Category Archives: MST@MSU

MST@MSU | Day 4

Running and breakfast went smoothly, as per usual. The only problems I’ve had is people being late, but even then it’s usually only a minute max. Nothing really to fret about, unless it keeps happening continuously. Once again, no French Roast, but they did have french vanilla creamer, which was close enough for my wants. I felt normal, so I didn’t need the coffee right away, but I knew I would later.

For my first class, I had the morning off. I walked back to my apartment to grab a few things that I needed, then walked back. I got back around 0905, just after first classes started, so I unpacked all of my things and grabbed my towel to take another shower (and shave). Once I got to the bathroom, I saw that they were locked for cleaning, so I went back to my room to take a nap, setting my alarm first. I woke up, dressed, and made my way to the lobby to wait for the kids to show up from their classes for lunch. Mel also showed me a cool idea that we’re doing next week as part of “RA Appreciation Week,” and I’m really excited for that.

After lunch, I took the kids to Physics so that I could take a few photos and sit in on the lab, just to watch a few kids that might have been trouble. Things went fine, and I just helped out a few groups and walked around the lab, reminding kids of the time and making sure groups weren’t just one kid working and the rest watching.

I took Basketball again today, and jumped in on a few drills and demonstrations to help out. I also watched one of the groups (since the twelve had split into two) to help them with left-handed skills while coach was busy with the other group. He was a good addition to the instruction staff for MST, so hopefully he returns for future years. On the way back to Shaw, I had to confiscate three phones since they weren’t supposed to be out while we were walking back to the dorm. Hopefully they’ll learn for next time.

We went to dinner early due to a Planetarium visit later in the night, but it was still packed and with only one station open. I didn’t eat until late in the dinner time, so I rushed it down and went back out for color groups prior to the planetarium. And boy was it cool! We had an extended show for MST, plus got to see the behind-the-scenes workings of the planetarium after the show. Then, I went to SOAR! Mazur and I walked the Astronomy and Nuclear Astrophysics kids over to BPS, where they watched a quick slideshow before walking down to the SOAR observing room. Thankfully, it wasn’t cloudy in Chile, so we got to see the image that the researcher had queued up to image, which was nice.

We walked the kids back to Shaw, and I sat in the caf helping a few students with their homework while talking with the other RAs and Mel. I didn’t get a chance to play any games, although I did notice that Hive and Abalone (courtesy of Mazur) were big hits. I want to try to get another game of Abalone in this week, but if I don’t I still have another week plus whenever Mazur and I hang out after. I’ll probably try to get some of the other RAs to play, and I’m sure that Troy would like those games too, so we’ll see.

MST@MSU | Day 3

Today started off the same: running in the morning. I woke up, went downstairs, and waited for 0630 to roll around before taking the kids outside. Troy wasn’t going to be there, so I was in charge of all of them. I did two laps, then waited for some of the other kids to finish. One kid did a hill workout on the far end of the route and didn’t return until right around 0700, so we briefly talked about making sure that he either informed me beforehand or simply did fartleks during the morning run.

All of my color group calls went almost completely flawless, with the exception of dinner, with the inclusion of the early morning breakfast one. I ate a quick meal before wrangling up the kids for Nuclear Astrophysics and the tour of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL). I really like the tour, and we saw a few more new things as compared to last year, so I was glad that I was able to do it twice today.

Following the tour, we had the camp picture out back before lunch, which went relatively smoothly. Lunch was fine as well, then I grabbed the Astronomy kids for their tour of the Cyclotron, which also went relatively well. By that point, I was returning back to normalcy, but I did start thinking about having a job at the Cyclotron (slash applying to jobs at the Cyclotron) post-graduation alongside grad school, just in case.

I took the students to Flash II today, which was nice since I simply sat in the back of a dark, air-conditioned room and looked up some stuff on the computer. Easy, plus I got to relax for a little bit. I was really looking forward to eating tonight, though, but unfortunately Shaw Hall saw it fit to only have one station open for three camps at dinner. I grabbed two cookies and some Poweraid while I waited twenty-some minutes for the monstrous line (which stretched back almost to the entrance) to shorten up. I did have a popsicle for dessert, so that kind of made up for it.

Then, the entire camp went to the pool. Color groups, walking across campus, then some cool, refreshing water to lounge in was great! We cheered on the kids as they jumped off the diving boards, plus it also gave us a good chance to test our name knowledge. The time went by quickly, but it was really nice. On the walk back, almost all of Green was just bonding well! I was and am so happy that my group is getting along, plus they have been sitting with kids from the group at meals sometimes even when we don’t say it.

We had study time in the cafeteria tonight. I played Abalone with one of the kids before helping another with his Physics homework, as well as gave him some tips on understanding the material more (or actually knowing what the material was), then signed off on his lab report. I had to sign a few others, but they all sounded great, so it wasn’t bad. We did room checks then went upstairs for our meeting, which happened to be accompanied by Tim (a CSI RA) and his friend along with some slushies for us. Yes!

That was it. Only one room was unlocked when we checked, which was great. We also discussed a few things to try to improve secret pals since they can’t use the mailboxes, plus some things for RA appreciation week next week, plus a few other random things. Everything looks good from my view, so I’m a happy employed camper.

MST@MSU | Day 2

Today was the first full day of the camp, with the campers all settled in and a full set of classes on the agenda. Things got off to an early start for me, with waking up around 0615 to get ready to run. I changed, went to the Lobby, and met with Troy while the kids either filtered in to run or were already waiting. We had a pretty good turn-out–somewhere around fifteen or twenty kids–which was really nice. I did two laps, then took the kids in while Troy waited for the last three to finish up.

Then came the first breakfast, but without the French Roast coffee (so I had Spartan Spirit). I was feeling a little sub-par following the run, so I made sure not to overdo it at breakfast, which I thankfully didn’t. I then took the Mathematical Explorations kids to their class, and we were there ten minutes early. No matter, since I’ll just push back our departure time in the future, or try to walk a little slower. The class was really cool, and the two instructors were really engaging throughout the class. I talked briefly with one of them while the kids were working at random times, which was cool.

Once the class was over, I walked them back to Shaw for lunch and told them to sit with their classmates from the morning. I hung out with a few of them, but for the most part I just ate food (and made the poor choice of dipping a brownie in caf-ranch), just to get through the day. No coffee this time, but I know that probably by week’s end that will happen. After a little free time, I took the kids to Astronomy and again arrived about ten minutes early.

That class was good, with just a minor hiccup with one of their camp-long homework assignments, but it should otherwise go fine. We did the lunar surface survival activity, and I scored a 26 as the lowest in the class. Didn’t really do as well as I though, but about four to six of those points were due to my choices making a little more sense, in my mind (a space heater would be much more mass to lug across the surface than a matchbox, and any instances where it could be used could also easily be avoided).

After class, I took the Bsketball special clinic over to IM East. This year, there are twelve kids in it, so a little more to handle on the courts. I walked around, taking a few pictures and acting as a second disciplinary for some of the troublesome kids, while they went through drills. I also jumped in on the lightning games, getting knocked out early in the first and coming in second in the second. After that, it was free shoot, so I took a handful of free throws before watching the scrimmage that a few of the kids had organized, just to make sure it didn’t get out of hand.

I brought them back to Shaw for a little free time before dinner. I was outside with Steph, since I was supposed to be watching the basketball court, but no one was there until I asked one girl that had come outside. I rebounded and chatted while she went through a couple drills to stay on top of her game, then walked her back inside for dinner. We sat in color groups, and I think I ate quite a lot, but sped it up at the end so I could help Mazur finish up the scavenger hunt, even though he did all of the work. Yes, I felt bad that I didn’t really do anything for it, but I just ran out of time before I could. Sorry Mazur! I got you next time!

After dinner was the scavenger hunt. After last year’s, I was just hoping that this would be good, which I felt that it would be. We didn’t have to break up the color groups, and all of the RAs just switched around with which one they’d be taking; I was with Mazur’s orange. My team got to quite a few of the correct places, a handful of wrong ones, then almost missed the easy answer Shaw Hall before they disappeared when I was talking to Troy and Mel. Once I did find them, some mis-communication between myself, the other counselors, and the kids, there was a little confusion about the end of the hunt, but we laughed it off eventually.

After a quick meeting, I went with Mazur to the computer lab, signed on a few kids that still didn’t have their ideas set, then talked with Mazur about the fourth/fifth dimension and the scavenger hunt. I also noticed the Astronomy homework error, which I’ll be looking into once I’m done here. Since we held the kids there a little longer, we delayed room checks by fifteen minutes before having our end-of-day meeting. I’m happy to say that I’ll be touring the Cyclotron twice tomorrow!