By Andrew G., Alor S., and William L.

Heyyy guys, Alor here.

So, SSP started, and tbh, I’ve already learned a lot – weirdly a lot of science and a lot of not.

The project really hits close to home, since agriculture is pretty big here – like the side effects of our pesticides that we use daily. 

But there are also a few other things that have been pretty mind-blowing.

  1. Chipotle, the chain. As a Californian, I value my guac, so I don’t appreciate the over-pricing shenanigans over there. But apparently some of the things I do are kinda weird.
    • Eating a burrito with a fork and knife: Both my TAs thought this was insane, but one conceded to using a spoon when the burrito was almost done. I know there are other utensil-burrito eaters out there, so I hope they don’t fear judgement for their views. (See image below)
    • Pronunciation: Someone pronounced “Chipotle” as “Chi-poh-tay” without the “l.” I don’t think anyone else in our TA block understood the rationale for that.
  2. My foreign language skills: Unlike most of my Indian friends, I barely know any Hindi – but some SSP people promised to teach me 😀
  3. Chipotle, the chain. I was shocked and amazed at our friend Justin (he’s in Astro – I know – but he deserves a shout out still.)
    1. He’s eaten Chipotle for continuous stretches of months.
    2. ….and he even made a guacamole – cucumber face mask
    3. He also critiqued my fork and knife burrito habit, which hurt, but I know I’m a trailblazer, so I’m willing to face the consequences.

Hey this is William coming to you from Burnaby, British Columbia in Canada! I’m excited to spend the next 5 weeks with you all and hope that one day we can meet in person (annual dinner!?).

I see that Alor has already gone over some highlights of our conversations so far, so I’ll write about our campus block today. Today was our first “Social Saturday”! We split up into breakout rooms and (hopefully) got to know each other a little better. I know that in my breakout room, we hit it off so well that we talked all the way until the rooms got closed. Shout out to TA Devin for getting our conversation up and running. We talked about everything from citizenships to future aspirations. I personally believe that a portion of the ice between us participants gets melted with every Zoom call we join. I look forward to next week when we begin working in MOE!

I’ll end off by saying that the hardest part of SSP so far has been either converting time zones or installing MOE. By the end of these five weeks not only will I have worked on a novel pesticide to prevent crop disease and made friendships that will last a lifetime, I will also be a seasoned professional at time zone conversions.

Get good sleep, food, and exercise. That’s all for today.

Hey I’m Andrew from sunny San Diego! Super hyped for the next thirty-something days and like William, looking forward to meeting y’all IRL one day. 

Alor and William have already done a great job of covering the Saturday shenanigans and MOE madness so I’ll just leave a brief note.

During the Social Saturday icebreaker session led by Ms. Latus in the breakout room I was in, we got to answer some really fun questions like “What’s your worst fashion outfit ever” and “What’s your most controversial food opinion” (pineapple on pizza doesn’t count!). I had a great time and the icebreakers were really good conversation starters, much better than “favorite ice cream flavor” and “if you could have any superpower”.

Besides the Saturday activities, I finished up one of the lectures and the solutions worksheet which brought back memories of AP Chem.