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  • How do I get a South Master? Go to Student Life, north part of first floor, Student Services building. You will need to fill out a form which requires the names of three buildings you plan to use the key for access to at night. The most important buildings that a South will open include Bridge, Sloan, Robinson, and Lauritsen. Pick three of these and say that you need to turn in your homework late, after hours. Then go to the key shop. Sometimes you’ll have to wait 24 hours.
  • How do I get any other key I might need? Find out from the Campus Key Shop (towards the southern end of Physical Plant) who has key control over the key you want. Go to them and tell this person why you need the key. They will give you a signed key control form which you then take back to the Key Shop to get your key.
  • How do I get an emergency loan? Caltech Y offers a 30-day interest-free loans of up to $50. The Deans’ Office may be able to loan you up to $500 through the Hoover Loan program. If you need a bank loan, check out the Caltech Credit Union.
  • How do I keep up with my classes if I get sick? You might want to check with the individual professors, but most of them will accept a note from the Health Center for extensions on routine assignments (some of them won’t ask for even that much). To get extensions for midterms or finals, you almost always need a note from the Deans, and they will grant them far less liberally.
  • What do I do if I lose my Caltech ID? Go to the Card Office. It is open from 9am to 1pm, and it is located in the Bookstore. You will need to pay them $15. In theory, you could also do this online and have them send the card to your mailbox, but that seems rather silly. The bookstore is often closer than your mailbox. Oh, and they replace damaged cards for free.
  • How do I borrow a dolly? You can borrow a dolly (pronounced: “fake Daihatsu”) for free from the Housing office. Because they’re cautious (see the Housing section), they will want you to leave a student ID as a deposit. Depending on what size, the time of day, and what you need it for you can also try physical plant or various campus loading docks.
  • How do I get a phone extension? Go to the Telecommunications office, located at 263 S. Chester, Room 111. Talk to Vicky Lopez. It’s $50 installation (pay only once, even if you change rooms) and $12/month. You can also get a long distance access code from them. To make a call on campus, dial the 4-digit extension. Otherwise, dial 9 first. This all is still up in the air however. Currently housing pays for lines in each of the Mod rooms, so you just plug a phone into the wall, however the number will not follow you around. This stationary number system might become permanent with the move back to the South Houses, and possibly take effect in the north houses.
  • How do I get into Avery without an ID card? If you’re an engineer, use four feet of string and four inches of stiff wire. If you’re a theorist, jump the fence.
  • How do I get furniture or repairs for my room? For painting or repairs, talk to Tony Valdespino in the Housing office, preferably directly. The other option is to use the nifty www.its.caltech.edu/~fixit/ website, which actually produces results fairly often. For furniture, if you live in the North Houses, talk to Mina in the linen room. If you live in the mods, talk to Jesus. For after-hour repairs, call (626) 255-1770.
  • How do I obtain LN2? The Dean can give you permission to get LN2. He will want to know what you are using it for, and will ask you a lot of relevant safety questions (he’s a civil engineer, after all). He prefers people with experience using LN2.
  • How do I get off board? You can only get off-board for medical or religious reasons, and will need a very detailed letter from a doctor or religious leader. They will try to make meals for you rather than take you off-board, and then try to put you on a declining balance plan rather than taking you off-board (so they still get the money). If you want to try your luck the current head of dining services is Tom Mannion who is a reasonable guy. If its a really big issue try talking with the deans about it.
  • How do I finish an ACM95 set, a lab report, and a hum paper in one night? You don’t.
  • How do I get a girlfriend? You don’t.
  • How do I obtain free condoms? Some undergraduate houses keep these in public locations - ask an upperclassman if you’re not too shy. You can also get some in the Health Center restrooms, from Health Advocates, or from Jane Curtis, the Health Educator.
  • What do I do if the condom breaks? Don’t use it. The Health Center can provide you with treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. If pregnancy is a concern, the morning-after pill is available at the Health Center, but is only effective if used within 72 hours of intercourse. Abortions are covered by Caltech health insurance. Free AIDS testing is available as well, but it is not anonymous. If you want the anonymity, try Planned Parenthood (1-800-234-PLAN).
  • How do I drop ASCIT membership? When you enroll at Tech, you automatically become a member of ASCIT, at $25 per term. You can opt out of ASCIT membership by going to the Bursar’s office and telling them that you want to drop ASCIT membership. Doing so will stop you from supporting a number of on-campus organizations, including this fine publication, and will prohibit you from voting in future ASCIT elections other than BoC, IHC, and CRC positions.
  • How do I change my room combination? There is a small bolt, or lack thereof (if someone took it off already) on the top or bottom of your lock. Remove it with a hex wrench if it’s still there. Press the button inside with a long pointy object. Now type in the old combination, press the change button, clear the combination (turn the lever in the opposite direction than would open the door), enter your new combination, and turn the lever to open the lock. Make sure it works before closing the door. If you have problems, find a friend who is more technically apt.
  • How do I send / receive a fax from campus? Either visit the nice people at the Tech Express on the Olive Walk, or go to the Telecommunications Office. For the Telecom Office, the fax number you need to tell people to send things to is (626) 795-1547. If it is related to a job, research position or internship the career center will fax things for free.
  • How do I find free tutoring? Go to the Deans office. They pay upperclassmen to tutor you in all core classes, and a few other ones as well, so it is free for you, and the tutor still gets paid. Or just knock on someone’s door - a lot of people will be glad to do it anyhow.
  • How do I get emergency medical/fire/police attention? Call Security at (626) 395-5000 (you only need to dial the last four digits if you are on-campus. This is true for all campus phone numbers). They will contact 911 right away if you tell them to, and direct them to the obscure campus location you are at. Dialing 911 from campus just rerouts you to security. DO NOT USE YOUR CELL PHONE TO CALL 911.
  • How do I deal with someone having a psychedelic crisis (bad trip)? If there is a physical, life-threatening danger (extremely violent behavior, seizures, and so forth), then immediately call x5000. However, more commonly, people on psychedelics will have psychological, emotional, or spiritual crises. The Haight-Ashbury Clinic recommends the following: First, gain their trust and confidence. Talk to them calmly, but not like you’re trying to rush them into coming down. Try to relate to them in their space. Use their name, if you know it. Then, get the user to a quiet, non-threatening environment. Avoid complicated actions. Educate them that they are experiencing a bad trip, and reassure them. Tell them that bad trips are normal, and go away. Help the user relax, and let them rest. Deep breathing may be effective. Continue by discussing peaceful, non-threatening topics; avoid anything that creates anxiety. Do not appear threatening, and avoid quick movements. Let them move around. Calming music, a blanket, or headphones might be nice. Valium, Xanax, and thorazine have been used to help extreme cases, but at this point you should consider whether getting medical help is more appropriate. Keep in mind that some people (especially if they are drunk/high, but often even if not) do not want medical attention, as it seems foreign and detached, and temporarily makes them feel a lot less comfortable. This is a difficult philosophical dilemma, the answer for which you should resolve for yourself.
  • How do I survive in the line of gunfire? If you are the primary target, run. Run fast and in irregular zigzags. Don’t bother to count shots. Turn a corner as quickly as possible. If you are not the primary target, hide. If the intended target is near you or the shooter is firing at random, get as low as possible. Lay flat. If you are outside and can get to a car, run behind it and lie behind the tire on the opposite side of the car from the shooter (note that a car will not stop higher caliber shots). If there are no cars, try to find a gutter. If you are inside a building, get into another room and lie flat, or stay behind a heavy, thick object. If you happen to be face-to-face with the shooter, do anything to make yourself less of a target. Turn sideways and stay low. If the shooter is outside, stay inside and away from doors and windows. Stay down until the shooting stops, or authorities give the all-clear.
  • How do I graduate in four years with a perfect G.P.A. and go on to a good grad school and a distinguished career? See Religion and Worship, in the Pasadena Things to Do section.
  • How do I dye my hair? The common etiquette for hair care has been to leave it in bruised and beaten shape due to the effects of commercial interests involved these days. It seems that everyone has forgotten just what hair is for, with products ranging from hair “rejuvenators” to shampoos that claim to be specially formulated “to compensate for environmental hair damage from day to day living.” The truth is that hair has been by far more damaged by such commercial ploys attempting to instigate your investment into “better” hair care products than by any such “hidden environmental” foes, for in the search for beautiful hair we have forgotten the true nature of that which springs forth from our heads: a dead, highly malleable product of the scalp which holds in and of itself a truly splendid array of imaginative aesthetic uses that can allow you to truly express yourself. Thus, I offer to you true hair care, as given by an expert:
    “Let not your wills and desires be controlled by others; let freedom take root in all you are; ... and let your hair be as many colors as can be supplied by Retail Slut.” -Benjamin Franklin
    NOTE: the little t is not responsible for any permanent physical damage done to oneself or one’s hair in the application any of the processes outlined below.
    Part I: Bleaching
    In the beginning, God made man, but being pressured for time could only provide man with four hair pigments, which through genetic recombination and racial mixing have resulted in a smear of earthy tones that start at blonde and vary to an orange brown, black, and gray/white. Man realized the inadequacy of this system, and made Punky Color.
    Thus Man was able to provide himself with all the colors God had inadvertently forgotten (or likely didn’t know existed, as God, as we all know, was male, and probably color blind). But Man soon found that, even with his creation, he was largely unable to make his dye stick to the fuzzy growth on the heads of his bipedal race. And then Man learned the second great lesson: the Bleaching. For his color to take hold, Man would first need to go back to the root of all lack of color, or more precisely, the lack of absorption of electromagnetic radiation of all visible wavelength. And in order to do this, Man would need to Bleach.
    Bleaching is an inherently simple process, and quite enjoyable if done under the right circumstances. For example, it provides a nice high if done in a small unventilated room, and really is a kick for most S&M among us.
    I (well, actually, the guy who wrote the original version of this) recommend B&W 2000 hair bleach with 40 Volume Liquid Developer, both of which can be bought at beauty supply stores from behind the counter. (This is where most supplies for Crazy Freaks will be found — don’t mind the look the guy gives you as he reaches for it), although one of my friends swears by a 5-fold dilution of Bleach (as in for clothes) followed by a dunk of the head in the solution for a good 15 minutes. Take your choice. If you plan on bleaching often, buy the Vat of B&W - you may use it faster than you’d expect. If you are bleaching out dye (as opposed to natural hair color), QuickBlue is reputed to be a better choice than B&W.
    Once you’ve made the procurement, take the goods back to your place, and then bring them into the bathroom (or other untiled, mirrored area) with a plastic bowl. Wet and towel dry your hair for proper application. Scoop out a good amount of bleach (if it is in packets, 1 hit works for a small amount of hair, 2-3 for a good deal), and then pour in the developer and mix with your finger until a consistent cream is created, and then quickly apply to the whole of your hair-covered head. If only sections of your hair are being bleached, an old toothbrush works well as an applicator.
    At first, you may find it hurts a bit. You may find it hurts a lot. Of course, this may not bother you too much. Independent of how much it pains, I do not recommend (strongly) that you just “snuff it” by throwing yourself out the window as (1) if you die, you’ve wasted a good deal of better ways to kill yourself that you could have participated in, and (2) if you don’t, the doctors will be so busy putting you back together that you may not have much of a chance to get them to wash the bleach out. No, really you just must sit back and enjoy the pain, because you won’t likely feel pain on these parts ever again. But, forsooth, if you’re bleaching long hair, start at the tips and work towards the scalp. Otherwise your brain will find itself well ventilated by the time your ends discover the value of turning even remotely yellow, let alone white. And remember if you’re considering bleaching other facial hair, that your chin is more sensitive to pain than your scalp is.
    It is common practice to remove the bleach when your head resembles a frosted flake: if your hair appears to have any color left in it at all, you shouldn’t wash yet — unless you’re going for a dark and/or vibrant color, in which case you’re good with a decent light blonde. That way, you’ll also have hair that’s not quite as nasty-textured as it will be if you leave it until full whiteness. Of course, it is also not a good practice to leave the bleach in for longer than a couple hours, and especially not a good practice to decide you can get that bio reading done while you bleach, and then fall asleep on your book for around five hours. If you happen to, you too may find the bleach has grown excessively bored of eating away at your hair, and has eaten through a good deal of your scalp, resulting in scabby ulcers for a good week. But, on the upside, excessive bleaching permanently removes ticks and lice, and is a great cure for dandruff.
    Now, you have joined the ranks of the blondes. Please note that brain damage due to bleaching is only a common, not guaranteed, outcome. Your results may vary.
    Part II: The Coloring
    Now that your hair is completely damaged, you are ready for the greatest vintage of Man: Punky Color.
    It is generally thought that Punky Color creates the better blues, greens, and yellows (beware the purple, it’s actually a delightful neon pink on bleached hair), whereas Manic Panic has some reds that one could die for. For a nice royal purple, try Special Effects, sold at Hot Topic stores (supposedly they also have wicked reds). Over the past few years, several other dye brands have begun to pop up, such as Lariche Directions. These can be procured best on Melrose, although Pasadena Beauty Supply north on Lake has a few colors I haven’t bought yet. Generally, any color will look different in the bottle, on the sticker on the top of the bottle, on the hair sample at the store, and in your hair. For example, Silver by Directions looks grayish in the bottle, blueish while being applied in your hair, and very clear after you’ve washed it out. Don’t buy it; it’s a ripoff. The best way to get a real feel for the color is to open the bottle and smear a little on your skin, and then see how it looks (as each batch does appear a little different than others, even in the same color). If you think the dye looks good enough to taste, go ahead and try -Punky Color flavors their dyes. One bottle should be enough even for excessive amounts of hair growth.
    So when you are fully sick of the blonde jokes, again wet and dry your hair (don’t condition!), and then whatever you do don’t pay any attention to the application directions on the side of the bottle. Put on an old shirt, and take your goods and apply evenly, combing through at the end. The toothbrush comes in handy here also. Once you’ve gotten it all in, leave it. For at least four or five hours. Maybe even while reading a bio book.
    Many people sleep with the dye in (keeping the hair in a bag); some leave it in for days. It has been recommended to me on many occasions to blow dry the hair down to make it stick better.
    Anyhow, then you are ready to wash out the dye. If you are using Vampire Red, I recommend that half way through washing your hair you put on a towel, and then another around your head loosely and run through your hallway screaming “my head my head my head!” Otherwise, just completely expect to color your shower as well as your hair and your skin. The dye washes from skin within a couple days, and can be removed from tile with Ajax or a similar product. Wash your hair down a good 5-6 times, and then towel off (with a dark towel) and then, voila, go scare yourself in a mirror.
    Expect to have colored shampoo suds for a long time. This is really cool for leaving messages to your family on white tiled showers. The color lasts a good deal longer on most people than their patience with the color. You can always bleach down again or reapply, or even mix colors. Ahh, the choices.