice cream, nail
polish, and hired two masseuses for the night. I’ve never had a foot massage
before, so it was really nice after tennis practice. At Chouse, there were chocolate lava cakes. The day was
clearly filled with sugar and spice, and all things nice ;P
I hope that you had a wonderful Chinese New Year and
Valentine’s Day as well!
Calm before the storm?
This past weekend my friend Erica got baptized! Her parents came down for the ceremony and provided dinner/desserts. Congrats :) I’m so glad to have met these girls frosh year and to have their support in all that I do.
It was also Ben’s birthday on Monday. Because his favorite baseball team is the Yankees, we decorated a giant homemade funfetti cupcake cake with the Yankees symbol and surprised him just before midnight. Jarvis decided to also whip cream his face when he walked into the room. He didn’t expect anything because we had already sung happy birthday to him with chocolate chip muffins hours before.
January has flown by so fast-this week is like the calm before the storm as midterms start next week. Classes have been going on as usual. For Ch 6a, Jessica and I got to do Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectroscopy for the first time in Crellin, which was pretty neat. I’m enjoying this lab class as I get to learn lots of different lab techniques and understand the theory behind the spectrums we are obtaining and analyzing.
Michelle, the ASCIT Social Director, is hosting a Winter Wonderland event with sledding and an ice skating rink on the Olive Walk. Tom Mannion brought hot dogs, hot chocolate, and snacks out for everyone.
We’ll be playing our first tennis match this weekend against Hope Int’l.
So today, we had our first tennis match against Hope
International. The two new frosh, Valerie and Monica (another blogger- go check
her out! :) ), played their first intercollegiate tennis matches today. They
won in #2 doubles together, and Monica won in her singles as well. Overall we
won 7-2. You can check out the recap here. We’re off to a good start and I’m excited for the rest of
The Men’s team played valiantly against Cal Lu, but struggled to get a set. Their recap is here.
Our baseball team had the biggest victory of the day: they broke a 228 game losing streak by beating Pacifica College 9-7.
I did some work after the match, then went to try Pho 79 for
dinner with Jarvis, Joe, and Yang (another blogger! :) ) It was pretty delicious
and I would definitely recommend Pho 79 or Golden Deli if you want pho or
authentic Vietnamese food.
Avery is comprised of 8 alleys. This weekend, alleys 1, 5,
and 8 went laser tagging. My alley, alley 6, will be going horseback riding tomorrow.
I’ve never been horseback riding before, so I’ll let you know how that goes.
So at the end of this week I went to get boba from Factory
Tea Bar, which is one of my favorite places for boba. If you haven’t had boba
before, it’s chewy, round, tapioca pearls that go in a drink and is delicious. London
had boba, but it was expensive, and LA definitely has better quality and wider
selection of drinks. We played Napoleon, a playing card game and hung out,
after a busy week. Going out for boba or late night food is common here,
especially to take a break after a long set. Caltech has more problem sets than
UCL, a difference in teaching styles. At UCL, I was expected to study and work more
independently, although there were tutorials (which are similar to our
recitations). At Caltech, there is a stronger sense of collaboration, which is
emphasized by difficult sets from time to time. This collaboration is important
and prepares us with the mindset and skills to tackle real life problems,
especially after we graduate. I believe such collaboration helps advance
research and science, fostering teamwork as well. Don’t get me wrong-I
definitely enjoyed the change of pace at UCL, but it’s nice to be back in the swing
of things here and I’m enjoying my classes this term.
The trustees and founders of Avery House don’t allow murals
on our white walls, but we are allowed to decorate bulletin boards in each
hallway as a compromise. Joe, our Resident Life Coordinator (RLC), gave us a
bunch of paint and murals to paint on. Our Alley 6 took the initiative to go
first. Jessica, Sophia, and I painted an impression of Avery with a tower for
Alley 6 since the lounge closest to my alley is called Upper Guard Tower (UGT)
and obviously because Alley 6 is the best ; P I haven’t really painted since
art classes during high school, so it was a lot of fun to pick up a brush again
and express our creativity.
Avery Interhouse is coming up next month, so Averites have
been measuring the courtyard and brainstorming ideas. The theme this year will
be Wreck it Ralph. I still haven’t seen the movie but I’ve heard it’s good. I’m
excited for Interhouse parties again- Techers really build awesome dance floors
and put on an awesome party. Sadly I missed Big I first term while abroad.
Since it was a three day weekend and Sam, an alum, came back
to visit, Jessica H. decided to cook for lunch. It was nice having homecooked Chinese meals again. Here are some pics of what she taught the guys how to
make-it was delicious!