Friday, July 18, 2014

Good Omens From the Beginning

Today was the day. My excitement level was over the chart when I woke up this morning, since I realized that our departure for Hershey Park was only one hour away! My enthusiasm was not the only thing that I woke up to, as I soon discovered a giant spider hanging out in my sink. I spent a good thirty-minutes staring at it and willing myself from bolting out of the room, before I finally dealt with it. Despite having my sink be contaminated by such an ugly creature, I remember reading something about how finding spiders in your room in the morning is actually a good omen. This lovely forecast of a wonderful time did stick with me throughout the day however, even after I ended up sending the spider to its inevitable death.

On our way to Hershey Park
At around 8:30 AM, our class boarded the bus and was ready to leave for Hershey Park. Kamal, some of my other classmates sitting around me, and Bill, made the long drive to the park a lot more bearable, as we discussed some issues such as politics and the abortion campaign. Bill also shared a bit more about his life, which was very interesting to listen to as well. I don't think that I have ever met someone as open-minded as him (Bill restores my faith in humanity). 

Finally arriving at the amusement park was amazing, although I suspect that everyone was sort of confused on how it was a little Christmas themed. Our first mission of the day was to go on one of the rides to collect data using our accelerometers. My group and I chose our ride to be a "thrill" rated roller coaster called the "Comet". I was feeling doubtful about the ride as we waited in line for twenty minutes for only a short two minute ride on the coaster.
Top: Comet Sign for the ride; Bottom: View of some geese
Anxiety started to creep in as soon we got onto the "Comet"partially because I was hoping that the data we collected on our first try was good enough, but mostly because I had never been on a roller coaster before. I had a great first experience on them, although the only thing that kept running through my mind was, "Is this roller coaster ride even legal?" since it was going at a much faster speed than I expected. It turned out that I was just being a wimp, but our data seemed to be decent enough, so we dropped off the accelerometer to Brian, and were allowed to have some free time at Hershey Park!
View from the Ferris Wheel

We met up with Jami's group to go have lunch at Craftbarn Kitchen, and searched the park for more rides to go on. Since I had never been on a ferris wheel or tried bumper cars before, my friends chose to do those activities together, but ended up getting so distracted by the arcades and games on our way to the ferris wheel. My experience with the bumper cars was a lot more interesting though, since I lost control of my car and unintentionally started doing donuts on the track, which also caused a traffic jam. Oops. 

Overall, my day at Hershey Park was just sublime and I couldn't think of any better reason to be there than to learn more physics with my class. The drive back to UPenn took longer than I expected, so I missed out on the program's Friday night movie activity. It was not a problem though, since I was given a lot of time to go to the gym again and fully make this a productive day. After that, I went back to my dorm to start packing a bit for tomorrow's trip to the beach in Ocean City!
The Quad is always filled with people hanging out and just sitting in the field close to 11:00 PM, so I decided to leave my dorm room and enjoy the warm weather outside while looking at the night sky. Gwennie soon joined me near the grass to write our blogs together, but I ended up getting distracted when Nate brought out a guitar from his room. I was super happy when he let me borrow it for a while, since I haven't been able to practice guitar since I came to the East Coast. I was lost in my own little world as I struck a few songs and successfully attempted horrible singing without making anyone's ears bleed. There were so many highlights and memories made today, and I can't wait to make more tomorrow!
On the Ferris Wheel!

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