Week 2: A busy life in DC

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Friday, June 19, 2015


Brean Prefontaine

I almost feel like a native. Okay not really but I am getting better at navigating the Metro. This week has been all about exploring. Since the weekend was my first weekend in DC I decided that I should get busy and figure some things out. On Saturday I trecked all the way to Trader Joes (it was only about 2 miles) with Veronica. We had both skipped breakfast so we stopped a little Italian place on the corner of U street and 14th street. It was very chic but also a hard hit on the wallet. I do not think that I will be back. And so Life Lesson #3: Never opt for a posh breakfast when you can easily have a great, filling breakfast at a homey mom and pop restaurant.

However, Trader Joes was typical. After cheating a little and taking the Metro back with all of our food that will (hopefully) last us awhile, I headed off to find the ice rink. As it turns out, finding an ice rink requires going to Virginia. Fortunately it is right off the Metro. The rink was nice, albeit in a strange location because it is on top of a parking structure which makes it 6 stories high, and my practice was successful. It was time to head back to the city for another adventure. Upon getting off the Metro at Dupont Circle, I was submerged into a colorful crowd of people all partaking in a pride parade. Having never been to a pride parade, I was intrigued. It turns out, pride parades are awesome and I had so much fun! I ran into some of the other interns by chance and we watched part of the parade. To top all of this off, Shauna and Veronica invited me dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. I am now of the opinion that everyone should try Ethiopian food at least once!

After a long Saturday, I was looking forward to relaxing and enjoy my Sunday. Sunday turned out to be just as busy but also just as fun. The morning started off with a trip to the International Spy Museum to explore some memorabilia from spies throughout history and to have a chance to take on a fake identity. There were some interesting neat exhibits on concealed guns that spies would use, females spies that played a large role in history, and even an exhibit dedicated to James Bond. After the museum, I met up with Max, Drew, and Teresa to go rock climbing. We went to a gym in Rockville and spent a few hours bouldering and top roping. It was nice to get back on the wall since I have not climbed in about a week and a half.

The weekend was very busy and a lot of fun, but then Monday morning rolled around. It is always Monday morning that ruins everything. But I suppose that is why someone invented coffee. Anyway it was back to work for me. This week we have made a lot of progress on the project. I made a chart of all the lesson plans and their activities so that we could organize our priorities and try to create more interactive lessons. We spent a lot of time talking about the 5E model and I was able to use information from my education courses to create a lesson template that will be easy for teachers to read and will allow for an interactive lesson. We have spent time brainstorming for activities (debates, mock trials, and role playing were all ideas that we came up with) and ways to create games that will help students interact with the history of physics.

Overall this week has been productive and fun. I have had a chance to explore DC a little more, have experienced how much it can rain without any notice, and have really become involved with my work on the project to create lesson plans for the history of women in physics. Also being able to see the library and archives at the American Center for Physics was a nice plus this week. Tonight some of the interns plan on going to an astronomy on the mall event and I am sure that we will have many more adventures this weekend. Cheers to another weekend!


Found the NSF on the way to the ice rink in Virginia!
Picked out my fake identity at the International Spy Museum
The International Spy Museum had an umbrella gun! How cool is that?
We met a new friend, Bernice (standing to the far right), at the climbing gym!
Contemplating physics at the AIP building after work (this was right before it poured rain)

Brean Prefontaine