Sunday, June 1, 2014By:
I'm Caleb Heath, the prodigal intern. If you're staff or friend or family, than I and my story are familiar to you. But some of you reading this will be spaced further down the temporal flow. Some of you are future interns, or at least, you'd like to be. I therefore repeat my history for your benefit.
I was born in Tennessee, but am a life-long Arkansas. Physics didn't enter my life until I was twenty-four. "Caleb," I said (as I often do), "you wanted to be a scientist when you were little. What happened?" "It's too hard, and I'm not smart enough for all that." "That's crap. We never even tried."
So I did try, and I surprised myself. Now I have a BS in physics from the University of Arkansas; it goes nicely with my old BA in philosophy. I no longer want to be a scientist however. I want to be a teacher. You can have your telescopes and cyclotrons. Give me a whiteboards and students any day.
Actually give me a cyclotron too. Just a small one, something that will fit in my classroom budget. Why thank you! I’m sure we’ll get a kick out of it. Last summer I was a SOCK Intern. The 2013 kit on sensors and measurement is something I'm still quite proud of, but it has little to do with what I’m doing this year. My work this year is with the AAPT, specifically the PTRA program.
Here’s how it works. Teachers need professional development. To facilitate national excellence in physics teaching , we select the best physics teachers to become Physics Teaching Resource Agents. This elite educating force is provided with intense professional development at workshops and institutes. The Agents then replicate this development at a local level.
So my job is to help revise and develop some of those professional development materials. My audience is some of the best physics teachers in the country. So you know, just a little pressure. But that’s how you make diamonds.
I had a good time getting into DC. I slept almost completely throughout my flights on account of exhaustion. A week spent packing up your life can do that to you. Since I’m still looking for a job, and my lease ends mid-way through the summer, everything goes into a storage unit until I know exactly where I’m moving to. So if you’re looking for a physics/math teacher, holla! I also do middle school.
This isn’t my first rodeo, so I got myself settled in quickly. I’m looking forward to a more relaxed summer this go around. There are still a few things I never ticked off my DC bucket list.
And of course my fellow interns are great. I think this is going to be even better than last year!
Our first weekend together is coming up. We have dinner at Toni’s house to look forward too, as well as a trip to the Einstein statue and Arlington Cemetery. And it’s not blazingly hot yet!
Don’t worry DC, I know you’ll make it up to me later.
Caleb L. Heath