2010-12-21 16:11:40.000 – Jennifer Finn,  Summit Intern

The Bad Weather Shift

Well, call me a maple tree, ’cause this one is going to be sappy.

Out of all the days of the week, Tuesday is, in my humble opinion, the least significant. Monday is, well, Monday. Wednesday marks the halfway point of the week. Thursday means that Friday is just around the corner. Friday is the end of the week, and the weekend is just within reach. And, of course, Saturday and Sunday are days to sit back and relax. So where does Tuesday fit in?

Despite it not being my most favorite day of the week, this Tuesday is pretty significant. Not only was there a total lunar eclipse of the moon last night (which, sadly, was blocked from view by fog), it also marks the Winter Solstice as well as the end of my time here on the Rockpile. It seems like a strange coincidence that the other two events coincide with the end of what has been a truly amazing experience. This alignment hasn’t occurred since 1638, so that has to have some meaning, right?

As silly as it may be, I have an interest in astrology. In fact, there has rarely been a morning since I started where Stacey, Kristin and I haven’t read all our horoscopes out loud…and maybe even read them to Mike and Steve while they begrudgingly listened. With all the talk about 2012 and the ‘end of the world’, many are lead to believe that these two events lining up are a bad omen of events to come. Maybe it’s me and my blind optimism, but I like to think it’s a sign of good things to come. The eclipse and the solstice both signify the end of one cycle and the birth of a new. In my what seems like never-ending search for a ‘real job’, I can’t help but hope that it means things will take a turn for the better soon. This goes not just for myself, but for all recent college grads that are stuck in the same unemployed boat. Even if it was only a few short months, I was fortunate enough to be able to intern at the Obs and gain experience that is unmatched and I know will be valuable in the future.

I have learned more in four months than I could possibly say I learned in four years of college in terms of forecasting and other aspects of meteorology. It’s one thing reading a few chapters in a book, taking some notes, then telling your professor your learned something by answering a bunch of questions. But actually being able to apply what you know and see weather in action as opposed to just seeing it on paper or watching a video is a whole different ballgame. I’ve also had the opportunity to work on a number of other skills. As said before, you become a jack of all trades. One such skill was shoveling. I unfortunately let that one slip to my Dad, and I know he’ll be taking full advantage of that when we get snow at home. My outdoor winter skills in general are also now nearly impeccable, and I’m glad I got to use them one last time earlier today going outside with Kristin today for one last trip to the precipitation can (the before and after were documented).

So I leave here to go back to serving fajitas at minimum wage and begin studying for the dreaded GRE’s with nothing but fond memories of an internship I know I won’t forget. I couldn’t imagine a better crew to have worked with, and I thank them for making this experience as great as it was. Stacey, Steve, Kristin and Mike have been nothing but helpful since day one and were always willing to share what they know. Of course, I can’t forget Marty. Though we’ve had a love-hate relationship, I know he’ll miss me (even if it’s just because I give him treats). It’s also been great finally working with people who, when you tell them someday you’d like to go out West and chase tornadoes, they get it instead of look at you like you’re nuts (well, Steve still might considering the amount of girly music we’ve subjected him to). Not only have they been coworkers, but friends as well, which makes all the difference when you’re working in the kind of environment the Observatory presents itself with. I wish them all nothing but the best!


Jennifer Finn,  Summit Intern

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