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2003 SPS National Interns
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Philip Pedigo Philip Pedigo
Sam Houston State University, TX

Internship: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Online Journal
Week of August 6, 2006 Week of July 18, 2006 Week of June 27, 2006
Week of August 1, 2006 Week of July 11, 2006 Week of June 20, 2006
Week of July 25, 2006 Week of July 4, 2006 Week of June 13, 2006
Date: August 6, 2003

Week Nine/Final Entry

Trying to summarize this great summer is not an easy task. I think that I went above and beyond my goals and expectations here in Washington D.C. My project is actually not complete but I am taking my entire folder home and will be able to finish within the month.

As for the future is concerned, my goal is to attend the AGU meeting in San Francisco during the month of December. That will continue my sense of accomplishment and be beneficial for SPS and AGU as well. Not only will this give me an incentive to really make this CD-ROM look nicer but it will also be a great tool for teachers to stay connected to AGU. I also have a goal to complete a marathon before next summer. I have really jumped on the opportunity to jog everyday. One of my friends here said that he wished he could travel to another city where he doesn’t know anyone and just run everyday like I did and I told him that no matter where you go, there you are. I know that this city helps because the scenery is great but the motivation still comes from within.

I wanted to take a second and share with you a story about my SPS chapter at Sam Houston State University. Last semester there was a rumor that our Physics department was going to be eliminated based on low graduation numbers. This not only enraged me but several other Physics majors at my school. We realized that we have to do something in order for us to save the department. If I receive a degree in Physics at Sam and a few years later there is no physics department, then that will dramatically decrease the value of my degree. I have worked way to hard for way to long to have such a small return. Two SPS officers and I diligently ran around campus and started a petition. We were able to get 10 percent of the students to agree that it is a bad idea within 3 days. That, in it self shows dedication. We also explained that every semester we travel to a local high school or junior high and put on dynamic physics and chemistry demonstrations to spark the interest of our young generation to come to Sam Houston State University. This shows that we are trying to make our department larger and that there is some potential and that Physics should not be chunked out the window. We brought the petition and a formal statement to the President and saved the department.

I encourage others to stay active in their Society of Physics Students chapter. It is not only a great organization but also an excellent way to meet others and to give back to the Physics community. SPS RULES!!!

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Date: August 1, 2003

Week Eight

Today is the last day that I will see my mentor, Dr. Jill Karsten. She will be out of the office for all next week and I should be in Houston on Thursday. I am happy with my contribution here at AGU. I really feel that my time here was spent wisely. They say that what you put in is what you get out and I put in quite a bit, both physically with my daily jog and mentally. Yesterday I rested all day and ate a lot of food as to get really charged up. I am going to try another 15 mile run. I did one about a month ago and I think I can do it today. A few of my friends are throwing a party for me on Saturday to say goodbye. I have met quite a few people in this town and several want to come down to Houston and visit me some time.

My department all went out for lunch today at a really nice Latin Restaurant. It was very nice. I got the Chiles Rellonoes (sp?). It was a nice way to say goodbye to my co-workers. I am really going to miss this place. I think the main think that I will miss is the weekly structure. My schedule is more predictable, as where back home I will be working at Chili’s until late at night, going to school, and teaching Physics Labs. Anyway, it’s been educational. I will never forget this experience. If you are a prospective intern reading these journals, I urge you to spend the summer in DC!

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Date: July 25, 2003

Week Seven

Well Atlantic City was pretty fun. I gambled forever and still didn’t lose too much money. I’ll leave it up to your imagination how much I lose. It was really tough trying to stay awake all night on Friday, but when we go the hotel room, I was sawing logs in no time. That city is really dirty. It is cool to say that I have been to Atlantic City but I probably will not go back.

Last week I really got some progress done on my project. I am really seeing results now and it is making me excited. Though I am having a blast, I am ready to go home now. I think this is the only time in my life that I am actually home sick. Do you remember my friend from back home, Amanda. Well she is more than a friend now. She is my girlfriend. I think she is adding to my homesickness.

This weekend I am going to do absolutely nothing. This is definitely a rest weekend. So I am sorry if next week there is not much to talk about. I’m going to get back to work now so I’ll chat next week, until then.

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Date: July 18, 2003

Week Six

Last weekend, my mother, her aunt Louise, and my stepfather came to see me. He actually had business here in town and it just so happened that I was here as well. We went to Williamsburg, Virginia and say all the colonial aspects of the town. It was really nice. Later on Saturday night we ate at a fancy restaurant where Marcel Ducheaux (sorry about the spelling but he is a famous cook who often goes on Good Morning America) cooks. I got some nice new running shoes at the Nike factory outlet and I am pumped up every time I go running now.

Monday night after work, I walked to the hotel where my mother was staying and we chatted for a while then we ate at Legal Seafood. Man that place is for real good. I had them drop me off at my place so I could get ready for the film festival at the mall area. A couple of interns and I went to see “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof”. That was so much fun. I brought a blanket for us to all sit on. There were a lot of people.

These weeks are flying by very fast. Its like I don’t have enough time in the week to accomplish what my mind has set out to do. Of course I have to deal with the computer services a lot and that alone is a job in it’s self but I still feel that there could be more accomplished. I guess this job has taught me a little patience. I hope to have my project completed before I leave but if it is pretty or not is entirely up in the air.

Our mid term presentations were today and I think I did okay. Not as dynamic as the girls project and definitely not as packed with technical information like Justin, but I am definitely contributing to the earth science community and I feel that my presentation portrayed that.

After the presentations I hosted a tour of AGU, which ended up being a hit. I had a few speakers from differed organizations throughout the AGU building to come and talk about what goes on there. It was very informative as to what goes on behind the scenes of science.

Well I am off to Atlantic City now. I am going with eight other guys that I met here in DC. We are going to stay up all night tonight (Friday) and then crash at the hotel room at noon on Saturday. This way we will save about sixty bucks each. Man we are going to have a blast. I will fill you in on all the details next week.

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Date: July 11, 2003

Week Five

This city never ceases to amaze me. The fourth of July celebration was just breathtaking. As I had mentioned last week, my friend Amanda came down on the third to see me for the weekend. We just had the greatest time together. I showed her all the sites via jogging. She is an avid runner like myself. We say a few IMAX shows at the museums and of course saw the fireworks. We packed a blanket and some sandwiches and just sat on the grass in the mall in the most perfect spot. I think those fireworks were the most spectacular ones in the nation, probably because they are the ones that our president saw.

I took her to a Baltimore Orioles game on the 5th and that was so relaxing. We got the cheep nine dollar seats way up high but it was nicer up there we still got to see who was playing but still had a sense of peacefulness. Of course we ate a huge artery clogging hot dog and didn’t care. I can easily say that this was one of the best weekends I have ever had. I knew coming into this internship that is was going to be what I made of it and that’s exactly what I did. I made the best of a great situation.

As far as my work is going, I’m making fairly good headway. I am having a little trouble dealing with the computer services department but everything is all evening out. I could feel a little more pep in my step after such a great weekend.

So another week is coming to a close and just over half way through our stay here in good old Washington. I still have been running everyday, well maybe five days a week and I can go longer now. Yesterday I ran thirteen miles! I hope to be in marathon shape by February and maybe sooner. I don’t know if I have mentioned my two goals I have for myself this summer but I wanted to run every day and make a lasting impression with SPS and AGU and I feel that I am doing those things.


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Date: July 4, 2003

Week Four

The internship is now halfway over. Wow, I really have accomplished a lot. Not only am I working hard at work and being productive (Productive…one of my favorite words) at AGU, but also I have really tapped into the social pipeline of this densely populated city. I was recently invited to take a road trip with eight other guys to Atlantic City on the 18th of July so that will be cool. I think this will be another chance to enjoy my time here.

My friend Amanda has planed to visit me from Houston on this long forth of July weekend and we already have a jam-packed trip planned. Wait until next week and I’ll fill you all in on the details.

As far as my job is concerned, I am really getting my feet wet and making some ground with my project. I’ve had my nose in a lot of technical manuals learning in more detail about html code and Adobe Acrobat. It is exciting because I can see a lot of productivity in my work. The first few weeks I was just reading and reading, every day. I wanted to see some action. Now I am not afraid to ask what might seem to be a stupid question because I know the sooner I know, the sooner I find out. I find myself coming in earlier and leaving later every day because I can’t wait to see the final product.

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Date: June 27, 2003

Week Three

This has been a very smooth week for me. I am way ahead of schedule on my project and am able to add a little of my own touch. Next week I have to learn html code, which looks to be lots of fun. This is what I came here for, to learn new stuff. At the rate that I am going I just may finish the whole thing a few weeks early.

This city gets better every week. I am always meeting new people and hanging out late at night. I am really enjoying this experience to the fullest. My philosophy in life is that you must PLAY hard and WORK hard. Otherwise you don’t have a balanced perspective. Furthermore, I am jogging more and more everyday. Though I did hurt my knee playing basketball with a few locals, I am trying to go easy on my knee and saving myself for when I jog.

The Tour de France is starting in a week and I am excited. Lance Armstrong is going for his fifth victory and I bought a T.V. just so I can see it. He is from Austin, Texas. Go Texans!

Got to go back to work. Until next time…cheers.

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Date: June 20, 2003

Week Two

So its been two weeks now and I am still reading diligently on the
material. My assignment is to read and categorize all the old Earth in Space magazines and consolidate them onto a CD ROM for K-12 students to use a a resource in their classroom. I hope this will encourage others to sway to wards the sciences when they choose a career. This is my way of giving back to the field of study that has given me so much. I love Physics. Yea I'm a geek but so what. Anyway, sometime next week I hope to have all the articles read and categorized so that I can begin to figure out how to compile all of this information.

It's friday again and I hope we can have as much fun as we did last friday. Last friday, Stacey, Ashley, three of Ashley's friends, and I went to Polyesters. It was so fun, especially with five other girls (Ha Ha).

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Date: June 13, 2003

First Week

This week has been quite an eye opener. Staying here in the nation's capital is an awesome way to spend the summer. I got here on Saturday the 7th and took the weekend to get a little acclimated. Every morning
I take the time to run down to the Lincoln Memorial and then down to the Capital building and back and this is just an awesome way to get the feel for the city.

The other interns are a lot of fun and we just love it here. Currently I am interning under Dr. Jill Karsten, here at the American Geophysical Union. This week has been a little slow due to the diversity conference put on by Dr. Karsten. This was a very effective and interesting event to attend. It lasted three days and hopefully made an impact on the science community as far as diversity is concerned.

So its friday now and I am just getting started on my assignment here at AGU. I am consolidating all of the issues of Earth and Space magazine on a series of PDF files for others to access easily. Anyway, this weekend is going to be a lot of fun because we are all going out for a night on the town. Later.

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