There is a certain beauty and internal serenity when it comes to working at night. I’m not sure what it is particularly – whether it be the audible clicks on the keyboard when programming centroid calculations, or the calm blanket of night pervading into the lab – something about it just excites me to keep working, to keep learning. Needless to say, I find that I am often the last to leave the lab here at Fidel, along with the late-night squad of Yujean and Andrew (much to the TAs’ dismay).
Python Grinding (Left to Right: Me, Andrew, Yujean)
Now evidently, I don’t recommend working until 2 AM (nor is it even needed), but I must admit, I’ve found the most thrilling moments at SSP to occur during the late-night travails over problem sets. Whether it be a break playing basketball (to be more specific, a break of me being destroyed in basketball), or conversations regarding life and purpose, all of it spurs me in passion and determination, both to continue to work on the problem set, as well as pursuing my boundaries and limits.
At the beginning of SSP, they introduced a rather infamous simile: “SSP is like drinking water out of a fire hose”. It is here I must make a correction – “SSP is like drinking water directly beneath the Niagara Falls”. I personally think they got the magnitude of force wrong.
First PSET Grind (Left to Right: Rebecca, Deeya)
It is indeed a challenge, but I will confess it is an exciting one at that (though those Astro psets are something else). The pure joy of understanding a concept, or observing a visualization of the celestial objects you programmed is truly something out of this world (get it? I’ll stop with the puns lol).
Deviating away from academics, I have to convey this – I truly believe I’ve found people like me for the first time. As cheesy and cliche as it may appear, I’ve never encountered a group of individuals so passionate, and so motivated to persist in learning science and expand their frontiers. Whether it be bonding over a shared love of astronautical engineering (engineering > science), or toiling together to help debug code and grind through problem sets (Rebecca, Deeya, Olivia, Yujean, Andrew, etc), the friends formed through the shared experience of SSP will truly last a lifetime.
An excellent instance of this can be found today when I went to watch “Minions: The Rise of Gru”, which, to be honest, was a fever dream of sorts (an evil nun turned into a giant serpent and then was defeated by a kung fu minion rabbit thingy and then was turned into a rat), but the memories formed are unforgettable (so thanks Tia and like five other people from taking me away from doing psets to go to the movie lol).
SSP Post-Minions Movie
It is still the very exposition of SSP, and there are many chapters awaiting ahead, each one containing a distinct memory that I continue to look forward toward! For now in the meantime, I’ve got to finish this math pset.