Final Reflections: An amazing summer

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Friday, August 1, 2014


Simon Patane

Wow! What an amazing summer. I'm back home in Buffalo now and I still can't believe my time in D.C. has come to an end. The journey home and the past week or so have been a mix of melancholy and joy. Departing from D.C., I leave behind the many wonderful people that I met during my time as an intern. However, as I pack and organize myself for my last year at Vassar, it's grounding to temporarily drop anchor amongst all the familiar faces here at home. Looking back, I will always remember the experiences I had in D.C. this summer.

I have grown so much from the opportunities that opened up to me as an SPS intern. Before this summer, my study of physics was defined solely by classes and research. I now understand more than ever the formative and binding relationships that drive the science I so dearly enjoy. Between my mentors and coworkers, different researchers, representatives and staff that I met, and of course the interns, it is clear now how valuable my colleagues are in every endeavor - scientific or otherwise. My time as an intern taught me that physics is just as much about research as it is about bridging the gap between scientists and the general public. I learned the importance and power of networking and of the many different career paths that are open to me as a physics and astronomy major. My experiences remind me how critical communication is to the future of physics, astronomy, and science in general. During my internship I felt connected to the work happening at AIP, but also to the efforts of my fellow interns, and to the work of the coursing, vibrant population of the city at large. These lessons and memories are what I will hold close as I begin the process of applying to graduate school and contemplate what life beyond Vassar holds for me.

Of course, I would be missing a huge part of my summer if I didn't recognize my fellow interns. It amazed me from the beginning of the summer how we instantly hit off and I will cherish our friendships forever. We are a diverse and unique group and I simply would not have had the same experience this summer without being able to share it with each and every one of them. Living as a group in the heart of the city was a non-stop adventure. To all of my fellow interns, my coworkers at AIP and the countless, fascinating people I met in D.C. - thanks for the great summer!


Simon Patane