Week 1

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Monday, June 3, 2019


Sariah Mevs Phipps

Coming to D.C has been an amazing journey so far! Aside from the amazing historical monuments around me, SPS has shown me nothing but kindness throughout the week. Monday was Memorial Day so we had the day off to acquaint ourselves with the other interns and see a few of the monuments. We saw the Memorial Day parade, the Lincoln memorial, and the Washington monument. My husband, Andrew, and I strayed off from the group sometime during the parade and ended up getting lost though. It was a long, tedious walk home but we were able to acquaint ourselves with the city because of it!

On Tuesday we had our orientation where we all rode the metro together and had breakfast as an organization. We took photos for the website and learned about how to be successful in our jobs. I’ve been a little nervous about this internship, but it made me feel better to know Brad (the head of SPS) had broken a $20,000 instrument on his internship. At least I know even the best make the worst mistakes! After that, I was taken to the Optical Society building where I will be working and given a brief tour. My advisor wasn’t able to come, but I still met all kinds of nice people and it left me very excited for my first day of work. Lucky for me, I have the closest work building out of all the other interns, so I was able to take a leisurely twenty-minute walk home.

The A.C wasn’t working in The Optical Society building, so I was told not to come into work until Thursday. Accordingly, my training and introduction to my advisor was pushed off until Friday. Thursday was loads of fun, though. I started the day by meeting my advisor, Madeline Karcov, and being shown around the building. Everyone there was very friendly, and I was told a little about what I’d be doing. So far it seems like I will be keeping track of the current chapters of OSA and advertising for more chapters on social media and newsletters. After that, we had a meeting on new renovations for the building and some stats. Lucky for me, that day was also the office outing, so we went to an Italian place with bowling after the meeting. We were served delicious food and I bonded with my co-workers through two games of bowling. I guess my advisor was right, this is the most fun internship. After that, we were all dismissed home.

On Friday I had my first day of working. To start the day, Maddie had me overlook some of the websites that she had updated to make sure that they made sense and weren’t missing anything. Since Maddie handles a lot of the distribution of awards and grants, I was looking at the requirements and instructions for those things. Then I was given a brief intro on how to work the computers. I got my own email and learned how to edit websites. After that, we had lunch. The lounge area is way bigger and cooler than I was expecting. Honestly, it’s probably as big as a Shenkman Hall apartment. Maddie invited me to have lunch with her group of friends and I felt very welcome. Since I still wasn’t entirely sure on what I was going to be doing, I took the opportunity to ask Maddie about the projects she would put me on. I will be put on the Optics for kids website, along with other outreach programs. On top of that, Maddie said that she would set up meetings with some of my physics-based colleagues so that I can get a better understanding on some of the paths I can take as a physics major. After lunch, we had a meeting about the new computer system and then I was given some more websites to look over. That didn’t take long, so Maddie told me I could go home and we would start my first project on Monday.

The weekend was filled with exploration and date nights! On Friday Andrew took me to Circa at Foggy Bottom and we had a the best dinner with stunning desserts! Then we went home and watched Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. On Saturday we went with my aunt to the Smithsonian and to the Air and Space Museum. We were able to see the history of aircraft as well as the types of rockets that were sent into space! I really enjoy D.C so far and can’t wait for next week!

Sariah Mevs Phipps