Week One: We did it folks!

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Saturday, June 5, 2021


Madison Brewer

Welp—we did it folks! Before this week started, I was nervous and excited and had so many questions about what my summer might hold. Would I get to write this week? Would my mentor be nice? Would the other interns be cool? Would I like this job? I am happy to announce that (so far) the answer to all of these questions is yes!

At our orientation, Dr. Jack Hehn talked to us, and he said that we were all working physicists. He told us that we were contributing to the physics community. This set the tone for my experience: I should be confident because what I am doing is important! Later in the day, I got to meet my mentor and get my first taste of working at a magazine. She sent me lots of articles to look over. Some were about science writing, while others came from Physics Today so I could get a taste of the magazine’s flavor. 

Later in the week, we got to meet Dr. David Helfand and ask him questions about science communication, which (as I’m sure you could guess) I was very excited about. I loved how he approached non-scientists with an open mind and recognized the responsibility scientists have in the process of science communication. As an astronomy and writing major, I have been grappling with this question for years—how much does each person need to do to make communication happen? 

Early in the week, I helped one of the editors do research for her story, but by Thursday, I was ready to write my own. Though the piece only needed to be 400 words, I found myself struggling with each sentence. After all, adapting to a new style doesn’t happen overnight! By the end of the day on Friday, I’d written over half of the story, but I suspect Monday’s fresh eyes will find many edits. 

Finally, the other interns and I had a movie night on Friday. We watched AntMan, which was the movie I voted for! It was great to talk with them again. 

Overall, I had an amazing first week! It was, however, very exhausting. I spent the weekend catching up on rest, but I am ready to take on week 2 with the same enthusiasm as this one!

Madison Brewer (she/her)