Sunday, June 5, 2022By:
My name is Janessa, I am from California, and I go to college in Arizona. I am the 2022 SPS SOCK Intern working directly with the iconic Brad Conrad. Welcome to Week 1 of a series of blogs documenting my experience as the SPS SOCK Intern and my exposure to new culture in Washington, DC. Let's rewind back to move in day--just to catch you up a bit.
Move in Day (May 29, 2022) :
My experience with moving in was definitely one of a kind. Because I traveled to DC from out west, I decided it would be more beneficial to fly in a day before actual move in day. On the day of, I ordered an Uber to take me to Philip Amsterdam Hall which is where I will be staying for the next few months. Memorial Day weekend did not make this easy. Of course, there was an event happening that resulted in 99% of the roads being closed, making what was supposed to be a 15 minute car ride turn in to an hour and a half stress session. My uber driver was not very happy with my destination being "so far"...so he dropped me off at a random hotel about an hour walk from the hall. I then decided to walk to the Smithsonian metro station with my 55lb suitcase and carry-on just to make it to 'Am-dam' by 12:15pm. This may seem stressful and hard to manage, which you're not wrong..it was, but I was relieved and thrilled to finally be in my apartment that would soon carry my best memories of the SPS Internship Program.
Brad met me at the hall and asked me to help bring in all of the past SPS Intern belongings that they left for us. Pots, pans, hangars, irons--Emma and I soon found ourselves owning a neat
thrift store that was soon deemed "Schroedinger's Consignment". The idea behind 'Schroedinger's Consignment' is some items could be useful or useless..but you wont know until you observe it.
Memorial Day and Schroedinger's Consignment (May 30, 2022) :
The night before Memorial Day, about 7-8 of the interns came to Emma and I's apartment to meet everyone and grab a donut or two that Brad had gifted us. We introduced ourselves, laughed, talked about how excited we were, and helped distribute any items in Consignment. We then arranged plans to attend the Memorial Day Parade that was happening on Constitution Ave the next day and planned to meet at 1pm.
In the morning, a couple of us went to Trader Joe's which seems like a classic must-go between the past interns. I've found buying groceries has been the most difficult adjust to DC, mainly due to the limited store selection, but exploring has been useful. A big thank you to all of the past interns who were so generous and kind to leave us with plenty of cooking supplies, spices, and a single bean can :).
Once we all met for the parade, we strolled through the humid streets of DC and even took our first selfie as interns.
We sat in a very shady area awed at the amazing performances from numerous bands and performers. Even famous chef Robert Irvine was in attendance, but I could only snap a really quick video. Cooling down in the shade was nice but right as the parade ended, we started our trek back to the hall--with a quick stop at the White House of course. Emma and I performed the cha cha slide with a stranger as the other interns watched and cheered us on. Getting closer to Amsterdam Hall, we stopped at a series of stores that was almost like a food court, and grabbed the classic...chipotle. After an amazing burrito bowl we all went to Amsterdam and prepared for the next day.
Smiles Occur Creating Kits
Arriving to ACP was thrilling. Most of us endured the 45 minute metro ride together and walked the last 10 minutes. Brad, Mikayla, and I got to sit down and talk about the plans for the summer. I am really excited to accomplish all that I am tasked to do and more. My first order of business is organizing and leading a 100,000 people event called "Astronomy on the Mall". I've been working on the demos that I'd like to bring to the event and making a list of any items we might need. I will also be creating lots of different style videos on various platforms, working on Psi*, and of course--my SOCK project. Right now, I'd like my SOCK theme to be eclipses as the next solar eclipse will be in 2023, but I am open to other projects as well. More updates on that later. As a cool little experiment, I microwaved a couple jolly ranchers and was able to blow bubbles from it . For now, I will continue to work on AoTM and making connections with new people. I am super grateful to be in D.C. for the entire summer and I will fully take advantage of all of the opportunities here.
Just a quick "my life is complete" plug -- I got a picture with Einstein. LOOK!
That's it from me--until next week.