Sunday June 12, 2011
Sunday was a pretty slow day for the Academy members, as most needed to recover from Saturday’s crazy scavenger hunt. The girls joined the Aeros and went to the Great Lakes Science Museum in the afternoon, while the guys hung back and played cards. Later in the afternoon, some of the Academites played Uno with another NASA intern that lived on the floor as there were a lot in the Studio Plus this summer. In the evening, the group had a series of meetings, which was growing to be par for the course. First, Andrew had some great teambuilding activities.
The Academites proved very competent in everything except back-drawing. Fortunately, the National Advisory Board on Teams and Leadership has recently removed back-drawing from the list of make-or-break skills vital to success. After watching a video of the hilarious antics of Glenn Academy 2009, the group got down to business and began to hammer out some specifics about the group project. There was a white board involved, and in a couple hours time, the team had a decent idea of what they would do, at least enough for the proposal that was due in the morning!
Monday June 13, 2011
Monday of week two began like any other day with a hearty breakfast and everyone’s favorite track being played over the cafeteria speakers. Unfortunately, the results from the scavenger hunt weren’t tallied yet; which we had eagerly awaited, knowing that that each of our teams was obviously the winner. The work day went well though and we returned to our abode on time for the weekly RAP session. The session began with our first weekly summary, written by Andrew, which was complete with beautiful poetry and lyrics from today’s pop hits. Afterwards, the Academites went through the exciting plans for the following week and weekend. Finally, half of the group hoofed it to the Harry Buffalo for the Stanley Cup game 6. It was a successful night with Boston reining victorious once again.
Tuesday June 14, 2011
Tuesday morning was once again filled with breakfast and research. Breakfast took a while, but it could have been because Logan asked for his two eggs “easy-over.” The highlight came when Andrew announced the results of the scavenger hunt. Michael B, Mike J., Michelle, David, and Armando won by the super-slim margin of 15 points out of over 2000! After work, the Academites decided to go outside get a little exercise, with basketball being the sport of the day. The group walked to a local elementary school that had a hoop by the playground and then shot free throws to determine teams. Everyone missed at least the first attempt, and when 5 minutes had gone by and the teams were not yet decided, they knew it was going to be an interesting game.
The game was fun, and let’s just say this: the NBA Finals ain’t got nothin’ on us! Cameron turned in the best performance of the day, shooting several nice shots and hustling to make plays. After a break for showers and dinner, the group then took a trip to a local laundromat to wash clothes and work on the group presentation due in the morning. Not too much past an outline got done at the laundromat, so after a very slow fast food run, the Academites finished up most of the presentation in a late-night PowerPoint work session.
Wednesday June 15, 2011
The big day had come and our first group presentation was scheduled for late afternoon. With the slides finally complete, a witty new name for the project, and each member dressed to impress, the academites were ready to sell our proposal. The presentation went off great, with Dr. Kankam, Andrew, and Armando leaving impressed and eager to hear progress on the group project. Once complete, the academites returned home for a riveting night that included game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Prior to the game, Mike J. and Mike N. went to Case Western and Mike J.’s apartment to collect some living essentials and electronics for the group project. After making it back home, the group watched the rough and tough Boston Bruins dominate the Vancouver Canucks for their first Stanley Cup since 1972. Between periods, the team shared YouTube videos, the star of which being the meringue-ing dog.
Thursday June 16, 2011
After an incident involving spaghetti, the Academites pulled out of Studio Plus several minutes later than the Aero Academy, but somehow beat them to the cafeteria and had a quick breakfast. After spending a couple of minutes pondering the meaning of life, the interns left for their work sites earlier than ever before. When they met back at the Cafeteria for lunch, they learned that David’s lunch had been saving their table all morning! After work, they took an hour to work on group project, write daily summary reports, etc. A trip to the local stores to prepare for camping was next on the agenda, so the group made some lists and headed to Walmart. As the group went searching for the required long-sleeve shirts and water shoes, it was discovered that no one actually works at Walmart these days. Don’t let the government fool you by blaming the economy for high unemployment; it’s Walmart! Parts of the group even had to go to Dick’s and Target to find the clothing items they needed. The Academites then loaded up on camping food at Giant Eagle.
Friday June 17, 2011
On Friday, the team had their first lunch outdoors in preparation for a weekend camping. Once the workday was over the fun began and the Space team rushed home to finish packing and loading the cars for the trip. In Andrew’s car, the Academites discussed favorite movies and movie stars for almost the entirety of the ride, which included one very close call with a frantic deer. The other car enjoyed good conversation as well as witnessing some antics from Cameron. After the first group reached the camp ground, Andrew sprinted out of the car, clearly in too much of a rush to close his door and leaving the rest of the car to endure through a soundtrack of only high pitch beeping.
At our camp site, the team began to erect the tents only to find that the larger of the two didn’t have any poles! All being natural problem solvers, the team went to work, devising a rope and stick method to support the tent in even the most intense weather. However, no one in the group had anticipated the torrential rain that occurred through just about the entire night. Molly, Cameron, and Mike N., having been on the downhill side of the tent, woke up in a puddle and ran to Michael B.’s car for cover for a last few hours of sleep.
Saturday June 18, 2011
Undeterred by adverse weather, the Academites woke up early on Saturday and enjoyed a nice, hearty breakfast of 1⅓ mini-bagels provided by the breakfast crew of David and the Michaels Barton and Johnston. If you ask the Academites, they would all tell you that the cream cheese was what really sent breakfast to the next level. The crew then grabbed a couple of the Aeros and went hiking down the Baughman trail, finding lots of rocks to climb and vines to ride Tarzan-style.
The best moment was provided by David, exhibiting poetry in motion (in mud). He leapt feet-first into a large puddle, producing the desired splash but also causing him to slip and fall on his back. Thankfully he was okay. After the hike, the Academites plunged down the nearby natural water slide, which was moving at a pretty fast clip because of the night’s storms. Michael B. and Cameron even went down backwards, just because it was hardcore. Noticing the time, the group dashed back to camp, grabbed a sandwich lunch, hung all of the dripping wet sleeping bags out to dry, and then headed to Laurel Caverns.
Laurel Caverns is the largest cave in Pennsylvania, and the Academites (plus a few Aeros) set out to conquer it. Upon arrival, everyone made sure they were wearing the required long sleeve shirts and pants. Mike N., Logan, Michael B, and Michelle had made a Target run a few days prior and now revealed their secret purchase: matching flannel shirts! The group was greeted by Ben/Shaggy, a cave guide of thirteen years. After donning some helmets, signing their lives away, and taking some “before” pictures, the crew began their 46-story descent. The strung lights disappeared into pitch blackness after the first few stories, making the Academites appreciate their investment in high-dollar headlights. The cave itself was magnificent, three miles long with ceilings as high as 45 feet. Shaggy let the group choose their own path, constantly identifying challenging and easier routes from which to pick. Most of the Academites chose the harder routes most of the time, but only Molly, Logan, and one of the aeronauts attempted the Mail Slot, a tight squeeze between rock and stream that got those few pretty wet. A favorite feature among many of the Academites was the head-first dive/climb.
After the caving, the Academites changed out of their now brown clothes and headed back to the campsite, where they met back up with the Aeros who had spent the day hiking and fishing. The fire was almost non-existent upon arrival, so dinner was a long ways off. The dinner crew got to work building the fire, using some coals the Aeros bought to assist in their own dinner. Dinner for the evening was Hobo Stew using potatoes, carrots, onions, ground beef, and ground turkey that the Dinner crew had prepared before leaving Studio Plus. Each meal was assembled in foil packets and then sprinkled with salt, pepper, Lawry’s, and a generous helping of grumbling from non-dinner crew about having to make their own foil packets. Also, the potatoes seemed to be much scarcer than the dinner crew had planned.
After an hour or so of cooking on the hot coals, the Academites ate every bite of the awesome dinner, declaring dinner crew as the winners. After the food was gone, s’mores and cookies were brought out. The Space and Aero Academies sat around the fire talking until about 12:30, when they were greeted by a traveling party of locals! They even gave Molly a few potential nicknames: Ginger Soul or Barefoot Betty Anne. The Academites were invited to join the wandering band as they went to leave, with everyone deciding that the morning’s rafting adventure was more important. Just then, the sky broke open, unleashing a torrential downpour. Everyone made a mad dash to put a few things in the cars and get out of the rain for the night. Most of the Academites headed straight for the cars, and only Mike J., Michael B, and Molly ended up in the tent, which leaked profusely.