Recap of the past few days

SSP is definitely more academically intense than anything I have done before. I haven’t been in a classroom before where I am always desperately taking notes and have to ask someone for help during each break. Even more surprising is that most of my peers are doing the same. Looking down the row of tables during lecture, I can see a row of pencils madly scribbling, and during breaks, the classroom erupts in chatter as everyone discusses newly presented content.

Afternoons and nights in the computer lab are no different. We are working on coding, math/astronomy problems, and observation notebooks for late night/early morning observing sessions. Even though the problems are really hard, bouncing ideas off each other makes the problems doable and a lot more fun.

Between all the academics, we manage to have some standard fun too. We went on a hike yesterday in the Flatirons, which basically involved power walking up a mountain as fast as possible. Morning runs, soccer games, and impromptu activities at night are a good break too.

Boulder, Colorado in general is a unique experience in itself. The weather is strange but a nice break from the muggy midwest. Today it was raining on one side of the breezeway and dry on the other. It was weird. The wildlife here are also strangely bold. While coding in the computer lab today, I heard someone scream-laugh and looked over to see a deer nose-to-nose (with the window in between of course) with a surprised participant. While I was walking to the observatory on Wednesday night at 11:45 pm, I heard a rustle and a bushy tail disappear into the bush near my feet. Apparently, raccoons are really active and relatively fearless in Boulder. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again tonight.

Signing off here so I can hopefully nap before my 12 am – 1 am observing shift; here’s to a successful SSP!

“Jump Scare”-Allison


Hi, I’m Michelle, a rising senior from southern Illinois! Currently, I still find the presence of mountains rather disorienting. Academically, I like building/coding useful things, physics, and biology to an extent. Outside of scholarly pursuits, I enjoy running, rock climbing, and building useless things.