Home » Transistion Part II

Transistion Part II

Moving is such a funny thing. I was so busy for so long, the time just drifted by… yet all of sudden, over a month later, I find myself experiencing waves of something similar to homesickness. Really I can’t say that I miss one particular home, just moments in a different time of my life. Even as these unpleasant pangs of sadness hit, I am delighted with the new life that I’ve taken on.
I know when school gets back in session I’ll miss my amazing students in Baltimore and having my own classroom, but at the same time, I couldn’t be more excited about my new job. I’m working as an ITL GK-12 teaching fellow for the year. The program is sponsored by a NSF grant, which is based on engineering education. Myself and the other 5 fellows will be going into public school classrooms in a few towns near Boulder to teach engineering classes or projects. I’ve been assigned to middle school along with my coworker Juan. We will be going into 7th and 8th grade science classes and doing one 4-5 week long project each semester with each class. At the moment, we’ve found 4 great projects for the fall that we are currently testing out to make sure we can actually pull them off. So much fun! Here’s a few photos of our projects:
Unclogging an artery with a device constructed of straws, elastics, thin wire, a paper clip, and a pipe cleaner. The plaque must be pulled up and should not be pushed through where it would continue through the blood stream and possibly clog a smaller artery.
Our groundwater system after an industrial toxic spill:

and after it rained:

The next challenge is the cleanup…

Here I am pouring the water I polluted with dirt, organic matter, sand, dishsoap, baking soda, vinegar, lime juice, laundry detergant, food coloring, and more into a filter I built.
The results. A little better, although I wouldn’t recommend drinking. Impressively enough, the pH was changed to slightly more neutral after passing through the filter.

Our water desalination plant. The idea is that the salt water in the bottom is heated by the heat lamp above, evaporates and condenses on the plastic wrap lining the top. The water will fall into a slide and end up in the cup.

Below is our simple salt water circuit. After the going through the water desalination plant, the water will either cause the lightbulb to be dimmer or to not light at all.

Testing the pH of different substances with cabbage juice. Red is more
acidic and blue/green is more basic. The cabbage juice is purple to begin, and this color signals a more neutral pH.

Testing out which temperature water mixed with sugar and yeast will allow the yeast to thrive, and therefore respire, causing the balloon to rise.

Once an optimal temperature was decided, we tested the optimal yeast to sugar ratio. This information is key, because yeast will be used to clean a large-scale “toxic” sugar spill in an aquarium.

In addition to a new exciting and fun job, life has been good here in Colorado. The few things that were stressing me out have finally been settled. I was able to piece together a schedule for my classes, and my brother Chip and I signed a new lease. We are moving to an awesome house with a big yard in Gunbarrel, about 10 minutes outside of Boulder. We will be living with two of Chip’s friends, Rob, who works at the Boulder Country Club with Chip, and Max, who is about to begin his 6th year of undergrad.
I also have been skating so many new parks and spots, which has been so exciting. I have a new fantastic crew to skate with called the Trick Factory who have taken me in and shown so much already. For 4th of July weekend they took me camping out in Winter Park. It was my first real camping trip, complete with skating new parks, eating deep-fried pickles, soaking in sulfer hot springs, cooking on a campfire, and drinking cheap beer and whiskey until 6am. A few key photos:
Our first pit stop on the way out in Arvada. It didn’t take long at all before a motorcycle broke down and had to be left behind.
Our second stop: Berthound Pass.
A view from the pass.

Our campsite.

The sunset in town in Winter Park our first night.

A flower I found Saturday morning.

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Kremling, Colorado.

The whole crew outside in Kremling. We travelled here to have delicious deep-fried pickles and skate a park with the most beautiful view in all directions.

One final shot on the way home before we all split to go our separate ways.

There has been so many other things that have happened since I’ve been in Boulder… far too much to write about. One thing that’s awesome about living here is that I’ve been able to spend some time with my 3 1/2 year old cousin Coco. After driving out to Colorado with me, my mom and I took Coco out for an adventure to Nederland, a town about 30 minutes up in the mountains from Boulder.

Coco and my mom.

The creek running through Nederland.

Coco and I in the playground.

Coco, rock climbing by the spillway.

Coco and I.

In general, the last month has flown by. I have neglected this blog quite a bit, but my own adventures have taken precedence recently. So much so, actually, that I can’t even write about them all, because there has been far too many. Right now I’m happy with how everything is going. I love my new job, although I’m growing more and more nervous to begin my own graduate engineering classes. I’ve gotten back into yoga and have been able to hold my crow position and even hold my big toes together (for those that know what that means…) Although I stress about skating too much, I’ve recently landed
some heelflips up the euro in Nederland, landed a noseslide on a down ledge at the Boulder park, and landed 3 new tricks yesterday: switch 180, front shuvit, and nollie front shuvit.
Despite how happy I am here, I still feel sadness when I think of the beach in Rhode Island that I’m so far away from this summer and the life I left behind in Baltimore. I find it only appropriate to end this post with two photos from Baltimore that I waited until the last few weeks to take: