Although it has only been a week, it seems that I have already lived here for a year. My personal experience related with others in that Astro Pset 1 was hard as in life-changing hard. Yet, despite these difficulties, I have come to realize that the misconceptions I had simply indicated the areas in which I could eventually experience growth. All the staff and students support each other to create an encouraging learning environment for those passionate about the universe in which we live. In many ways I came to remember how physics was once called natural philosophy.
Fear the (Louis) Geer
I learned a lot about my fellow SSP participants. I learned that Ryan comes from the UK where soccer is football and football is rugby. I learned about Alan from Portland where the trailblazers play (although I don’t know much else about the city). I learned about my room mate Louis from Texas who has a stash of snacks in his drawers. Of course, I also got to know everyone else better as well.
The highlight of the week would definitely be the observing shift. Luckily our group got to on early and at that exact time, the clouds decided to part. As a result, shining dogs speckled the skies with occasional flashes from shooting stars (or more accurately meteors). Our team identified constellations in the sky which I know know are areas in the sky which the star patterns are within. Operating the telescope was cool as well, but we tried going outside at every opportunity possible. Stars simply don’t show up like this back in California.
“Don’t bring coffee to class until you have a PhD” or something like that -Somebody
Normal days consist of three things: eating, sleeping, or Psets. I can usually handle the amount of sleep deprivation in terms of the hours of sleep I get, but it seems that this does not work at SSP. It might be from the amount of work there is always to do. That is why everyone drinks coffee. This was relatively new to me, but a necessity nonetheless. Caffeine fueled the hours of effort put into Psets. Yet that much time committed to astronomy, math, physics, or python requires a robust and passionate community. I look forward to seeing what else we can do.