Harvey Mudd: Far From Home

Hello Internet,

Joaquín here. I’m from Poway, California, which is about a two hour drive south from Mudd. Last semester, I drove back home three times to go see my family. I would go on a Friday night, spend the entire weekend there, and drive back up Sunday afternoon. I actually went back once this semester already to take my Citizenship Oath and become an American citizen!

Joaquin posing with an American flag and a cardboard cutout of the Obamas

My newly naturalized hair eclipses Obama’s face

Because Mudd is quite a rigorous institution, trips back home are pretty few and far-between. While I can go back home, I know I have to prepare for the trip by doing as much work as I can beforehand. On some of the trips though, I had to continue working from home, much to my mother’s chagrin. Personally, it’s much easier to have my parents come visit me, as there’s less of a time commitment on my part; my father sometimes drives up on his motorcycle to meet me for lunch and hang out for a bit.

An image of Joaquin and his dad smiling into the camera as they have just finished a delightful lunch together.

Beyond that, my family has also visited me during “Family Weekend,” when Mudders’ families are invited to come experience the campus for the weekend. I gave them the tour of our expansive campus, they went to some presentations and met some of my professors, and then we went out for dinner with some of my friends, but honestly, the best part was just seeing them again.

Joaquin and his family at Family Weekend

I also try to call home as often as I can. Honestly, it can be difficult to remember to connect with one’s family when you’re in the middle of midterms or facing finals. To stay in contact with all the people I care about who aren’t at Mudd, I try to call people on a bi-weekly basis. I’m pretty forgetful, and Mudd keeps me pretty busy, so I actually use a calendar system to remind me how often I’m regularly communicating with people.

A copy of Joaquin's calendar, demonstrating his commitment to his goals. The nonsensical title, which has nothing to do with his goals, reads "Was I like Wario (in the ways Mario is not unlike Wario)?" For four weeks, Joaquin has averaged about 3 phone calls per week.

Don’t question the title too much. The green monkeys represent a successful day of contacting people I care about.

Even though I’ve been at Mudd for 5 semesters now, I still get homesick from time to time. It’s nice to get my head away from my studies, call home and just see everybody again. I mean, just look at his cute little face! How could I not miss him?

My dog Arnie on Facetime with me

Going to go call my grand Mudder,

Joaquín “Almost heaven” Fuenzalida Nuñez

Joaquin's little doodle letting everyone know that they should have a great day!