Week #2: When the time is right...

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Friday, June 9, 2017


Francisco Ayala Rodriguez

“Don’t rush anything. When the time is right, it’ll happen” -Anonymous

Along this week here in Washington, I have found that “timing” is something that somehow connected all the events along the week. It is always interesting to stop for a second and think about how time can affect the different choices that we take. There were different scenarios along the week that made me think of it.

Right after my last post, we went to an outreach event called “Astronomy on the Mall”. It was an outreach event featuring several science organizations. Both the SPS and the APS had a table at the event and different demos. We spent a couple of hours introducing kids to the science behind sound, light, gravitational forces, magnetic fields among other topics. Some telescopes where set up around the Washington Monument, and the lines for stargazing begin to grow. The weather was so nice that it was literally the perfect time for stargazing, cleared sky and no mosquitoes at all (that I noticed of). It was a great night for families to come and have fun in company of science.

Timing is always of the matter when we talk about jobs. Punctuality is important as we plan to develop a professional life. Even though we plan our schedule ahead of time, we can’t foresee the random events that will cross our way. For example, you can be early at the metro station in to make it on time to work. But, you could not prevent the fact that maybe the metro is too full and you will not be able to fit in that ride (as it happened to me). More than alarming, it was hilarious to see the doors closing in front of my eyes and almost getting me trapped on them. I still manage to get to the office on time, but the experience is something I will surely remember. The surprise expression on the other interns and this random guy “sorry face” because he blocked my way while going was like a movie scene. By the way.. if you (reader) are this random guy… don’t worry, things like this happen all the time jaja.

This week the protect remained in a planning state. Timing did not favor us with this one as some of my mentors were out doing outreach and attending important meetings in Sacramento. On the other hand, those of us that remained here where able to settle some other basic concepts for what implications would be for all the projects. It looks like one of the ideas is taking the lead but we want to make sure by consulting and discussing them with the rest of the team. This did open some opportunities among the week. Such as hunting the most valuable resource for interns in D.C…. Quarters! (the only pay method for the washing machines we have access to) Since banks are usually closed by the time we get out of work, it is difficult to obtain this valuable resource. Considering that this week wasn’t so packed with tasks, my mentor allowed me to take an hour to pay a visit to the bank and get as many as I could.

Out of the office, time played it well for most of the activities outside. Some of us decided to go to the mall during the weekend. I think we were all lucky enough to find good deals while getting what we needed, and the climate was incredible. There was something about this specific area around the mall that made me feel like If I were in the middle of a model. Like if at any time a giant hand would come down from the sky and move the cars or rearrange the buildings.

Speaking of shaping things with our hands, I had a great surprise when we stopped by the Folk Festival. There was a wide variety of art exhibitions such as music, dancing, crafts among others. We visited a somewhat hidden cabin at one of the ends of the park just in time for a blown glass demonstration. I knew about this technique for glass shaping but I had never seen it before. The heat of the furnaces, the colors of the glass, even the different sounds from the workshop where all part of what I consider a beautiful experience. At the end of the 30 minutes demonstration, a glass pitcher was created and on its way for the cooldown process.

We also stopped by a book reading featuring the commanders of the Intergalactic Travel Bureau. They introduced their new book which explained the different activities you could experience in the different planets of the solar system. These activities where imagined from the scientific point of view considering the air resistance, gravity difference, and nature of the planets. It is an interesting project and a promising outreach project that will reach young minds everywhere and wake up their interest in science.

Overall, time is our only true resource in life and we can’t stop its flow. We need to manage it carefully but also enjoy the little details. We never know when the timing will be perfect for a story of how time itself was not on your favor.

Astronomy at the mall crew.
8 Rolls=320 quarters=4 pounds of quarters!!!
Feeling inside a city model...
Meeting with the Intergalactic Travel Bureau
Original glass...
Shaping the glass...
Mind Blowing...

Francisco Ayala Rodriguez