Week 6: Wait, it's that time all ready!!!

Share This:

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Joseph Dees

So I feel like I have blinked and my summer has disappeared.  With each passing day, the end of the summer draws ever nearer.  I'm very thankful for the opportunity this summer has presented. Today I want to reminisce about some of the benefits, as well as the challenges that have been given to all of the interns as we progress through the summer.

Each morning I wake up and get to eat breakfast with my wife.  This seems like such a simple thing, but with my departure for grad school quickly approaching, every passing moment is something we both cherish.  I also get the opportunity to help with the little challenges that we face on a daily basis.  The other night, one of my inside cats escaped.  Thankfully, my wife did not have to crawl under the house by herself and rescue poor Arwen.  It would have been challenging for me if I had been thousands of miles away.  Ahh, yes, she asked me today to fix a couple things around the house.  Again, this would be very difficult if I was not at the house to fix it.  While each of these seems very minor, every one of them means the world to me.  One last blessing that I want to highlight is the fact that I can take my time as I begin packing for my upcoming move.  I was so worried that I would have to fly home, throw everything loosely into my car, and then head out on the highway.  

Challenges, they are quite long but can be summed into just a few.  Forming better bonds with the other interns and the staff.  This summer is not only about the work that we can accomplish, while it is very important and helpful to each of the sponsors, but it also is not the only focus.  Normally, the summer interns use this opportunity to form bonds of friendship that will last a lifetime and to create networks that will benefit in the long journeys that life has in front of them.  We span 4 time zones.  It can be very challenging to pin down a time that everyone can be available to hang out and chill.  To take time away from each of the many activities that pull at us during our daily lives.  We are no longer just down the hall from each other.  The benefit of sticking one's head inside the door and asking, do you want to go hang out, it just doesn't exist.  While I hope that each and every one of us has the opportunity to meet our mentors as well as the SPS staff in person, these 10 weeks would have been a great opportunity to learn more about them and build bonds that would propel us into the future.  

This week has been crazy for me, not only have I had the opportunity to compile a list of over 400 universities with the heads of each of their physics department as well as a way to contact them, but I have also reached out to several HBCUs in order to establish communications and ensure knowledge of the APS Bridge Program is being spread to their student populations.  The success of future physicists rests on the shoulders of the role models of today.  We must ensure that new ideas and fresh eyes are available to examine the challenges of the future.  By assisting those to follow after and tapping into the untouched assets of many underrepresented minorities, we ensure not only a bright future but also a future full of diversity and broad thinking.  I hope that the next four weeks will provide great progress, but only time will tell.

And finally, I would be remiss not to mention our virtual picnic.  Ah, what a glorious time.  AS we all gathered to listen to Dr. John Mather but alas he had to postpone his visit.  We spent a couple hours playing games and getting to know each other better.  It was a very enjoyable time and just another example of challenges that were overcome this summer.

Joseph Dees