Week Three: Lively, Lovely, Lots of Food I Didn't Have to Pay For

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Friday, June 22, 2018


Krystina Williamson

"When people come and say, 'I hate math', they're saying, 'I hate my mathematical experience', right?...They're saying, I was devalued in this experience." - Winger & Young, 2018

Dear Internet, 

What moves like a cockroach but is the size of a mouse? I don’t know fam’, but I saw it this past Saturday at midnight. 

Although the decision to pick my friends up from Union Station at midnight was a poor one, the decision to have them over this past weekend wasn’t. Showing them around D.C, despite the heat, was a fun break from my work week. I didn’t enjoy the vermin and bugs I saw on a 2am walk, but hey, it was 2am and this is a swamp. 

The rest of my week was lively and lovely. 

I spent some of my time at SciCon, prepping for Astronomy on the Mall, and learning more about Step Up for Women and the AAPt/AIP policy fellowship. I also spent a good portion of my time with a group called Math Teachers Circles, a group of math educators and mathematicians who develop their math skills through rich and in depth math problems. 

One morning we played a game that reminded me of Spock playing 3D Chess. On another day, we explored the patterns in making knots, and connected it to mathematical expressions to then use math to help us untie the knot. 

We also had a workshop on Mathematics Equity, which, if you remember my previous blog post, is a topic near and dear to my heart. We were asked to remember how, when and which students we left out in our classrooms. To say that I was touched by the workshop and the subsequent conversations would be an understatement. 

I made a lot of good memories over food this week—genuine conversations with math teachers over chicken and waffles, getting to know AAPT staff over sandwiches, bonding with the interns and SPS staff over bougie crab cakes* one night, and other ravioli the next day. 

One of my favorite shared meals this week was with my suite mate, Phoebe. We ate at a burger place and shared a milkshake, and talked about how we were going to change the world. I told her about my passions and she shared hers—and we asked each other big questions about our world that no one within the next couple of generations is likely to solve. We mostly thought about what we could do to make this world better.

My mentor, Rebecca, continues to check in on me to make sure my internship is going well, to see if there’s other things I’m interested in doing. She always asks me what goals I have for this internship—and I always give her the same answer; to learn so that I can be the best educator for my community. 

I’ve also learned that I’m not alone. 

Before this internship, I didn’t completely grasp the depth and/or existence of  communities of scientists and educators and mathematicians and women. But in these past few weeks, I’ve seen these communities in action. 

It’s given me a sort of ease. Before this internship I felt lonely in my goals—I didn’t know many other scientists, much less science educators. In these past couple of weeks I have met so many people, all working to make education better.  

It’s comforting to know that the solutions to the worlds problems won’t fall solely on my shoulders. :) 

Anyways, I’ll talk to you later, 



*Did I mention that these crab cakes were had ON A BOAT? A fancy one, at that. Yeah, that’s right. Let the jealousy sink in. 

At Math Teacher's Circles
With my friends from NYC
Making Ice cream with liquid nitrogen!

Krystina Williamson