Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Book Review: The Subtle Beauty

I just finished reading The Subtle Beauty by Ann Hunter. It was part of a review process from Tomoson, but it was really good at sucking me in when I was reading it.

The book is a definitely a YA read. It is a quick read, but quite engaging. I like fairy tale fiction, so I enjoyed the subject matter and the world that was created. The characters were really engaging and easy to sympathize with. There were moments when I was heartbroken, annoyed, frustrated and in love.

I was, however, a little disappointing with the ending. Although the resolution was satisfying, it came to quickly and seemed to lack a bit of development. This may have to do with the YA nature of the book, but it left a little to be desired. 

Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to friends or family.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Glasstic, It's fantastic

My old Nalgene water bottle broke a while ago, so I was trying to find a good replacement. I have recently been drinking out of glasses instead of plastic cup and I was interested in purchasing a glass water bottle. I spent a lot of time reading through reviews until I decided on the blue glasstic water bottle.

So far, I have had it for about two months and I LOVE it. Here are some of the pros and cons.


  • Shatter-resistant: The glass hasn't broken even though I have dropped it a few time, so the plastic casing works well. I like knowing that if it does break the glass is contained.
  • Taste: Water tastes SO much better out of a glass bottle instead of a plastic or metal bottle. The water tastes pure even after it has been in the bottle for a while, sat in the sun, etc. I drink a lot more water when I am drinking out of my Glasstic water bottle.
  • Easy to clean: I haven't washed it in the dishwasher because our dishwasher isn't great, but it is really easy to keep the bottle clean when I hand wash it.
  • Wide mouth: The wide mouth of the bottle makes it easy to add ice to a beverage and makes it easy to keep clean.

  • Size: I went from a 32 oz water bottle to a 16 oz water bottle. Since I am drinking much more water with this bottle it means I am filling it up more often. While it isn't really a problem, it is a slight annoyance.
  • Leaking: This has only happened a few times, but sometimes the water leaks out the top. I'm not sure why this happens. I don't know if something is off with the rubber sealing sometimes or if I don't tighten the top or bottom well enough, but it doesn't happen all the time.
Anyway, I highly recommend this product. I am thinking of buying a second one to keep around.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Week 10: You're going to miss me when I'm gone.

This was the last week of my internship. I can’t believe how fast it has gone. I’ll talk a little about the last weekend though. Saturday was packed full. I went to the Hirshorn museum of art, which was really cool. I have realized that I enjoy art museums more that I originally believed. I also went to Eastern Market for the last time and bought $10 worth of nectarines so that I could bring some to Julie’s house the next day.

I then caught up with Jamie and Darren and grabbed a bite to eat at Good Stuff Eatery. Their burgers and shakes are SO good. I chilled at home the rest of the afternoon before heading out to Virginia to go with Julie to a mosque to celebrate Ramadan. We went to the Lutifullahi Asalta International Mosque which is a Nigerian mosque in Hyattsville, Maryland. I learned how to tie a mean hijab beforehand and I looked really legit. So legit that people kept greeting me in Arabic once I got there.

We prayed with them, which was a really neat experience because although we are of different faiths, we both can commune with God. It was then time for the feast. We had spicy rice with spicy meat and spicy plantains. They also had a molasses soda, water and a ginger drink. It was a little too spicy for my palate, but it was a good experience. It was also nice to talk to some of the women there.

I don’t know if it was the food from the night before or simply that I was getting sick, but I woke up Sunday morning really sick to my stomach. I felt pretty terrible the whole day. I did end up feeling well enough to go out to Julie’s house for dinner one last time. We had hot dogs, watermelon, potatoes, nectarines and bread. It was delicious and helped settle my stomach a little.

Monday was our presentation practice. It went way better than I expected especially considering that I was feeling really sick. I wanted to present earlier, but Toni had a meeting and wanted to see it, so we presented right before lunch. We had lunch with Fred Dylla, the CEO of the American Institute of Physics, and Beth Cunningham, the Executive officer of The American Association of Physics Teachers. It was fun to talk to them a little about our experience because they couldn't make our presentations on Tuesday. I left shortly after lunch because of how ill I was feeling and worked on finalizing our presentation for Tuesday at home.

Tuesday was our final presentation day. My family, parents, brother and sisters, few in the night before, so they came to my presentation. My mentor from NIST, Mary, also came and it was really nice to see them all. Caleb and I did our presentations together, and I thought it went really well. We talked about our kit, did an activity, did a demonstration and then talked about NIST. After all the presentations, we had lunch as a big group before heading off to the state department tour. On the way to the tour I felt sicker and sicker, so by the time we got to Foggy Bottom I just decided to go home for the rest of the day.

Wednesday was our last day of work. We wrote thank you notes and filled out information about the internship. Then we had lunch together and did a little tour of ACP. We talked with Beth Cunningham of AAPT, Kate Kirby of APS and toured the library. After I finished a few things at the office, I packed everything up and headed home. It was so sad. I finished packing up all my stuff at the dorms; cleaned and headed over to the hotel my family is staying at as we tour around DC for about a week and a half.

It was really sad that the internship was over. I can’t believe how fast it is gone. This has been a really great opportunity for me and I have learned a lot. I will miss all the wonderful people I worked with and all the great friends I have made. We have been singing “You’re going to miss me when I’m gone” from Pitch Perfect. Now it’s true.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week 9: Fat and Poor

Saturday I went to the Library of Congress to get my library card and I went to Eastern Market to get some produce. That night was really fun because I went out to my friend Julie’s house to go to a party. It was a glow-in-the dark paint dance party out on a farm in Virginia. It was a lot of fun, but we grew tired of it quickly, so we went cosmic bowling afterword because we glowed. It was a really fun night.

This work week has been back at ACP. We are working on finalizing the SOCK instruction guide. It is fun to be back at ACP with the other interns. I have also been working on the final presentation for the summer. I still feel like we have so much to do and so little time.

Monday I replaced my computer screen that broke two weeks ago. I felt like a champion because I did it all by myself. I love it when I can be handy.

We also had our final outreach on Tuesday at the University of Maryland. It was for the Physics Summer Girls Outreach Program for rising 9th graders. There were about 14 girls and they were all so smart. We were able to test our modular “theremin” activities. It was really helpful and we learned a lot of new things. That evening, we went out to dinner as a group because it was Dayton's last night. It's always so fun to hang out with the group. 

I was finishing exploring the city this week. I went to the American History Museum and the national portrait gallery. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed looking at art. It was really interesting. I also tried Good Stuff Eatery for the first time with Jamie and Darren. It was SO good! It is probably a good thing we didn't discover it earlier or else we would have been fat and poor.

I think that was all the excitement for this week. I can’t believe how quickly this summer is coming to an end. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Week 8: Kiss and Ride

I can't believe how quickly time is passing. We only have a week and a half left, which is crazy. I am really enjoying the projects I have been working on and really like the other interns. It will be so sad to go our separate ways in just a few weeks. This week also signifies an end to my time at NIST. It has been so amazingly fun and a great learning experience. It has also inspired me to think about possible directions I want to go with my career.

But, before we get to all of that, we'll start with the weekend. On Friday night, my cousin, Becca, arrived from Boston to DC. We ate a quick dinner before heading out to buy some groceries at Target. I also did some laundry that evening. I decided to start her DC trip off really unexciting, so that the bar would be set low.

Saturday was fun. Becca and I went to Ford's Theatre and took a tour. It was really interesting. The national park rangers do the tour and he did a fabulous job. He was VERY animated and a quite good storyteller, so it was very captivating as we listened to how everything played out that evening. We then grabbed lunch at Kanlaya, a Thai restaurant before heading to the International Spy Museum. My friend Julie met up with us there, and it was really cool to see all the old spy equipment and to hear the stories. After the museum, we were pretty tired, so we grabbed milkshakes at Ted's Bulletin and headed home. That evening, my cousin Becca and I watched Top Gun. I had never seen it before, so it was nice to finally understand all the phrases so often quoted from that movie.

Sunday we went to church with Amy, which was fun. It is crazy how different it is compared to the DC 2nd ward. That evening, we went out to Toni's house for dinner and to watch the Wizard of Oz. It was really fun. Burgers were delicious and it has been a very long time since I watched the Wizard of Oz.

The work week has mostly been focused on wrapping up the Summer Institute. I have been working on going though the assessments from the teachers of all the activities that they had done. It has been interesting to see the difference of opinion for the same activities. Overall, the reviews were very favorable. I also started working at ACP and I am working on the write ups for the SOCK activities.

 I also did some fun things with my cousin, Becca, this week. Monday night, we walked around to all the monuments. It was really nice. Tuesday we went to the temple and did inititories. It is always amazing to be in the temple. Funny story, there is a temple shuttle that goes between the metro station and the temple. Every time I go, I chat with the driver. As we were pulling into the metro station, Becca read the sign "kiss and ride" sign and asked what it means. In jest, I said, "some cabbies charge in kisses." As we left the shuttle, I thanked him, and he said, "What, no kiss?" Sadly, I didn't hear it, but it was mentioned to me later. A terrible opportunity to miss! ;)

Wednesday, we went on a tour of the pentagon. It wasn't that great of a tour. The fun part, was that we organized it through my grandma's cousin, so we had a navel officer meet us at the top of the metro escalator. He got us through all the security without even the slightest check. I don't know what my grandma's cousin does, but clearly, it's important.

Also, Becca made it to the metro station before me. While she was waiting, a man walked by who was probably in his mid-fifties. He was looking at her and made eye contact. Well, she loves making eye contact, and since he was still making eye contact, she was kind of playing the staring game and looked right back at him. He looked away and she started texting. When she looked up he was looking at her again. He then proceeded to ask her out for a drink. It was quite funny.

Thursday my cousin, Becca, left to return home to Boston. It was also my last day of work at NIST. It was sad to turn in my badge and to leave. I really loved working there and working with Mary. It was really incredible to work with all the teachers and the scientists and to make so many amazing contacts.

Friday, we had a tour of the capitol and the Hill interns took us to their office. It was really interesting. I find politics and policy really interesting, but I feel like I don't know much about the whole process. I learned a ton about the process and the ways that the interns are involved. I was kind of bummed that I couldn't apply for the SPS Hill internship in the future.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 7: The Bees Knees

Friday night, I came home and crashed hard. It had been an exhausting week and I really needed the down time. Plus, the weekend was going to be busy.

Saturday, I cleaned up in the morning, and then headed out to Prince George’s Plaza to grab lunch with a mission friend, Rebecca Carver. It was so good to see her. I thought she was so cool on the mission and she was so sarcastic and funny, it was great. She ended up marrying and American and is now living out here. It is amazing how many people live out in this area. I am more popular than I thought.

Saturday night, I headed out to Alexandria, Virginia to help the city celebrate its birthday! Julie and I decided to walk around the city a bit before heading to the party. We grabbed dinner at the Fish Market. We got crab stuffed avocado for an appetizer and then split the salmon plate for dinner. It was the perfect amount of food. We got to the park for the party, just before it started to pour. Luckily, they had built little rain shelters, so we stood under the rain shelters for maybe 15 minutes before the rain cleared up and we headed back out for the party.

They gave us free cupcakes! The symphony played while they shot off fireworks, and they also fired the cannons. It was really cool. However, the highlight was a little boy named Oliver. He was about 18 months old, and he came up to Julie and started sitting in her lap. Oliver’s mom came up to fetch him, but we were okay with it. The family ended up moving their picnic blanket up next to ours and we spent a good chunk of the evening playing with him. He really liked touching my knees for some reason and pretty soon he was hugging Julie and me and sitting on our laps. He was so adorable. Okay, mother nature, I am getting the baby memo.

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxed. And Monday started another week! I continued my work at NIST, which I would write about each week. It can be read here. The sad news, was that on Tuesday, I broke my computer. I was working on it while I was sitting on my bed, and I set my computer down a little too close to the edge, and when I went to get up, it fell off the bed. The good news, is that the computer functions just fine, however, the screen is completely ruined. So, I have been looking into whether I want to buy a new computer or just buy a new screen.

This next weekend should be exciting because my cousin, Becca, flies in on Friday night!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Week 6: Fly Me to the Moon.

This week has been crazy. It was fun spending the weekend with my cousins, but the trip back to DC was a bit of a mess. I few back from Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina and then from there to Baltimore. Unfortunately, I was flying US Airways, and airline that in my experience is quite poor in terms of their service. My flight from Atlanta was delayed because they book the flights so close together that any little problem can cause a big delay. Because of the delay, we arrived late, and I had less than twenty minutes between when I stepped off the plane and when it was to push back from the gate. I was told the wrong gate, so I headed to another terminal. Luckily, I checked the boards and found my gate was back where I was originally. I walked straight onto my plane but not before they made me check my bag. I was not happy about that.

My flight headed to the runway, and then we stopped. The captain came on and explained that he had been told by the tower that they couldn't take off for 35 minutes. I wouldn't have bothered for much except that I had one friend picking me up at the airport who had school in the morning and another friend coming to stay with me that night. When we landed, I went to claim my bag, and, of course, my friend Amy, who was there to pick me up, had just been told by a police officer, but two minutes before I was ready, to move and had to circle the airport to pick me up. It took her about a half an hour to make it through the traffic and back to where she was originally waiting for me. I had R let my friend, Candice into the building because my roommate, N, wasn't home yet, and I wasn't either. I finally arrived home at about midnight and hurriedly went to bed. 

Monday started the NIST Summer Institute for Middle School Teacher, which I was helping with. Most of my adventures can be found here. I really enjoy working with the teachers, and I am learning so much about NIST and techniques for teaching science. I really enjoyed the Ballistics Lab Tour. They let us try on the bulletproof vests and they let us take a test shot at one of the vests they were testing. It was a really cool tour.

On Wednesday, we got to take a tour of NASA. It was really cool, but a bit long and at some points boring. The first thing we saw was really cool. It was a giant sphere that had different images projected on it. We looked at earth pictures showing flights around the world, pollution and other things. We also toured a facility that had very large equipment, including a four story clean room and a giant centrifuge, which were being used for the new James Webb telescope. We also talked with Darren’s adviser, which was really interesting. He has had an amazing career. 

I also had a really fun time with my friend, Candice. She was in town for a few days, so we went out to have dinner together for and then grabbed ice cream on Monday night. Tuesday we went and saw Despicable me in the park, which was fun. All the fun tired me out, because I ended up staying up pretty late every night and waking up pretty early.