Week 1: Settling In

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Friday, May 29, 2015


Connor Day

I am happy to announce that I have reached my first Friday as an SPS intern! It has been an exciting week of meeting new people, setting up my work space, and settling into the wonderful city of Washington, D.C. I flew in about a week ago from my home in North Carolina, and on my cab ride to my new apartment, I passed a building that looked to me like the Lincoln Memorial - and it was! It was my first taste of my exciting D.C. experience that will continue throughout this summer.

I quickly was able to settle into my new apartment in the Woodley Park area of the city. All of the interns are housed in the same building, which happens to be very close to the National Zoo. I am looking forward to exploring the zoo many times this summer! Our apartments are also very close to one of the Metro stops, Commutingwhich makes it easy for us to navigate around the rest of the city. I managed to figure out the train and bus systems enough to take a trip to Target just a few hours after I arrived. The commute to and from work hasn't been too bad either, as you can see from Aman and I! :)

On Sunday, I was invited to a Memorial Day cookout hosted by a friend of mine who I knew from college. It was a great opportunity catch up with her, enjoy some good food, and meet many of her friends who also live in the area. I immediately felt welcomed to the city!

The next day was Memorial Day, and there likely isn’t a better place to be on a patriotic holiday than D.C.! I joined many of the other SPS interns in attending the Memorial Day Parade on Constitution Avenue downtown. Memorial Day ParadeI hadn’t seen a big parade like this in a long time and was particularly excited to see the many high school marching bands that participated. (I was a band kid in high school myself!) We waved to the many veterans and other supporters that marched in the parade. It was very special to see the great numbers of military personnel present to honor and remember those that we have lost.

Tuesday marked our first official day as interns. We traveled as a group to the American Center of Physics (ACP) up in College Park, MD, the building in which I will be spending most of my time this summer. We were warmly welcomed by the SPS team and others from the AIP. Dr. John Mather, the Nobel Laureate in physics who sponsors the Mather Policy internship, joined us for lunch. Speaking to him about his past and present work was very interesting and inspiring, and he provided some wise encouragement to not be afraid to ask for help!

Office CarrelSince our orientation to the program, I have began acclimating myself to my work space. My office carrel (shown in the photo on the left) is located in the statistical research area of the building, which is on the same floor as the Niels Bohr Library and Archives in which I will be spending a lot of time doing research! Although I will not be directly working with my office neighbors this summer, everyone I have met in the statistics department has been very welcoming and willing to help. My department at the AIP Center for History of Physics is only made up of a few people, including my mentor and the director of the center, Dr. Greg Good, as well as the librarians and archivists in the building. These people have helped me greatly in learning to navigate the library and archive systems, the Center for History website, and the drives that include the work completed by previous interns that I will continue this summer. I am also well stocked with office supplies in preparation for the extreme amounts of notes that I will be taking in my research!

BooksTo begin my work, I have explored the library and picked up a few books that include short histories of women in the physical sciences. Many of these women are already featured in some of the lesson plans on the Center for History website. I have also began updating the research guides and bibliographies that we have available for our team this summer to streamline our process. The team is planned to include two SPS interns and two graduate-level students, but right now I am the only one here! The other SPS intern, Brean, will arrive in about a week and a half. One graduate student will arrive a bit later, and the department is in the process of finding another. My work within the next week or so may seem a bit slow-paced, but I have my books to keep me company until the team fills up.

Connor Day