Week 5: Becoming

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Sunday, July 5, 2020


Anna Murphree

[All views are my own.]

Somehow we are halfway through this internship! There’s a Bon Jovi reference in there somewhere, but I’m too proud to make it.

This week, I spent a lot of time refining my codes and then running them on the supercomputer. Turns out, no matter how much you refine your code, working with huge amounts of data takes a while. I am excited to be learning how to work with a lot of data, especially in our “era of big data.” I was talking to my particle physics friend and he told me that the LHC will produce ~500TB of data per second in 2025! Crazy. I’m hopefully going to graduate school for astronomy, and I know that data processing is a super important skill to have.

Speaking of graduate school, I also spent some time this week looking through different programs. Like any good physicist, I have a detailed spreadsheet going. There are a ton of different factors that will go into this decision, and I’ve been trying to narrow down my list of schools. I have found Twitter to be surprisingly helpful, as many graduate students and young professors stay connected that way. I will be practicing some virtual networking soon because I realized that it is already July!

Outside of coding and spreadsheets, I have been experimenting in the kitchen lately. I got some fresh local produce from our lovely and socially distant Memphis farmer’s market, and I realized that the oven is my friend. Roasting veggies is so easy! I roasted kale for the first time ever and felt like I finally got my vegetarian card after three and a half years. I also finished a book I’d been working on, In the Wake by Christina Sharpe. I highly recommend it, and the philosophy nerd in me wants to reread it already. I hope everyone had a safe and introspective 4th of July; I finally watched the Becoming documentary and got all hopeful about what this country could become. I've been thinking a lot about what we, individually and collectively, are becoming and what we would like to become. 

Keeping my mask on,

Anna Murphree