By Brendan and Jon
Sunday, August 2, 2009p
Due to the extremely busy week ahead, the group had decided earlier to hold the RAP session on Sunday evening instead of Monday evening. So the day progressed, everyone working on projects or relaxing a little bit after their hard work earlier in the week and the work to come later in the week.
Anup and Andrew A. presented their weekly summary, which was short and to the point because of the large number of other commitments the other two had to work on. Much of the material to be covered had already been discussed the week before, and so it was the quickest meeting yet. Then, the Glennterns huddled back to their computers to work on their posters, the group report, and the group poster. Anup and Jon had been assigned to work on the group project poster, and still had much work to complete following the RAP session before it could be taken to get printed the following day.
While most of the Glennterns at least got four hours of sleep, Jon, Harkirat, and Anup stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, working on their posters and papers.
Monday, August 3, 2009
The Glennterns awoke Monday, and quickly readied themselves for what was to be their last week at Glenn. A grueling week was laid ahead of them, packed with papers, presentations, posters, and the late nights required to finish everything. The group headed over to Glenn for breakfast where they dined to the sweet sounds of John Q. infomercial salesman selling what was perhaps the creepiest photograph of Michael Jackson in memory of his death. After a group toast to aliens, they scurried off to their labs.
The work day was seemingly normal, but busy. Academites worked on finishing posters and writing their final papers. Everyone left Glenn around 5:00 except Anup, Brendan, and Kristin, who stayed later to work. Jamie, Andrew A., Harkirat, and Jon headed back to the Stud for a Rap session, where they recorded how they felt about their living arrangements for the summer in rhyme.
Andrew H. channeled his inner horse and went for a run. Jon decided to get a haircut, well really, he decided to get all of them cut. While there, he moved suddenly and the barber’s clippers left Jon’s head a bit more bare than he would have liked. Luckily for Jon, Andrew A. was there to calm his nerves by likening the new ‘do to Captain Spock.
Meanwhile, back at the Glenn, Kristin worked very hard on the video but had trouble saving it. Brendan ran his computer code that took 51 hours to run. Eventually, the group decided to leave, and headed back to the friendly comforts of the Stud.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Tuesday morning, the Glennterns awoke one day older, but Andrew A. awoke a whole year older! After obtaining breakfast, the Glennterns decided that they needed to embarrass Andrew A. by drawing attention to the group doing something silly. In fact, they decided to sing him a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday.” Many of the group finished their posters in the morning, and in the afternoon all headed to the poster session. A few Academyites were asked questions about their posters, a few walked around asking others about their posters, and Dr. Geoffrey Landis asked a number of pointed questions about their group project.
After the poster presentation, the Glennterns organized themselves to take Andrew A. to see his primary birthday wish, seeing the Michelson-Morley experiment at Case Western Reserve University. The group missed dinner reservations at 6:30 and 7:30, but Andrew A. was quite ecstatic to see the experiment, until Harkirat pointed out to him that it wasn’t the true experiment, just a replica. The group, starving, headed back to North Olmsted where they ate dinner at Applebee’s. While there, Andrew A. found someone at a nearby table over was wearing a jersey which read “Abraham.” While it turned out she was not actually related, sharing a last name was close enough to make Andrew A. happy. After dinner, but before serious group project work could begin, the second most important part of the day, cake!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Perhaps the quietest day of the week, the Wednesday schedule was free of posters, PowerPoint presentations, and papers. The group awoke at the Stud and headed to Glenn. At lunch, each Academyite anxiously made his or her way over to Building 49 to eat lunch with Ray Lugo, Deputy Director of the Center, Dr. Joe Shaw, and Dr. Kankam. From the purpose of human space flight, to college fight songs, to the Augustine Commission, to safeguarding computer resources, this man had all the answers. He opened the session by promptly poking fun at the football teams of each Glenn tern’s university. The talk was great and the questions put forth by some of the Academy students helped them gain a greater insight into how Glenn works.
After the lunch session, the group headed back to their labs to finish work for the day. Back at the Stud, “Run-Harner-Run” took off on a brisk jog across the great plains of Ohio, Adam and Jon napped, Jamie met up with some friends for dinner from Africa, and Andrew A. worked on creating a long list of rail gun equations they might be asked at the presentation the following day.
By 9:30, the group was ready to present their preliminary slides to Kristin. Everyone did a great job of coming together and pulling through for the team. Kristin offered some constructive criticism after the dry run, and each team member headed to their respective corners of the lounge to fine tune their slides and finish their final written reports. It was a late night in the lounge with all the activity, but eventually everyone made their way to bed for a bit of rest before the presentation that lay ahead.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Thursday was a busy day for the Glennterns: Wall of Fame voting, the group presentation, finishing up the group paper, and of course, completing their individual work for their PIs. The group headed over to Glenn in the morning excited to see the last class of Wall of Fame nominations. From Juan to Kangaroo Kick to the Carpe Diem, this class had it all. In what was to be the largest victory in Wall of Fame history, role model Juan Agui won a spot on the wall, along with a few other notables.
After spending a few hours working on final papers, the Glennterns headed to the Administration building to present their final presentation. The presentation was well received, questions were asked, Anup’s acknowledgement slide was unknowingly stolen by Brendan, and then finally, it was all over. The Glennterns presented Kankam with a stunning array of their photographs, and the Glennterns in turn were presented with their NASA Academy pins.
Even though they still had papers to finish compiling, the group went to dinner at the 100th bomber group restaurant, down, the street from Glenn. The group was presented with their official graduation certificates by an all-Star cast of Glenn’s upper management. Ray Lugo made amusing commentary throughout the certificate-awarding part of the evening.
Finally, the Glennterns headed back to the Stud to finish the group paper. The Glennterns all worked hard coming close enough to finishing the paper that it all could be done the following morning.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Friday work was a busy and sad day, as the Glennterns finished up their individual papers and the BLAST’EM final report. All was forgotten as the time came to head to dinner at Buca di Beppo’s. They then ate a delicious dinner (thank you Kristin!), and reminisced about the first dinner at Harry Buffalo’s, to everything else they had done throughout the summer. Finishing up their last supper, the group headed back the spectacular video editing job by Kristin. The rest of the evening was spent watching some outtakes from the video footage. The group began to pack and sorted out last-minute debts, and some got more sleep than others.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
The Glennterns awoke about two hours later on Saturday to the bittersweet day ahead. Jamie was the first one up, having to leave the hotel around 6:00 a.m., just missing those who had last gone to sleep. She had already said her goodbyes during video viewings on Friday evening. She gave a few extra goodbyes to some of the Academyites still awake in the lounge and quickly made her way to the little red Mini Cooper for the long drive home to Texas.
…and then there were eight.
Andrew A. was the second to leave. He had yet to go to bed since staying up all night to talk to Anup. The two discussed each other’s shortcomings, their lives ahead, and their exceptionally different personalities. Kristin drove Andrew A. to the airport around seven and the physicist made his way back the airplane set for Pennsylvania.
…and then there were seven.
Adam was the next to leave. His parents arrived around 10:00 to pick him up for the drive back to Columbus. True to form, Adam readied himself and packed the car with lightning quickness. He said his goodbyes and hopped into the Miller van out of Cleveland.
…and then there were six.
The remaining six spent the rest of the morning trying to figure out how to piece each of the bedrooms back together, after moving furniture around for the optimal configuration earlier in the summer. Beds, keycards, cups, knives, bowls, couches, and lamps all had to be sorted out. Eventually the daunting task was completed and the Glennterns were able to construct what looked like three hotel rooms again.
The group headed out to lunch at Luna’s, a family restaurant Anup had not proposed. The lunch was fantastic, and it was a shame they had not found this fine eating establishment early in the summer. After lunch the group headed out of the restaurant into the rainstorm and made their way back to the Stud for the next round of goodbyes.
Andrew H. was the next to leave. Standing in a small circle in the middle of the old lounge, he said his goodbyes to Brendan, Kristin, Harkirat, Anup, Jon, and his new “semi-friend” Kayt. He exchanged hugs and handshakes with the group and made his way out the lounge door for the last time.
…and then there were five.
After Andrew H. left, Jon began his goodbye process to the remaining group. Going around the circle, he attempted to complement each of the Glennterns without sounding sappy: Brendan on his incredible engineering skills, Anup on all his scheming and fun, Harkirat on how her happiness rubs off on people, and Kristin for all her hard work and more importantly friendship. He too walked out the door for the last time and got into Kayt’s car for the drive back to Detroit.
…and then there were four.
Harkirat left the Stud for the airport around six, making a quick stop along the way to get more thank-you cards. Anup, having found a signed thank you card in his car, decided to surprise the friendly hotel staff with a note. They were touched.
…and then there were three.
Anup did not end up leaving until Sunday morning, his sleepless nights had finally caught up with him and he decided driving would not be a good decision, so he stayed in Brendan’s room in the second bed. Instead, after Kristin left to take a nap, Brendan and Anup made some tentative plans to go out with Gerald (Brendan’s friend). Soon after, Anup passed out in the chair, and Brendan decided to take a quick nap. Before they all knew it, it was 8:30 a.m. After an exit interview with Kristin, Anup said his goodbyes.
…and then there were two.
As quickly as the nine lives had converged for ten weeks, they diverged even quicker. It was difficult to watch as each Academy member made his or her way back home. How odd it is the nine were able to forge such great friendships after being only strangers ten weeks prior.
And so, for one last toast, we would like make a toast to PIs and code, wind tunnels and helmets. We toast to guitars in Cleveland, tents without stakes, the mayor of Kennedy, raccoons and cornhole in the Metropark, and stargazing in the desert. We toast to the Stud, the Wall of Fame, the RAP video, the projector, the candies, and Rock Band.
But most of all, we toast to you, to Harkirat’s smile, Andrew H.’s fun, Jamie’s kindness, Anup’s shenanigans, Adam’s sarcasm, Andrew A.’s enthusiasm, Brendan’s intelligence, Jon’s excitement, and all those time Kristin rolled her eyes at us. The nine are intertwined for better or for worse in Academy history and we cannot think of any other Academy members we would rather have by our side.