Week 5: A Physicist's Glimpse into Americana... and also Physics

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Thursday, July 6, 2023


Jaden Sicotte

This blog post is late. Like super duper late. And for that, my sincerest apologies (I know you’ve all been dying to read my next installment). 

Last week began on Monday with a meeting with the APS Comms team about program branding, which was interesting as I haven’t been a part of those conversations yet. After work the interns and I went to Astronomy on Tap, a recurring event in several major US cities. Basically dozens of geeks, nerds, and dorks alike (such as ourselves) gather in a bar and listen to several Astronomy, Astrophysics, or Physics talks. We got to listen to Teresa Monsue (NASA GSFC), Jordan Ealy (UofMaryland), and Ron Gamble (NASA GSFC). They had trivia, bingo, and plenty of prizes (of which SPS interns swept). I went home with a commemorative glass, a NASA bag, and flush with my wins.

Tuesday was a slower day, mostly just check-in meetings on the progress of my work with the NMC. I’m currently awaiting survey data and working on a few other side projects in the meantime.

Wednesday I had morning meetings but in the afternoon I had the chance to finally meet my mentor, Bri Hart, in person. It was so nice being able to work in person and bounce ideas off of her. She’s a wonderfully professional and creative individual and I was glad I had the chance to connect with her in person while she was in DC. Afterwards I met up with some friends from school for dinner and ice cream.

Thursday was again kind of slow, I mostly just had meetings and plugged away at my work (riveting, I know. This is the content you all came here for).

Friday was jam-packed. To begin with, Devin, Jenna, and I had an extremely productive networking conversation with members of the APS Public Engagement and Innovation team. They fielded question after question, concern after concern, and slowly convinced us that we would indeed have successful careers and would not in fact end up deep in debt, alone, and sad. Next we went over to the Capitol Building where Ruthie gave us a wonderful tour of the Hill and the Senate and House wings. The architecture was intimidating, the informational video propagandistic, and the history fascinating; it was incredible overall. My roommate from school came in to town for July 4th weekend and so after work I met up with him, handled some details for our apartment next year and then hungout with all the interns to close off the night. 

Saturday I found myself analogous to a pinball. With so many friends in town for the July 4th weekend, I found myself ricocheting between intern friends and school friends. I think I had maybe 4 or 5 back and forths over the course of the day as I met people all over the area for festivities. It was exhausting, but so much fun and extremely rewarding being able to balance spending time with everyone. 

Sunday I went to brunch with a bunch of my friends (brunch-bunch lmao). I had myself some Japanese bubble waffles and chicken, which was so divine. After some time spent regaining my sanity and energy (napping), I met up with more friends for a nice dinner by the Georgetown Waterfront. 

Monday began early with my roommate and I going back to our apartment complex to ensure that everything was all set (our lease for next year started July 1st). SPS has incredibly generously been putting all of us interns up in GW housing, which means I’m not officially moving in yet. Despite that, we still had tons of moving to do between stuff he brought down, stuff I wanted to move over now, and stuff in our shared storage unit. It was exhausting and time consuming (I hate moving). I then biked over to the Nationals stadium where I met the interns for an SPS sponsored social outing. They had the presidential mascot race which concluded with George Washington drinking the McDonald’s Grimace shake and passing out (like in the memes) which was peak lunacy. The game was so much fun and was actually my first time there despite living in DC two years now. After the game I spent a little more time with school friends.

Tuesday was the 4th: game day, go time. I started the morning with breakfast with friends from school, then hopped around to various festivities hosted at apartments by people I know from GW (so many hot dogs, so much country played, so many “MURICAAA”s, though ironically). I then biked down to the mall to meet up with the interns for the firework show, which was explosive and colorful (you’d hope right?). 

Wednesday was yesterday, and I spent it moving more things into my apartment (we might have too much junk) and testing out the rooftop pool in my building (I got a little sunburned). 

Once again, apologies for the tardiness (and thus the length as well). Next week’s blog will be correspondingly curtailed. Also, quick shoutout, my brother’s birthday is today, happy birthday Brady! 

Crazy to be halfway done with the program already, hoping the next half is as fun as the first was! 

Jaden Sicotte