Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ice Skating in Ninety Degree Weather

Today was an excellent day. Although we didn’t have much planned, we were all very excited about today because we would get to go ice skating. We started today by going to a restaurant/bakery called Au Bon Pain. Most of us got different food and we were all very satisfied by our various baked goods. I got a bagel and croissant, both of which were baked to perfection. We did not have much time to eat though because we had to be back at the quad by 11:00 so we could meet our group to head to the ice rink. We met with our peers in the quad and boarded the bus on time. We were New Jersey bound.

The drive was surprisingly short, which was pleasant after yesterday’s two and a half hour drives between D.C. and Philly. We only had to drive for about fifty minutes, give or take, to get to the rink. Normally, the rink is not open before 12:30, but we were about half an hour early and they let us in anyway. We all got our skates and hit the ice fairly quickly. I had only been ice skating once before, and that was three years ago, so I expected it to take a while to get back into the swing of things. However, after going skating around the edge of the rink for only about ten minutes I was doing well. This was Onur’s and Abheek’s first ice skating outing, so we showed them the ropes and they picked it up rather quickly. The RC’s that accompanied us to the rink were both very experienced skaters and were very impressive. One of them (his name escapes me at the moment) used to do speed skating in college, and it showed today through the elegance with which he skated. We skated for about two and a half hours, but the time seemed to fly by. Skating was my favorite part of the day because I was able to do something I would not normally be able to do at home with great friends. I even decided to be daring and pull out my camera while on the ice to snap some pictures of my friends skating so I could get some pictures for the blog.

We decided to visit the hockey shop before got violent.

Abheek and Julia seem to be speeding based on the blur.

Alison and Fred skate towards the edge for a break.

Brian gracefully glides past...

We got back to Philly at about 4:00 and went to get a late lunch at Qdoba, a Mexican restaurant similar to Chipotle. Most of my friends were transfixed on the TV in the corner of the restaurant because the FIFA Women’s World Cup was playing and they were all anxious to see who would win, Japan or the US. We walked around campus for a while after that, visiting a CVS and a small bookstore, before returning to the dorms.

Upon our return to the dorms, we realized that it was getting late. Despite having a late lunch, we decided to grab dinner only a few hours later because we wanted to make sure we weren’t hungry later that evening. We made a quick trip to the commons and ate dinner. When we got back we decided to toss around Richard’s aerobee (which is a Frisbee with a hole in the middle for better aerodynamics). I plan to ask Bill about why an aerobee flies so much better than a regular Frisbee tomorrow in class. Throwing the aerobee made me reminiscent of my time at Cornell because Andrew Woo and I were fond of this activity ourselves. After about an hour of throwing and chasing the disk, we decided to retire for the evening. The remainder of our time was spent in the dorms hanging out and talking. We even showed each other our home towns and schools via Google Maps. Eventually, we all separated again and our day came to a close.

Today was an enjoyable day. It feels like the weekend flew by. It is funny to think that we have to go to class tomorrow when it feels like the weekend just began. I am perfectly ok with this though, because tomorrow we get to organize our data from Friday’s lab in the Logger Pro data recording software. We also get to continue our experimentation with Newton’s Law of Cooling. I’ve never looked forward to any class as much as I have with the Experimental Physics Academy. I love it because I’m surrounded by peers that share my academic interests and curiosity, and because I am getting the chance to research science that I would never get the chance to do otherwise in high school. On that note, I have to get ready for class tomorrow. I’m signing off for now.

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