So I believe I mentioned a sash, and promised a forthcoming explanation...Well, here it is. Gratifying what must be overwhelming curiosity, I'm sure.
I joined the American Chemical Society my junior year of college, and since then I have received newsletters via email. Generally there's not much that actually pertains to me, but one article in particular caught my eye. It described a new initiative called Chemistry Ambassadors that is aimed at providing ACS members with resources to help them with science outreach. Science outreach is very important to me. At USC, I was a member of Carolina Science Outreach, an organization started by some friends of mine, that works to increase interest in science and science education through presentations on a variety of topics for all ages, but especially to students. This is an interest I hope to pursue in France as well. Everyone needs more science. Science too often gets placed on a pedestal as somehow inaccessible to all but the best (and nerdiest) students. Too many students push science away as too difficult or too boring. I want more people to see science the way I do: fun and exciting, but more importantly, I want more people to feel that science is just as within their reach as any of the other liberal arts. However, I digress.
Chemistry Ambassadors. After exploring both their website and their facebook page extensively, I noticed many pictures of people wearing a bright yellow sash. They even have a photo album dedicated to "Where in the World is the Sash Today?" Well, of course, I had to have one. I couldn't resist, and thus wrote an email asking as to how one went about getting a sash. I had looked all over the website and even the ACS store, but couldn't find anything. And then I found out it was free! The woman who responded just asked me to send her an address and a quantity. A quantity? I thought. I just wanted one... So I asked for three: one for myself, and two for Carolina Science Outreach to use however they see fit. Thus I go off to France with a sash, ready for whatever science outreach opportunities await or at least for a series of silly pictures.
This is me, wearing my beautiful sash, in front of my high school. Expect many similar photos to follow. :)