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2005 SPS National Interns
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Rebecca Keith Rebecca Keith
Drew University, NJ

Internship: SPS Outreach/ComPADRE
Online Journal
Week of July 29, 2006 Week of July 15, 2006 Week of July 1, 2006
Week of July 22, 2006 Week of July 8, 2006 Week of June 24, 2006
Week of July 29, 2005

It's come down to the last full week of work. Wednesday was the day of our final presentations and everyone's presentation went really well. The weekend before the day of presentations I started working on my presentation at GW on my laptop but I didn't get too far. I just made a couple of preliminary slides but had no way of transferring my work from my laptop to the computer at work. I couldn't access the internet with my laptop at GW and I didn't have any sort of memory device to save it on. I could have worked on the computers at GW but they're old and dusty. I figured transferring the data wasn't a big deal since I only had made a couple of slides, so I hand copied the information and used that to start my presentation at work.

On Monday, I worked on my presentation and I had the majority of slides done and decided to email myself the powerpoint slides, so I could access them at GW. Of course it happens that night that the internet doesn't work! Something was wrong with a router, I'm not exactly sure, but there was no way to fix it. A couple of us had planned on using the GW computers, so we were in a rut especially since we had a practice run the next day.

I decided to start over using my laptop and the slides I had from the weekend. I ran out to RadioShack and bought one of those memory sticks that you plug into the USB connection. So I saved my practically finished presentation to the memory stick and took it in the next morning.

So, we had multiple memory sticks to use to transfer our presentations to the computer in the conference room for the practice run. Morgan asked to borrow mine to transfer her presentation. So we tried to save her presentation onto my memory stick but something was wrong with her computer and it didn't work. Somehow her computer messed up the powerpoint slides and now I no longer had a presentation. Morgan had saved her presentation on her computer but I had forgotten to do that, and only had saved it on the memory stick. At this point in time it was about quarter to 12 and lunch and the practice run was scheduled for 12.

Luckily I had some slides on my computer and I added the slides I could remember from my head to my presentation. It's a good thing it was only a practice run and not the real thing.

So that evening I was working late on my presentation and I finished it and decided to save it on the memory stick (I had deleted all of the old files, so there weren't any corrupt files on the device). I was trying to save it and it was taking a really long time so I decided to cancel the save. When I canceled it, the computer froze and so I shut it down and restarted it. I tried to save again and I got an error message saying there was in input/output error with the memory device. So it was totally ruined. I managed to destroy the memory stick within 24 hrs.

Well. I had learned my lesson earlier in the day so my presentation was saved on my computer. I was able to use the department's memory stick to take my presentation home to work on it. As I said before everyone did a great job on their presentation.

So, I had a great time this summer. DC has started to grow on me, even the crazy humidity. I don't want to start getting mushy, so thanks everyone who made this internship an enjoyable and memorable one!


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Week of July 22, 2005

On Tuesday I traveled to the University of Maryland to visit the library to find more scholarship sources. I found some reference books listing scholarships and it was exactly what I was looking for but they weren't very helpful. Many of the scholarships were listed by organization and it would have taken too long to go through every scholarship in these books. However, I was able to find the urls of all the higher education websites for each state.

I then had a meeting with one of the guys programming the scholarship webpage and he showed us what had been developed so far. What I saw looked really promising and hopefully the page will be up and running soon.

On Wednesday, Mika, Matt and I went to one of the Senate buildings to have breakfast with Senator Harkin of Iowa. The Senator greeted and took a picture with everyone in the room. His staff also chatted with everyone that was there. This was my first time to one of these senator meetings and it was a positive experience, especially since we got free food.

On Thursday we went to see the Pentagon. That was cool. Later that evening we went to see a production called Crowns at the Arena Theater. It was fantastic. Before seeing the production we had dinner at a restaurant called Zaytinya. It's a mediterranean restaurant and so we had some interesting dishes. They were all really good.

On Friday Matt, Morgan and I left work early to go to NIST to meet Nobel Laureate Dr. William Phillips. We got to the meeting kinda late but how many times in your life do you get to meet a Nobel Prize winner? Friday night we went to Gary's house. I had the best soy burgers of my life. His family is really fun and I had a great time.

On Saturday I think I visited every museum in DC within 4 hrs. I don't think that's possible but I did go to a lot of museums. I left the dorm around 11 and got back at 3. Most of the time if there were too many people in a museum I would just leave, such as the Natural History and the Air and Space Museum. I think I went to 8 museums total.

Saturday night, Bridger, Lindsay, Matt and I went to see the Capitol Steps, a comedy club. They mostly made fun of political stuff. I don't really pay attention to politics so sometimes I had no idea what they were talking about but they were pretty funny.

So, that's enough boring details.

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Week of July 15, 2005

The weeks have gone by really fast, there are only 3 more weeks left.

On Tuesday I ran into a friend from Drew. She's working as an intern on Capital Hill and is staying at the dorm next door to mine. It was really strange seeing someone from school, and the fact that she's living right next door made it even stranger. I didn't think I would run in to anybody I knew.

On Wednesday the dorm where we are staying almost burned down. Well, not exactly. Someone left tupperware inside their oven and didn't tell their roommate and you can imagine what happened next. So the fire alarm went off and all of these people in uniforms started to appear out of nowhere. The street was blocked off once the fire trucks arrived. The firefighters unraveled the hose and even started raising the ladder until they realized that there wasn't any fire. The next day the fire alarm went off again because of a malfunction. Luckily I had left right before and didn't come back until 3 hrs later when they were letting everyone back in.

On Thursday we went to the gates millennium scholars exhibit at the Marriott hotel. It was held to encourage the scholars to attend graduate school. We had an exhibit for the students but we also spent the time networking with the other exhibitors. The hotel was really nice but the best part was the free stuff people were handing out.

And that's about it.

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Week of July 8, 2005

This week went by pretty fast because it was only a 4 day work week since we had the 4th of July off. I survived my first conference call on Thursday about the scholarship clearinghouse. We were able to layout some guidelines in terms of criteria and format for the website. I am now working on a letter to send out to scholarship providers asking them to post their info on our website as well as obtaining a more concise list of sources I need to contact. So if you're reading this and you know of any good science scholarships...

I also made some headway on the SOCKs project. I sent in a request to purchase the materials for the SOCKs we are making, hopefully the shipment arrives soon. I'm also working on a letter to send out to introduce the new SOCK for 2005. We want to make this one special since it is the World Year of Physics and we've been throwing around some ideas to include in the SOCKs. The cool thing is one of these ideas involved marshmallows! so I got to eat plenty of those. Unfortunately some pictures taken, I have to try to confiscate them.

Between this journal and the letters, that's enough writing for today.

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Week of July 1, 2005

So the 2nd week was pretty busy. I compiled a spreadsheet of the scholarships that I found on the internet, worked on some of the SOCK project and some other things I can't remember.

On Thursday we went to NIST, National Institute of Standards and Technology, or something similar to that, where Lindsay and Bridger work. We attended a seminar on semiconductors, the guy sitting next to me was falling asleep, but I thought it was pretty interesting. Then afterwards we ate lunch in the NIST cafeteria. I decided to play it safe and order a grilled cheese sandwich because you can't mess up a grilled cheese sandwich, right? Wrong. I didn't think it was possible but the person who made my sandwich probably never ate a grilled cheese sandwich in their life and that must explain everything. So I ended up throwing it away.
We got to visit one of NIST's clean rooms and had to put on all this protective gear which everyone looked pretty silly in. We saw the lab that Lindsay works in and Bridger gave us a presentation about his research. We met the invisible lady in the elevator and visited the NIST library. I also got a free postcard. Free stuff is always good.

Until next week...

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Week of June 24, 2005

My apologies to those I have kept in suspense, waiting for my journal entry...

So, the first week was great. Everyone has been really nice and helpful and my work has been very interesting. I guess in a way there are some benefits to starting 2 weeks later than everybody else, such as not getting lost on the metro! Since everyone else has had experience with the metro they've been able to steer me in the right direction.

This week I was able to go to a Senate Hearing, which wasn't too interesting, and CNSF. CNSF was cool because I got free stuff! and learned about projects that different organizations are working on.

Friday was the ACP Picnic and I helped out in the Rainbow Room. The Rainbow Room had all different sorts of light sources and when you put on a pair of Rainbow glasses you saw all these cool different spectras. Something you definitely have to see firsthand. I thought it went really well.

One of my main jobs this summer is to find scholarships for the scholarship clearinghouse that will be on the Nucleus website. So I've been pretty busy with that, trying to find applicable scholarships for the website. It's harder than I originally thought it would be but I did see some scholarships I could apply for... hmmmm. That's it for now.

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