Archive for July 22nd, 2008


The cliffs overlooking Dillon Beach

The cliffs overlooking Dillon Beach

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”

When Mark Twain said this he was absolutely right. 

I normally live about thirty minutes inland from the beach in Sonoma County, I spent last week at Dillon Beach at a family owned beach cabin. The week before it was between 90 and 100 degrees outside with the skies white from smoke (we had fires south, east and west of us). So we went to the beach to get away from it all.

The first day the afternoon had sun once the fog burned off. The second day we had sun for about three hours as the sun set. There was no sun the third day.

Sitting inside I could see families unload from their cars, wrap themselves in wind snapped towels and walk stubbornly down to the beach. They were going to have fun dammit. Later in the day the parents would return looking fairly unsatisfied with their California beach experience. The children seemed happy enough.

Despite the bad weather I was happy to be at the beach. Well when I say “at the beach” I mean sitting inside overlooking the beach with a sofa and a book. The best thing about the beach house I stay in is that there is no internet, no television and no cell phone signal. There cannot be more then four grounded plugs. I suppose there is a radio; I doubt it works. 

I am going back in September, the weekend before I return to school. Once back I will be on the beach once more. Or at least admiring it from the library.


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Physics Career


An experimental linear collider.

An experimental linear collider.

After I achieve my Bachelor of Science degree from UCSB I want to go into graduate school. The problem I am running into is that I have no real research experience. While no physics PhD program says that they require research experience, but I feel that it is actually required. I do not see this as unfair, in fact it makes a lot of sense. Why would a department accept someone into a research position if they have never done research before?

I have excuses as to why I have not done any research experience. My first two years I did not feel I was able to do so, my third year I was at Edinburgh University where undergraduates do not do research. Last summer I applied to six or so Research Experience for Undergraduates programs and I was accepted into none of them.

Now I am trying to obtain a research position with a professor at my school for next fall. I am finding it difficult to e-mail a professor I have never met and ask for a job working for them. Hopefully I will get one. If not then I use the extra time to work on my graduate school applications and studying for GREs (though likely I will use the time to take pictures instead).

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