Monday, June 18th
Monday morning started the week out with a bang. The guard at the West Gate Entrance contemplated giving the students working in Bldg. 302 (302ers) a ticket for not responding loudly enough when he said “good morning” to them. All was forgiven; however, the rest of the day followed suit with plenty of arguments. The academites finalized the design on the unofficial patch, to be used on the Academy t-shirts.
Tuesday, June 19th
Tuesday began as a normal day, but shortly after lunch the unfortunate happened. Samira was rushed to the hospital after unexpectedly losing consciousness during a tour of a clean room. Surprisingly the emergency medical professionals did not ask if Samira had been exposed to any chemicals. Luckily, after a few tests and a CT scan, it was determined that there was nothing seriously wrong. Samira was home before dinner sipping juice and taking it easy. Some interns still say that she was trying to get out of work for the afternoon…
Wednesday, June 20th
Wednesday turned out to be a relatively normal day. The RA’s planned meals for camping this coming weekend, some of the students conquered some rocks at the local gym, and Nathan and Jacob both beat Kathleen at chess. While Kathleen may need more practice at the chess board, apparently it was the exact opposite for those who went rock climbing earlier that evening. To quote Nathan on the matter, “We straight tore it up and everyone at the gym wanted to talk to us.” Also, it should not be forgotten that Wednesday, June 20, 2012, marked the first ever anniversary of team “ETERNAL SORROW.”
Thursday, June 21st
After attending an interesting lecture on next generation electric propulsion thruster concepts from Mr. Patterson, the 302ers decided to go on a little adventure for lunch. This resulted in them sitting on part of a sewer, overlooking a valley with a cute little river and bridge below. Despite the ants everywhere, it was an extremely lovely lunch. The 110ers, Molly, and Harkirat decided to investigate the wood fire pizza and gelato truck outside of OAI. The long and sunny wait for their pizzas was only alleviated for Spencer who got the last serving of mocha gelato. Molly, begrudgingly, settled for a lemon and raspberry sorbet which was not the same.
Following work, the 302ers passed a van/truck, officially dubbed a “vuck.” The RA’s headed to Wal-Mart for last minute camping needs, and (most) bags were packed (Samira) and in Molly’s car, ready to go to camping the following day.
Friday, June 22nd
Bright-eyed & bushy tailed, after a hard nights packing, Team ETERNAL SORROW assembled at the race track to start off the race with the best and worst NASA had to offer… after some were provided a 9min handicap, of course.
After a mad 5-quarter dash by Kathleen, and an equally impressive traverse by Nathan, the group moved from 18th up to 11th, and kept the momentum going. Brian, the team’s surrogate runner held place during the third, mitigated leg, paving the way for the Batman (also goes by “Jacob”) to beast the remaining mile and a half, clawing ‘SORROW into a satisfying 7th place overall finish, despite the 9 minute handicap. ETERNAL SORROW received the 3rd best time and was the best student team. WAY TO BE!
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, everyone else was sitting around doing nothing. Lame.
After returning to the hotel and undergoing a brief attempt at hygiene and last-minute packing, the interns headed out. The gang loaded into the Mystery Machine to investigate the Ohiopyle State Park. The students arrived ay a poorly assembled tent and a pathetic fire, courtesy of Molly and Gina who left directly from work.
Saturday, June 23rd
Difficulties aside, what can be said about cooking muffins and eggs on a campfire is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. Some thermodynamic shenanigans with orange-peels allowed for their open range cooking, in lieu of a griddle, and with Aero nibbling on cold starch like squirrels, Space’s superiority was asserted once again.
The massive group left for a late-morning walk, to warm some up, and tire others out, in preparation for the spelunking later that day. Surmounting the top precipitated in a precipice the proportions of which were not precise, but predicted to be perilous at our precarious position. While we paused to picnic, Kathleen, plagued by impatience, was plotting her peregrination down the perpendicular plane, and presently proceeded to plummet with a piddling preponderance of precaution. Her phlegmatic preoccupation with self-preservation paralleled the predilections of a precocious child. Platitudes aside though, it was pretty impressive.
After packing into the cars, the group departed immediately for the camp site, changed into more expendable clothing for the caving, and rushed to reach Laurel Caverns for the long awaited journey. Upon arriving at this Lone Mountain among the flats of Pennsylvania, we were greeting to a royal welcome by Molly’s previous guide, Shaggy. The three hour journey into the depths of the earth was accompanied by shouts, screams, trips, falls, and splashes. Some members of the group greedily took on the challenges, and chose to delve into the deep, more difficult, paths. The 9 Space spelunkers were set against the 9 challenging routes, though none were obligated to go further than their will or fortitude allowed.
The streams of water proved constant companions, greasing their walkways and ensuring that their footing was never reliable. Members of the group managed to grab a few, precious pictures, despite the most unlikely conditions for photography. Some of the more fearless, peerless, and hygiene conscious-less members of the group attacked stream-filled crawlways, soaking as little or much as they could manage. Brian took these cave excursions as attempts to troll the other members of the trek, brandishing the flecks of water on his hydrophobic pants as all the mountain could muster. Molly fancied herself a queen among the explorers while under the mountain, brandishing her dry sash as a proud badge of regency.
At one point, they group happened across a large stone. Shaggy instructed them to turn all their lights off, and attempt to travel around it. Groping through the darkness was difficult at first, and the path perilous. We were assured that the rock had fallen to its present place over the last several hundred years, and our blind slinking left little doubt in our minds. Only a mountain could make passageways so twisted and rough. The Academites descended 42 stories, down and back again, all returning with a spelunking story. At the end, we traveled up, up, up, 17 stories of stairs, until we came to the epileptic tunnel. Controlling the lighting with a rousing dwarven mining song, we traversed the final corridor into the open.
To clean off the layer of regolith from the caverns, the group ventured to the natural waterslide which, though underfed, proved a refreshing and cleansing experience. After some rock jumping, and a daring rescue of Macie by our resident lifeguard, Jacob, we saddled up and returned to the camp for another evening of fun and games.
Hotdogs and Turkey burgers roasted over the fire, and s’mores soon followed. Deep philosophical discussions continued into the night, accompanied by pyrotechnic pizazz from our resident wizard Jacob (who is gaining more titles than a character in a Tolkien Novel). People dropped off one by one, to the soothing, serenading sounds of the wilderness.
Sunday, June 24th
On Sunday, after a delicious round of breakfast burritos, the group saddled off to gaze at the waterfalls of Ohio Pyle, where they played studio-audience to a proposal in the spillway below. A visit to Falling Waters afterwards wowed the group with its stunning architecture, creative flares, and murder-ready terrace walls, sized perfectly for people to stumble to their deaths below. After a tour through the landmark, the group saddled up into the van, finally ready to return home, where warm beds, running water, and work in the morning sought to greet the travelers home.