April 9, 2013
Summer Science Program, Socorro, NM 2010. I determined the orbit of an asteroid and spent my nights programming using vPython. Wait, it gets worse. Damn place was full of baby rattlesnakes and spiders, freak weather, terrible food... and spherical trigonometry. And I hung out with the most mature, creative, and smart high schoolers I'd ever seen. It wasn't really about the math or the science. It was about knowing that you could do something crazy like determine the orbit of an asteroid without even knowing calculus by dint of sheer hard work and ingenuity, and know that you had a crew of 35+ other people in the same boat, helping you every step of the way. I've never bonded with a group of people like that - first time in my life I felt a sense of community. If I could go back in time and do it again, I would hit the repeat button, creating an infinite loop.
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