Semester in Review: Falling into Spring

Last semester was the beginning of the end of core. Beyond looking forward to having full control of my schedule, I wanted to highlight some memorable moments 1.5 semesters into college!

Surviving Summer Math: This was definitely one memorable way to start off my “third semester”. Typically, sophomores take Math 60 & 65 (multivariable calculus and linear algebra/differential equations 2) during the fall. There is an option however, to take it for 3 weeks right after finals. Both Emily and I have written blogs on our experiences! In case you want to take the “too long didn’t read” route, summer math is a boot camp where you take 2 half-semester courses simultaneously over 15 days of lecture and one day of finals.

E4: This is the class all engineering majors must take. Typically students take E4 in freshman spring or sophomore fall. I happened to be ‘lucky’ enough to take it concurrently with a chemistry major requirement, physical chemistry lab, which meets for 8 hours a week. Needless to say, it was a huge test of time management, but learning how to lathe, mill, and woodwork were all really cool perks of the class!

Drilling a hole in a PVC piece for the E4 ocarina project

Drilling a hole in a PVC piece for the E4 ocarina project

PChem Lab: As the first lab for chemistry majors, this was quite the learning experience. Beyond learning about all sorts of experimental techniques (like gas lines that we used to synthesize sulfur dioxide), we got to do some glassblowing and a choice experiment — my partner and I synthesized and characterized CdSe quantum dots. Spending at least 8 hours a week with the same group of people definitely makes for a great bonding experience and great jokes like “hey, we got out of lab before the sun set!”.

Inside the physical chemistry lab that was newly renovated

Renovated physical chemistry lab

Turf Dinner: At the beginning of every school year in fall, there’s a 5C dinner at one of the schools where all the dining halls have booths and students can try really interesting dishes the halls are working on! It was a nice chill way to start off the school year and the best part is that it doesn’t cost a meal swipe. I love the Asian fusion entrees they typically have.

Emily eating a poke bowl from Scripps dining hall

Emily (’20) eating a small poke bowl from Scripps

Passing PHYS51: I can proudly say I made it through physics at Mudd. It’s never been a strong suit of mine but there’s a lot of help available at Mudd. Between office hours and the rest of the class taking it together, there’s an abundance of support. One of the lecturers for last semester, Prof Gallicchio, left this post up on the wall outside his office!

Me posing with Prof Gallicchio's motivational poster:

Me posing with Prof Gallicchio’s motivational poster right before the second midterm.

Cupcake Decorating with Chemistry during Finals Week: As a study break, the chemistry department held a cupcake decorating event where I won “most creative use of frosting as a structural element” for icing a Christmas tree. Another group went for a cupcake interpretation of Prof Johnson, an inorganic chemist in the department.

Three cupcakes arranged and decorated to look like Prof Johnson

Prof Johnson in cupcake form

Orange County TripMy friends and I drove to Orange County to go to the Loop, an Instagram famous churro shop. Short trips like these are a really nice break from the grind during the semester. We also went to Roasting Waters which is a shop that sells juices and teas and is famous for their collectible bottles that come with their drinks.

Collectible glass bottles from Roasting Waters with cute art

Bottles from Roasting Waters

Three churros from the Loop next to their grass wall that says

Churros from the Loop

Hope you enjoyed a look into my life! Until next time~