Twice a year, the Society of Physics Students (SPS) have a picnic at the RIT Observatory. Me and my roommate went this fall, and boy do I have stories to tell.
It's a gaggle of Galilean geeks! SPS Members socialize while waiting for the burgers to cook. Photo Credit: Kevin Granger
At this picnic, all physics students and professors get together and socialize, eat, and play games. During the fall, the professors typically bring food to the event (the students take care of the food during the spring). Events were kicked off with a game of soccer.
Physicists playing soccer at Galilean speeds. Dr. Richmond taught our team a lesson, to say the least. Photo Credit: Tim Shank, SPS President
Many folks were gathered around the grill, waiting eagerly for a burger or hot dog. There was also food inside, and I will eternally regret not finding out who made the delicious chocolate chip cookies. After eating for a bit, the main attraction was announced: the Piñata. Modeled after the infamous-among-physics-majors Mr. Man, the piñata was presented by the Society of Physics Students’ E-Board.The Society of Physics Students’ E-Board presents Mr. Man. And Mimics. Photo Credit: Kevin Granger
Participants were spun around 10 times before they ere allowed to swing at the target. Normal people would count “1, 2, 3, .... 10!” But no, we are not normal. We are physics majors. We counted “1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, ..... 3...” Or, if we were feeling math-y, “2pi, 4pi, 6pi .... 20pi!” The E-board took the first few shots at it. Then everyone else had a turn -- I even took a swing at it, literally!
Critical hit! Photo Credit: Nelson Silva
After what seemed like an eternity, a head wound finally began to develop on Mr. Man. We were tired of waiting for our candy, so Mr. Man’s creator, Dr. Hollenbeck, decides to send him back to where he came from. WHAM!
Mr. Man meets his maker ... now say that five times fast. Photo Credit: Tim Shank, SPS President.
At this event, we also were able to go inside the observatory itself, and learn about the telescopes. Dr. Richmond showed us how they worked, how they were connected to the computers inside the house, and much more.
Dr. Richmond teaches us first-years about how the observatory works. Photo Credit: Kevin Granger / Tim Shank
As the picnic wound down, we played a bit of ultimate frisbee, while Dr. Lindberg played a bit of guitar.
Dr. Lindberg strums and sings. Photo Credit: Tim Shank, SPS President.
I can’t wait until the spring picnic!
Kevin Granger is a first-year physics student who loves picnics, astronomy, soccer, and long walks on the beach. You should follow him on twitter here.