The day of Vladimir Gluten, Elon Crust, and Pita Parker

Author: Umran K.

*these are definitely not our team name candidates*

Today was the first day of SSP – I mean the first real day. No, wait a minute, that sounds very lame. Today was the day I spent 12 hours searching asteroids on Horizons and failed spectacularly in getting all the work done. Indeed, sitting in front of my computer for 5 hours straight at times, I remembered the meaning of actually doing work. Better yet, trying to understand the work that I had to do. 

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have volunteered to write this blog post if it was all agonizing mental labor. While today was the day that Zoom killed my eyes, it was also the day that made me remember the satisfaction of accomplishing something. Looking across databases to see which asteroid had the best visibility, which orbited near the Earth, and which was too fast, I felt like I was doing something special. Heck, 12 hours ago, I didn’t even know the meaning of the ecliptic plane or right ascension. 


Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the Zoom today. But here’s a fun fact from Discord!

Today was also special because I got to see the people who went through the same path as me, feel invigorated by their enthusiasm, and revel in the company of like minded individuals with a general appreciation for learning. The way our cat-crazy TA’s  shared their backgrounds made me imagine what I would be doing 4, 5, or 6 years from now. If I would be taking walks in UFO landing zones like Ms. Barb or even addressing an entirely new SSP class as their TA. 

Although I am getting a bit off track, one of the most memorable moments of the day has to be the word game most of us happily invested time on during the work/play block. From Juji’s thesaurus-like abilities to our TA Abby’s surprise victory using phrases like “farted”, I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend my summer. 

I’m your mysterious author: Umran. I like reading anything and everything, but especially Dan Brown and fantasy novels with hopelessly selfless heroes/heroines. I’m big on kpop, kdramas, and Korean cafes (the last one’s a bit weird but you would get it if you googled them). I’m also writing this post at 11:51 after dreaming that I forgot something and coming back to confront the menacing laptop screen. Pls don’t kill me Katie.

Note from the Editor: participants are not under threat of death for not submitting posts on time.