Week 5: Time Flies

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Friday, June 26, 2015


Hannah Pell

It seems as though we’ve all been saying the same things this week. “I can’t believe we’re halfway done.” “It feels like I just got here yesterday.” “Time is flying by!” And this is all very true.  My experiences so far in D.C. – spending time with the other interns, making both professional connections and life-long friends – have got me thinking quite a bit. 

Lately I’ve been thinking about LVC: about the friends I’ve made (and lost) over the past four years, my incredible professors who still continue to inspire me even when I’m not at school, and how I really want to spend my senior year.  It seems as though life really does have a funny way of working things out, because I would not have this internship if it wasn’t for the caring and supportive community I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of and contribute to for the past three years.  You could say I’m a bit homesick.  But I think one of the most important things I have realized from this internship is that things from my past (both good and bad) were all important learning experiences.  I’m certainly learning how to utilize them in order to create a better future not only for myself but the people around me.  And I believe that that is what I want to commit to for my last year of undergrad.

I’ve particularly enjoyed working on the SOCK because it has allowed me to reflect on what message about physics I want to get across and formalize a much clearer idea of what physics means to me.  As someone interested in pursuing education, it has also been very beneficial not only from the outreach opportunities working directly with students, but realizing how much I truly do value education.  I want to spend my life discussing ideas.  Physics has been humbling, and from studying it I have become much more open to trying new things, exploring the unknown, and encouraged to be an active player in the world.  How to perceive the world around us for much more than it appears to be.  How to make connections where there may not appear to be any.  Innovating and inventing for a better life.  That is what physics is about, and I want to contribute something.

I hope that you can excuse my sentiments for this week; I promise I’ll have much more exciting things to follow.  At this particular time, I can’t help but recall a quote from the most inspirational person on my life: 'We need to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter, but work is third.' People may come and go as time flies by, and that’s okay.  A big part of growing up is deciding who you want to be and where you want to go; the physics community has given me the confidence to do just that. But it's also important to care for the people who are right there next to you along the way.  

So for the rest of my time here, I want to focus on continuing to build the connections and friendships I’ve made so far.  I’m thrilled that the first draft of the manual is completed and ready for the first round of edits.  Additionally, I’ll continue to be preparing for all the fun things to come in July: Independence Day, my 21st birthday, touring NASA, NIST, and the Capitol, as well as final presentation prep, and much more outreach! 

Hannah Pell