Week 10: Empty Chairs and Empty Tables- Another first day

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Monday, August 20, 2018


Phoebe Sharp

I started my first day of work today.

I am still an SPS Intern (Once an SPS Intern, always an SPS Intern), but I am now the Education and Diversity Programs Coordinator. I work in a different cubicle with different coworkers in a different department. Rather than work on promoting physics through outreach by writing articles and working on websites, I’ll be promoting physics through programming to support UnderRepresented Minorities (URMs) through the BRIDGE program. This opportunity would have been made possible without my acceptance and work in the SPS internship program, so I owe many thanks to them.

The last week of the internship was bitter sweet. I feels like so long ago. There were many concluding activities (last late-night monumenting, card games, frantic packing at 2am, etc.), as well as presentations (which were amazing, please check them out). When we were all kicked out of GW, I left the dorms and the real world hit me. This transition period is over. I am an adult. I had found out not two days prior that I was offered a position in the Education and Diversity department of APS, so I got through the hardest part (getting a job). Now, I was couchsurfing and apartment hunting.

I took for granted the supportive environment that the other SPS interns provided. I couldn’t just run over to Stephanie’s apartment and borrow a pot. I wasn’t sharing a room with Brigette, one of the best roommates I’ve ever had. I wasn’t going to walk into my new apartment to Jamaican music and the smell of Elon’s delicious dinners. Lots of things are different now. And even though change is really hard for me, I’m optimistic, and I still have a huge support network of incredible physics students all across the country.

ACP is different without my other SPS interns running around. No more chance encounters with Michael when I get coffee. No more lunches with Stephanie or random sights of Nathan. I won’t see Mikayla or Amanda. And I can’t bet on if Kristina is in the office or in another city. Kristen won’t be working outside on her acoustics display. And Elon won’t be my cubicle buddy anymore. It feels more quiet without them.

I miss them. This group of SPS interns made this past summer one of the best summers yet, and I hope that we stay in touch. Transitioning from college to adulthood was better than I thought because of these 14 wonderful physicists. Each one of them is going off to incredible adventures, and I’m so excited to have been apart of their lives for the 10 weeks that I could.

To future SPS interns: Do this internship. It’s an amazing experience that I’m excited you have the opportunity to participate in. Make every moment count in this program. We did so much throughout these 10 weeks; I don’t think it was possible to do much more. And most importantly, get to know the other interns. You have a chance to make some of your best friends and have the best summer of your undergraduate career.

To my fellow 2018 SPS Interns: You are all amazing. I’m unbelievably grateful to have met all of you, and I’m so excited to see what you all do. To be as intelligent and bright as you all are, I have every confidence that you will achieve your goals and do amazing things.

Although this hasn’t been as creative as my previous posts, I appreciate this opportunity afforded to me by APS, AIP, and SPS, as well as Rhodes College, to have completed this internship and to have had the wonderful experiences due to this program.

Thank you.

Phoebe Sharp