Blog Post for July 13

Author: Kim F.

It’s been approximately 25 days since we’ve arrived at the famous, scorching, NMSU campus. Approximately 600 hours of endless p-sets and fun adventures with the other 35 amazing participants 🙂 

I remember the first day of SSP like it was yesterday. Upon arrival, I chose this day to write my blog because it seemed so far away…I swear it was only last week!! But in the blink of an eye, we only have 2 weeks left of SSP. Previous participants were right when they said SSP goes by fast! From being on the verge of tears because you simply can not understand astronomy to the excitement of finally being able to finish your python code, SSP has been a rollercoaster of emotions. However, I look forward to the challenge everyday!!  

My Day:

If I told you that I started my day by waking up to the beautiful, hot sun glaring through my window, birds chirping, flowers blooming, then I would be lying. I started my day in the p-set dungeon racing to finish my astronomy p-set… Unfortunately the deadline had passed but I knew I had tried my best. Like how Dr. Andersen says, “algebra is selling your soul to the devil”, perfectly describes how python feels to me. But after what seems like forever, and the hundreds of  lines that seem to be a foreign language, seeing your code run as expected is one of the best feelings. 

Walking back to the dorms at 1 am feels like a horror movie. Who knew that I would be more afraid of flying grasshoppers than roaches?  According to one of the TA’s, Lara says cockroaches are 2 dimensional because they only go back and forth. While the grasshoppers are 3 dimensional because they are always flying through the air!! Watching them all swarm all over the floor, flying above our heads and hearing the atrocious sound when they land is one of the scariest things I’ve experienced. Despite this crazy adventure I enjoyed walking with Clarice, Tony, and the skunk who roamed around for food. I swear I can hear silly music playing when the skunks are hopping around. 

This morning I woke up a little later than usual but I couldn’t miss breakfast! NMSU probably has one of the best dining hall foods (well technically NMSU is the only dining hall food i’ve tried, but my standards are really high now). Everyday I look forward to eating because there are a variety of food options. If I could, I would eat everything they offered. It’s just SO GOOD. Shoutout to the NMSU staff who always greet me with a friendly smile, they are one of the many reasons why SSP has been great! 

Bailey making tea 🙂 

Lecture Time: 

6 hours of lectures a day may seem exhausting, but when your mornings are filled with Dr. Andersen’s unhinged math jokes, his love for She-Ra (we can’t forget about his iconic ringtone), and when your afternoon is filled with Dr. Rengstorf’s sarcasm, it all worth it! You never realize how much time has passed until you’re almost falling asleep. 

Dean taking a nap during break 😴

However, today’s lectures were extra…important. Method of Gauss who? 

Dr. Rengstorf’s presentation on the ideal cracker (he is so wrong). 

Today we received the holy grail. The Orbit Determination Packet. One of the most important documents of the astrophysics program. It seems so intimidating but I know that my team and I will do great! #Team3Supremacy 

Dinner time came and unexpectedly my front door neighbor’s outfit seemed oddly familiar? We totally did not plan this!! 🙃

Prisha and I matching for dinner 🙂 
Vivian, Me, Prisha, Julia and Bailey

Although Las Cruces has 100 degree weather on a daily basis, it suddenly became really cloudy. Later on in the evening it started to rain with some lightning strikes! I hope the observation teams were able to get some data. 

Walking back to the p-set dungeon after dinner. 

I spent the rest of my afternoon working on p-sets and surprisingly I was able to finish my Baby OD Code early and reduced my data from my previous observation shift. It was a super productive evening 🙂 

I can’t wait to spend the next 2 weeks of SSP making wonderful memories. 

About me:

Hey Hello Hi!! My name is Kimberly and I am from Los Angeles, California! Outside of school you may find me in a world filled with great creativity. In my free time, I enjoy drawing, photography and baking! At SSP you may find me crying in the corner haha. Just kidding! You will find me working with my buddies in the p-set dungeon (also crying) or playing volleyball! Shoutout to Clarice, Isabella and Velvet for teaching me how to play volleyball 😀