Week 3: Baseball, Boston, and Buses

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Monday, June 27, 2016


Dahlia Baker

As the end of the third week hit, I realized that I have been starting to feel extremely comfortable in this new setting and new schedule. The morning commute isn’t as terrible as it felt in week one, the work load is getting to be a lot more manageable, and I’m starting to really indulge in everything that DC has to offer. This past week has been a bit crazy and stressful at times (especially when your metro decides to stop for an hour and your phone is dead), but overall, I’m having so much fun and learning so much from the people I’m meeting at NASA.

Monday through Wednesday was a pretty typical work week, but Thursday was when the real fun began. All of the SPS Interns, along with Courtney and Brad, got the chance to see our congressmen and congresswomen play baseball at the Nationals Stadium! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’m happy to have witnessed. My favorite part was the immense cheering when the only woman playing that night stepped out in her number 9 jersey, despite getting out by her first base.

Friday was when the real adventure began. Maria and I decided that we wanted to make a weekend trip to Boston! It started with an overnight bus ride out of DC, arriving at around 6am. Arriving was the best part of the trip, because we got to see a quiet, pre-morning Boston without many other tourists or city-dwellers around. The whole first day was spent seeing the sights and walking the Freedom Trail, only taking a short break to get a fantastic lunch at the Quincy Market. The amount of history in that one city is astounding, and its hard to believe that it’s still thriving as a hub of American culture, just as it was before America even existed. Our second day was spent visiting Cambridge, walking around the Harvard Yard, seeing the penguins and the seals at the New England Aquarium, and getting some sun on the harbor boardwalk. The city was beautiful and I think we walked about 20 miles just wandering around it.

However, no trip can be perfect. On our way back, our bus was delayed for every reason that a bus might get delayed, including traffic, late arrival, and the need to switch bus drivers but having to wait 90 minutes to do so. We ended up catching a 3am train from New York to DC just so that we could get back in time to make it to work by 9am. And that’s train is where I happen to be writing this post. You do what you have to do.

Each week comes with its challenges, but I have the chance to take risks and grow as a scientist, and I’m learning so much from my mentor, Ed Wollack, at NASA. I wouldn’t want to be spending my summer anywhere else but DC. 

Dahlia Baker