Week 9: Washington DC II

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Sunday, August 1, 2021


Alan Wright

I got to spend this past week in Washington D.C. for the quantum computing workshop. It was great being able to do something in person and meet my mentor. At the workshop I got to help with setup, help attendees with activities, and meet a bunch of interesting teachers.

The best part of the week was getting to meet all the teachers. This was the first time I interacted with physics teachers in a setting without the teacher-sudent relationship, and I appreciated getting to know them more like colleagues. I learned a lot about teaching and what it means to be a teacher from the attendees at this workshop, and I was impressed with the passion and love for teachering that all of them shared. These teachers all demonstrated what draws me to becoming a teacher myself, and by working with them, speaking to them, and recieving advice, I have become even more inspired to go down that path.

In my free time I socialized with the teachers, ate at some good restaurants, and visited some of the tourist attractions. One day, I walked to the National Mall, and I started with the Capitol (pictured). You can get a lot closer to it than I expected. Next, I walked over to the Supreme Court building and climbed the steps. On my way back past thee Capitol, I ran into a small group of people at the center of which was Senator Bernie Sanders (pictured)! I walked next to him to the street corner, but unfortunately I didn't get to talk to him since he was having a conversation with someone. I spent the rest of the evening walking the Mall. Things of note that I saw were the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and a white squirrel.

I also had an opportunity to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History before I caught my flight home. I only had an hour but I spent about half my time in the dinosaur exhibit (pictured) and the other half in the mineral exhibit. I really like mineral exhibits.

The only disappointing part of the trip was when my flight home got delayed by 2 hours. I had a great time in D.C., and I want to thank my mentor for providing me with this opportunity.

Capitol Building
Capitol at night
Bernie Sanders
Dinosaurs at the Smithsonian

Alan Wright