Week 6: Frisbee, Fireworks, and FUTURES

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Saturday, July 9, 2022


Taylor Overcast

We are officially over halfway through the internship. This summer has felt like a year and a week somehow all at the same time, and there are still, yet only, four weeks to go. The interns have all bonded really well and I can truly say that I feel like we are all friends – something that I did not necessarily expect coming into the summer. This week I played frisbee, took a hike in Rock Creek Park, celebrated the 4th of July, finished up my presentation for the AAPT summer meeting, began organizing and collecting curriculum for COMMUNITIES (an AAPT online resource), attended an event at the Embassy of Columbia, and walked through a couple of museums. This blog is a little longer than most of mine, but it is just because there were too many pictures.

This past weekend started with one of my absolute favorite hobbies – frisbee! There are very few ways to start a Saturday morning better than a game of coed pickup with your roommate and team captain. Nicole and I both play for our schools’ ultimate teams and we have shared our love for frisbee over the course of the summer. One of my captains from my school team lives in the area and offered to take us to a pick-up game in northern Virginia. It was great to play with her again and meet all the people she has talked so fondly about over the last few years. Often when playing coed, I find that I do not get to touch the disk as much as I would like to; however, this group was amazing about giving the females opportunities to make plays too. I could talk about frisbee for quite awhile, but I will move on now.

Here is a picture of me with Nicole and Rachel – two worlds collide!

On Sunday a small group of us went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I think it was my favorite Smithsonian so far, and I am really glad that I was able to go! It had so many artifacts and history within it – more than one trip allows for you to take in. It is one of the few Smithsonians that requires (free) tickets, but I would highly recommend reserving some if you ever come to D.C. 

That afternoon, a different small group of us decided to go on a walk in Rock Creek Park. It was good for my soul to be in the woods, which is much closer to home for me. My family loves to hike and camp, and it is something that I have missed the most while being in a people-filled, always-busy city. While my dog was not in his rightful place in a backpack on my back, it was refreshing to be able to spend time in the trees and having good and real conversations. 

My typical hiking buddy:

My new hiking buddies:

Monday was the 4th of July! I can honestly say that it feels very different celebrating it in the Nation’s capital. A large group of interns attended the parade (again, I need to start taking more pictures – hopefully, someone else captured the moment.) We (the interns) also met a few of my friends and found a spot on the National Mall to watch the fireworks from. It was an incredible experience being so close to such a large display of fireworks. 

My college friends came to join – they wouldn’t smile for the picture, so this is what they get:

Most of the interns made it to the same spot, too… we even were able to retrieve a couple more after this photo. Honestly, it was a feat to find them in the huge crowd.

Here is a low-quality picture of all of us:

And, of course, the fireworks:

This week was the last week prior to the AAPT summer meeting. I spent most of my time wrapping up (and cleaning up) my presentation, organizing a bit of curriculum in COMMUNITIES (more to come in later weeks), and gathering up materials for us to carry with us. I do not have many new or exciting things to share in this realm; however, I think next week will be much different. Mark and I are driving to the meeting in Grand Rapids on Sunday (about 10 hours one-way) – I am expecting my blog to be very full and entertaining next week. I am very excited to meet physics teachers from across the nation, and hear their thoughts and experiences about various topics.

Outside of work I attended an event at the Embassy of Columbia on Tuesday night that was very fun. It was a documentary about Pupusas, and was entirely in Spanish. I enjoyed the event – we even got to meet the ambassador afterwards!

Our little crew:

In addition, I decided to take a stroll on Wednesday after work. I thought I would be too late to catch any of the museums; however, FUTURES was open late due to it being its last day on exhibit. It was a fascinating exhibit/festival and I am glad that I dropped by. I also walked through the Smithsonian Gardens on the way. I have enjoyed being able to walk almost anywhere I want to go… I think it is my favorite thing about living in a city. 

This is in the FUTURES museum and is dedicated to Margaret Hamilton who was a space navigator – as a female in physics, I think it is fitting for her to make it in the blog:

Stay tuned for the crazy week to come,

Taylor Overcast