By Jamie and Andrew H.
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
After a very tiring Saturday, the Glennterns turned in for a fairly early and calm Saturday night, trying to catch up on some much needed sleep. A marshmallow and a microwave would not allow that to happen. At approximately 8:10 a.m., the Stud fire alarm went off causing many tired moans. Everyone wasn’t sure what to do, but due to the scrambling and the timing of the alarm it was decided that it would be best to go outside.
Someone had put a marshmallow in the microwave and must have kept it in too long and the smoke set off the fire alarm. The fire department came and cleared it all up and everyone filed back inside. Brendan decided since he was up, he would take an exam, and everybody else went back to bed. Getting more sleep was good because the group project was to be discussed all day and the topics were to be narrowed to three and proposals written for the selected topics.
Many topics were discussed from and after much time and deliberation the number of projects was narrowed to six. Andrew H. and Brendan had to go pick Kristin up from the airport after the first round of discussions as she was getting back from her graduation at MIT. While away, Jon put up some pretty awesome posters on her door to congratulate her. Not till Kristin got back did it come out that he got the wrong door. Adam, Harkirat, and Brendan continued work on homework which didn’t seem fun.
After mostly everybody hadn’t eaten all day, the crew set off for the Kankam house in Moreland Hills for dinner. They arrived and visited and talked on the porch while dinner was finishing. Dinner consisted of salmon (which was phenomenal), shrimp, chicken, green beans, macaroni and cheese, salad, and bread. Everybody ate a lot and some after dinner conversations included how awesome West Virginia was. Adam decided to have some juice, but the cap of the jug would not come off.
After many tries with greasy hands and hitting the cap with a knife to relieve the pressure, it finally got opened, much to Adam’s delight. Kristin tried to film the fiasco but did not have the camera on. Dessert came and Dr. Kankam presented Kristin a graduation cake, and the Acadmyites gave her a card. Some after dinner niceties were exchanged as well as food to go. A group picture was taken and Adam struck a marvelous pose much to the delight of all including the Kankams.
The Glennterns arrived back at the Stud tired but with much work to do. The six projects were to be narrowed to three. More ideas were discussed and a vote was taken to determine the top three. The top two were clear and were the newest ideas thought of that day, a self-sustained mission to Titan and a Lunar rail gun. There was a three-way tie for 3rd place between Kite energy, Space debris, and Hydrofoils, and this was solved by another vote and the third topic was Kite energy. Teams were made for each proposal and everyone was up till about 1:30 a.m. writing and others even later to continue their homework.
Monday, June 8th, 2009
After the Academy’s first fun-filled weekend, the interns headed off to work bright and early for breakfast, minus Jamie from then on because she was working out. She joined them for breakfast at 7:30 while Brendan spent time getting his official NASA ID in building 500. Brendan also got to experience the adventure of Orientation.
Work on Monday was fun-filled as usual, with everyone trying to impress their PI. Jon did make an impression on his, whether good or bad is unclear. Jon took the initiative to fix a laser level, but his contraption became disassembled when his Principal Investigator arrived, to his chagrin.
Adam, Harkirat, and Brendan were still trudging through their finals for school along with their full-time work at Glenn, a daunting task. Adam took a two-hour test proctored by Kristin, but because of his sheer genius he finished early. Take that!
After a hard day at work, the interns headed back to the Plus for relaxing and shenanigans. Andrew H., Jon, and Anup devised how to create the perfect lounge space by rearranging the beds and couches to have the previously three rooms with two beds and one couch each into two rooms with three beds each with the last room containing all of the three couches, possibly two TVs. Because Harkirat, Jamie, and Kristin didn’t participate in this scheming, the males toyed with the idea of not letting them into their lounge at all, but because they were afraid of the power of the women, they backed down.
Week Two RAP session took place at 8:00, with everyone sharing in the delicious cake that Drs. Kankam got for Kristin’s graduation. The Academyites laughed at the interesting quotes from the previous week and then got to business. After the meeting ended, Jon stole Anup’s bike and rode it around the Plus.
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Tuesday began with plans for a day with the PIs. Harkirat slept in slightly and not surprisingly as it came out that she was up till 4:30 a.m. the night before working on homework. Jamie had gone in early apparently to work out but didn’t make it early enough so instead went into her lab. It was Brendan’s first breakfast at the Glenn café, and Andrew A. had brought a card for the Kankams. The day was rather normal and everyone went back to the Stud for an evening of decisions.
Everyone settled into Jon and Adam’s room to discuss the 3 proposals. As not everyone had read them much deliberation and contemplation ensued. It was planned to have a topic selected by six, but, of course, this didn’t happen. Each group presented their topic and many questions on feasibility and what would be tested were asked. A vote was taken where the projects were ranked and the initial numbers came out very close between the Titan and Rail gun ideas.
A revote was taken changing the point values and the Kite idea was dropped. So it was mano-y-mano between the two ideas. The first head-to-head vote was a tie, so further deliberation commenced. After 10 minutes on each topic another vote was taken and this came out 5-3 in favor of the Rail Gun. The team then decided on slides to present the next day and split them up to be created. Brendan and Anup would revise the proposal submitted on Monday while the others made slides. Jamie compiled the slides and then handed the presentation over to Jon to jazz it up.
At 8 p.m. the Academyites sat around Andrew H. and Brendan’s TV to watch the Penguins hockey game. The Pens won a thriller dominating the first two periods, but tried to give it up at the end. The guys continued talks on their amazing idea that would trump all others, even making a moon rail gun seem minute. Everyone was pretty tired and went to bed.
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009
Wednesday began and everyone was dressed nice and spiffy for the project presentation to come later in the afternoon. After a brief talk about what each person was going to present at breakfast, the group broke and spent some time with their PIs. Kristin and the rest of the Academyites, except Adam who was taking his last test, filed into the conference room around 1:00 as well as some observers such as Dr. Kankam, Andrew A.’s PI, and Dr. Shaw, Anup’s PI. The presentation went smoothly and all the observers sounded interested and eager to help. They gave some great supplemental information and offered to set up some contacts. Everyone then headed back for some more PI time. Jamie got sick shortly after the presentation and had to head to the Stud to sleep.
At 4 PM, the Faculty-Student Reception began in the Visitor Center Auditorium. Food was served and questions were passed out to each person to be used as ice breakers. These were pretty deep questions so most just mingled and spoke to other interns with the regular questions. The food was quite tasty including some wings which Anup particularly enjoyed. Pictures were taken and it was an all around good time.
The Glennterns then made an “epic shopping trip” to get all the food for the weekend’s camping trip. Everyone had a certain meal to buy food for and an array of food was purchased, some of which would not make it on the trip. After unloading the groceries back at the Stud, the guys decided to put their plan in action to create a lounge area. Moving was frantic as much of the furniture was heavy and they wanted to pull the move off quickly. There was much deliberation about which interior design would best convey the energy and feng-shui necessary for such an important room.
During the fray a fatality occurred. Adam was napping since his life only consisted of homework and when he awoke and tried to pick up his computer to continue work he grabbed it on the monitor and it broke. It seemed to be a good computer, loyal to the end, but it was old and it was its time to go. He bought a new flat screen monitor and set back off on the homework.
Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Thursday was just as any other day at NASA, plus a little rain. Breakfast was as usual, where the team discussed the loud news broadcast that was there every morning. All of the Glennterns felt bad for Harkirat because she only got one hour of sleep. Being a grad student and an intern does not make for a happy Harkirat. All of her projects will soon be over, though, and hopefully she will get to sleep more.
After prepping for her presentation, Jamie threw up in the bathroom and had to go home. Because her other intern friend was also sick, she thought that something was going around. She determined that she had the flu, the only remedy for which is to treat the symptoms and rest as much as possible. Being sick is not fun.
The gang headed out to Presto’s for lunch, the first time they decided to eat lunch not on NASA’s campus. The food was mediocre, but the company superb.
At 5:30 the interns piled into various cars and left for Cleveland to meet their speaker for the evening. The event was held at the Old Angle Tavern, a quaint bar which gives the feeling of stepping into the 18th century. The Glennterns and their special guest, Marc Millis, dined in the private room of the tavern while they discussed the role of NASA in society and other related topics. Mark then gave a presentation on his research in the unusual fields of space research in which he has an interest.
Friday, June 12th, 2009
For an unknown reason, the entire group was extra tired at breakfast. Perhaps a long week at work was to blame. Despite their exhaustion, they all were zealous about their opportunity to go camping that very day! Several of the boys had bought pink water shoes, and they were giddy at the thought of being able to show them off.
In the afternoon, the Academy heard Scott Graham speak about “NASA’s New Rockets,” the upcoming Ares I and V. The newest space equipment for space transportation and exploration look less like the Space Shuttle and more like a rocket, designing it to fit the specific needs of the mission. It was interesting and pertinent to the Academy’s group project.
After returning home from work, the gang quickly packed up to head out on their great adventure of a camping trip! Anup and Kristin drove the rental cars while the rest of the group split up according to who wanted to listen to the Stanley Cup Game 7. After several trips back and forth into the Plus to grab the forgotten tent and stopping at Walmart for pink swim shoes, the group left Cleveland around 8.
In the “Stanley Cup” car, Kristin, Jamie, Brendan, Andrew H and Jon tried with several failed attempts to pick up the game, but finally at the last 10 minutes of the 3rd period, they got it in Pennsylvania. At the toll booth, we heard that the Pittsburg Penguins beat the Detroit RedWings 2-1. Jubilations could be heard from excited Penguins fans, while Jon hung his head in shame.
The rest of the drive proved exciting, both cars stopped near the campground because they needed better directions, and accidentally got turned around for a short while. They arrived safe and sound after making their way through steep, windy roads and a fog due to the drivers’ quick skills.
After arriving at the Kentuck Campground, the Glennterns did not get to bed immediately, because it was quickly learned that the critical bag with the tent poles was missing from the tent bag. After all hope seemed lost, the engineers inside of everyone figured out how to solve their crisis of sleeping arrangements at midnight. The end situation of the tent appeared to look as the tent would have looked had there been no problem! The overall sleeping arrangements worked out well, and the interns snuggled into bed for an exciting weekend after an exhausting day.
Saturday, June 13th, 2009
As if one early wake up was not enough for one week, the make-shift tent inhabitants were woken by a very obnoxious car alarm at 8 a.m. This ruined the plan for a good night’s rest as after this little girls decided to scream all morning in adjacent campsites. Everyone ate a very filling breakfast of fruit and bagels and then headed out for a hike through the woods. Jamie hung back to guard the campsite and catch up on some sleep so that she could be sure to be back in the swing of things for the rest of the weekend. The hike was nice and many pictures were taken of the group as they traversed the trail and then down some of the scenic river, with many accidental fall-ins along the way.
Next, the team headed to the natural water slide which was very long, fast, and rocky. Andrew H. and Jon went to the top first and, although slightly nervous, went down the slide only getting a few bumps and bruises. Shortly thereafter Anup and Andrew A. went. Anup had to borrow some of Jon’s clothes because he didn’t want to get his clothes wet and while away Jon put on the Anup suit and swung the keys with the perfect expression making the Anup experience complete. Kristin and Adam also went and no one got hurt.
After a smörgåsbord lunch created by Anup, Harkirat, and Adam, the gang played a little Frisbee. They then headed to Falling Water, Frank Lloyd Wright’s most well-known architectural masterpiece. This 1000-square foot home atop a waterfall takes one’s breath away, regardless if you like the style. Wright’s cantilevers and thoughtfulness of design impressed all of the interns, and they all thanked Anup for his suggestion.
The gang jaunted back to camp for dinner, a scrumptious meal prepared by the Andrews and Jon. The initial plan seemed failproof: steak, carrots, peppers, and diced potatoes wrapped up in tin foil, but alas, the carrots and peppers had been left at home. In the end the Glennterns made a good meal, followed by a warm apple treat.
They all went to go see a stargazing presentation at the amphitheater of the campsite, but it was geared towards a younger audience and the interns decided to return to the campsite. The evening was spent with chats around the campfire about life experiences until the last log was burnt through.