Week #1: A journey of a thousand miles...

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Friday, June 2, 2017


Francisco Ayala Rodriguez

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” -Lao-Tse 

This first step is always the most interesting as you start to recognize what you will need along the way. I think that is the best word I can use to describe this week focus… Recognition. As the first time living in a different house for a long period, it is interesting to identify the needs that must be covered.

Getting along with this new city has not been bad at all. With a time difference of two hours later than usual, I haven't struggled to get along with the new schedule. I can’t wait to explore tge city throughout the next ten weeks and learn about the history of Washington. I am amazed by the vegetation and the amount of activities around the city. It looks like is going to be a good place to be during the summer.

I am excited to finally meet and interact with the other interns as I was eager to meet them all. Even though I have trouble with names, I think I know all of them by now. I have enjoyed interacting with them, especially as we commute to work. It was a good thing that we arrived on Memorial Day since we had Sunday and Monday to know each other better. Also, the first ting on everyone’s mind was to get ready for the first week by buying the required groceries. We went to Target and Walmart a couple of times during the week, mostly for vital stuff such as food. Some other times I went just to get forgotten cooking utensils (Tip: Canned food is useless without something to open them) and Trolli gummy worms which are also vital.

First day at the office was incredible. We had an amazing introduction session that taught us the basics of how things work around. Things escalated quickly by lunch time when John C. Mather visited us and welcome us to our positions. Who would have thought I would be having lunch and holding a conversation with a Nobel Prize winner on the first day of work? What are the chances?

After an interesting lunch filled with anecdotes and ideas, I got introduced to my mentors (James Roche and Rebecca Thompson) which I only had previously meet during a skype interview. It is great to finally meet in person to the staff behind the physics outreach and diffusion department. They gave me a tour to the APS floor and took me to my place. I work next to Sebastian, who had the same intern position that me (APS Public Outreach Intern) 2 years ago and had the opportunity to come back to work in the department. So far we have been discussing the different possibilities of my project. The big idea is right on our hands, now it is time to narrow it down and cover minor details by setting goals and deadlines.

So far, this experience has been like nothing before. I love to meet new people and the environment in both the office and the apartment is great. I look forward to take advantage of any event around the city. I am very excited to work here for the rest of the summer and see how the project evolves. I am sure that my first step was in the right direction.

Francisco Ayala Rodriguez