Monday, July 9, 2012

Beating the Planet

Sleeping in yesterday made getting up this morning so much more challenging.  After the typical breakfast at McClelland Dining Hall, I headed off to class.  Most of our class gets there well before the beginning, so I left early in an attempt to arrive with everyone else.  The weather today was considerably cooler, and I managed to survive the day in jeans.  I hope it stays this way.

Today was our first day talking about electricity.  Ryan, one of our other teachers, led the morning lecture that covered the basics of charge, attraction, and repulsion.  I remember electricity being a big challenge for me during the school year, so I was excited to review and understand better.  We spent our last morning hour in the lab studying the relationship between voltage and current.  Professor Bill Berner explained that for electricity to work, it has to be stronger than gravity. Essentially our mission in electricity is to beat the planet.  

Lunch went just as always, except we found the dining hall much more crowded than usual.  On our way back to class, we stopped at Insomnia Cookies, aka the best store in the campus area.  They sell warm, gooey cookies of all flavors and they will deliver anywhere, even a dorm room, until around 1 AM.  The two cookies I bought were exactly what I needed to power me through the afternoon of class.  

In our afternoon session, we expanded on the idea of resistance and practiced using the equipment we will have on Friday at Hershey Park.  In the lab, we studied the conductivity of Play-Doh. Yes, you read that right, Play-Doh.  We learned that both the diameter and length of a wire effect its resistance.  

After class, I worked on my summer assignment for school and my first assignment for Physics- a one page summary of what I learned last week.  With all this new knowledge swimming around in my head, it wasn't hard to write a page.  

After dinner, which we ate as a cohort minus Cameron, I hung out for a bit in Mariko's dorm.  I then got to Skype with Teddy, a four-year-old boy who I have been babysitting since he was 8-months-old, and his parents.  They are like my second family and it was great to see his smiling face and catch up with them.  Tomorrow we will have a guest speaker, astronaut Don Thomas.  I can't wait to hear about space travel and astrophysics. 

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