As you might have been able to guess from the title, the last two weeks for me have been a little crazy. The weekend before last, I drove with a group of friends up to Santa Barbara (something I also did last semester and, coincidentally, also made a blog post about), where one of them was from and whose house we’d be staying at. We were thrilled to get out of LA for a bit, maybe go to the beach, and just relax outside our normal school environment. After a drive of about two hours, our excitement was at its peak—until the unimaginable happened.

Just two minutes away from our friend’s house, we hit a huge rock in the road and completely popped a tire, becoming stranded roadside for nearly two hours while we attempted to replace it with the spare. This may sound horrible, but honestly, we had a great time working together to get things fixed, and the area we happened to stop in was beautiful (see picture above for proof).

Somewhat unfortunately, this meant that we had to spend an extra day of the weekend up there than we expected, because we had to wait until Monday to get a replacement tire for the spare. This isn’t to say that I’m complaining about spending more time in Santa Barbara, but I came back the next week to two midterms and a slew of homework to get done—not fun.

But now I can gladly say I safely navigated it all, and it’s all done. Ironically, I returned to the scene of the flat tire—Santa Barbara—last weekend as well, for a club volleyball tournament. Luckily, no cars were harmed that time. Now, I’m feeling more free than I have in a while, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the semester!

Derek Jones

Derek Jones

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Los Gatos, CA PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @dmannjones On campus I have conducted environmental engineering research on water distillation methods, and you can currently find me serving as Vice President of my social fraternity and playing on the club volleyball team.