What I've gained from this experience thus far: aligning a laser beam so that it hits a fiber optic cord that's ~1-2 microns in diameter is tedious, painful, and annoying. However, magneto-optical traps and ultracold plasmas are awesome. I am learning a lot about optics and atomic physics despite it only being week one, and I'm sure this lab will be fun.
This weekend I hope to work on my Whirling Time Warper review (I have the pics, I just have to type and format everything) and maybe even make a new comic! Hurray for no homework and more free time!