I’ve taken two astronomy classes so far at Smith, and both of them have been intriguing in different ways. I remember last fall my professor encouraged us all to make plans to go to the eclipse because total solar eclipses are pretty rare! It so happens that my dad’s hometown was right on the path of totality, so after our trip to St. Louis we made the drive out to rural Missouri to the town of 2000 people.
I’m very interested in photography and this summer I’ve been working on my space photography. Armed with an old DSLR camera that I got five years ago, there’s only so much I can do without investing in some serious equipment and classes. I’m interested in doing that in the future, but I think it’s equally as fun to improvise and make my own solutions for what I want to do!
For the eclipse, I held a pair of solar glasses over my telephoto lens so that it would only pick up the light that the glasses let through. As I turned the lens to zoom in, I realized that, because the glasses weren’t big enough to cover the whole lens, I would get some overexposure on the edges of the image. Turns out, that looks pretty cool (see the top two photos). If I had thought to buy a real solar filter for my camera, it would have made the images more uniform and the process would have been easier, but this way was cheaper and more fun! And it’s important to say that I didn’t look through the viewfinder at the sun; even with the glasses on, it can hurt your eyes. I used my camera’s screen instead.
Astronomy is something that I’m hoping to continue during my time at Smith. The telescopes class seems to fill up very quickly so I didn’t make it in this year, but I’m very interested in seeing if I can get into another class in the future. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to work my interest in film into it somehow!
In January, I visited my friend in St. Louis. The drive was 5 hours each way, and the scenery was breathtaking- thick woods, snowy fields, farmland, frozen rivers. A few poems came to me as I drove. I couldn’t write them down, so I just said them out loud and recorded the audio on my phone. You may notice the cadence is a little different in these- I think saying it out loud versus just writing it on paper is a little different.
I love road trips, and I love the time I get to reflect while driving for hours.
Road Trip Poems
Nashville >> St. Louis >> Nashville
I. For Him #1
This is the drive
I would’ve been driving
If I was going to see you;
I’m thinking of you today
And your backwards hat
And your dark brown eyes
And that airplane ride
You touched my hand
But it didn’t mean a thing
And I wonder how many other girls
Are blowing up your phone
Cause when I reached out
It was like you didn’t care at all
And you came back and
I so badly wanted to say something
But I just couldn’t.
I felt this stubborn sense of pride
To preserve what I have deep inside
I’m not gonna be that girl.
II. For Him #2
Thinking about your black Jeep
Driving these same streets
Seeing all the guys in the coffee line
Seeing your face in their faces
Seeing your eyes in their eyes
Wondering who I would be
If I’d been making the drive
To see you these last few months
You never even gave me a chance
But then again- neither did I
I let it die
Before the first breath,
The first newborn cry
Let’s just exhale
Cause you will never be mine
And being in your hometown today-
I can see why.
III. Los Angeles
Los Angeles left its stain on me;
Sometimes I pretend that I don’t care
Sometimes I wear that vacant stare-
But I didn’t let it get the best of me.
IV. Winter Drive / Somewhere On The Border Of Illinois + Kentucky
Still a tiny bit sad about you
Almost one year later
I think of you holding me
And my body shudders
It’s been a long time
Since I felt something like
I felt with you
But eight months later
It’s like jagged glass
And the snow-covered fields outside
Do nothing for the pain
Except, the sun is stubborn
She beats down
They refuse to melt
My heart is melting
Aching river flowing
Sharp winter winds
Looking back centuries
To the time you wanted me
And I drive too fast
Skip every song
On this hours-long playlist
Always sifting through
Trying to find a song
That sings louder than you.
HEY HEY HEY so in exactly 20 days I will be seeing taylorswift in St. Louis!!!!! I will be driving 8 hours to see her with my parents and my bff chelsea.
Ballet is one of my all time loves and so is Taylor and her music, at the show I’ll be dressed in a full on tutu (pictured in above right corner). My bff Chelsea (not pictured, will be in the traditional cheerleading costume from Shake It Off), and MY PARENTS ARE GOING AS THE WILDEST DREAMS COUPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE SO FLIPPING CUTE IT’S FINE.
I will be in the Pit (right) with Chels ( lostloveisstilllove) and they will be in the seats somewhere (I will add that in when I remember exactly which seats).
Please come say hi if you see us, because trust me we will be causing a scene in the arena, probably.
also if you wouldn’t mind reblogging for Tay to see that would be so so so appreciated
A possible silverfish infestation was discovered at 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO, in the first shipment of newly-accessioned records, numbering 1200 cubic feet. These records were received from a military facility located in Florida, and were due to be shelved.
The key to catching this potential infestation was identifying the problem, and quickly contacting the correct people. Five Archives students were preparing the records to be moved into the storage area when they noticed the insects - white, multi-legged bugs that wriggled and moved fast. The students contacted their project lead who contacted representatives of the Archival and Preservation staff to check out the situation. On initial inspection, no insects were observed, but the students were instructed to use sticky tape and baggies for catching a live specimen if they were seen again. 15 minutes later, a live specimen was delivered to Preservation, still wiggling while stuck to the tape. It was identified as a silverfish (specifically Lepisma saccharina), which are known to be fond of items containing starch, such as paper. They damage paper by scraping the surface with their mandibles, leaving irregular-shaped holes. Through on-line research, it was decided the best approach to mitigate a silverfish infestation was to blast freeze these records – silverfish and their eggs prefer warm, moist environments typical of the Florida climates. Recommendations were made to the Preservation Officer and the Director at St. Louis for options on freezing the remaining 2900 cubic feet of records not yet shipped. Given the number of boxes, a government Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for emergency recovery services was enacted and a task order for blast freezing the boxes was created. This involved a series of emails and telephone calls from all NARA departments involved in order to invoke the contract and select Polygon Group (Illinois), a provider with the means necessary for the blast freezing process. By the end of the next day, the order was placed and the boxes were pulled from the shelves, re-palletized, and shrink-wrapped for shipping. The following morning, the records were loaded on a truck and left St. Louis, at approximately 11 a.m.
The clear and continual communication between all parties was crucial in getting this potential infestation under control quickly. Instead of ignoring the insects, the archival students took the initiative to contact someone who knew the next step to take. As a result, these records will be properly treated, and our building will remain pest free.