Meeting Devaki

This morning Jia had a lecture at 8 a.m. and when she came back at nine I was still laying in bed; I felt very lazy.

Anyway I did not have to get up earlier because my first class was biology section at 10 a.m. I had a little difficulty finding the room in the basement of the psychology building. There were more people than seats, so some of us had to sit on the floor.

Sitting on the floor was helpful in a way because of the first assignment. We were supposed to bring in three organisms, but I had only brought a fly and myself (two organisms). As the TA was introducing himself, the guy sitting next to me pointed out a spider on the wall and I was able to capture it in a cup…a third organism. As you may have deduced, the atmosphere of my first biology section was very relaxed!

Anyway, after that I had a biology lecture, and from there went to meeting with a researcher, Dr. Devaki Bhaya, whom I will be working with (barring any unforeseen circumstance) starting next week. She showed me around her lab at the Carnegie Institution of Plant Biology, which is rather large. She suggested that I do some reading (since I know nothing of what she’s doing) and that I sign up for some units. So I went to the library and then visited one of the biology office.

Well, after that I went to the afternoon service at my residence, and got a late lunch–sandwich, and crackers from a recently received care package. I read a little and then napped until Jia came in, when I did some more reading before going to dinner with Jia. After dinner I practiced organ then went to the meeting of a group which volunteers at a local animal shelter. I am looking into doing that.

Finally…to Meyer Lair to type up a record of the day in an email!


Squirrels invading!


I was reading on Jia’s beanbag chair.  I had left the windows open so  fresh air could come in. Unfortunately fresh air is not all that came in! As I read, out of the corner of my eye I saw a small dark movement.  Turning to look directly, I realized it was a rather mangy squirrel.

When I got up it ran up to my dresser, which is beside the window.  I asked it to get out, but it was already on its way, though slowly. Apparently these squirrels are not normally wary of humans! I might leave the muddy tracks it left on the desk as proof for Jia…

Squirrel invasions of Lantana have become the subject of some dorm e-mail list humor. A couple of excerpts are included below.

From D:

The particular squirrel in question is known as the alpha squirrel of the pack.  He has been in many fights with other animals and dorm residents in the past, as can be deduced from his battle wounds on his side and face.  He particularly likes the side of the building facing campus drive, scurrying from room to room trying to make friends.  He has visited me twice, both times completely uninvited, but for the better.
We have conversations, this squirrel and I…
me: “Get the hell out of my room!!!”
him: “(bleep) you!”
“I said out…” I say as I pick up my little league baseball bat.
As he scurries from one windowsill of mine to the next, giving me a very nasty look, I raise my bat high over my head, but then I see the little gleam in his eye. ‘Awww isn’t he cute, well in a very weird disgusting way,’  I think to myself and my grip loosens.  He takes the opportunity to laugh and spit in my face, and run away… Another foolish resident won over!
“Till next time!” I scream at the black figure crouching on the roof of the RF cottage.  He turns as if he heard me, winks, and runs of to find another open window.  I sit down at my computer and  writing a short piece that will be sent to the Daily while humming “Hail Squirrel, Hail!”
The NEW official stanford song.

From Huat Chye:

There are squirrels on the THIRD FLOOR ledge. I know this because I have seen them outside my room–in fact, I saw one of them hop into TQ’s room. I too had a conversation with one of these squirrels as it scurried past my open window.

Me: “——- —-!”

Squirrel: “”

I can only hope that the third floor squirrels will adopt a more conversational attitude in the near future.


Sophomore Year Class Schedules

Well, I have completed the first half-week of the ’98-’99 school year. I’m still “shopping” for classes, but I think I might end up with just bio, chem and phyics (and organ, of course) because these classes are pushing my brain already.

My dorm is having its annual trip to Yosemite next weekend, I might refrain from participation because of only these three classes…

I was also considering a seminar my biology teacher is leading, on evolution, a course on Chinese history (to fulfill GER’s) and a computer science class. I haven’t attended any CS lectures, though, for fear that I’ll be sucked in by its attractiveness and end up spending so much time on it that my other classes suffer…

Jia is enjoying the CS major. She feels that it is a practical one for obtaining a job after graduation. She says that her first passion is Chinese literature, but since she is in the United States she pursues CS–a close second passion. She comments that all her classes and professors this quarter bore her except for those of computer science. This quarter she’s taking two CS classes–one programming-intensive, the other theory-intensive.

Today I saw someone wearing the Air Force ROTC uniform, I think…I was biking past so I did not get too close a look. I just saw the light blue short-sleeved shirt, dark pants, flight cap. Anyway, reminded me of Nina.

The Boy

Freshman year, among ourselves, we most commonly referred to him as “the boy.” I believe at some point during that first year Fei admitted to having had some sort of affectionate admiration of him, but also claimed nonchalantly to have moved past it. Nonetheless, around the end of the year, Fei began expressing insightful concern on his lack of social involvement. She began to speak of the possibility of our inviting him to draw with us. I was fully prepared to actually ask if she gave me definitive sign that she wished me to do so. But she never gave any such sign.

This is just as well. As it turned out, he drew into the same dorm as us anyway. One day just after draw results came out Fei and I ran into him on the first floor of Meyer. She found out where he would be living the next year, then (barely) waited for him to get out of earshot and exclaimed to me delightedly “We didn’t even have to draw with him!” So that worked out.

Sophomore year—what happened our sophomore year? I suppose living in the same dorm makes a difference. Somehow he started eating with us, or we started eating with him—. Anyway, sitting together at meals became a mutually attractive option. Not everything can be attributed to sharing Lantana. But, living in the same dorm provided great opportunity for expressing and growing friendship and affection.