Week 1: Hitting the Ground Running

Share This:

Friday, June 21, 2013


Fiona Muir

After a couple of weeks delay, I’ve finally arrived in DC and I’m so excited to spend the rest of the summer here!

I flew in from cold, rainy London on Sunday and quickly got settled at the dorms, met my roommate Jamie and some of the other interns and headed out into DC for the first of many trips to Target for things I had forgotten. After some more time getting to know everyone, I realised that I’d been awake for nearly 24 hours and that I should probably try to get some sleep so that I wasn’t too jet lagged for my first day of work.

On Monday, I had my first experience on the DC metro and blindly followed everyone else (experts at the journey to the American Center for Physics) as they led the way. After being introduced to the SPS staff, I went up to the History Center and Library on the floor above and got to know my way around. I also met Emily, the research assistant that I’m working with this summer, and Greg, my supervisor. Having missed two weeks, it was straight to work researching and finding information for our project. The end result will be guides for teachers and students on the topic of Women and Minorities in Physics and the Allied Sciences and there’s plenty of information out there – we just need to be able to find it!

That night, we went out to get Mexican food and as we were walking, tried not to be amazed with how casually everyone else was walking past the White House and all the other famous landmarks, while I’m stopping every five steps to take photos.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were spent reading and summarizing articles and books about women in physics, as well as finding out more and more about the city and making the most of my eight weeks in the US. After work on Thursday, I headed out to one of the farmers’ markets in DC with Christine, having a look at everything that was on offer.

If the first week is anything to go by, my summer here is going to be very busy, with a combination of hard work and lots of fun and I can’t wait!

Fiona Muir