Sunday, June 1, 2014By:
Just a week ago I was packing my room up at Vassar and now I can barely believe that I'm here in D.C.! This week's been an amazing adventure. But first let me introduce myself. My name is Simon Patane and I am a rising senior at Vassar College majoring in physics and astronomy with a minor in political science. I originally hail from Buffalo, NY, but as you may have guessed I'll be spending this summer in Washington, D.C.!
Now onto the adventure of the past week! I drove into D.C. on Sunday evening with the conclusion of my third year at Vassar. Early Monday afternoon I moved into the remarkably comfortable George Washington University dorm where all the interns are living this summer. I'm housed in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Hall and in a very central location – only a minute's walk from the nearest metro station and a few more minutes (or a metro ride) from all the attractions that the area has to offer! After unpacking and meeting the other interns we set out to take on the city. Over the course of Monday and Tuesday we stopped by two Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall, ascended to the top of the Washington Monument, found ourselves running through rain, eating new food, and just simply enjoying each others' company.
Starting Wednesday we had orientation at the American Institute of Physics where we met with all the amazing, friendly staff from the member societies and the Society of Physics students in particular. Between learning how to network effectively, hands-on diffraction demonstrations, and a lunch with Nobel Laureate Dr. John Mather, orientation was challenging and fun! Together with Jake, the other Center for the History of Physics intern, I met with the Niels Bohr Library & Archive staff and learned all about the collections and dove right into some background reading into the history of physics.
I can't express how excited I am to be in the D.C. area with all the other interns this summer! We come from all over the country and bring with us all sorts of different backgrounds, but I am amazed at how quickly we have bonded over our interests in physics and science overall. I feel like I’ve known all the other interns for years and yet it's been only a few days – this summer is going to be phenomenal!