I woke to the sound of my alarm blaring a tune I’ve grown to dislike. As I jumped out of bed to turn off the alarm, I watched my roommate, Sophia, turn over in bed, clinging onto the last few moments of sleep. As much as I wanted to climb back into bed, I reluctantly began to prepare myself for the day. I checked the schedule and noticed that today was not going to be an average day at SSP. Not to say that an average day at SSP is a bad thing; the engaging lectures and long nights of observing keep me excited for the days to come. 

   My reluctance to get out of bed prevented me from having breakfast before the morning lecture, but I still managed to scarf down a few Ritz crackers in my dorm before heading off to the observatory. Dr. D graciously gave us time to work on our Orbit Determination (OD) code this morning. I used the time to make progress on my Problem Set. I lost track of time focusing on these problems and before I knew it, it was time for lunch.

     Following lunch was the highlight of our day: bowling!! It was a perfect day for a walk through the CUB campus to the UMC, where the bowling alley is located.

Our gorgeous views walking through the CUB campus

At the bowling alley, an intense competition began. Six of us participants and two TAs were divided into two opposing teams: Laura, Sophia, Ben, and I competed against the very skilled Richard, Leo, Lillian, and Muktha. We laughed as we scored a few strikes (and way too many gutter balls) and took advantage of the bowling alley’s chat function. In the end, the other team could not compete with our pure talent and we won the round (I won’t bring up the second round). 

Sophia throwing? a bowling ball
Ben after getting a strike!!

After bowling, we had the opportunity to explore the CUB campus outside of our typical boundaries. A group of us headed to the bookstore and explored the large variety of merchandise offered. While I didn’t end up buying anything, I did spend about 10 minutes shoving coins into a vending machine. Leo was craving a Starbucks Frappuccino and, to his dismay, the vending machine wasn’t accepting dollar bills or credit cards. With a Frappuccino in Leo’s hands and many less nickels in my wallet, we headed over to CUB’s very photogenic buffalo, Ralphie. Unfortunately for Leo, he does not look so photogenic in comparison. 

Leo drinking his Frappuccino next to Ralphie the buffalo

Later that night, we had time to work on our PSets and OD code. I don’t have much prior experience with Python, so it can be difficult for me to come up with code that doesn’t have 50 syntax errors (and doesn’t receive 50 disappointed comments from Leo). But today, I managed to write a program to determine the centroid of an asteroid and it worked. My joy in finally being able to complete one of the coding PSets by myself was only escalated by Diego’s new method of checking our code: gathering a group of participants to yell “SHEESH!!” after the code worked. Sophia and I were still laughing as we headed back to the dorms, grateful for another successful day at SSP. I’m so thankful to be part of such a supportive community, and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in the coming weeks! 

From left to right: August, Ben, Cam, and Diego yelling “SHEESH” after I finished my code

Hi everyone! I’m Elyse, and I’m a rising senior from Groton, Massachusetts. Outside of SSP, I like to dance, bake, and play piano. I am very interested in physics and plan to study physics or engineering in college. My time at SSP has been incredible and I’m looking forward to the next two weeks!