Week 6: Over the Hedge

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Tuesday, July 11, 2023


Brynn Schierenbeck

I know I’m posting this late again but pretend as if I’m super punctual like I tell all of my potential employers. 

Time flies when you’re having fun. Time flies faster when you’re in DC over the Fourth of July. I found this to be one of the truest statements I’ve ever heard, and I can’t even remember who said it to me. We kicked off the nation’s birthday with an SPS celebration at the National’s game on Monday. I couldn’t tell you who won, but I can tell you how awesome the fireworks were afterwards!

The next morning I woke up early to get some work done before the day’s activities began. We all planned to camp out on the Mall from 5:30 until firework time, so I came prepared. I packed a picnic bag full of goodies along with a large jug of water that everyone kept eyeing suspiciously (no, it was not a BORG but if it was it would have been named “red, white, and BORG” like a true patriot). We spent our waiting hours playing card games, shout-out to Janessa and Clay for teaching me speed and a big round of applause for Devin hopelessly trying to help me understand Backgammon. Finally, at precisely 9:08pm according to Jenna, the largest firework display I’d ever seen began. It was so American I swore I thought I heard eagles overhead but it turns out that was just Jaden. Seriously, though, it was a fantastic experience and I hope I’ll get to see it again someday. 

Wednesday was a day of recovery. I went into the office for a bit to work on my article and write my blog post. Other than that, Gizem and I watched a few episodes of Community and went to bed. 

Thursday was eventful. I met with my mentor that morning and finalized a few projects I’ll be working on. I’m excited to share that I’ll be presenting on introductions to viscoelasticity, a property that describes how a material can show both viscous and elastic behaviors when undergoing deformation. These last few weeks will be spent collecting final observations and data to add to my research so far. 

Later that morning, every intern that was able joined us at ACP to listen to Jenna’s presentation on how to effectively communicate through misinformation. I really appreciated how she helped us distinguish between active listening and being an active participant in the conversation. It’s something everyone can always benefit from a little refresher on. After that, we headed home and I met up with a friend to go axe throwing. I had an absolute blast and was in bed by 11 for a good night’s rest.

Well, what I thought was a good night’s rest. I woke up the next morning sick as a dog. I felt bad for my roommate, Gizem, who probably heard me hack up a lung all night. It didn’t help matters that when I walked to the store to get some medicine, I got caught in a random downpour and came back to the apartment sopping wet. Oh well. I spent the rest of the day in and out of bed, half doing some work and half staring out the window completely zoned out. 

Saturday showed improvement. I still woke up with a bad cough but the cold medicine I got knocked it right out. I laid low in the morning and then joined Hannah, Janessa, Eva, and Emily at Kramers, a restaurant / book store. I had a burger that was to die for and then we ended up getting two free desserts from the store owner for a coupon miscommunication! 10/10

Sunday was gorgeous. I still felt a little off so I relaxed in the morning with a short easy walk around the city. Later, Hannah and I went to the National Gallery of Art and again got caught in a downpour. Thankfully, my bucket hat and her umbrella saved the day and we had a grand time tooling around the museum admiring all of the people with more talent than us. 

Lastly, I spent my Sunday night on the steps near the Lincoln Memorial overlooking the Potomac River. It was a beautiful night and the sunset looked like the cover of Taylor Swift’s Lover album. All in all, it was a very wholesome week.

I’m sad to see the time pass because I know it means I’ll have to say goodbye to all of these people soon, but I’m going to try and not think about that just yet. For now, I hope we can continue to make the most of our time together and hopefully plan another potluck this week!

See you next time!


Brynn Schierenbeck