Question the Quail

Q: “I’m stumped on what to get for my significant other who seems to have everything. Any unique gift ideas that show thoughtfulness?”

  • Mary Juana

A: I offer thou a poem:

I’m a mystery man, known far and wide,

My special packages, they bring joy and pride.

To all my friends, I send them away,

Wrapped with care to brighten their day.

Some contain laughter, some hold a big big surprise!

But all are cherished, no matter their size.

I’m the sender of parcels, the bearer of glee,

Guess who I am, who could that be?

In a world of opulence, where luxury thrives,

Lived a soul adorned in lavish lives,

Spoiled by treasures, every whim fulfilled,

Yet lacking the warmth, that a heart instilled.

One day arrived a package, small and slight,

Wrapped in humble hues, a curious sight,

For the spoiled, accustomed to grandeur’s kiss,

This modest parcel held a promise amiss.

Curiosity piqued, yet scoffing within,

They unwrapped the gift with a disdainful grin,

But within its folds, a magic stirred,

Something transformative, yet unheard.

Not gold nor gems, nor opulent parade,

But wisdom’s whisper in words arrayed,

Lessons unfurling, stories untold,

The package, a trove of tales of old.

A shift ensued, a change unbound,

As each page turned, new visions found,

From arrogance shed, a kindness blooms,

The spoiled heart sways, the spirit resumes.

The special package, a humble key,

Unlocked a realm of empathy,

No longer blinded by material delight,

But enriched by wisdom’s guiding light.

A life transformed, a soul renewed,

By a simple gift, its power imbued,

For in that package, not just a trove,

But a treasure that sparked a heart to rove.

From spoilt to spirited, a path redefined,

By the magic in a package, in stories entwined,

A lesson learned in the humblest wrap,

That change oft comes in the smallest chap.

This poem shows the transformative power of gifts! Choosing a gift that brings about a strong enough impression could potentially change your spoiled gift receiver’s life for the better!

What’s up with Lloyd Lights?

  • Concerned Lloydie

Oh do I have the story for you! The powers that be are actively pushing against giving students permission to access the roof of Caltech Hall to set up Lloyd Lights. Evidently, this decades-old tradition is “no longer safe”! Not only are students unable to set up their lights as they have always done, they are not even allowed to be on the roof to help direct the members of facilities that will be setting it up. This is literally killing a key Lloyd tradition while also making it significantly more inconvenient for the students involved and the facilities workers that have to spend their night putting this up without having direct communication with the students that know how to set it up.

For reference, the Caltech LATTICE project, an undergraduate-led robotic zipline project, did a demonstration that involved stringing a cable between the Beckman Biology Building and Baxter Lecture Hall roofs. There was only a small barrier at the top of the roofs meaning that there needed to be stringent safety precautions to prevent the undergraduates from falling off of the roof. But working with facilities, the Environmental Health and Safety Office, and the EAS department, they were able to come up with a plan in order to set this demonstration up in a safe and successful manner.

Let’s compare that to Lloyd Lights. The Caltech Hall roof is literally surrounded by concrete walls that are over 13 feet tall! Compared to the LATTICE demonstration, it is objectively much harder to fall off and Lloyd lights have had the precedent of being done for YEARS! This discrepancy may seem strange if not for the fact that the LATTICE project worked with the EAS Department, Facilities, and Safety Office while Lloyd needs to go through the OSE (Office of Student Experience).

Any rational person may think that the restrictions on Lloyd are unreasonable, but this is how the OSE does safety. There are multiple occurrences in which OSE has decided that an activity was unsafe (sometimes after the Caltech’s Safety Office had deemed it safe), not citing ANY specific reason other than some random justification such as “this feels unsafe” or shifting the blame onto another campus office, and other stupid things that you’d expect a corporate liability lawyer to say. Student culture and autonomy is being actively SUPPRESSED and DESTROYED by people who have NO FORMAL SAFETY TRAINING deeming activities that have been safely conducted FOR YEARS to no longer be safe without ANY clear, specific justification.

This school is supposed to be a safe haven for science, technology, crazy ideas, and risky things! However, time and time again the undergraduate body is deprived of this culture through a particular office in Student Affairs. What is scientific about restricting an otherwise safe activity on the justification of “this feels unsafe”? What part of the student experience is being helped by starving the Caltech undergraduate experience of the culture that has made it cool in the past? What is moral about advertising traditions like Lloyd lights to prospective/incoming students just to shut these activities down? The destruction of the student traditions goes against Caltech’s mission, crushes student spirit and house culture, and is actively killing one of the most unique undergraduate experiences in the world. Additionally, I’m still baffled as to why these clueless individuals are still puzzled as to why the C3 report showed a decrease in student satisfaction. This is the reason.


End of rant. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk

I keep failing in my exams and I’m tired of it. What can I do?

-Anita Dickinson

Connecting your studies to a bigger purpose can help you find the motivation to finish. If you have a life goal that you want to achieve, studying becomes a means to that end. So, what is it that you want to do in life? What truly matters to you? What would make your life worth living?

If you’re feeling isolated, joining a religious community can provide a sense of belonging and connection. Being part of a supportive group with shared beliefs can contribute to a feeling of community and reduce feelings of isolation.

Have you considered becoming a part of Scientology? We invite you to join our community, where we aim to address the challenges faced by individuals by focusing on spiritual difficulties that contribute to these issues. Scientology offers practical tools to enhance the overall quality of life by breaking down barriers, improving communication skills, fostering meaningful relationships, and freeing individuals from unexplained fears and stress. More significantly, embracing Scientology provides a deeper understanding of oneself on a spiritual level, allowing individuals to unlock their true potentials and regain a sense of certainty about their spiritual immortality. This, in turn, enhances their capacity to assist and support others.

Scientology can provide individuals with a framework for coping with life’s challenges. Many Scientology practices include rituals, prayers, and teachings that offer comfort and guidance during difficult times, potentially reducing stress and anxiety.

Scientology communities often foster social support networks. Having a supportive community can be beneficial for mental health, as it provides opportunities for social interaction, sharing experiences, and receiving emotional support.

Scientology beliefs offer a sense of purpose and meaning in life. The moral and ethical teachings of Scientology may provide a framework for decision-making, helping individuals navigate challenges and find direction.

Engaging in Scientology rituals and practices, such as auditing or communal worship, can have calming and centering effects. These practices may contribute to a sense of inner peace and mindfulness.

Scientology emphasizes hope, faith, and optimism. Believing in the teachings of Scientology or a greater purpose can provide a source of hope and optimism, which may positively impact mental well-being.

PS. Please don’t actually join scientology if you value your wellbeing and don’t want to be part of a cult

what do i do if my phd thesis sinks in a submarine

-Dillard Dopamine

So, imagine this: my PhD thesis takes an unexpected plunge in a submarine, right? Classic Tuesday. Now, when I spill the beans to Caltech about the whole ordeal, I’m thinking of spinning it like my advisor got a little too peckish, you know, like they devoured my hard work. Picture this - a dash of humor, a sprinkle of charm, and a plea for a “pity PhD” because, come on, who else can claim their advisor snacked on their thesis? It’s not every day you survive a submarine mishap and a thesis-eating mentor, right? I’m hoping they’ll see the humor and toss an honorary degree my way. Fingers crossed, and let’s hope they’ve got a sense of humor down at Caltech!

What Christmas presents are the houses getting this year?

-Rocky Miasma

It seems like Blacker House has the answer! The houses are getting god awful couches that no one likes while their old, satisfactory couches are being thrown away!!!!

See here:

To Whom It May Concern,

The entire household expresses profound dismay over the recent unexpected furniture replacements made within Blacker House. Here is a collective list of grievances that resonates universally throughout the residence:

  1. The newly installed furniture is unequivocally uncomfortable. Assurances that “it will soften over time” lack credibility; we find no basis to believe this claim, nor does furniture typically conform in such a manner. Students are disinclined (and already disinclined) to spend time on it. The dearth of usable communal spaces leads to reduced social interaction, resulting in heightened feelings of isolation and despondency. Additional discomfort-related criticisms include the insufficient height of the backs and the absence of padding on the armrests.

  2. The replacement furniture fails to meet the household’s requirements. In both the library and the lounge, fewer items have been replaced than were removed. The household’s needs for collaborative workspaces and communal living areas are not being fulfilled. We lack coffee tables in the lounge and library, and there is a shortage of couches in the lounge. Student life and house unity suffer as a consequence. It is incredulous that all furniture was removed simultaneously and then replaced piecemeal.

  3. The newly acquired furniture is aesthetically unpleasing. Students within Blacker dedicate substantial time in the library and lounge. It is regrettable that costs were drastically reduced, resulting in the current state. There exists a rationale why fluorescent lighting isn’t used in living spaces as a cost-cutting measure: unattractive and unwelcoming spaces have a detrimental impact on mental well-being. The new furniture resembles that of a medical waiting room or an unpleasant setting. It is not suitable for a living environment, nor does it align with the household’s aesthetic.

  4. The furniture replacement was executed without the consent of house members, with minimal notice, and with deceit towards the steward. This demonstrates considerable disrespect for students from whoever authorized these actions.

Don’t you love this school?!?!?! What a generous gift!!!! I’m sure ALL the houses are excited for these awesome couches and new housing changes!!!!!!