Spatulas, Pspspsps, and Poets | Ananya V.

There’s 104 days of summer vacation

And school comes along just to end it

So the annual problem for our generation

Is finding a good way to spend it

Like maybe…

Downloading MOE

Or meeting new people

Who like learning as much as you do

Ranking what we need on a stellar excursion

Or creating a funny group name (shoutout to Pspspsps)

Putting spatulas back 😀

Answering QODs

Or finding a whole poetry community

Watching some lectures

Working after midnight

Or coming up with two truths and a lie

As you can see

There’s a whole lot of stuff to do

Before school starts this fall

So stick with us ’cause SSPers

Are gonna do it all

So stick with us ’cause SSPers

Are gonna do it all!

On April 16th, I was sitting at my desk doing my history homework when an email notification popped up on my phone’s screen. “Congratulations! The SSP…” That’s all I saw before jumping up from my chair and running down the stairs, incoherently screaming the entire way down. My mom thought there was a snake (*ahem* smol snek) in my room. Perhaps my reaction was a bit melodramatic, but in retrospect, after meeting some of the most intriguing people that I have ever met to date, I think that it was warranted.

The day before SSP was hectic, to say the least, from scrambling to download MOE and Anaconda to cleaning the visible parts of my room (aka moving things to the less visible parts of my room). The first day was exactly what I expected it to be, except for one thing: meeting Dr. One. I got to meet the TAs, instructors, and the other two-thirds of Group 3, or Pspspsps, and decide that we would change our backgrounds every day to a different meme — excluding Ryan, who gets absorbed into the cats. I was exhausted by the end of our first TA Block, and all I could do for the last ten minutes was listen to Mitski and Nirvana and reflexively blink my eyes to stay awake. However, after years of manipulating my sleep schedule, I knew that I would have to go to sleep at 3:00 am to be alert the next day. So yes, I stayed up until then playing Minecraft.

Our first background picture — the classic.

Yesterday, the second day, was not at all what I was expecting. For probably the first time in my life, I had work that was meant to take me two hours to complete, and I took two hours to complete it. It was delightful and fulfilling and interesting to be held onto a topic in that way.

Today, we rounded out the first “week” of SSP with a few fun activities during Class Activity Block.

It was surprisingly hard to come up with two truths and a lie about myself. Unlike other people, I didn’t travel the bone-breaking path. (Seriously, what is with that?) Funnily enough, when my question came up on the Kahoot, I clicked the wrong option. Yikes. 🙂

Playing Getting-to-Know-You Bingo is a familiar experience for many, but virtual Getting-to-Know-You Bingo is (usually) not. Bouncing from breakout room to breakout room, trying not to talk over other SSPers in their quests for completion, and attempting to write on a PDF with a shaky mouse were arduous tasks. However, it allowed us to compare activities and quirks while finding commonalities between ourselves and others. In all honesty, I have never enjoyed GtKY Bingo, but this time, it was different, not only because we were online but because the categories were specific and personalized (thank you, TAs). I could see myself reflected in the card, and I saw that other people could do the same.

The last task of the day: space exploration. Well, not quite. We were provided a list of objects that we could take with us on an extraterrestrial mission and had the challenge of ranking their importance. Much like the activity I once did in ninth grade when we read The Lord of the Flies. Except that was on Earth. And it didn’t have to do with…well, if you know, you know (*oink*).

So far, I would rate SSP a 16/15 experience. I’m excited about what’s to come!