Week 1: Settling In

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Sunday, June 4, 2023


Eva Rissanen

This week was probably one of the most eventful weeks I’ve had in a while.

Moving in on Sunday was a lot less difficult than I would have imagined- I just dropped off my (probably overweight) bags and flew right to DC.
After the most stressful taxi ride of my life, (I've learned that DC drivers drive like maniacs compared to NC drivers) I made it to campus, where I got checked in. After that I finally made it to my room and I met my roommate! We eventually found our way to Walmart to do some shopping later that day.
Monday was less eventful, since it was Memorial Day there wasn’t any work. I ended up puttering around and shopping for more dorm essentials. Later in the night all of the interns went to dinner, then hung out in me and my roommates dorm, where we played card games and got to know each other a little more!
Tuesday was orientation day! All of us interns got dressed up and commuted together to the American Center for Physics (or ACP for short), where we had our orientation and professional headshots taken of us. The orientation was very informative, and I can't stress enough how great it was to finally meet the people we had been emailing back and forth with since April! I left the ACP with new knowledge, new connections, and many, many new stickers.
Wednesday was (I think) our first official day of working! I got to find my way to NIST campus, which I (sadly) discovered was an hour and 15 minute commute from where I’m living. 95% of the commute is just me sitting on the metro, so it could be worse :). I met some incredibly nice employees who showed me around, and I got to see my workspace! Also, apparently there are deer on the campus. I saw two or three of them in broad daylight! In NC, I rarely see deer, let alone in the daytime!
Later that night a bunch of us went to the Washington mall to play spikeball, talk, and watch the sunset. I also bought a matcha latte with boba from an ice cream food truck, it was absolutely delicious.
Thursday was more or less the same as Wednesday. The majority of my day consisted of traveling to NIST, working through some technical difficulties on my laptop, then attempting to pick up my badge, and commuting back! I also went to a craft store with my roommate, and then Chipotle! :) It was super fun taking the metro, we passed by the Ronald Reagan Airport, and the view was beautiful. I wish I had taken a picture, the sun was setting so everything was bright and orange.
I went back to NIST on Friday as well, to pick up my badge. I’d been visiting NIST since Wednesday to (hopefully) get my badge, and luck was on my side on Friday! From there I worked at my desk and finished training so I can hit the ground running next week! Unfortunately my mentor had to be out of town this week, which only makes me more excited to get to work this upcoming week!
Towards the evening, a few of us went to the Union Market, where we got dinner. I had a salmon burger (best thing I’ve eaten in a while) with curly fries and a matcha latte! (I don’t think I’ll ever find a matcha latte I don’t like, this one was also delicious)
My Saturday was pretty relaxing. It was really great to sleep in after waking up early during the week, and later that night the interns gathered to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which was as good as I remembered it to be the last time I saw it! A few other interns and myself went to get crepes after that, it was the perfect late night snack. Be warned; if you go to Crepeaway and order the Pani, they will absolutely load your crepe with powdered sugar. It was yummy though, so no regrets.
So, again, a pretty eventful week. I’m super happy to have had the opportunity to spend time with the other interns doing fun stuff in a fun city, and I’m really looking forward to all that is to come in these next few weeks!

Eva Rissanen