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Well here it is, my final journal submission for the summer. I'll be honest, it seems like just last week I was sitting at the computer in the lobby of a La Quinta in Llano, TX on our Physics Demo Roadtrip trying to put together my personal introduction for the program. But, like they say, time sure flies when you're a Society of Physics Students Summer Intern in Washington, DC. (Or I think that's how the saying goes...)
I left off last week with anticipation for our final weekend in DC. Kunal, Meagan, and I were glad to welcome Justin aboard our sight-seeing crew as we set our bearings for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Saturday morning. I'll be honest, I don't have a lot to comment about the museum. I will say, however, that it is a VERY impressive museum and it's something that I think everyone should see at least once. The exhibits were all put together very well and were all extremely informative of the event.
Our next stop that day was Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum in Chinatown. I don't think any of us had ever been to a wax museum before, so this was a real treat. Some of the celebrities there truly looked REAL. I realize that's sort of what they're going for, but they had a Morgan Freeman sculpture in the front lobby that looked so life-like, I swear I would've jumped through the window if he so much as blinked his eyes.
We decided to sleep in a little later on Sunday and didn't hit any sights that morning, but Meagan and I made our way out to Mount Vernon that afternoon. I'd been wanting to go all summer and was glad to finally get the chance on our last weekend in DC. We didn't get to take the "National Treasure" tour that evening because the tickets were sold out, but we did get to tour the estate, the Mansion, and got a boat ride on the Potomac which was really great. Plus, I don't think we could've asked for a prettier day outside, weather-wise. We finished off the evening with a buffalo burger from Ted's Montana Grill one last time in Crystal City.
The rest of the week was rather hectic, trying to get things together and packed up for our trips back home. But we did try to find a couple ways to relax amidst all the craziness.
We watched the last of our James Bond movies in Crystal City Monday night with a playing of "A View to A Kill", once again, starring Roger Moore and Christopher Walken.
Tuesday marked our last official workday at ACP and was full of "goodbye's" and "see you at Fermilab's". And since it was my last "intern" day working on Physics To Go, Ed and I made the most of it. I think we're ahead on our homepage updates by about three or four editions, which is great. I'm going to continue to contribute to the website some once I get back to school as a consultant, but it's still good to get ahead while we've got the chance.
The majority of the interns made their last trip out to ACP for the summer on Wednesday as we met Liz, Gary, and the rest of the SPS gang for our feedback session and farewell breakfast. It was really great to see everybody in one place again and Jack and Gary made sure to grace us with some words of wisdom before they sent us on our way.
Later that day, I got the privilege to take a ride with Ted Hodapp in his 1970's Cessna. We flew from the College Park airport - supposedly the oldest airport of its size still in operation - and flew up around Baltimore and Inner Harbor, making a big circle before returning back to College Park. The ride was great and I got some great pictures. I got to sit in the Co-Pilot seat and "navigate", which worried me a little bit. But we had a very smooth flight, without any technical difficulties, and made it back to the airstrip in one piece - which marks the trip as a success in my book!
We all parted ways on Thursday, which I think was somewhat sad for all of us. Most of the interns left for home on early flights that morning, but Meagan, Kunal, Mary, and I were lucky enough to have afternoon flights. I'm glad to say that I don't have any exciting stories to tell about my trip home like I did with the Toronto Airport experience earlier this month. Both of my flights on the way back to Lubbock were on time and both arrived as planned.
And so, I'm back in West Texas once again. The temperature outside right now is about 99-102 degrees and sunny. It's hot. But heat or no heat, it's great to get back to family and seeing people that I haven't seen all summer.
Looking back on the past nine weeks, it has definitely been an experience - to say the least...
I can hardly express in words how much I appreciate all this internship has done for me. To everyone involved with the program - I can't thank you enough for offering me this opportunity. Gary and Liz - thank you both especially for all that you've done for me and the other interns this summer. I think I speak for everyone when I say that it's the people behind the scenes of this program that make it MUCH, MUCH more than JUST an internship, and that's what really makes the difference. It's been a great summer, and I hope that we can stay in touch in the future.
So here ends my journal submissions for the summer. Farewell, all, it's been a blast...
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So we're finally closing in our last few days in College Park and I really don't know how to feel about it. On one hand, it's been a wonderful summer experience and I don't want to have to leave all the great people and the family-like environment I've been working in here at ACP since I arrived. But on the other hand, I think nine weeks in the congested streets of downtown DC is long enough for me; I'm ready to get back to West Texas where I can stretch my legs a little more ...and see some stars at night.
This last week has, by far, been one of the most eventful 7 days since we got to DC. So here we go...
Saturday: Kunal, Meagan and I started our morning a little earlier than the other interns - at about 3:00 AM!! Bound for New York City, we boarded a Chinatown-to-Chinatown bus departing at 3:30 am and arriving in Manhattan at 7:30 am. Now I realize this may seem a little over-zealous for some folks, but I think it's safe to say that over the course of the summer, the three of us have become nothing short of professionals at this whole sight-seeing business... So with our travel "itinerary" in one hand and a Google Map printout of the Manhattan Subway in the other, we fearlessly stepped off the bus and into the busy New York City streets ready to tackle an exciting day in the Big Apple!
Our first stop was "Tom's Diner" in Upper Manhattan. This RESTAURANT was made famous by its frequent appearance as the fictional diner ("Monk's") in many episodes of Seinfeld - a favorite of mine. Next we made our way south into Central Park and stopped by the John Lennon memorial at "Strawberry Fields". This is a really neat site, adjacent to the apartment where he and his wife, Yoko Ono, once lived. If I would've known that they redecorate the memorial 'peace sign' every day, I would have suggested that we wait until the afternoon to see the finished product. The local hippies had only begun to place flowers and strawberries around the outside when we got there that morning and weren't near being finished at all.
Next stop was the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), a little closer to downtown. Like most museums, you need almost an entire day to truly appreciate all they have to offer, so we weren't able to take it all in. But we did spend the better part of two hours inside and got a chance to "skim" through the majority of it. The special exhibit this summer is a feature on Salvador Dali which was really interesting. They devoted an entire floor to the artist, focusing on his life in art, movies, and pop culture. I've always enjoyed his artwork, but I will admit that sometimes he seems to be a little too "trippy" for my taste.... but it was a nice exhibit nonetheless.
We spent the rest of our day moving from site to site Downtown and managed to fit quite a bit into our schedule. Some of the highlights include: FAO Schwarz, Tiffany's (no purchases though -whew!), Trump Tower, Ed Sullivan Theater, lunch at "Angelo's Pizza" (more than appropriate for the three of us), Hello Deli, Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, a tour of the Rockefeller GE Building and an elevator ride up to the observation deck - Awesome View!, Ground Zero at the WTC, Battery Park and a view of the Statue of Liberty as the sun went down, followed by a rollercoaster-like taxi ride back to Manhattan Bridge and dinner in Chinatown. Our returning bus departed NYC at 11:00 pm and arrived in DC around 3:20 am.
So I think I speak for the rest of the group when I say that it was a fairly successful trip - all 24 hrs of it!
I apologize for the length of this entry, but the remainder of the week was equally eventful. However, I will try to be brief.
Sunday: All the interns were invited to dinner at the White House. We didn't get a tour of the Oval Office, but we did get a chance to here Gary's rendition of "Roxanne" before the night was over.
I think Monday was the only "normal" day this week without any irregular scheduling or out-of-office events. We did get another chance to go watch the free Bond Movie in Crystal City that evening though, which was nice. "Octopussy" with Roger Moore was playing - a true classic.
The interns spent the majority of the workday Tuesday at ACP rehearsing final presentations. I think we were all a little tired of listening to each other talk before the end of the day, but it all paid off because everyone gave a great presentation Wednesday morning. I think everyone in attendance was very impressed with the bunch and glad to hear about all we've accomplished this summer.
Thursday morning, the other Texas interns and I made a trip to Capitol Hill to "have breakfast" with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Apparently she's quite the celebrity nowadays, so there was a lot less "breakfast" and a lot more "take a number and get in line for your picture", but it was nice just to get to meet her and shake her hand. Thanks Meagan for arranging the tickets!
I'm almost ashamed to say it, but I don't think there are any big plans for the upcoming weekend...
This will be our last weekend in the District, so we'll have to think of something. I imagine we will most likely be playing "catch up" to try and see all the sights we haven't made it to yet this summer.
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We arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for the AAPT Summer Meeting on Saturday around 9:00 pm local time after wrestling with customs, connections, and baggage claims at Toronto Int'l Airport for almost three hours. Kendra has family living in Edmonton and they were kind enough to give us a ride from the airport.
There wasn't much happening with the conference on Sunday morning aside from teacher workshops, so this gave us a chance to catch up on some sleep and to get oriented with the University of Alberta campus somewhat. Mary, Justin, and I presented at the SPS/AAPT Undergraduate Student Poster session on Sunday evening. The session went really well, I thought. I spoke to quite a few people who seemed genuinely interested in what I was doing this summer and were actually familiar with the ComPADRE collections. Gary and Kendra also put on a game of Physics Jeopardy following the poster presentations which was a lot of fun.
The rest of the conference went well. We got to sit in on some very interesting sessions and plenaries over the course of a few days. One of the highlighted speakers was the award-winning author and physicist Michio Kaku and his presentation titled "The Physic of the Impossible" concerning the possibilities of time-travel, teleportation, and invisibility. He was a decent public speaker and really seemed to keep the crowd entertained, but I just wasn't really crazy about the material of his presentation. It just didn't seem like he had a real reason to be there, other than a chance to advertise and sell his new book. He did have a couple of funny Physics jokes though, so I'll give him credit it for that.
We also got a chance to make it over to one of the local festivals downtown while we were there called "A Taste of Edmonton". Local vendors and restaurants from all over town brought in booths and were selling small portions of their entrees for locals and tourists in one of the main town squares. The food was good and the live music made a nice touch as well; I had never heard the Eagles' "Desperado" sang in French before...
Wednesday was an adventure, to say the least. We left the dorms at the University of Alberta at 5:25am on a shuttle to the airport. After checking in and getting our boarding passes, we made it to the gate with plenty of time to do some last minute souvenir shopping. Our first flight from Edmonton to Toronto was great. There were TV's on board, so we were able to watch movies, television, or listen to XM Radio; good flight [our last enjoyable flight of the day]
[Warning: The following paragraph is written in present tense for a dramatic effect, so I apologize to any grammatically-inclined readers]
We arrive at the airport in Toronto on time and proceed to US Connections. We claim our luggage, lug it through the miles and miles of airport traffic there, and arrive at the US Customs entrance...on time. After filling out the forms and waiting in line to be checked, we put our luggage back on the conveyor belt and make our way down to the departure gates. On our way to the gate, airport personnel stop us and inform us that our flight has been cancelled and we will have to go back through customs and reclaim our luggage. They do so by saying, "Your flight has been cancelled and you'll have to go back through customs and reclaim your luggage." Notice they didn't say, "We're sorry, your flight has been cancelled..." or "We apologize for the inconvenience, but...." And also notice that there were no further instructions as to how we could rebook a flight or any offers to assist us in getting home that evening...
And apparently this sort of thing never happens in the Toronto International Airport, because absolutely NOBODY could tell us how to get on a different flight. They were, however, very quick to redirect us to "Someone, at the Something Desk, in that One Terminal that you'll never be able to locate without a compass and a GPS in this gynormous, city of an airport"...
But I digress. Finally, after waiting in line, after line, after line, I was able to rebook our flight using a courtesy phone. We ended up having to fly from Toronto to Montreal - go through US Customs all over again - and then Montreal to DC. We eventually made it home safely in DC around 10:30pm. I was definitely happy to back on American soil.
I returned to ACP yesterday and resumed work. I can't believe how close the summer is to being over. Next Wednesday is our final presentations and I think there are only three more full days of work left before we pack up and head for home.
Today is the interns' NASA tour, which should be fun. Also in the playbook for this weekend: daytrip to New York City, NY. Kunal, Meagan, and I will head out on the earliest Chinatown bus leaving DC (3:00am), arrive in NYC around 8:00 and hopefully return on the latest bus headed this way (11:00pm). So, we'll see what we can accomplish in the Big Apple for 15 hours or so...
And last, but not least, a barbeque at the White House on Sunday afternoon. So, until next week...
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Starting with the weekend...
Some of the other interns and I took a bus to Philadelphia, PA on Saturday morning and spent the day taking in as much Philly sight-seeing as we could. Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Old Congress Hall, the Old Court House, and the America's 2nd Bank Portrait Gallery just about rap up the list of "attractions". And of course, a trip to Philadelphia would not be complete without a traditional Philly Cheesesteak from "Pat's King of Steaks". The cab ride over there may have been a little hectic and sketchy, but I'd say it was well worth the trouble. Plus it gave me a chance to practice my Philly accent beforehand..."One Whiz, Wit!!"
On Sunday, Kunal, Meagan, and I got to enjoy another Washington National's baseball game in their new stadium. They played the Houston Astros and Meagan, being the diehard fan that she is, was kind enough to get us some tickets. It was an exceptionally hot day in the DC afternoon sun, but the Astros took the game with a score of 5-0 making it worth the sunburn.
The rest of the week has completely flown by and I can't think of too many exciting things that have happened, but here's a few of the highlights...
Monday, we made our way down to the Crystal City movie festival and got to watch an old James Bond film, picnic-style, in the hotel courtyard there. It was really nice; they showed "Moonraker" with Roger Moore. Wednesday night Jenna cooked the interns a Kindergarten dinner with pigs in a blanket, ants on a log, and dirt cups...all complete with a never-ending playlist of Disney songs from her iTunes. Last night, Thursday, the Dylla's hosted a picnic at their home in College Park and invited all the interns and some of the ACP staff. We ate some great barbeque, played a few games of horseshoes, and were continuously bombarded with water guns the entire night. Lots of fun.
Life at ACP this week has been equally as hectic. The homepage of Physics To Go was updated on Wednesday so everyone should check it out when they get a chance. I've also been busily working on printing a few posters for the AAPT Summer Meeting in Edmonton, Alberta this weekend. Justin, Mary, and I will be attending and I'm really looking forward to it. This will be my first trip outside the States so I'm glad to finally get a couple stamps in my Passport. We leave tomorrow morning and return on Wednesday, the 23rd. Should be good time, Ey??
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Picking up from last week's entry, I think I left off with the Fourth of July events, so I'll continue from there, but I'll advise a warning - there's been a lot that has happened in the past week...
We started our day off with a viewing of the Fourth of July parade down Constitution Ave. Our spot was somewhat at the end of the parade route, so it was fun watching all the high school marching bands and parade volunteers exhaustedly struggling to finish the route without having a heat stroke in the extreme DC temperature and humidity. But the music was great and the giant balloons were a nice touch. Being the band nerd and holiday parade veteran that I am, I'd rate the overall performance a strong B+, possibly an A-.
Following the parade, I think the majority of the group headed in the direction of the National Mall for the Folklife Festival, but Kunal, Meagan, and I made our way out to Arlington National Cemetery. We weren't able to see all the sights before closing, but did make it to a few of the more memorable ones like the JFK burial, Arlington house, and the Tomb of the Unknowns. We also got to watch the changing of the guards which is definitely something everyone should see.
That night after supper, we rushed back to Foggy Bottom and got our umbrellas and stuff to sit on and ran in the direction of the Washington Monument for the fireworks. We didn't quite make it all the way before they started, but did get to see the majority of the show from a park on Constitution Ave. The display was great, probably one of the biggest I've ever seen and even more colorful through diffraction glasses. After swimming through the sea of people in the streets back towards the dorms, we ended our night with a short game of spades - the winner(s) of which will remain nameless....
On Saturday Kunal, Daniel, Meagan, and I woke up early and made our way over to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum right as they opened. Daniel had to leave early, but the rest of us literally spent the ENTIRE day there. There is just so much to see in that building; I'm convinced you could stay there for a week and never see it all... But we were able to work in an IMAX movie, planetarium show, and a flight simulation, which were all really neat.
After we finally got out of the museum, the three of us walked over to the National Mall and enjoyed a little Texas music at the festival before the night was over. Guy Clark was the opening act for the evening concerts and put on a pretty good show. I assume he's getting on up there in age, so he gave a very laid back performance with only two acoustic guitars - but a great Texan concert nonetheless. The performer following him however, Marcia Ball from the Texas/Louisiana state line, had the whole crowd out of their seats and dancing in the isles (with the exception of one person - who will again remain nameless). Her Texas/Cajun/Creole rhythm and blues was a great end to the day. Meagan even got the chance to get an autographed CD the next day - definitely one for the collection.
Sunday's activities started a lot later in the day with our tour of the Washington Monument. We got to take an elevator all the way to the top of the structure and look down on the city from a little over 500 feet. The view was great in every direction and learning about the history of the building was very interesting as well.
Moving on to Tuesday, Jack Hehn and John Layman treated some of the interns to dinner and a theater performance in Crystal City. We ate at Ted's Montana Grill before the play and I had my first taste of Buffalo meatloaf, which was really good. The play was a comedy entitled "The Mystery of Irma Vep" and was a nutty, slapstick "horror mystery" involving vampires, werewolves, Egyptian mummies, murder, tea, British idioms, and a number of Shakespearean references that were apparently over my head. The play involved a cast of about 5 or 6 characters but was performed by only two men, which was very entertaining.
The rest of the week seems to have gone by rather quickly and I can't really recall anything else that would be exciting enough to mention. Everything at ACP is going great. We are putting together the newest edition of the Physics To Go homepage with a feature on the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101. I'm also busily preparing my poster for the AAPT Summer Meeting in Edmonton, Alberta coming up in a week or so. It's amazing to think how fast the summer's flown by, only a few more weeks left 'til our final presentations.
Biggest thing coming up this weekend is the daytrip in Philadelphia we have planned for tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and enjoy an authentic Philly Cheesesteak.
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I think I speak for the whole group when I say that this past week has been one of the most eventful weeks we've had this summer. So I'll try to keep it brief, but a lot went on since last Friday.
Picking up from last week's journal, the other interns and I took a "daytrip" to Baltimore on Saturday. Half of us started our day with an early morning AMTRAC train ride out of Union Station and the other half in Paul's car. I had never traveled by train before, and it was an enjoyable experience; somewhat less hectic than by plane.
We began at the National Aquarium in Inner Harbor and spent the majority of our day there exploring all the aquatic animal exhibits, the "4D Immersion Theater", and a dolphin show. We then continued our Baltimore experience with "Chessie Boat" rides (paddle boats) in the harbor. For those who don't know, apparently Chessie is a sea monster, similar to the Loch Ness (Nessie) monster, that lives in the Chesepeake Bay area. The rides were fun, but somewhat tiring and miserable in the heat of the day.
So once we all cooled off and freshened up in the Baltimore Visitor's Center, we walked down to the Maryland Science Center and bought tickets for the "Bodyworlds" exhibit. For those who are unfamiliar with this traveling anatomy-science show and the art of "plastination", Google it. It's not for the feint-of-heart or those with a weak stomach, but a very interesting experience nonetheless.
To close our day, we made reservations at a surprisingly high-class restaurant called the "Oceanaire", where we all enjoyed some of the best (and most expensive) seafood in the harbor. We all had a really nice time, even though we weren't offered a $10 crab cake like we expected.(ask Meagan) But I think it was a dining experience we won't soon forget. It was also probably the first time I've every seen cloth towels in a restaurant bathroom.
Following a day like Saturday, we really had no choice but to sleep in late Sunday morning. However, we did manage to get ready and head down to the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival in time for lunch. This summer, one of the cultural themes featured is Texas, so the other Angelo State interns and I had to take a look and see just how "authentic" it was. The food was decent and the music was great and it made for a nice relaxing way to end the weekend.
Nothing extremely exciting at work this week. I attended a portion of the quarterly ComPADRE meeting on Monday. I think the majority of the meeting's content was somewhat over my head, but it was great to finally meet some of the folks involved in the project. It was always kind of neat to finally match some faces to the names I have been emailing since I started this summer.
Moving on to Thursday, Kunal, Meagan, and I got the chance to enjoy some authentic homemade Tex-Mex at the home of Dr. Mary Satterfield from NIST. Mary's older brother, "Dr. Joe" is a geology professor from Angelo State that we all know and he contacted her and told her about us being in the area for the summer. Her family was nice enough to treat us to a nice home-cooked Texas meal and an Italian Gelato for dessert.
I think that's all for this week, I'll have more next time with details about the Fourth and our Washington Monument tour.
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Friday has come once again, and I can't seem to see where the week has gone. I will admit though that plenty has happened since last week's journal entry and I will try not to leave too much stuff out.
Kunal, Meagan, and I started off the weekend on Saturday with a bit of sight-seeing once again. Our first stop was the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, which took up the majority of our day. I think we ended up spending five or six hours in there and still don't think we managed to see it all. We did manage to catch an IMAX film about sea creatures and view countless exhibits within the museum, but needless-to-say, it's a very, very, big building. We then walked over to the Smithsonian Castle and spent some time looking at the collections they had on display and hitting up the gift shop before heading back to the dorms to rest our feet.
We continued our Smithsonian adventures on Sunday, but were not nearly as ambitious about getting an early start. We took a quick walk through the National Gallery of Art, but didn't spend much time there; I decided that I'm a little too 'culturally-challenged' to truly appreciate what the museum has to offer. So we decided to view the National Building Museum, which I found to be extremely impressive. I think they're in the middle of renovating so they only had a few exhibits on display, but the gift shop was open! I would definitely enjoy going back someday when they have more collections open.
Probably the most exciting (and most anticipated) event this week was the CNSF Exhibit Wednesday night at the Rayburn Office Building. Jenna, Mary, and I have been working very hard the past few weeks preparing for this exhibit, and I think our hard work finally paid off. Everyone had a really good time and we all got the chance to meet with some very important people that Meagan managed to wrangle over to our booth, including NSF director Dr. Arden Bement and deputy director Dr. Kathie Olsen. They were both very friendly and seemed exceptionally interested in what we had to say. We also had the opportunity to meet a few senators and house representatives and spread the word about ComPADRE. Following the exhibit, Fred and Linda Dylla took us all on a walk across Capitol Hill and treated us to dinner at the brewery near Union Station. The food and atmosphere were really good and it made a great closing for our busy day.
Also this week, a few of us got a chance to attend a Congressional hearing on Wednesday morning concerning the national energy crisis. Dr. Neil Hirst from the International Energy Agency made a statement regarding this crisis and several possible solutions and future projections. We weren't able to stay for the entire hearing, but the part we sat through was very interesting.
I think that just about wraps up the week in a nut shell. We just got some good news regarding the housing status of two of our interns, so that seems to make the day a little more cheerful (see Jenna and Meagan for more details). Also, we're taking a day trip to Baltimore in the morning, so we'll all have more to say about that in next Friday's journals.
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Well we've reached the end of Week Three and I can't seem to understand why/how the days are going by so quickly.
Picking up from last week's journal entry, Saturday and Sunday could definitely be labeled as days of rest and relaxation. We weren't nearly as ambitious about getting up early and hitting the streets for sight-seeing as the previous weekend, but I think it did us all some good. We've got a few more weekends ahead of us to make up for the museums and monuments we missed out on.
We did manage to squeeze in a trip to the National Zoo Sunday afternoon before it closed which turned out to be a lot more interesting than I had expected. And after walking through all the different animal houses and exhibits, I decided that if I ever have to come back as an animal, it's definitely going to be a panda, nature's couch potato.
The rest of this week has been rather laid back as well. Paul and Kunal managed to wrangle up a set of Guitar Hero controllers, so that has added to our after-work excitement quite a bit. Meagan and I also made it over to the Georgetown movie theater last night and watched the new Indiana Jones movie which was really good, I thought. It was really cheesy and very predictable...making it an ideal Indiana Jones movie. I just hope that someday when I'm 65 years old I can still be cracking whips, jumping from moving vehicles, and saving ancient artifacts from Russian terrorists.
Everything at ACP, however, has been somewhat busy the past few days. Mary and I have been printing off slide after slide for the CNSF poster exhibit next Wednesday and I think we may have a final draft ready for the meeting later this morning with Gary and Liz. Also, the Physics to Go homepage was updated on Monday with a rather nice feature on the Phoenix Mars Lander which I think everyone should take a look at. (sorry for the cheap advertisement)
But other than that, everything's going great. I'm going to try and make it through the rest of the day keeping my fingers crossed that the rain will stay away for a couple of days and let us have a dry weekend.
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I have already apologized via email to Tracy and Liz, but I am submitting this entry a couple hours later than I'm supposed to, and I'm sorry.
But I think I can speak for all the interns when I say that this past week has been a blur. It seems like just five minutes ago I was being reminded to submit LAST week's journal entry.
Starting on Saturday, June 7, Kunal, Meagan, and I started the weekend off with a good deal of sight-seeing. Our list of sights included browsing the shops at Union Station, walking by the Capitol and its reflecting pool, touring the Library of Congress Jefferson building, taking pictures on the steps of the Supreme Court, and a nice lunch in China Town. We were then joined by the rest of the crew for a brief walk through the National Archives. I'm sure we will be returning to this building soon however, as Meagan was unable to properly peruse the gift shop before the building closed.
Like I said, the rest of the week following really seemed to pass by fast. Everything at work has been going great. Jenna, Mary, and I have been hard at work with our CNSF Exhibit posters and Ed Lee and I are all caught up on the Physics to Go updates just in time for the homepage deadline on Monday.
I also had the privilege of joining the SPS SOCK group to two classroom demonstrations this week, one on Tuesday at Yorktown High School and the second one this afternoon at Tuckahoe Elementary. The first lesson was on polarization and light waves, complete with a slinky/PVC polarizer analog. Thanks to this demonstration, I now have a newfound respect for anyone capable of vibrating a 20-foot slinky through a system of PVC poles without either slapping the people around you or releasing it and injuring innocent passersby(Jenna!). The lesson today was over sound and wave vibrations and we all learned how to make a musical instrument out of drinking straws, proving to be a lot of fun and extremely annoying.
Other than that, the rest of the week has been rather relaxing and uneventful. We've taken a few more late-night strolls past the Lincoln Monument, Reflecting Pool, and WWII Memorials again, and also discovered that we are within very close walking distance of a rather decent ice cream shop, which is always a good thing.
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Well, the first week is finally coming to a close, and it's hard to believe that it's already Friday considering everything that's happened since we got here this past weekend.
Eight of the nine interns arrived in the D.C. area by early Saturday evening and Barbara joined us late Sunday night. I think for the most part everyone had a safe trip and no major problems getting here, with the exception of a few flight delays due the wonderful thunderstorm that decided to welcome all of us to Washington. Once everyone finally arrived and got settled into the dorms we spent the rest of the weekend getting oriented with GWU and the Foggy Bottom area (not to mention the Washington Metro.) Fortunately we have two returning interns familiar with the area, Meagan and Justin, who will be serving as our fearless leaders this summer.
The first day of work on Monday went rather smoothly. The hectic rush of the morning Metro ride was a different experience, but we all made it to ACP safely and on time without losing anyone along the way. Orientation also went exceptionally well. I was glad to see how nice and laid-back everyone is here at ACP; of course a free breakfast is an easy way to win me over any day. Following a brief orientation we were bussed through a quick tour of the building and introduced to a countless number of people. I hope some of the names stuck and I apologize in advance for forgetting and/or mispronouncing anyone's name in the future.
The rest of the week has gone well with a few after-work activities ("Fajita Night" last night :] ) and a little sightseeing on the side. I think we re all beginning to get into the swing of things.
As we head into our first weekend here in the nation's capitol, I'm sure our tour guide Meagan has all sorts of fun activities planned for us and I'll be sure to have a full report in next week's journal entry. But for now, I'm going to try and make it through the rest of the day, anticipating the Nationals game tonight.
One week down, Eight and a half to go...
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