National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Week 5 (June 30-July 6)

Saturday

We all met up in the delightfully cozy lobby of StudioPLUS where after splitting into two groups, we left for a thrilling 7-hour-long scavenger hunt. The “Cleavers” team was Adam, Steph, Ashley and Jennifer followed by the “Landers” team, Kyle, Jess, Becca, Bernard and last, but not least, the seasoned scavenger Michael Lamberty. We traveled all over northeast Ohio delighting in numerous exhilarating adventures. After both groups traversed the Valley View Bridge in every possible direction, Team Landers found itself at a very ostentatious, tiled two-story McDonalds in Seven Hills, decorated with shiny chandeliers and lots of glass windows.

While the Team Cleavers was unable to find definite directions to Dr. Kankam’s house out in Moreland Hills, Team Landers finally located it through the trusty advice of a random stranger out walking his dog. They looked very suspicious, but “escaped” the approaching sirens just in the nick of time. During their expedition through Lakeview Cemetery, Team Cleavers found it very odd that a wedding was taking place at a small church located inside. Why would anyone want to get married surrounded by graves? Hmm.. maybe they wanted to be surrounded by loved ones who were nearby?

Team Landers enjoyed discovering President’s Garfield’s monument during their stay at Lakeview and even got out of the car, losing precious hunting time, to explore it. Other stops included Public Square, Jacob’s Field, the Cleveland Museum of Art (and Natural History), Aerospace Parkway, Shaker Square, and Baldwin-Wallace College.When we were finished we came back to StudioPLUS and some of us went out to a local Chinese buffet (Adam, Steph, Jess and Ashley).

Once returning from stuffing their faces with deliciousness, Jess, Steph, Ashley, Kyle, Adam, and Michael went out for a night of swing dancing. Getting there at around 8ish definitely helped us polish our swinging skills due to the beginner’s lesson offered before the live band started playing at 9:00. Since Jess and Steph ended up partially out of the circle that was rotating partners, they ended up getting the same creepy old men rotating back and forth between them. Ashley was pimpin’ it up with a tall man sporting a mushroom cut who was having difficulty with the basic step.

Ashley’s next dancer was a tall, thin man who apparently did work with MIT and Case. They awkwardly stood in the middle of the dance floor with swingers all around them chatting. While resting in-between dances, Jess and Steph hooked arms while sitting next to each other so that the creepy men would remain a safe distance away. After all this fun dancing, we crashed.

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Sunday

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday… time for day two of scavenging wonderfulness. The two teams happened to bump into one another several times today. After a bit of confusion as to which St. Mary’s Cemetery was the correct one, the first time the groups ran into each other was in Berea at the “correct” St. Mary’s Cemetery, the location of the infamous “DOOFLICKEY JCT” sign on a tree. Then, while in the same area they passed each other at the train depot and again around the corner, at the Cleveland Browns training stadium.

Just when Team Cleavers thought they had the edge on Team Landers, they saw Team Landers pulling in right ahead of them at the “Bomber” restaurant located right across from Hopkins Airport. Apparently, they had called in their dessert order ahead of time. No worries though, since the waitress only had to remove dessert from the buffet, Team Cleavers was able to leave only a minute or so after Team Landers quickly finished their tasty dish.

While touring downtown, Team Cleavers was lucky enough to catch a security guard right before he was heading out for the day at Terminal Tower. Those lucky devils rode up to the 30th floor with him, even though the tower was closed to tourists, and were able to get some amazing pictures for their hunt. He was really cool and kept asking what they would win since he was so confident that his allowing them up to the top of the tower would clinch their victory.

Other stops on the scavenging hunt included Coventry, the Warehouse District, the U.S.S. Cod, Lake Erie, and the International Women’s Air and Space Museum. The two teams happened to run into each other yet again at the FREE stamp downtown. After that, they were clear of each others presence until finally meeting up again at the lovely StudioPLUS.

This exhausting scavenge also ravaged them with hunger. There was much discussion over where to go out for dinner. It was narrowed down to two possibilities: Panera Bread or Red Robbins. Since Kyle was so adamant about going to Panera, the rest of the group decided to appease him and headed out. Bernard was unsatisfied with his sandwich and thus decided that he actually wanted to go to Red Robbins with Steph and Becca. So, upon their return to StudioPLUS, they hopped into Steph’s car and went out for dinner number two. It was delicious (as expected), and finally they returned to StudioPLUS with bellies full and satisfied.

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Monday

We left StudioPLUS at 7:15ish for breakfast and then headed off to work with our mentors at 8:00. We all met up at 9:00am for an enlightening NFFP presentation by Matt Melis on the Columbia Accident and the post accident testing – who knew foam could do so much damage? Afterwards, he took the rest of the interns off for a tour of the Ballistics Lab and told us Academy folk we would have our very own private tour on separate day. Jess, Steph, Kyle, Adam, and Ashley attempted to get buff at our lovely NASA GRC Fitness Center, which will tragically be closed for three weeks.

The 7:00pm rap session was glorious, more than ever before. “Why…?” ask Steph. After gloriously rap’n like Tupac, Bernard and Kyle journeyed to Wal-Mart in search of a long, bendy stick with thread, a.k.a. a fishing rod. They both chose the Wal-Mart special: a $15 pole, tackle box included. With thirty minutes of sunlight left and no fishing license, they rushed down to the water to sneak a few casts off the pier. Bernard’s first cast returned nothing but tangled line, while Kyle’s rod snapped in half on his second attempt.

At this same moment, a spotlight passed over them as a cop pulled up. Bernard and Kyle smoothly navigated past the cop with a friendly “How do you do?” and a tip of the hat as they made their way back to the car, mouths agape. Wal-Mart, take two: employees welcomed the two into their store again, only forty-five minutes after their previous departure. New rods were exchanged for old. At the service desk, Bernard and Kyle were bent on keeping those tackle boxes. So, they took Kamara’s advice for getting things free: Ask a lot of questions and be really personable. It worked perfectly.

Back at the Academy Abode, some of the interns watched the Fifth element, starring the incredibly attractive, worldly Bruce Willis on the in-hotel movie screen they set up in Jess’s room. Becca was mildly upset since she wanted to watch Gladiator, but no one owned it. Maybe next time…

Tuesday

Another beautiful morning…another nutritious break-feast (at least for those of us who ate a whole container of yogurt). Just another fun-filled day working for NASA, followed by another day of working out at the lovely NASA GRC gym-that-is-going-to-close-for-three-weeks. But seriously, don’t call him Jim, because his name is Bob and while he normally does serious workouts, today he was gone on vacation. So the “Bob” workout was replaced by Katie. Who is she? Who knows. Moving on…

The free Tuesday night popcorn at the AMC Theater was worth every cent of the four dollars… and so was Die Hard. We spent the evening with the “incredibly attractive, worldly” Bruce Willis (I always get a fuzzy feeling inside when I watch Bruce Willis save the world). Then, most of the interns went to bed, but Stephanie and Becca continued their night with the other NASA interns at the Northern View Villas. After swing dancing and much playing around in the courtyard with younger children brandishing sparklers, Steph and Becca also headed off to bed.

Wednesday

Independence day!!

Mission 1: (1200) Group meeting in Metroparks to determine QTA rubric.

Status of Mission 1: (1230) Postponed.

Kamara accidentally stole Adam’s orange juice, but replenishes supply with one from her reserves. Incoming Nerf football and Frisbee reported too close to vehicles in parking lot. Bernard almost smoked by football launched by The KBG. Cadets Jessica Snyder and Stephanie Vasicek called in after caught wading through the river.

Bernard and Kyle unsuccessfully catch dinner for the squadron of RAs. Lt. Adam Pfendt commandeers two crayfish and a toad, which he names “Cobra.” Unidentified civilian spotted backing car into her bicycle.

Status of Mission 1: (1700) Resumed.

Status of Mission 1: (1800) Completed.

Mission 2: (1800) Flats and Fireworks.

Dinner and drinks at Rock Bottom restaurant. Drinks include: Rock Bottom Sampler (7 shot sized samples of all tap beers), stout, red, Starbucks, and Cranberry +Vodka. Note: rocket scientists necessary to calculate individual totals + tax.

(2200) Boom!! Boom-bang!! Ooo, ahhh!

(2230) Traffic jam reported exiting flats area. Fireworks sound like gun-shots. Don’t give Five Star General Gaiser a gun. However, he is a pretty good driver from the passenger’s seat (LEFT!).

Status of Mission 2: (0000) Completed.

Mission 3: Work out at lovely NASA GRC gym before it closes for three weeks.

Status of Mission 3: (0000) FAILED.

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Thursday

Breakfast at B-fifteenies. Just another normal day at the GRC, working like crazy. Jess wasn’t feeling all that well throughout the day. So, after work, since Stephanie was still full from her ridiculously tasty lunch at Wild Mango, they decided not to do the “Bob” workout, but to head back to StudioPLUS for some much needed R&R before the speaker that night. Adam and Ashley were going to workout, but silly Adam left his shorts back at the hotel, so it turns out nobody used the lovely GRC Fitness Center that will be closed for three weeks. Protests begin next week.

When back at StudioPLUS, Steph brought Jess some chicken noodle soup and Black Cherry tea and tucked her into bed for a couple hours. Kyle went to physical therapy to make up for missing it on Wednesday, due to the holiday.

After much hard work throughout the week, Jennifer finally finished her report for school and sent it in literally minutes before we went down to the conference room for the speaker. At 7:00pm we had some yummy Panera sandwiches courtesy of Ms. Kamara Brown and the Academy while our speaker, Dr. David Wilson, prepared. Dr. Wilson gave a wonderfully insightful talk on biomedicine and all its applications.

After watching a delightful video on how to thinly slice mice (for medical studying purposes of course), the group congregated in the boy’s room to decide whether or not they were going to go out to a dance club to celebrate Bernard’s birthday the next day (midnight, if they could make it that long…). Everybody was exhausted from the last couple days’ activities so they decided they would just hang out together for a little while and go out Friday.

Kyle avidly tried to guess Jess’ middle name. Steph actually found out earlier that morning from creepily messaging Jess’ boyfriend, Kyle, on Facebook. She wouldn’t tell anybody though because it was more enjoyable to watch them guess names such as “Gorilla,” “Gertrude,” or “Gwenda.” Luckily, they didn’t have to suffer for too long because Jess wrote it on Kyle’s Facebook wall while he was searching online.

Friday

Friday, July 7th, 2007 marks the twentieth anniversary of Bernard’s life. Michael observantly states that “he is the wind,” taking note of Bernard’s disappearing to take a birthday phone call from his mom, without anyone noticing. After the morning hours of work, the Research Associates met in building fifteen to eat lots of spaghetti, ketchup packets with French fries, or their own packed lunches. “Happy Birthday” was merrily sung in public and Bernard smiled as he graciously thanked us for our kind birthday wishes and tight harmonies.

The RAs proceeded to the library to work on the group project until it was time for the tour of the Engine Components Research Lab. On the tour we saw the test control room as well as the testing area itself, which contained cool pieces of hardware like engines from the Apache and Blackhawk helicopters.

Jess, Ashley, and Adam stayed after work to play volleyball on the court that is adjacent to that lovely place we shan’t mention until its doors are re-opened.

In celebration of Mr. Murphy’s birthday, the group went to the Wild Mango, a fancy restaurant with plush velvety seats. Kyle and Adam matched black shirts while Bernard sported a dapper white button-up that went well with his new haircut. Highlights of the evening dinner include wooden menus, fancy food and drinks, a sugar birthday crown, the men’s room with rocks in the sink and the lady’s powder room sink sprinkled with rose petals.

–Kyle Gaiser and Stephanie Vasicek