Week 1: Flying In

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Friday, June 2, 2017



My first week has been a bit different that most of the other interns. While most of the other interns were settling into our apartment on Sunday, I was exploring Berlin. My school offers may term courses in which we can travel the world and explore interesting topics. The course I was taking was entitled the scientific development of Europe. Strangely or maybe not so strangely enough, I have found that my course fits in well with the project at my internship.

On Monday and Tuesday, I was driving to and exploring Copenhagen. One of our stops in Copenhagen was the Niels Bohr Institute. I did not have high hopes for that stop, but it was easily my favorite stop of the trip. We spoke to one of the archivists who went through Niels Bohr’s life and the history of the institute. I already knew a basic outline of Bohr’s life due to one of my professor’s idolization of Bohr but I never understood what he did for the scientific community. It was incredible to see how he bonded the physics community together at his institute and subsequently saved many physicists who went on to be leaders in their field during World War II. It was truly awe-inspiring. He truly changed the scientific community.

Although Monday and Tuesday were a lot of fun, Wednesday came and that meant a lot of flying. 16 of us climbed on a plane at 11am in Copenhagen. We landed in Toronto at 2pm after an 8-hour flight, and then we went through US customs in Toronto. The group had a little hiccup going through customs because one of the other students was an international student from South Korea. She got detained, but luckily they let her pass through after she bought her flight home to South Korea, at the end of the summer. She did miss our initial flight to Chicago, but I have it on good authority that she made it back to Iowa okay. But once I was in Chicago, I had to rush to try to make my flight because I had 1 hour between our plane landing in Chicago to my plane taking off for D.C.. Short version, after running through the airport, they rebooked me on a later flight. I finally arrived in D.C. at midnight and took an uber to the GW university campus. One of the RA’s on duty very nicely checked me in at 1am. I had finally made it to my new home for the summer. It was so nerve-wracking, going into a place where everyone else had already started to get to know each other. But it is such a blessing to get to start over with new people in a new place.

Luckily my fellow interns are absolutely amazing. When I arrived I literally had no clean cloths except my business cloths, no food for lunch or breakfast, not even a towel, and I had no idea where I was going to work the next morning. Lisa, who is a friend of mine from Coe College, gave me food for lunch and let me use her towel. Everyone helped me a long in some little way that day and I wouldn’t have gotten through the day without them. Thursday was absolutely crazy, I went to work and sped through all the orientation stuff in a few hours. Lexi and I then got started on our project. We are designing a physical and online exhibit for the American Niels Bohr Library here at AIP. Our task after that is to make a social media campaign advertising the exhibit. Lexxi already had a great idea, so we started flushing out her idea more fully and on Friday we were already pulling material from the archives.

Although this week has been crazy, I cannot wait for the rest of summer, I am sure it will be amazing.

Victoria (Tori) Eng