Week 8: Counting Down the Days

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Jacqueline Blaum

8 weeks of the internship behind us. I’m ready to go home, but I am not ready to leave behind the wonderful people I’ve met here.

7 more physicist profiles to write. I have learned so much from the physicists I have interviewed this summer, and I am excited to share the information I have learned about their various careers with students and faculty at my university when I return.

6 playing cards to finish. At the end of last week, I was starting to worry that I would not have time to finish my project. The most challenging aspect of creating these playing cards has been finalizing a well-balanced, representative set of physicists with diverse careers. At first, I honestly thought this process would only take three or four weeks; however, I did not consider the time-consuming nature of waiting for responses from emails. As soon as I had put together my initial list, I couldn’t send emails to all the candidates I wanted to feature at once; in the case that some of them said no, I would have to rework the whole list to preserve its diversity. Thankfully, I have heard back from 26 people and will be able to finish the deck with each physicist on two cards as planned.

5 more yoga classes. Last week, Meg and I tried aerial yoga for the first time (pictured below). My arms and shoulders were not prepared! I hadn’t planned on becoming such a yogi when I arrived here this summer, but I definitely plan to find a studio in my college town this fall to continue my practice.

4 tours of the other interns’ placement sites. Last week, we toured the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Optical Society of America (OSA). I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see and learn about these amazing places in addition to NASA Goddard and Capitol Hill.

3 days in the office next week. The final two days will be spent practicing and presenting our final talks for the summer and touring ACP, the building I’ve been working in. I’m excited to have a chance to hear more about the other interns’ projects and to share my own experience.

2 more weeks with APS. I’ve loved experiencing the differences between working in a research job and for a nonprofit. Although I won’t miss the long commute to College Park, I’ll be sad to leave behind the friendly faces, my fancy computer monitor, the free coffee, and of course the fun project I’ve been working on.

1 more weekend left in DC. I have no idea how I’ll spend my precious few free days left in the city, but I’m looking forward to closing out the summer by making memories with friends.


Aerial Yoga at Pole Pressure
Aerial Yoga at Pole Pressure
A distant relative of Newton's apple tree at NIST
50th anniversary of Apollo 11 at the Washington Monument

Jacqueline Blaum