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A compilation of stories, telescopes, internship resources, and other things radio astronomy.

Graduate School: Applying, Living, Thesising

The Professional Student is a blog about everything grad school from the application process to my experiences living as a grad student, being a parent in grad school, and researching the role of chemistry in the evolution of our universe.

Road Trip to Grad School: Day 6

Olivia Wilkins

Total distance day 6: 225.1 miles
Total distance RT2GS: 2921.2 miles

We made it! Greetings from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Pasadena. We don't have internet in our apartment yet, so we opted for a Southern California establishent that Alex and I discovered when we were in Köln, of all places!

Over the next week, we'll be setting up our apartment (two bedrooms AND two bathrooms? We're in heaven!) before I begin my graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

This morning, we stopped at Starbucks on our way out of town so I could catch you up on our day 5 RT2GS adventures. This was after we decided to be responsible adults and stop for some apartment essentials (cough, toilet paper, cough... that and some dish soap so we can start setting up our kitchen... WHICH HAS A DISHWASHER!!!).

Ahem.... (we're kinda freaking out about our apartment situation...) moving on....

In Blythe, we topped of our gas tank, which was an adventure in itself. We went to a Valero in the middle of roads of dust and shaggy palm trees. There were four gas pumps, all of which were occupied when we arrived. Only one car present was actually pumping gas. After about five minutes, one of the cars finally left. I backed the car up to pull next to the pump... and it was out of service. A second pump opened up, but before I could turn the car around to get it, a pick-up truck pulled in. THE DRIVER WAS ONLY THERE TO BUY BEER. He didn't even get gas. Someone came out to a third car. YES! Finally! And... the person just started pumping gas, after we've been waiting for almost ten minutes. Finally, the fourth guy comes out to his car. But his passenger gets out to walk to the restroom around the corner. After about two minutes, he points to me and then to the pump. I nod, and he pulls forward. Finally, for real this time. I felt like this could have been on Seinfeld.

After Blythe, we traveled through the desert, which we're pretty sure went on forever, until we reached Indio, California, about halfway to Pasadena. There, we grabbed some lunch before heading on our way.

We—even Günther—were grinning ear-to-ear once Pasadena appeared on the road signs.

After about 3.5 hours of driving, we finally made it, checked in, and saw our apartment. Tomorrow, it is off to IKEA for some furniture.

It is so good to be (in our new, soon-to-be) home.