Week 4: Orchestras, Data! and Picnics

Share This:

Saturday, June 25, 2022


Taylor Overcast

As the weeks fly by I am beginning to realize none of them will feel like 7 days, and none of them will look the same. I was expecting to fall into a rhythm after being here for a little bit. While that is the case in some aspects, it is teaching me to enjoy the unexpected – something I have never been too fond of. This weekend a few of us attended the Chinatown Community Festival, the entirety of SPS attended the National Orchestral Institute & Festival Symphony Orchestra thanks to Jack Hehn, and I joined a friend from college at the Capitol for a church service and a farmers’ market. On Monday we referenced Juneteenth with the day off, and then a week of research and interesting meetings began – with a lovely “picnic” in the middle.

Saturday was very full, but amazing from start to finish. I started the day off by attending the Chinatown Community Festival with a couple of the other interns. The festival was very interesting and fun! I was able to learn about many of the traditions of various Asian cultures.

Here is a picture with our tiny crew at the Philippine Nurse Association:

On Saturday night, all of SPS attended the National Orchestral Institute & Festival Symphony Orchestra. We did not realize that it was roughly a two hour commute due to the timing of the bus – so we Ubered. It was my first time doing that, so I guess I am experiencing all the aspects of living in an actual city. The orchestra was absolutely beautiful! Most of the interns are musicians and can truly appreciate the difficulty and intensity of performing a show that is that outstanding. The discussions on the metro home were very fun, and we all had different favorite moments. I personally loved listening to the cellist and the harmonies they produced with the other instruments. 

Here are a couple of my favorite photos from the orchestra:


… I like the first one because I look tall :) 

On Sunday a friend from college invited me to attend her church with her and walk through a farmers’ market afterwards. I enjoyed being able to catch up with her and hear her perspective and fun tidbits about the city. Monday was the federal recognition of Juneteenth and ACP closed for the day. Nicole and I spent part of the day playing frisbee near the National Mall. Nicole and I both play ultimate frisbee for our respective colleges, and it was fun to toss some plastic with someone who is not my teammate. It is always so fun to see different techniques and styles.

On Tuesday the work week began. My goal for this week was to make good progress on my research. My research has taken a slight change to examining the implications of attending a low-income school prior to college. Tuesday was a big win – I found a data set! This week has been fun – I have been digging through previous research on the topic, and uncovering some slightly discouraging trends.

Here is a little insight to some of the general data that I have found and plotted:

Long story short, low-income students are more likely to attend a 2-year university, but less likely to attend any further education to their affluent counterparts. There is a lot more that I already have (not shown) and a lot more to be related and researched, but I was thrilled to find some data. 

I also had the opportunity to attend a quantum education class (via Zoom) for K12 teachers hosted by George Mason University. It was very neat to see how excited teachers of elementary students were about introducing (very basic) ideas of quantum mechanics into their classrooms. The National Quantum Initiative Act of 2018 was the first movement to enact quantum in younger classrooms over the course of the next 10 years. The purpose of the bill is to advance students' understanding of technologies and accelerate the development of quantum information science and technology applications.

On Wednesday, Mikayla opened her apartment building for a fun “picnic”. Due to the rain, we were not able to have it on the roof like we had planned, but it was still very fun. We played some games, talked, and ate good food. Thank you to everyone who helped plan for the event! She even took us for a field trip to the roof where we snapped some pictures:

Happy summer solstice week! Until next time, 

Taylor Overcast