So very hard to go…

Due to the COVID-19 situation, Caltech decided to move all classes online 3rd term, and all undergraduates (except those who petition to stay for need-based reasons) must leave campus. And even though we know that’s the best choice right now, we’re all so sad to leave…

So much for 3rd term activities like building Interhovse (our big party… the theme was going to be Mad Max), and taking House portraits of each class, and of course Ditch Day, since it didn’t end up happening first or second term. But the saddest part is that we don’t get to say a proper goodbye to our seniors. Because of the House system, there are many friendships between classes. Seniors – we’re going to miss you guys!

As I was moving out of my room, I took a few last photos:

 

 

(It was such a great room! It was a single (Blacker has singles, doubles, and the triple). I could stare out the window and spy on the courtyard and everything…)

 

^ Why must packing be so tiring??

^ Goodbye whiteboard

(OK, I ran out of photos)

Goodbye friends…

But we’re making efforts to keep our community alive remotely. No, it’s not the same, but it’s something. We’re setting up a discord. Keeping up with emails. (The automatic “Rain tomorrow! Get your stuff out of the courtyard before it gets wet” emails are still being auto-sent.) This blog, I suppose. And of course, communicating via the the five zillion billion Messenger (and Telegram) chats we have: the spam chat with alums, the cute animal photos chat, the “Blacker Hackers” maker culture chat, the COVID memes for Quaranteens chat, the Nice chat, the fire alarm blame chat (OK, maybe not that one), the food spam chat (created when the food chat, for posting free food, was getting spammed with too much non-free-food-content), the orb chat (ORBS! yes, it’s just a chat about orbs. orbs are good.),  our class chats (e.g. I’m in the juniors chat), etc., etc…

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Blacker culture can be fairly nocturnal. When I was a frosh, I was not an exception. After working until around 5am, I decided I was tired and needed a break. Rather than do the sane thing and go to sleep, I went to the lounge. Blacker lounge can be a great social hub, especially at 5am. People have strange conversations, sleep on the couches and beanbags, and almost-concuss each other with sweat balls (irl these are apparently called pool balls). There is also a large whiteboard, which people use to collaborate on sets, record memes, etc. I thought it would be funny if I replaced every alphanumeric character on the whiteboard with an “A”. This was my main inspiration. It took me around 1-2 hours, but I did it. The image below was the final result.

Disclaimer: this blog post is not representative of Blacker culture. Moles do in fact know letters besides “A”.

DEAR PREFROSH: In light of the cancellation of PFE…

Dear prefrosh,

In light of the cancellation of PFE (and on-campus 3rd term) due to coronavirus precautions, we want to explore online modes of communicating what makes Caltech the place that it is. Because Tech is a unique experience with a unique culture, not just a prestigious name. Choosing the right college is also about finding the right cultural fit.

Although this blog is neglected sometimes (as you will notice if you scroll back in time) as we are too busy doing things to blog about them, in the coming weeks/months, we will not neglect it. Please read on, ask about what you see to current students, and check back in often!

We are Blacker Hovse, one of the eight undergraduate Houses at Caltech. And we’d like to share our culture with you.