Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Day Of Wisdom

I have to say that today was definitely my favorite day in physics so far. Today we had two guest speakers, the first speaker was Professor Lande who actually teaches at UPenn. Professor Lande lectured on the use of wind to generate energy. His presentation stressed that we really do need to get involved and see what's going on with the world around us. After his presentation, we broke for lunch. The lunch area was crowded once again. I decided that today I'd be bold and try something new; I tried a burrito from the dining hall. Within the first couple of bites I was dissatisfied. I've found the same to be true with most food at the dining halls; it's good the first bite or so but after that it's not good enough to make you want to continue eating. I ate all of what I could of the massive burrito before heading back to class.

My lab group for week number two takes a picture with former astronaut, Donald Thomas.
I, like most of my classmates, were extremely excited for the second lecture because we were going to have the opportunity to talk to an actual astronaut. How cool is that? Don Thomas is a former astronaut who's participated in four space missions. It  wasn't an easy thing to do but by setting his mind to it he was able to eventually accomplish his childhood dream. Mr. Thomas informed us that he actually applied to NASA a total of three times before he got the job. Sure, he considered giving up and moving on but he realized that this was his dream and he had to go forth. Through the trials and tribulations he realized that if you wanted something, you had to go for it.

Not only was class entertaining but the message behind it all was really inspirational. I loved hearing about how even after not getting what he wanted, he continued to fight and eventually got it. Today I saw just how much perseverance and determination matters. Throughout the lecture, Mr. Thomas continued to reinforce the little piece of advice, to "Never give up."

Towards the end of class we got the chance to experiment and better understand surface tension, which is the force that acts in space. Two students even got to try on Mr. Thomas' old space suit.
Summer Discovery student, Madeline, tries on an old spacesuit.

I really, really enjoyed today's guest speakers. The lecture given by Don Thomas was just a reminder that I truly can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

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