Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 3

So, I got to ride my bike for the first time to the DC. That meant no waking up early and definitely not spending a life time eating breakfast. We met Hannah (RA) at 8:40 outside the DC to go to Keck Caves. At first, our entire cluster believed that we were actually going to explore some caverns. It turns out that this was just a fancy name for a computer lab. How lame. They totally proved me wrong though.
So, we got there and our teacher was 10 minutes late. When he arrived, however, I totally forgave him because he had a German accent. Oliver (the guy) was really quirky, but really cool. When we went inside the room all we really saw were a bunch of computers and a white cube without a top and a south wall. It was probably about 8x8, so its pretty small. Unfortunately, 5 people were only allowed at a time so the rest of us crammed in the hallways outside.
We had no idea what the heck was going on in there, but we were in for a real surprise. To kill time we played Zip Zap and after that got old, we just sat around and chatted with our neighbors. Then Danny showed up and took everyone but Sean, Tim, Max, Tiffany and I to go on a tour of the Shields Library (largest library on campus). After the first group had there 50 minutes of whatever they were doing, our group was allowed in.
To begin, Oliver asked us to remove our shoes and put on some white fluffy booties (they felt like they were made of cotton). Then we stepped into the white cube. On the wall in front of us was a picture of the Earth and we were highly unimpressed because it just sat there. Then Oliver asked me to put on these really nerdy looking goggles. Reluctantly I did so and the Earth was right in front of me. I could touch it and the pixels would wiggle. I could run my hands through it and the pixels would follow and then the sphere wouuld revert back to its normal form. I could walk around it and touch all the continents and everything! It was amazing!
Everyone pretty much thought I was insane because all they were seeing was a 2D picture of the Earth.
Eventually we all got goggles and were able to look at molecules, to be surrounded by them and touch them. He let us all share one controller with which we were allowed to build structures and tear them down. There really isn't anything I could say to describe it. Extraordinary!
Oh we also looked at the Earth and its core and every earthquake recorded in the last 100 years. They are these little white dots for 5.0 on the scale and red dots for 9.0 and various colors for different magnitudes. Oliver took us below the surface and millions of dots rushed passed us and through us. By using this program, we could find out where and when the earthquake happened and how deep it was. It's neat cause some dots are right on the surface while others are 800 km below the surface.
Afterward, we (the 5 of us) got a grand tour of the Shields library which wasn't very enthralling just because the speaker was very sluggish. The place is huge, but unfortunately, I have no taste for the grotesque modern art that seems to be around every corner.
Then came lunch and then the chem magic show put on by Prof. Franz and her students. There were other kids and people there from summer camps and town and what not who were wowed by bottle rockets, neon and iodine reaching equilibrium. That entertained me for about an hour; at around 2 p.m we returned to Oliver's place where we got to build molecules and test them out in the "cave" or the white cube. We used the programs he designed (he's a computer scientist + he's German + single = unbelievable I know). Then at 3:30 again class was over!
Much to our dismay, Danny decided to take us on another one of his library excursions. This time it was the Geology, Physics and Sciences Library. The speaker was also very...dull...and most of us were dying of heat.
After that, the girls in our cluster and one guy went back to the dorm to do whatever. However, the guys and I went bowling. 4 vs. 4. Oh, and I also met the coach...I think his name's Jerry. He's a real talker, but means well. Bowling was so fun! The guys are great!
Then we went to eat dinner and I just headed back to the dorm at around 6:15 or so. There really wasn't much to do so I just talked with my roomies for awhile. Oh and every night at 9 we have to meet with our RAs for updates and what not. Aaron invited to come and play some cards in the lounge and just hang out. I went upstairs, changed into some comfortable sweats and found that about 16 people were playing. It took us about 20 minutes to actually decide anything. We came up with Mafia, 'cept we played with hand squeezes as opposed to paper and a clever story. It was really fun even though Charley wouldn't stop bouncing or swinging my hand. That was hilarious actually. I thought he was spazzing out.
We played till 10 and had to head to bed.
And now, here I am...blogging at midnite.
Yeah, Jackie, Stephanie and I just talked forever. They're such amazing people. :D
Well, I'll keep on blogging. It's acutally kind of fun. Lol.
Day 2

Much to my happiness, we did not have to leave at 7:15 a.m for breakfast. We arrived at our own time, but had to meet in front of the DC (dining commons) at 9:15 a.m so our cluster could catch the next bus to the Davis Recycling Center. The bus arrived 5 minutes late, but that's alright...the drive was even shorter.
When we arrived, we were 20 minutes early (our RA just loves arriving way before schedule), so our tour guide wasn't at work yet. Finally he got there. I forget his name, but he was a rotund African American guy that sported a fresh new beard. He gave us neon orange safety vests also. Strangely, I kept mine. Oh and we also got pencils made out of recycled material!
And so, the tour began. There were enormous amounts of aluminum cans, paper, glass, cardboard and know...recycleables. There was a massive conveyer belts that was monitored by 4 guys who sorted out all of these recycleables and dumped them into specific bins. The bins looked tiny on the surface, but when we walked downstairs, I actually saw that the "tiny bins" lead to a 10x10 cell that was fenced with 60 foot high railing. There were probably 20,000 cans in there and it was only half full. After the 15 minute tour, we watched the Wall-E trucks scoop up recyclables and put them into a machine that spat at 1400 lb cubes of compressed trash. Pretty cool.
So, the field trip ended at 10:15 a.m...45 minutes earlier than planned. We basically killed time in front of the DC until 11:00 (lunch time). After lunch at 1:00 we headed to Software Orientation class where we learned how to use ChemDraw and another program like it. I drew aspirin. I'll post the picture later. We also got to simulate how the molecule would react in different environments and temperatures. It was pretty spiffy. Class ended an hour and a half early again so we just went bowling.
It was fun to bowl with everyone just because they were asking me so many questions. It was funny. Lol. Arthur asked me to teach him steps and everything. It was pretty interesting. All in all, everyone had a great time.
Afterward, we all went to dinner and basically I just hung out at the dorm the entire time talking with friends. Oh, and at around 7 or so Stephanie biked around campus until 9.
That's pretty much it. Lol.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 1

Class began at 9 a.m...unfortunately we had to leave the dorm at 7:15 to eat breakfast. Seriously...who really takes an hour an a half to eat? Getting up at the crack of dawn wasn't too exciting, especially since I finished my breakfast in 10 minutes. I basically just killed time talking to a bunch a people.
Oh, and not to get too far into my adventure for the day...I'd like to make a few statements about my roomies. I live with 3 other girls who are all quite nice. My actual roommate is Patcharin. She's my age and is pretty quiet, but is a real clever cookie. She's my age and can always be found doing summer homework at her desk. Jackie on the other hand is always out. It's difficult to get a hold of her; she has a lot of energy. I think it's because she's the youngest. Stephanie, who is an upcoming senior, is one of the coolest cats on the block. She and I hang out a lot and have taken several bike rides together.
Anywho...where was I? Oh right...class! So, we showed up to class about 20 minutes early. We beat the profs! Lol. Our writing teacher, Mr. Delgado or Danny, arrived a few minutes later. Finally our profs entered the room and what was supposed to be an hour and a half lecture turned into a period of introductions! First, Prof. Tantillo or Dean spoke. He's pretty amazing, though the white streak creeps me out! He gave us a mini molecule building kit. Prof. Allen or Toby, was next. He's the Aussie. It was so fun to listen to him talk! He has a very handsome face and piercing eyes too. Oh! And Danny gave us all grapefruits. Random, I know. Lastly, Prof. Franz or Annaliese introduced herself. She's a vibrant young woman of 34 who has obtained her PhD and studied quite frequently at Harvard. I can't wait to take her wet chemistry class!
After introductions, we had time to kill. Then we went to lunch...I don't know if you can call 11:30 lunch though...Anyhow, after that we entered writing class which Danny taught. We didn't do much; just a writing game. Then we went to a computer lab class taught by Rebecca and Josh (both are grads). They taught us how to properly cite journals and such. However, we were supposed to be in class for three and a half hours, but since most of us knew how to cite stuff, class ended an hour and a half early. Insane isn't it?
I just went back to the dorm, walked back for dinner...oh let me pause right there!
Walking back and forth (15 minutes each way) is a serious pain in 90 degree weather...On top of everything else, there are always bicyclists whooshing past at 80 miles an hour. Freaky. Thankfully, they'll let us ride our bikes in a few days. Okay, I'm done ranting.
Then at 6:30 p.m. I went with Stephanie to play Sardines (opposite of hide and seek). It was fun until we found out the hiding place was behind a bajillion garbage cans. I was surrounded by filth...Steph and didn't play the second game; we went bowling. It was really fun! We then left with the Sardines group.
When we arrived back home, it was around 9:15 p.m or so. Steph and I just talked until about 11 and then crashed.
Overall the day was a 7/10. Oh and my parents dropped off my bike too! :D