Week 4: Relax

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Sunday, June 28, 2020


Anna Murphree

[All views are my own.]

We are a whole month in! Time flies when you’re remotely interning at NASA during a social uprising during a pandemic.

This week I figured out how to use a supercomputer! I am running my codes on a ton of data and making a whole lot of scatter plots. We’re looking for correlations between meteorological variables and extreme precipitation events, which for now means scattering them against each other and seeing what matches up. I did have to spend a while on the phone with NASA’s IT department to get things running, but they were very nice and didn’t even mind my roommate’s cat yelling in the background (her name is Olive Oil and she has a lot to say). I don’t feel like I’ve made as much progress as I would like in this project, but that is a very imposter-y way to think! Research is a weird and winding process, especially during a pandemic, and doing my best is enough.

We had some cool physics events this week! On Wednesday, I tuned into APS’s Making Physics Inclusive and Equitable talk. While I think it’s important that they had this event and started these conversations, I know we have a long way to go to actually making physics (and all of academia) equitable. We also had a networking workshop with the APS Careers Program Manager Midhat Farooq, who gave us a ton of useful networking tips. I will definitely be using some of those as I start applying to graduate programs!

I am finding it really important to find ways to relax. I am very grateful and privileged to have a paid, remote internship; still, it has been a stressful couple months for everybody. On Friday, us SPS interns got together and watched the incredibly inaccurate film The Core, which I would highly recommend for some laughs. I’ve also been going on (socially distant) walks, reading, and trying to build a tiny fire tornado that won’t burn down my apartment. I’ll keep you updated.

Happy Pride and please wear your masks,

Anna Murphree