Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brilliant students, Salzburg, and a virus.

Yay blogs! Everyone's adventures sound marvelously fantastic, and I eagerly await more updates from everyone. Also, I might just send out a cursory email to LMF because I think some members of the house have forgotten that the blog exists...

Anyhoww.. I last posted in Lübeck right before we left for Salem. We spent one week at Salem International College (an international boarding school). To avoid too much wordiness, I will bullet the events of this week:
  • Sunday afternoon/evening: we dine in the dining hall and awkwardly sit with Salem students who have no idea who we are (it's the first day back for the students for their summer exam term).
  • Wednesday: In the afternoon I go to Ueberlingen, the nearby town on the Bodensee. It's pretty. It also rains and I become soaked. I teach basics of E&M in the evening for day 2 of my workshop. Fun story: when I get to the Lorentz force, I ask them, "Have you guys done cross products? Can you tell me the direction of the resultant force for v x B?" One kid then replies: "OH YEAH! You use the left-hand rule!" ????? Sasha and I become very concerned. [picture: me + yin + jing + physics class]
  • Thursday: In the afternoon I go to Ueberlingen again, and it doesn't rain. I do the derivation of the B field out of the E field viewed from a moving reference frame for the third day of my workshop. The kids don't follow as well as I wish they did which I think is because I did a bad job teaching it this time. But oh well.
  • Friday: I get up at 5 to walk up the mountain to see the sunrise with Sasha. This school is absolutely gorgeous, btw. In the afternoon I teach part 2 of my gyroscopes presenation in the IB physics class. Again, the kids are bright. I love them. In the evening we go out to dinner with our school contact people and the physics teacher. That's fun. [picture = sunset]
  • During the course of the week we stay in Westend, one of their dorms. We befriend the boys that live upstairs, who all come from very interesting and diverse backgrounds. Fun stories abound from this acquaintance, but I don't think they're as funny when typed out so I'll just tell y'all later.
On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:30AM and got ready to leave. At 6:15 my taxi came (I called a taxi all by myself auf Deutsch!) and took me to the train station, where I then took three trains to Salzburg to meet up with Laura. I arrived around noon on Saturday and we stayed until 2PM on Sunday. In the 26 hours I was there, we did a lot of fun things:
  • walked around seeing the filming locations from The Sound of Music. We splashed in the fountain that Maria splashes in, ventured into Nonnberg Abbey, skipped around the hills and meadows singing SoM songs, found these creepy dwarf statues that Maria and the kids skip around, walked down the Do-Re-Mi steps, and heard the bells - they sound exactly the same as they do in the movie.
  • ate food. For lunch we picnicked in the Mirabel Gardens, and for dinner we had Indian food, and then we had ice cream - the two of us split a Mozartbecher (which we think means something like Mozart-beaker). On Sunday we had a nice German-style breakfast (which means bread and cheese/jam/butter/sausage) and for lunch we had salad and pizza bread. [picture: Laura + Mozartbecher]
  • watched the Sound of Music in our hostel at 8PM on Saturday. It was fun to see the movie after going to all those places, and the alternative would have been to go clubbing...
  • went up a mountain to see the city from high up. It's a nice view.
  • went shopping. Salzburg is the most touristy place I've been thus far - everywhere we went there were asian tourists taking pictures. This means there are lots of little touristy shops; I got Mozart Kugeln (they're a specialty here; truffles with praline and almond and stuffs) and also something for my sister.
At 1:51PM Sunday afternoon, Laura and I boarded the EC 112 train together. She got off at Munich and I continued on to Darmstadt, where I am currently located. I am reunited with my team here for a visit to Technische Universitaet Darmstadt, which reminds me strongly of MIT in that they refer to building by number, have a strong research focus, and have a student culture which is similar to MIT's if less pronounced. TUD has a very exciting program planned for us, but I confess I have not been able to take advantage of it because I have been taken somewhat violently ill by a massively inconvenient virus. This happened on Tuesday. However, I recovered sufficiently on Wednesday to visit the TUD airfield and the European Space Agency satellite control center which was SO COOL YOU CAN'T COMPREHEND IT (and I almost cried), and then to play tennis with some aerospace students who were nice enough to invite me to play with them. I like nice people.

That is all from me, and I know it's a long post, but I had 1.5 weeks to cover, and that's a lifetime (for some insects). Also because a lot happens in a week on this program; we only have a little bit of time in each place. Looking forward to more blogs from you guys! Love love love :)

1 comment:

  1. i look blonder. strange.

    one of my colleagues studied at TU Darmstadt. The one who says "the beauty of rheology."