Week Four: The Calm Before The Storm

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Friday, June 29, 2018


Krystina Williamson

“Okay okay okay, so what if, let’s just imagine, that this vase and the orbeez was actually a bowl of cereal and if it was a bowl of cereal and you gave it to me I would be like wait theres’ nothing in here and then I would take a bite and I would be like OH MY GOSH THERE'S SOMETHING IN HERE and then...”

            - The joyful babble of a child after experimenting with the optics of water beads


Dear Internet,

This week (and probably next week) was the calm before the storm. I wrote my first grant proposal, and created, printed out and gathered a slew of materials for the upcoming conferences and fellowships I’ll be helping Rebecca with. On Wednesday we had dinner at an Italian Restaurant where I ate a very decadent and delicious tiramisu.

The highlight of my week, by far, was Astronomy on the Mall. This year we had it indoors due to weather, but there was a solid turnout nonetheless. Rebecca and I used orbeez, also called water beads, to explore optics. When placed in a vase with water, the orbeez are almost invisible. Many families passed by our table, wondering why we “just had a vase of water”. Their excitement and curiosity when they reached into the vase and held an orbeez affirmed my dedication to physics education.

One teenager was so shocked by the optics of the orbeez, that he went out into the crowd and brought his 9-person family back. For a handful of minutes each family member preceded to look through the orbeez, wondering why the world became flipped and wondering why they disappeared in the water.

The giggly shrieks of children fascinated with science was a familiar sound that evening.

On Friday, I met up with my tenth grade English teacher, who is visiting DC. We ate at what is becoming my favorite restaurant, Founding Farmers, and saw the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. This might be a controversial opinion, but the Washington Monument doesn’t seem as impressive when right next to the base. I’m much more in awe of it when gazing across the D.C. skyline.

Hasta luego,


Krystina at Astronomy On The Mall
Krystina at Astronomy On The Mall 2
Washington Monument And I

Krystina Williamson