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Jul. 11th, 2013

Is anyone going to Otakon? (Apart from minuara and girlluvsviola , since we're going together...)

Science nights for kids...

I realize I really, really, really enjoy doing demos and such for groups of kids. Volunteering with general after school programs for kids (which I did for 2 years) was fun, but there was lots of down time and it just wasn't as exciting. (And programs with adults are really not my cup of tea, though I didn't realize this until after 4 years...)

Last summer, I was in Minnesota and volunteered a bit with a chemistry program that holds fun chemistry demos in libraries in the area every month. It was exciting and challenging in all the right ways. Like, learning how to explain each experiment and doing each experiment with different age groups meant thinking on the fly, but even if I messed up, the worst that might happen is that the experiment fails.

But what really made me realize this was that tonight, there was a program at the local elementary school for general science? And it was really the most fun I've had in ages. There were such cool experiments, though I didn't get to see much, and to show kids these really strange things you can do with physics? Ultra fun. I did the thing where you set a table and then pull a tablecloth out from underneath! Unfortunately, a plate and a candlestick holder were lost before I learned that actually, really small children can't always pull fast enough, but still. Lost to a good cause :)

I kind of want to try and set up a similar thing at my college. We've been talking about revitalizing the physics department a lot, and it would be so cool! But I don't know how many other people would want to participate -- both events I attended in the past seemed to succeed based on many enthusiastic people, not just pushed through by a few...


After three weeks of going rock climbing at least once a week, I think I can safely say I'm getting back in the groove of things! For those who were not around ~3+ years ago, I used to rock climb twice weekly in high school. I was pretty serious about it... but when I got into college, the nearest gym was 2+ hours away by public transportation, and I stopped going.

But when I stopped going I also stopped exercising period. So my New Year's resolution was to get back into it! (That was helped by the fact that one of my friends from back then went to nationals last year /o\. She's really good now.)

So my college actually just got a wall last year, but it's quite small and most of the routes are rated 5.8*... but the ratings are massively inflated, so it's really more like 5.6. Going into Boston requires 2 hrs each way... but I'm determined to go at least once every two weeks and to drag some friends along.

In any case, I'm really really terrible now, but it feels good to be climbing again. (For the record: climbing around 5.7 pretty easily right now, and some 5.8s with more difficulty. This is significantly lower than what I used to climb, around 5.11b.)

*The rating system for top roping (climbing with a rope, usually ~20 m) is 5.X, where the X is a number indicating the difficulty. The higher the number, the harder; after 5.9, the numbers go 5.10a, 5.10b, 5.10c, 5.10d, 5.11a, etc. Bouldering (climbing without a rope, usually no more than a few meters) is rated VX, where X goes from 0 up.


bunny cup

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