9:02 AM. Woke up to the sound of Laurissa (one of our lovely CUB TAs) knocking on our dorm door. My roommate Kara and I had spent the previous night at the Sommers-Bausch observatory pulling our hair out over PSet #5 and went to bed a little before 4 am. We were knocked out so cold we slept through 8 alarms in total. Kara and I stumbled out of bed and made a mad dash to the SBO, where our morning lectures led by Dr. Dubson take place. Our TAs had warned us that this would be the hardest lecture of the program, and it was by far. By the time we finished, I’d filled out 5 pages (front and back) with notes. We were all very puzzled and tired and our minds were racing at the speed of light as we walked down the steps toward the dining hall. Felt like this emoji —> 😵‍💫

1:30 PM. I’m sitting with Kara and my friend Carlin at the Duane Physics Building. Today’s our college & career day and two representatives from CalTech & Harvey Mudd admissions are here to present about their schools (the CUB representative was MIA. We assumed he got lost..). Madison, CUB’s campus manager, is reassuring us about our future endeavors. He promises that we’ll all get into good colleges and cites emails from previous participants affirming his claim; the mix of SSP admission statistics and college commitments from alumni makes him pretty convincing. Our two admissions representatives take the stage shortly after and we learn about CalTech’s work with JPL & Nasa, their interesting house traditions (i.e. throwing freeze dried pumpkins from a rooftop), along with all Harvey Mudd had to offer as a Claremont College – an expansive course selection in addition to access to all Claremont dining halls. Our TAs also each shared some of their personal experiences with college & post-grad: Laura with Yale, Laurissa with UCSD, Diego with CUB, and Richard with Harvard. We all left the Duane Physics Building having gained much valuable insight into the college app process as well as the upcoming handful of years.

Taizo plugs Caltech.

5:25 PM. Presentations wrapped up around 4:00 and we’re currently waiting in the Kitt common area. Our first formal event takes place tonight- catered dinner at the UMC Aspen Room featuring our guest speaker Dr. Gottlieb, an economist and professor at UChicago. Everyone’s swapped out their summer clothes for pretty slip dresses and double breasted suit coats, and we sit at round tables draped with navy blue tablecloths instead of the wobbly 2-person tables at the C4C. Dr. Gottlieb begins his presentation with two complex-looking economic equations and explains supply & demand in the context of the Covid pandemic- in particular, he shares analyticals regarding the cost of travel and availability of doctors in relation to their salaries and some interesting insight into the economy of hospitals.

8:00 PM. We finish dinner and all gather outside the UMC for pictures. The outfits are fine, fresh, fierce (in the words of Katy Perry) & Kara and I go around stealing some peoples’ ties for photos. We spent a while trying to figure out how to tie a tie as nobody in the sea of dudes with ties could recall how they’d gotten theirs on. 40 minutes after our guest speaker finished, we headed back to Kitt to change out of our fancy clothes and back into jorts & flip flop attire. Currently listening to ‘Current Strum Joy’ by soma as the sun sets while we walk back. Life is blissful. 

Pictured below:

David & Andreas’ fresh fits.

Déigoghe & Ríchârde.

& Christina!

Diego shows Seok what’s up.

L-R: Laura, Kara, and me.
Aaron wants his tie back.

Carlin & Kara!

The guys!

The girls!

9:30 PM. Back @ the SBO. I’m listening to ‘Take Me Where Your Heart Is’ by Q and working with my teammates on the OD2 code (our calculations don’t quite match the correct ones yet, but that’s a problem to fix tomorrow). We clocked out around 1:00 AM and headed back to our dorms to catch some Zzzs. Kara and I just raided the Kitt West Kitchen & ate an assortment of  apples with a handful of goldfish. It looks like we will once again be falling asleep past the early AMs. 

Pictured below:


I’m so ready to knock out cold right now. I like to end my nights with some jazzy tunes to fall asleep to, & tonight I’m playing ‘Alice In Wonderland’ by Chet Baker. Its tranquil mood contradicts the fast-paced, slightly hectic rhythm of today, making it a lovely piece to tune down to.

It’s 2:24 AM as I write and I am so dleepy i can hardly kjeep my eys open. Turning off the lights in 3 2 1. Goodnight SSP😴😴🌃🌌💤😊

Hi! I’m Stephanie, a rising senior from Chicago, IL. Three things I love: my piano, horror movies, and Millennium Park in the winter. Three facts about me: my elbow was on ABC7 News, I have synesthesia, & I’m having a blast at SSP 🙂 If I’m not working on something musically related in my free time, you’ll find me out shopping at thrifts and malls with friends!