Week #8: For something we love…

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Friday, July 21, 2017


Francisco Ayala Rodriguez

"Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion." -Simon Sinek.

Sometimes, we are told that all we need to do to be successful is to work hard. Yet, finding something worth working hard for is vital. If we ever thought that working hard would be the rough part, we were wrong. Sometimes the hard part of it is to find what we love, and even harder is to stick to it no matter what.

This week I am giving some final revisions on the cards. James helped me to obtain a different point of view and we worked them out. We ended up restating, paraphrasing and reviewing a good number of clues. I also took the time to go through every clue again to make sure that the dates and facts where as accurate as possible. I helped them package the supplies for their trip to San Diego’s Comic Con. They literally had tons of comics there and we wrapped everything together.

I also had the chance to stop by Leanne Poteet’s Office (Graphic Design Manager of the APS). I came up with a design for the back of the cards and asked for some advice on it. We talked more about the font size for the clue cards and the direction the design is going to take. It looks like things are moving forward just fine.

During the weekend, I had the chance to stop by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The building itself is a masterpiece and the exhibitions are huge. From mammals to minerals, the museum covers anything related to nature’s course and how humans play a role in it. From all the expositions, the minerals one is the one I enjoyed the most. I am always impressed by the wonderful gems created by different structures and elements. Luckily for me, I obtained a piece of my favorite metal: Bismuth!!!

Moving forward with the internship tours, we stopped by the Optical Society (OSA) headquarters. Here, we received talks on the proper publishing process, the types of careers that we can pursue with our major, and the importance of the different societies. There is a lot of different applications of optics and photonics to medicine and industry. Fun fact of the day: they are the ones behind the “Don’t mess with science, we have lasers” slogan for the March for Science.

This summer, I arrived to the APS just in time to meet with Arlene Modeste Knowles. She was the APS Diversity Programs Coordinator for 25 years. During her goodbye speech, she mentioned that those 25 years didn’t felt like 25 years due to her love for the topic and the great environment in the office. She is one huge example of how hardworking for something you love creates passion. Anywhere you go Arlene, don’t forget to share that passion as it will change the world.

Just Yesterday I had the chance to meet with Francisco Salces-Carcoba and Ana Valdes. They are two graduate students from Mexico at the University of Maryland working with Condensed Matter. We had lunch together and talked about graduate studies. We reached to the conclusion that there is something more important than the prestige of the university or the professor. That the best advice for any person looking for a graduate program should be to find something they really like to dedicate their time to. That way, all the hard work of the graduate program will be worth it.

If you are out there trying to define what you love doing, don’t stop trying new things. Try, try until you find your passion and keep going. If you found it, you are working hard already.

First attempt for the back of the cards...
The majestic polar bear...
Evolution of the human skull...
Morphos Butterfly...
The great tyrannosaurus rex...
Ana, Francisco, and Francisco... Physicists from Mexico!!!

Francisco Ayala Rodriguez