A Reflection

As the fourth week of SSP comes to a close, it’s still crazy to think about how quickly time has passed. It’s almost as if there is some relativistic phenomenon accelerating time forward a million times faster in the alternate world of SSP. Whether it is going to bed past 1 am every day, frantically scrambling to debug my OD code, or having fun with all of the smart and talented people of SSP, so much has contributed to making these four weeks go by in a blur. It still feels as if Dr. Domingue was teaching us about how to draw bowl diagrams yesterday. I could go on for hours about why SSP has been one of the best experiences of my life, but I’ll try my best to keep it (somewhat) short.

In this blog post, I want to reflect upon some of the fantastic experiences that have taken placeduring SSP. However, I would first like to express my immense gratitude to the faculty at CUB: the Academic Directors, Dr. Kim, Dr. Domingue, the Site Director, Dr. Ice, and the TAs, Andrei,Molly, Afura, and Dominick for giving us so many exciting and new opportunities as well as for always being there for us whenever we need help.

Although I have struggled at various points during the learning blocks, I have also acquired avast amount of knowledge through these past four weeks,whether it may be in physics, math,astronomy, and coding. The metaphor of “drinking out of a firehouse” in the Participant Handbook has really rung true during my time at SSP. In the first week especially, I felt like my brain was going to explode (in a good way of course) taking in all sorts of new knowledge and then seeing the hours go by with little progress on my pset (and later on, my code). Even though some of the work we have done has been arduous and mentally draining, I have never found myself bored, but rather immersed in the work that I am doing and always wanting to push myself to work out any issues that I may have.

However, what has truly made SSP so special is the people! There is absolutely no way that I would have been able to get through these strenuous weeks without the best teammates ever(shoutout to Inimai and Jodi) as well as all of the other members of CUB for always being there to help me and answer my questions, whether it is with debugging my code or struggling through AstroImageJ together. All of us at SSP can probably admit that we have struggled at some point, and having each other as a support system when issues arise has been the key factor in what has personally kept me going, especially in times where I felt lost or confused. In these times of intense learning, having time to cool down with members of CUB2 during mandatory fun in the work/play blocks has been something that I never realized I needed. Learning all of these new games, such as GeoGuessr and the four-player variant of chess, has made the SSP experience even more memorable.

Nothing could put into words how tremendously honored and grateful I am to have been surrounded by such amazing students and staff during my time in SSP. Seeing so many others that are just as passionate as me about astrophysics and learning, who are willing to continually challenge themselves and help others, has made this experience infinitely more rewarding.Thank you again to everyone who has made these first four weeks fly by, and I’m super excited for what awaits us in the final week of SSP!


Hi everyone! I’m Bowen, a rising senior from Pennsylvania. As I mentioned before, my favorite part of SSP by far has been the people! Apart from science and math, I enjoy playing the violin, watching YouTube,listening to music, gaming (Bomb Party, Chess, you name it), and hanging out with friends. Also,I am currently in need of some TV show/movie recs,so if you have any, feel free to let me know!