Week 9: Feeling the Frisson

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Sunday, July 31, 2022


Divyansh Chamria

I loved going to work this week. Only 8 workdays remained, so I really tried to make the most of them, even more than usual. Some workdays that are shorter than others, usually because I’m too absorbed in what I’m working on, and I feel like I get a lot more done on those days. This week, every day was that day. I finished working on all the various instruments, finally testing and verifying that the LCR Meter (the instrument that gave me a lot of trouble back in Week 6) works given that the probe station is properly insulated. I then spent a lot of time documenting all my code, my data and the work I have been doing at NIST, to make it easier for the people who have to deal with it once I’m gone. Simultaneously, I have been spending a lot of time on the presentation we are supposed to give during the Intern Symposium. I had to give the presentation to my mentor, Sujitra, and a couple other people who work in the lab for feedback, so I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday making the slides. Also, I usually have a short meeting with Sujitra every morning in order to discuss what I am doing and talk about any updates. This week, I got some really great feedback which was very helpful. Lastly, I also started work on another instrument to control using PyMeasure, and was able to verify that basic functionality works. I will try to make some progress with that before the internship ends.

Lunch hours at NIST have also been quite eventful this week. Firstly, I would like to thank Sujitra for taking me and the lab out to lunch on Thursday since I am leaving for the summer. I had hand-pulled noodles for the first time and liked it quite a bit. I also learned about the gift shop that NIST has and ended up going there on Wednesday instead of lunch. This had mostly been closed during the summer due to Covid and people teleworking, but we were able to get access by emailing the person who ran the store. After about 30 minutes of deciding, all of us came out with piece(s) of NIST memorabilia. On Friday, we decided to have a photoshoot during lunch in our respective labs, which ended up taking a few hours. I sported the aforementioned memorabilia and will refer to you to Valeria’s post for pictures.

Outside of work, we had our second last session of DnD, where we are still in the cave from the last two sessions. The story has evolved quite a bit, and all of us have become far better adventurers thank to Taylor C. being a great DM :). Ben’s character bonded with his pet Ghoul, we helped out a ghost, and we surprisingly encountered aliens, which will likely drive the story forward during our last session. I also went to the zoo this week, and while I am not sure how I feel about the idea of zoos, the Smithsonian seems to be doing a good job in being ethical in their treatment of the animals.

On Wednesday night, we had our now weekly potluck themed around breakfast foods. Saksham had the best savory French toast I've had in a little bit, and I'm definitely gonna try out his recipe sometime later. On Friday, a lot of us went to Duke’s Grocery after work to get their amazing burgers. After spending a bit of time there, we ran back to Amsterdam while light rain followed us. Then, we met back up in consignment, and played Jackbox and ended the night with some karaoke. On Saturday evening, a lot of the interns went to Korean BBQ. It was my first time, and I really like the extra flair that comes from cooking your own food over the fire. I’d definitely like to go again, but without the 90-minute time limit we had. After that, we ended up going to a Speakeasy where Anthony acquired a small bathtub and I had a really flavorful sour. We then spent the rest of the night in consignment making some late-night sandwiches. Today was also very busy because Taylor C. Valeria, Anthony and I went to the Natural History Museum and were there until about 5 pm. It was very fun, and it was great to see how much effort they had put in to educate kids and adults alike. After, we had a second potluck this week, where everyone used up ingredients they had lying around since there’s only one week left. Most people stayed back up after the potluck to hang out, which concluded the day.

All in all, I had a great week, although it was a bit busy. With less than seven days left for the internship, I am not sure if I want the week and month to end, but I look forward to what comes next. This has been a very unique experience, but I will leave discussing that to next blog post.


Divyansh Chamria