My Semester in Review, Part II

WoaaaAahhh, I’m halfway there. This week marks my last week as an underclassman. With two years down and only two to go, I’ve decided to make an iteration of the post I shared at the end of last semester. Here’s my second sophomore semester in review:

Right before school started, one of my best friends visited me in Houston and we traveled to the bay area to visit another one of our friends. We ventured to the California Academy of Science, Golden Gate Bridge, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and finished off our winter break with a road trip back to Claremont.

A jelly fish, photo of a sunset with the golden gate bridge in the background, and a photo of two guys in a car front row taken from the back row.

(left) jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, (right-top) sunset near the Golden Gate Bridge, and (right-bottom) on our way back to school from San Jose

My schedule this semester consisted of:

  • E83 – Continuum Mechanics
  • E80 – Experimental Engineering
  • E72 – Engineering Mathematics
  • Physics Lab
  • Modern & Contemporary Art Practices
  • Intermediate Spanish at CMC

(14.5 credits)

…  plus kickboxing at Scripps and yoga at CMC!

My art class with Professor Fandell at Mudd was one of my favorite classes. We studied art and movements since 1900 to the present day. We had 7 exhibits throughout the semester including a monochrome, readymade, video art project, and more. Here are a few photos of my projects:

Three art pieces

(left) my monochrome piece, ‘The Blues’, (center) my readymade piece, ‘So Sick, Chicken Soup’, shown during lecture after the exhibit, and (right) my participatory art piece, ‘Would you rather die…?’

My other favorite class was E80, experimental engineering. E80 is a part of the engineering core and is usually taken during sophomore spring. It is regarded as one of the main courses that “makes Mudd engineers Mudd engineers”. The first half of the semester consists of seven labs and then after spring break, we work on building a robot which is deployed at the end of the semester. As I was going through my photos and thinking about what I did this semester I found a lot of this….

9 photos of FFT signals on an oscilloscope

Fast Fourier Transform galore!

and this…

9 photos of breadboards and oscilloscopes

Breadboards and more!

… which really highlights the presence of 80- not only in my camera roll, but in my life. The entire course is based on teams that are assigned before classes start. While the course is invaluable and teaches a vast amount, part of the reason why I loved it so much was due to the people I worked with. Amazing people aren’t hard to find around here, and I was lucky enough to be assigned on a team with three really incredible people. I’m glad that the hard work for 80 has finished up, but I will definitely miss working with them.

four pictures of 3-4 teammates

(1) Prepping our robot in lab, (2) deployment at Dana Point when the real Stevie was competing in SCIAC’s for track, (3) post-presentation, and (4) post-all you can eat sushi dinner to wrap up our last day working together

Outside of school, my spring semester has been full of concerts, beaches, and time with friends… no surprise there, really. During spring break, I visited Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and the Getty Center in great company.

3 photos: two people at the getty center, one of three friends doing a piggy back ride, and a group of friends on a bridge.

An assortment of pictures from my Spring Break

I attended a few more Brownies and Lemonade concerts this semester and I even got to meet Graves after his concert at the Echo in LA! I also saw Virtual Self at the Shrine in February.

Left photo of two girls with a music artist and right photo is of a stage reading "brownies and lemonade".

(left) my friend and me with the artist, Graves, and (right) a pic from a Brownies and Lemonade concert

Some other highlights of my semester include getting to surprise my mom in Houston for her birthday and being visited by her at school. When I went home I was able to meet my family’s new kitten, Rocky, and of course enjoy my human family’s company. When she came here we explored Claremont, spent time with my friends, and visited Smorgasburg, a food truck festival in Los Angeles.

A photo of a kitten, of rice balls, of a food truck, and of two women smiling

A photo of my cat at home and photos taken during my mom’s visit

Another important part of my life, this semester and many before, has been the Society of Professional Latinx in STEM (SPLS). These people are family to me and I was able to enjoy my second retreat with the group this spring.

2 photos of many people

(left) during the SPLS overnight retreat this spring and (right) after our dinner to celebrate the seniors

Looking back on my semester I realize I get to enjoy some pretty spectacular views. Now that it is my second year here, I’ve acclimated to the rigor, graduated from core, and been able to create the space for focusing on relationships with others and enjoying my surroundings. Whether it’s a sunset on the beach, a perfect day to watch a rugby match, or a day trip to Joshua tree – my views rock.

3 photos: the first of a sunset, next of a pretty day, and third of a sunny day at Joshua tree

Photos of Venice Beach (left), a rugby match at CMC (center), and Joshua tree (right)

Now that school is wrapping up, I’ve got my summer plans to look forward to. At the end of this week I’ll be heading to Las Vegas to attend EDC. Afterwards, my brother and I will road trip through a couple of states before returning to Houston, where we will celebrate his graduation from college (GO ADAM!). I will spend two weeks at home before moving to Huntsville, Alabama to work at Northrop Grumman for 10 weeks. I’ll have another couple of weeks at home and then I’ll be back before I know it. Cheers to sophomore year and being halfway there!

Gif of a concert with the caption "Whoa, were halfway there"