So even though the weekend part of Family Weekend didn’t involve a ton of family, it was still a fun weekend and most people found exciting activities. Adam and his people (mom and girlfriend) and Jessica and her peop… er, person (boyfriend), Stephanie and Jennifer went to Kelley’s Island. The drive there was a little long, and we didn’t exactly have complete directions, but we eventually made it to the ferry parking lot, and in a misguided attempt to save money decided to park our cars on the mainland. The ferry ride over was very nice, relatively relaxing, and nobody fell overboard. We saw lots of sailboats, none of which came close enough for us to commandeer, but the day was still young…
Once on the island, we realized our folly in leaving the cars. It was a good few miles to the glacial grooves and we had a cooler which no one was very intent on abandoning. Luckily, the islanders are prepared for foolish people such as ourselves and rent out golf carts by the hour. We made ourselves feel better by saying that golf carts would be more fun anyway. And bless our lucky stars, we got six person carts for the price of the four person. Supposedly, the six person ones go faster too, but Jessica’s group got major gypped and had to dawdle along behind, more behind, way, way, way….you get the picture. We arrived at the grooves and had the luck of being allowed onto the edge for a group pic, Figure 1. Oh, sorry, I’ve got group project on the brain.
We learned a whole bunch about glacial grooves and concocted plans for the most awesome Slip-and-Slide party ever. Then we scooted down the road to a public beach. Most people donned the appropriate swimwear and after a scrumptious lunch of bread, cheese, baby carrots, bananas and "homemade" chocolate chip cookies, mostly provided by Adam’s mom Kris, people gradually made their way down to the chilly Erie water after it was decided that Frisbee on the beach might be an endangerment to the fellow sunbathers. Jessica was a major pansy and wouldn’t get in very far, then somehow fell flat on her face and got soaking wet. Stephanie laughed a lot because she finds nothing so amusing as Jessica’s pain and discomfort, but all was well, after a little nap on the beach. We headed back to the ferry site by four so that we wouldn’t go over hours and people were having a good time, sans the copious amounts of sand lodged in very uncomfortable places.
The next goal was to walk around the booths and town area, so we then strolled our little selves around. For dinner, we met up at the local winery, had some excellent food, and rounded up the meal with some horseshoes… the game I mean. The night concluded with a quaint little fireworks show and a starlit ferry ride home. Home being the parking lot on the mainland, since the drive back was pretty darn boring and not worth reliving here. Ashley spent the day with her padres at the Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland. She got to ride on a Segway, buy new sunglasses and hear a talk on the science and psychology of foreign accents. It’s rumored that Bernard spent the day catching up on sleep, but those reports have not yet been confirmed… Kyle spent his Saturday back at the camp he usually works at during summers. He and his ole pals kayaked across the lake to Chautauqua Institution. No, it’s not a mental institution, it’s a small community on Lake Chautauqua where speakers, musicians, and Presidents come and stay.
After a long, treacherous voyage, he made sure to devour the free leftover food in the walk-in fridge back at camp. Then he moved on to a dodge ball tournament and a pool party at a friend’s, where there was also plenty of free food. At night he went to a community block party, where of course there was more free food. Becca’s family was in Cleveland for all of Saturday. They went out to eat together, but Becca spent most of her time reading Harry Potter. She bought it in the morning and, being the speed demon she is, finished it by Sunday morning!
Adam joins Becca in the Harry Potter Cult and is sucked in for the remainder of the week. Other people do random Sunday things. Not being with them, I don’t know what those things were, but I’m sure they were a bunch of fun. Adam and Stephanie hung out in the afternoon, and there was a mini gathering in Stephanie and Jennifer’s room in the evening for a viewing of Austin Powers.
At some point, Bernard finished reading the DaVinci Code. Sunday morning Kyle visited his parents, brother, and grandparents at home and had a delicious meal with homemade carrot cake and cinnamon roll bread. He left for Erie, where he met up with his friend, Kristen. They went to Barnes and Noble, Kyle’s favorite and least favorite place (and no he didn’t buy Harry Potter), and then to Presque isle beach. Kyle’s last weekend stop was dinner with a friend who he hadn’t seen for about two years. Conversation went a little longer than expected. He finally got back to the Academy house around 12:30 in the morning to join Ashley in writing the week summary; she wasn’t too thrilled. Becca spent her Sunday catching up on sleep after her intense Harry Potter episode.
Monday equals first work day of the week…yippee!!! We all worked intensely on our individual projects and went home around five. The weekly rap session was at 7pm, and we discussed our plans for the Academy trip to California next week. Kamara said that there’s a chance we could meet the director of JPL, which would be incredibly sweet. Yosemite National Park is also in the running for the weekend! The interns decided not to go to Niagara Falls because of the group project work that needed to be done. ometimes work has to come before play. :-( After the rap session, people dispersed and tried to work on their portion of the group project or their individual project. However, room 209 was bubbling with fun and games. Stephanie, Adam, Bernard, Jessica, and Kyle played the Figure 8 game. Conversations went like this:
"Are you vibrating? –Bernard "I’m done.., my pictures are done…, I want to be done. This is going to bleed through, uh-oh, I messed it up, it went the wrong way…" –Stephanie "You can keep the quarter when we’re done." –Kyle
This was followed by the quarter challenge… if you haven’t ever tried to do this incredibly difficult mental challenge, then you need to try it, tonight… and DON’T look at the pictures below! The night came to a close with riddles told around a campfire… well, not really, since that would probably set off a fire alarm. Jess solved the Monopoly riddle, while we all watched, laughed, and encouraged her on.
Wednesday was probably the most boring day of the entire ten weeks. There were no speakers scheduled and no activities in the evening. There was a group project meeting planned for 6pm, but Kyle was at physical therapy until 6:30pm and the group decided to "wait" for him… but really they all got sucked into "Flight Plan," the movie showing on TV. When the movie ended at 7, the group meeting proceeded for a whopping ten minutes.
People broke up into groups to either work on their individual project or the group project. After a few hours, Kyle, Bernard, Adam, Stephanie and Jessica crammed into Steph’s little Cavalier for a quick Wal-Mart run for groceries. Even the super-duper corporate, globalized Wal-Mart didn’t have produce… a few of us were disappointed, at least Kyle was.
Following the usual routine, we kicked off the day feeding our pet elephants and then flew to work in our fighter jets… Okay, not true, but let’s just pretend. For the rest of the day, we went through the actual usual routine of normality. James Free gave a talk about Orion and the Service Module and made all of us feel big and accomplished by belittling his own achievements. It might have worked, but the introduction was just a little too long and full of important activities for us to be fooled.
We woke up. We ate food. We ate delicious "yummy" Glenn cafeteria food. Kamara suggested we start eating somewhere else for breakfast since the food. Around noon, the RAs met up for lunch in the cafeteria to eat some more delicious Glenn food! Then everyone, except for Ashley and Kyle went back to the Academy house to work on the group project.
The peeps who decided to go back ended up taking a nap until they were suddenly awoken by the very monotonous sound of a fire alarm. Jess’ mimic of the fire alarm sounds like this: Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (in a really high falsetto tone). Then they worked on the group project. Adam, Stephanie, and Jess went to Red Robin for dinner. Ashley went to the metro parks to climb trees, but ended up looking at benches. Kyle went to the lake to read and write. Becca went to northern view villas to hang out with the other interns. Ashley, Jess, Steph, Adam, and Kyle watched Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey kill a bunch of dragons in Reign of Fire.
–Kyle Gaiser and Jessica Snyder