Week Three: Making the Most of It

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Friday, June 16, 2017


Zakary Noel

Saturday, I had the unique opportunity to attend a Pride Parade over the weekend. It was incredible how many people came out in support, and even more amazing were the numbers of people marching along the route; they came in groups or stood high on floats, waving to the crowds as they passed by, dominating the block with their presence. It went on hours longer than I could have expected, and a grand, festive display of unified celebration stretched on for a mile in either direction. For all the tension and unsurety that permeates our lives on a daily basis, it's truly something awe-inspiring to see so many get to gether to celebrate who we collectively are and bask in the differences that make us so richly diverse.

Back on the work front, my progress with my intern partner has gone satisfyingly well. Each day we have more concrete and developed material, and soon we'll be publishing all of our hard work for others to see and use. Given the scale of what we're trying to do, I can confidently say that our efforts will have a profound effect on SPS efforts to bring outreach options to anyone who wants them. In addition, I'm also looking forward to what I'll be able to do later in the summer at NIST working directly with teachers, and hopefully at the Cincinatti Summer meeting of AAPT.

Finally, the program organizers saw fit to treat us to dinner on a boat cruise this week. Last summer when I visited San Francisco for Physcon 2016, I took a ferry to Alcatraz island and filmed the American western coastline while I was aboard, thinking to myself how incredible and vast the pacific ocean must be from there on out. It reminds me of space in a way- spanning and indomitable, in a way that makes it almost seem infinite to something as small and fragile as me. Being back on the water reminded me of that vastness, and I wonder now if I can make my way just a little further east one of these days to see the other side of our great island, and say that I've seen the ends of the nation and shared my ideas with people from all over the world. Millennia ago, I might have thought I traveled all the way across the world. Millennia in the future, maybe my journey will seem even more insignificant.

But there's nowhere else in the known universe I'd rather be than right here, on our cozy little blue ball.


Thank you to Tim Fox, my old highschool physics teacher. You made it tough, in your own way, but given the perspective I have now there's nothing about that class I would have changed. Except maybe trying to turn in my homework a little more often.

Zakary Noel