National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Week 7

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Monday started out like any other Monday, though the Glennterns escaped through the side-door to avoid the ever so cheerful “Happy People Lady.”  Surprisingly the morning news at breakfast did not contain much oil or gulf coverage, and the Glennterns were once again dissatisfied with their egg bread or fried toast.  Even more disappointing was receiving only three slices each instead of the usual four.  Why do we keep getting the French toast?!  Work was the usual work, nothing of particular interest.

The RE branch had an afternoon picnic, so while the others slaved away at their desks, Robyn, Chelsey, Nathan, and Shanita enjoyed some surprisingly good food and the nice weather.  Nathan and Chelsey were two-time cornhole champions, and unfortunately for Robyn and Shanita, Nathan and Chelsey were also volleyball champions, though by no means actually talented. Fun was had by all.

The rap session was held…usual place…usual time.  Yay normality.  The only point of interest was discussing possible ideas for the extra DC money.  Viable options included going out for a nice dinner, going paintballing, or even laundry and bowling.

After the rap session, module designs were presented and arguments with a side of discussion occurred.  After two and a half hours, a pretty good idea was hashed out, and the tin can modular design was born.  Success. 

After the meeting, most went to their rooms to get to work or to unwind.  The two love birds strolled off hand in hand on a romantic date to Walmart.  Another Monday done.

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

On this particular morning, the dreary inmates of Homestead did not elect to exit through the secret passage at the back of the hotel, but, rather, decided to face the obscene cheeriness of the abusively jolly front-desk lady at the main entrance, lest she get suspicious and cut off their only means of escaping the excitement awaiting them every morning.

During the work day, there were more tours that allowed the Glennterns to procrastinate from their work.  Today’s tour included the SLOPE and icing facilities.  Sadly, some couldn’t go because they had prior obligations.

After work, most of the inmates, I mean, um, Glennterns, retired to their rooms, and either passed out, worked on the project, or both.  Meanwhile, the mischievous Chelsey, Shanita, and Robyn journeyed to Bizzaro-Mart in search of candy to give to unsuspecting youngsters on Friday afternoon.  These 3 scheming women did not go unnoticed, however, as they managed to arouse suspicions in a stockboy as they raided the Walmart of its entire gumdrop stash.

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

while day = =Wednesday
                  if cafeteria = = syrup
                                   Breakfast = French_toast;
                                   Breakfast  = Parfaits;
                 work = work;
                 if time = = evening
                                event = outreach_runthrough;
                                while event = outreach_runthrough      
                                                powerpoint = updated;
                                event = Cheesecake_Factory;
                                Cheesecake_Factory = delicious;
                elseif time = = night
                                Glennterns = sleep;

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Morning breakfast (as if there is any other kind of breakfast) consisted of the usual speculation about the worst case hurricane meets oil spill meets New Orleans scenario.  There were also more jokes about Dale Peterson and shotguns.   The Glennterns brainstormed some reasonable questions to ask Ray Lugo during our session with him today.  Top of the list was about how he planned to mitigate the chance of occurrence of the French toast bacon phenomenon in the Glenn cafeteria.

At noon, the Glennterns had the pleasure of meeting the Glenn Research Center director Mr. Ray Lugo.  He was a hard man to impress, as he always said “Ohh, that’s too bad” whenever we told him what university we went.  He also discussed his opinion of NASA’s new direction.  He gave good advice on how he got where he is, namely:  get good at something, whether it’s making copies, or designing new hardware, and treat every opportunity as the one that will make or break your career.  As a result of the meeting, Shanita now appears to have a job offer from the Glenn Research Center , in fact, she was practically ordered by Ray Lugo to work here – congratulations Shanita.

After this meeting, the Glennturns were required to procrastinate on their work some more, as they had a discussion with a board of Ph.D.’s for the graduate forum.  There, they were inspired to live life to fullest and convinced about how awesome graduate school is.  Nathan’s PI is awesome.

After work, the Glennterns passed out.

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

The Glennterns were excited for the busy day ahead, and to make things even better, they managed to avoid the happy people lady completely today.  What a good birthday present for our fearless leader, which could only be topped by a family size box of Wheat Thins with a big pink bow on it.

Work was busy as usual.  Luckily the day was cut short because the group had the mission of inspiring young children at two local YMCA’s.  The younger group of kids was very happy to see us arrive. They shouted “The NASA people are here! The NASA people are here!” as we strolled up.  Though we were nearly boiled alive, the projector overheated and shut down three times, and some little boy asked questions that none of us could provide satisfactory answers to, we made it through without a scratch.  Gumdrop colonies proved to be a hit for some of the kids, while others were clearly more interested in gorging in the candy.  Some groups came up with great colonies with a little help from their mentors.  A little girl in Howard’s group was a non-stop chatterbox.  When you asked her about her colony, she could talk straight for over five minutes without taking a breath.  Two-thirds of Chelsey’s group decided the project was dumb, and decided to build a gumdrop prison. Ryan’s group was the winner of the astronaut icecream with their solar arrays, greenhouse, power station, and more.

The older group of kids also seemed happy to see us visit.  Though the guy watching the kids seemed most excited to see us.  He claimed that we were making his day exponentially better and asked if we could come back every day.  The presentation went smoothly and without the projector shutting down.  The only distractions were the kid in the front making wierd noises and the blank stares on the kids’ faces during Ryan’s rant into trans-Neptonian planetoids and the chemical make-up and plate techtonics of Jupiter’s moons.   The groups in this session built bigger and better colonies than the first group.  One group had a porta-potty / power generator unit.  Another group built a moon-based amusement park with a roller coaster and Ferris wheel. The third group was the winning group with every module imaginable including an exercise module which powered the station, a garage with jet pack parking, and a satellite TV antenna. 

After this experience, the whole team fully regrets deciding to do a real project.  We all wish we had chosen outreach as our project and done this program and/or others like it instead.

After the outreach, Robyn headed to the airport for her trip to DC.  The others headed back to the prison.  After losing Ron, the Grand Am team decided to follow their trusty navigator homeward.  Either Howard is a better navigator than the GPS voice in the Ford, or Chelsey drives too fast, because the Grand Am team made it home first.  We’ll go with the first option.

Adam, Chelsey, Kylee, and Nathan headed out for West Virginia shortly after arriving home.  Behind them by an hour or so, Ryan and his friend Cassie also headed to the WV.   Shanita, Howard, and Ron tried to watch a movie, but with the power going out three times from the storm, that option was out.  

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Saturday began with yawn, and then another yawn, followed by some snoozing, and then another yawn, it was great.  All of this weekend’s rafters got the chance to sleep in, and most of them took it.  Only Turtledee and Turtledove took decided to awake at the absurd hour of 8:00 AM, apparently they wanted breakfast.  The rest us of decided that sleep and showers were more important than food. 

Kylee’s parents meet us at a hiking and rock climbing park about a half hour away.  These wonderful people were generous enough to provide us with home cooked food and store bought drinks.  While the burgers cooked, the rafters went hiking in the park and took pictures of the gorgeous West Virginia landscape. 

The ride to the rafts featured a much unplanned tour of the West Virginian countryside.  Apparently mapquest directed Kylee who directed Chelsey in entirely the wrong direction.  We had to be at the rafts by 2:30, which happened to be the precise time we discovered that we had driven 45 minutes in the absolute wrong direction.  Chelsey cars then hulled ass down narrow, winding, narrow country roads, with Ryan in hot pursuit. 

White water rafting was a blast, even though the rapids weren’t very big.  This tour of the Cheat River lasted 4 hours.  It was certainly tough exercise, as you’d dawdling along on what you’d think to be clear water, and then, suddenly, WHAM!  You’re stuck.  Next thing you know, you’re thoroughly stuck.  The best way out was either to paddle hard and gyrate like a moron, or wait until one of the other rafts slammed into and took your place.  Despite the fact the a few of the rapids involved sharp turns that threatened to tip the rafts over, Ryan’s friend was the only one who managed to fall out of her boat.  Aside from that, the weather couldn’t have been better.  Great day for rafting.

After rafting, the new rafters all looked at the awesome photos of themselves.  We thought about buying them, but they were marked up by about ohhh…. 1 billion percent.  Ryan’s personal favorite was of his friend, which wasn’t so much a picture of her, as it was a picture of a capsized boat. 

The evening ended with dinner at Black Bear’s, which was a Mexican restaurant.  The food was good and inexpensive.  We also had the pleasure of meeting Kylee’s friend, Adil, who is a philosopher, philosophically speaking.  We then went back to Kylee’s apartment , where we watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, washed the river grime off ourselves, and then proceeded to pass out.

Meanwhile, Howard slept.  Shanita also slept. 

Robyn spent the day in D.C. with her boyfriend.  She won’t tell us more than this.  We can only assume that the rest is not Adam friendly.

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Sunday was a day of travel for most, and sleep for the rest.  Our fearless leader, Ron, left for the land of country music – his own Graceland of sorts – Nashville, TN.  He left command to Shanita for the next two days.  The newly appointed leader, Shanita, then spend the day sleeping…as did Howard. 

Ryan, Cassie, Kylee, Chelsey, Adam, and Nathan made the trek back to Homestead Studio Suites from their weekend excursion to West Virgina.  The trip back was fairly uneventful, aside from the monsoon they had to drive through.

Robyn, who traveled the furthest during her free weekend, spent most of the day in Washington DC before returning to her room late Sunday night.