Week 3: 72 Mousetraps, 100 Ping Pong Balls, and 1 Gallon of Cornstarch, Oh My!

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Sunday, June 20, 2021


Noah Johnson

“Laugh it up, fuzzball” - Han Solo

This week I would say was a pretty good week. Lots of meetings, lots of brainstorming, and a lot of mail! I can really start to feel the pace picking up and I don’t have any shortage of work. Some of my demos are finally nearing completion which is super nice to see, but I still have to make the videos and do a number of just general edits. I’ve found that Taylor Swift is great music to edit my demos to, so now my Spotify is all Taylor Swift (“No Body No Crime” is my current favorite song of hers at the moment). 

The SOCK project is also finally picking up! Brad and I had talked about it before, but we finally finalized a few demos we’re going to write for the SOCK which is really exciting. We met with the outreach coordinator at the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and she approved the main focus of this year which will be adding a lot of voice and speech demos to last year's SOCK. Luckily my dad does research on this exact stuff so I’ve already consulted him about how to demonstrate vocal folds and I have a few ideas. I’m super excited to get working on that and writing up those demos. 

Probably one of my favorite things about this internship is all the random packages and materials I get. As you can probably tell from the title of the blog, early this week I got 72 mousetraps, 100 ping pong balls, and 1 gallon of cornstarch. Somehow, my entire job is to mess around with all this stuff and then record myself messing around with it. I nearly lost a finger trying to set up the mousetraps though so I’m going to have to re-evaluate my approach to those. I also got roughly 2 yards of spandex, a bunch of electrical stuff that intimidates me but I have to learn to solder for, and also 22 spherical cow stickers. My goal this upcoming week is to get a bunch of videos made for the demos so I can finish those up and make use of all the materials I’ve gotten. 

And as much fun as this week has been, I was exhausted by the time Friday rolled around. Thursday and Friday felt super slow in terms of how much I was able to get done. I planned more this week what I was going to do each day which definitely helped, but I think I have to plan it out even more than I was doing. Rather than just a checklist, actually put in my calendar what I’ll be doing when so I can hold myself accountable. 

I also got my bucket hat! Brad sent all of the interns bucket hats and I think at this point we all have gotten them. I’ve been wearing mine all the time and it’s a reminder of how lucky I am to be working on all of this but also that I shouldn’t take myself too seriously. Until next week!

Auf Wedersehen!

Noah Johnson