Ann's Summer in Washington D.C.

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Our Final Week - Aug 7, 2006 at 4:27PM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

Our summer in DC is over now, and I have returned home for a couple weeks before moving back to school.  This experience has been amazing and the last week served as a great conclusion to a summer filled with many new and exciting activities.

Last Saturday almost everyone at GW got up early (for a Saturday at least) and walked over to the White House for our tour.  It was self-guided, but we could ask the Secrete Service employees any questions we had.  They knew a lot about the particular rooms that they were stationed in, and Kristen definitely asked some interesting questions.  Although the tour was quick, it was nice to have everyone there together.  That afternoon Erin and I went to Georgetown and walked down M Street looking at all the different stores and restaurants.  We stopped and ate a little appetizer at a Vietnamese restaurant, and on the walk home we even saw the Old Stone House that Pat had been looking for.  

Sunday I went to church with Pat for the last time and to the pool with Erin.  We had our "Last Supper" together as a group of interns which was a little sad, but it still included plenty of delicious food and the usual good humor.

Monday was our rehearsal day for our final presentations.  It went more quickly than I had expected and was not all too bad.  I had to make some minor changes and additions for my PowerPoint but everything went smoothly.  Afterwards, Bill gave us a short tour of his work at the Maryland campus.  That night I was also sent to get a gift card for Gary White and remembered on my return that I needed to do some shopping.  I was gone so much longer than expected that Andy, Alex, and Kacey were all leaving to look for me when I got back to GW!  Thanks for caring so much guys.  We had cake for Pat's birthday yet on Monday but did not get to go swimming again.

Tuesday was the big day of presentations.  Everyone did so well, and I was very proud of each of them.  I had to say goodbye to Ted, Ed, Jessica, and Kendra who are all from work but exchanged emails first.  We took a tour of the Neil's Bohr Library which contains a lot of unique records from very famous physicists.  The awe and delight on Kacey's face was priceless to see.  Because it was very hot in the afternoon a bunch of us walked to the pool only to find it closed for cleaning.  That was pretty disappointing.

Wednesday morning was our closing breakfast with all of the interns and Liz which gave us an opportunity to provide feedback on the program.  We all went home afterwards and took naps, packed our things, and relaxed at GW.  There was one last party on the roof that night, and for the first time all summer Andy was less than 200 pounds!  I am glad we could share his excitement and pride.

After such an amazing summer (and a lack of sleep in the previous nights), it was very difficult to leave on Thursday morning.  It was a little easier since everyone was awake when I departed except Alex who had left much earlier in the morning.  I definitely had a great group of friends to say goodbye to and a few tears to shed on the lonely Metro ride to the airport.  Thank you again to all of the organizations and individual people who created this experience for me.  I absolutely loved every part of it and learned a great deal about myself.  Thank you all for taking the time to share your lives with me and making the summer one I will never forget.

Week 8 - Our work here is done - Jul 28, 2006 at 4:39PM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

Erin and I spent most of this last week together in Syracuse, NY for the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Summer Conference.  We drove up from DC with Jessica and Kendra whom Erin has been working with this summer.  We were able to leave late enough that everyone at GW was up to say goodbye, and the ride seemed relatively short.  

Sunday morning we got up early to go to workshops.  The first that I went to was about cognitive research in physics education and ended up being a four hour lecture on PowerPoint slides.  My afternoon workshop though was focused on activities that can be done with fluids and was a lot of fun.  We got a book of activities and did some of them ourselves.  The SPS poster session we presented at also went well although there were relatively few people there.  

Monday and Tuesday were full days as the first shift of sessions always started at 8 am.  Erin and I would go to a few different sessions and then to the exhibit hall for lunch.  We listened to a couple plenary speakers including Jocelyn Bell Burnell who spoke about pulsars.  It was an excellent talk and Jocelyn's humorous personality was very evident.  I was even able to eat supper with her at the picnic afterwards.  Tuesday evening we went out for supper to a Thai restaurant.  The food was very good, and the deserts were amazingly extravagant.  

Wednesday evening Erin and I flew back with Ted Hodapp in his tiny, four-seat Cessna airplane.  It was a very nice flight and at least as comfortable as flying in a jet.  Erin even got to fly for a little while.  We did not get back to GW until almost 11pm but received a nice warm welcome.  It felt good to be home again.

Thursday and Friday (today) have gone by very quickly as I have worked to salvage materials from the network that I will need later on.  Yesterday afternoon we also went on a short tour of NASA.  Now at the conclusion of our last work day, my cubical is mostly barren and empty, our neighboring coworkers have gone home for the weekend, and it is hard to imagine not coming back on Monday.  The time has gone so quickly but has been unbelievably rewarding.  It would not be so hard to leave if it hadn't been so.

Week Seven: Tours and Work - Jul 22, 2006 at 7:57PM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

The rest of the week involved relatively little time at work as we started with a NIST tour Monday afternoon.  I went to work with Kristen for the morning at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) which I had never been to before.  It made the day's commuting shorter for me and allowed Kristen to have a buddy for the hour trip to NIST.  We managed to go the wrong direction after getting off the Metro and missed the shuttle.  Despite the half hour wait until the next shuttle, we arrived just in time.  The tour was interesting, and I liked seeing the labs that Alex and Andy work in, the molecules that Kacey has been working with, and other things that I have heard them and Pat talking about all summer.  I also got to eat an apple from a tree that is supposed to be a descendent of Newton's tree, and since it was a very hot day, we all went to the pool when we got home-even Bill.  It was awesome.

Thursday we had a tour of the Capital building.  Our tour guide was very informative and had a nice sense of humor.  We got to see a lot of things that I would not have gone to see otherwise.  Erin and I worked from home for the afternoon, and we had another baking night with Kristen.  Just about every week there is some night that we bake a bunch of goodies to share with everyone, and it makes it feel really homey at GW.  

When I was actually working this week I spent quite a bit of time addressing email letters to each of the PTEC member institutions so that we can get information from them to post on the new PTEC site.  If they are returned soon enough, I may work on entering the information into the site as an editor.  I also finished my poster to present at the AAPT meeting on Sunday night and added several more items to the Physics to Go collection.  

We have only a week and a half left together, and it is definitely getting harder for me to think about everyone flying out in different directions since we most likely won't see each other again.  I have been having an amazing summer and am grateful to everyone who has made it so including those who encouraged me to apply in the first place.  It is definitely an experience I would never give up.

Week Seven: A Visit from My Mom - Jul 22, 2006 at 7:56PM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

The big event for me this week was a quickly scheduled visit from my mom.  She bought a plane ticket last Thursday and arrived Friday night to stay at GW with us.  Right after she arrived, a few of us decided to go listen to the Army band perform on the west Capital steps as they do every Friday evening.  However, when we got there, there didn't seem to be anything going on.  We asked a couple police officers who told us that the band simply did not show up; they didn't even let anyone know they would not be able to make it.  The officers were really friendly though and gave us shiny stickers that look like badges.  

From there Mom and I walked toward the Mall, stopping at the National Art Gallery's sculpture garden just in time to hear the jazz band finish their last song of the evening.  We walked around and looked at the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial wall all of which she had not seen before.  Walking gave us some time to talk a lot more than normal.  

Saturday morning we slept in a little bit and then went to the Natural History Museum since it is my favorite of the Smithsonian Museums.  Kacey came along, and we watched the African Safari 3-D IMAX show.  After walking through the more interesting exhibits, Mom and I went to the Old Post Office for lunch.  We went up in the bell tower, and I showed her the view of Washington that I've become so much more familiar with now.  

Saturday evening we were all invited to Gary's home for supper and games.  We had a really good time playing Dance Dance Revolution, basketball, giant badminton, and other goofy games we came up with.  The food was very good as well, and the White's sent us home with the leftovers.  Thanks for your hospitality!  That night most of us interns also had a sleepover in Alex's room.  We laid our mattresses across the entire floor and had a good time rolling around and talking before it was finally time to get some sleep.  

Sunday morning Mom and I went to St. Thomas' church near Metro Center; it is a very, very old church.  We walked back past the White House, and I actually got a Washington DC sweatshirt from one of those paraphernalia stands that you see on every corner.  Before then, I had not even considered getting something like that, but I decided it was okay to get one tourist souvenir from the summer.  For the afternoon Andy, Kacey, Kristen, Mom, and I all went to the pool for a few hours.  It is so nice to have somewhere free to go cool down and play in the water.  Mom and I went to the Spy Museum for the rest of the afternoon, and it was pretty interesting.

We had several guests for our Sunday dinner with Katherine's fiancé Tyler, her sister Sarah, who stayed for a week with us, and my mom for a total of 12 people.  It is so nice to have us all together for that time each week.  I spent a lot of time just talking with Mom afterwards until it was time to go to bed.  She left for the airport early on Monday.  Having never been in Washington DC before, she very much enjoyed the visit.  I liked being able to show her some of the tourist attractions but more importantly letting her see what my summer has been like.  I know she was able to see why I have been enjoying the activities and people so much.

Week 6 - New Editor Privileges Add a Challenge - Jul 18, 2006 at 4:17PM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

Another busy has gone by.

Delicious food, outdoor games, and good company made Liz's party on Friday night a good time that continued on the car ride home in Jackie's tiny back seat where Andy, Pat, and I all rode.  

Saturday, we were finally able to go to the zoo.  Alex's parents and Erin's boyfriend all came along, and the weather was perfect for a morning spent outdoors.  Sunday included a shopping trip and the purchase of a blender for making delicious smoothies.  Kristen and I hosted the weekly intern dinner, and afterwards a few of us attempted to go to Borders bookstore.  After finding it closed, Kristen and I stumbled upon a group of people dancing outside.  A man looking for a dance partner and claiming to be an instructor showed Kristen a few tango steps which were fun to watch.  

The first few days at work this week were somewhat frustrating.  I made several different errors while trying out my new editor privileges and ended up creating duplicates of suggested sites for the collection.  Because neither Ed nor I knew enough about the tagging process, we had to get some help from the ComPADRE web technician.  He was very helpful and patient though, and by Tuesday I had everything corrected.  

The majority of the week was then spent tagging Snack Activities from the Exploratorium and a few other sites that Ed found while browsing.  I am also putting the final touches on my poster for the SPS poster session that I will be presenting at during the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) summer conference in Syracuse, NY in two weeks.  

As a final note, last night my mom bought a ticket to come visit for the weekend.  She will be flying in tonight, and we are planning to go to a military band concert on the Capital steps afterwards.  I am sure we will get to do plenty of sightseeing as well.  It will be very nice to show her everything that has been happening this summer.

Week 5 in DC - Jul 7, 2006 at 12:05PM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

Another week is coming to a close, and of course it went quickly.

Last Friday night a few of us went after dark to a water fountain near GW that creates a fiber optic effect with its arcs of water.  We got fairly wet playing there until a guard came out and gently scolded us, ending our bit of fun.

On Saturday Erin, Kristen, and I went to a British pub called Elephant and Castle for the World Cup soccer game and met a young man who said he was the French ambassador's son.  He was very interesting to talk to, but after doing some research, we are fairly certain he is not who he claimed to be.  Later Pat and Alex joined us to explore the Air and Space Museum.  It was somewhat interesting to me but not overly impressive.

Sunday, after going to church and making a shopping trip to bring home two whole watermelons, Erin, Kristen, and I went swimming at an outdoor public pool.  The best part was that there was a heat advisory that day (which we did not even know about), and we got to swim for free!  We also had another delicious supper as a group with excellent conversations and peach cobbler.  

Monday was a day off for those of us working at the American Center for Physics, and we spent the day relaxing.  I went walking around near Dupont Circle for the afternoon and visited a few thrift stores looking for cheap board games to bring home without any luck.  In the evening we went to the Capital Hill 4th of July rehearsal concert.  It was pretty strange when they would actually stop the concert and start all over, but Stevie Wonder performed, and we had a good time.  

Tuesday was the 4th so Kristen, Alex, Erin, and I joined Ryan (Erin's boyfriend) and the other NASA "Space Cadets" at the National Mall to watch the fireworks from the Washington Monument.  It was not nearly as crowded as I had expected – probably due to the quick storm that came through earlier in the afternoon.  It was a pretty good show.  

On Wednesday we all returned to work, with enthusiasm of course, and I was given the "Cataloging Best Practices" guidelines.  They describe more specifically the types of descriptions I need to write for sites being added to the Physics To Go collection.  I found out that I have to write two descriptions for every site, but at least I know better what is expected now.  My supervisor, Ed, and I added one activity to the collection so that I can clone others from it.  We are both learning how the process works so it takes some time.

Last night Jackie found out that she needed to move to a different building, because there is a leak in her wall and now a big hole that needs to be replaced.  She had to be completely moved that night so I helped with most of her things and got to see her new apartment.  Hopefully we will still get to see her around.  

Tonight we will be going to Liz's for an intern party and food.  I am sure we will have a good time.

Week 4 - Jul 3, 2006 at 11:08AM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

It's hard to believe that we are half way through our summer already, but I think we have finally come to the point were we are no longer tourists of D.C.  We are now residents of the city who notice other tourists.  Here are a few things that happened this last week:

Last Sunday Erin and I finally went to the 3-D IMAX showing of "Aliens of the Deep" as Andy had so highly recommended.  It was cool mostly because of the animals they showed and the realistic feel of the 3D effect.  We had our weekly Sunday night supper, and later on Kristen showed me her pictures from an entire semester in England.  There were lots of stories to go with them; thank you for sharing, Kristen.

By Monday it had rained enough that part of the Metro was closed, and although we do not travel that part of the route, everything was crowded and slow so it took some time getting to work.  The rain had become national news, but for the most part, it did not affect us.  

Midweek I went to the public library and collected a stack of children's picture books to bring home for "Bedtime Stories with Boys."  Bill and Alex each read to us the next night, and since then the books have become quite a hit which definitely surprises and excites me.  

At work I have been focusing on three main tasks to contribute to Physics To Go, the ComPADRE collection designed for the public.  The first is to search the Internet for websites and activities that explain some sort of physics concept such as how a water droplet can form a lens or how arc welding works.  I then search for an attention-grabbing image to interest Physics To Go visitors in reading the caption and visiting the linked sites.  All of the images need to have the photographers' permission to use them which I usually obtain through email correspondence.  Thirdly, I have been submitting "suggestions" for other sites that should be added to the digital library collection.  I enter information about the sites, as well as a description to hopefully entice visitors into reading more.  

At the ComPADRE editors meeting this last Thursday and Friday, I was also given some editing privileges and am now a "trusted tagger," meaning that I can enter all of the information about submitted sites rather than waiting for them to work through the system.  I was invited to attend the entire editors meeting and really enjoyed it.  The editors themselves along with Bruce, the director of ComPADRE, were interesting to meet.  It was a nice change from working at my computer all day, and I learned a lot about the ComPADRE project overall.  I now know about many of the tools used for the other ComPADRE collections and was very interested in speaking with the web technicians about the special features available.  

The meeting also allowed for me to learn more about my role in the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PTEC) collection that is being developed.  Afterwards, I drafted a letter to send to all of the PTEC member institutions to get more information about their physics teacher education programs.  With my title as editor, I will play a part in posting that information when it is returned.  

Beyond that, I am looking forward to the 4th of July weekend and some extra vacation time.  I'll let you know how it goes...

Weekend Hiking Trip - Jun 27, 2006 at 1:55PM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

The much anticipate hiking trip was a huge success!  I made pancakes for everyone in the morning, and much to my surprise, we actually left GWU on time.  It was great to see the transition from the city to the country as we drove toward the Shenandoah Park in Virginia.  We chose to hike the Whiteoak Canyon area because of its highly recommended waterfalls which really were beautiful.  I was even able to get in a long awaited swim when we stopped to take in the scenery and do a little exploring near a large waterfall.  Alex and Kacey had a few "slips" while we were there but ended up alright.  (You can read about it in their journals.)  Soon afterwards, the hike got a lot steeper, but later leveled out for a good span.  We eventually arrived at the Skyline Drive where half of the group chose to continue on to the summit and the other half stayed to relax.  

This last portion of the hike was most challenging but still not too difficult for me.  I was very surprised to see how amazing the summit really was even with the clouds; I had not been expecting much at all.  We stayed for a while, ate some more food, and took some pictures with one another.

The return hike went much faster as we headed downhill, and it soon began to pour.  It was so much fun to all be walking in the rain, not caring that we were soaked.  As always, it was also impressive to see how fast the river went up.  At one point, I heard a strange noise and could not figure out what it was until I seen a tree beginning to fall.  Alex, not knowing where the tree was, began running to a rock ledge and ended up immediately under the trunk suspended by the ledge.  It was certainly one of the major events that will last in our memories.  

The entire trip included very good conversations, and I really liked seeing how much everyone looked out for each other.  I think it was a great bonding experience, and we all went home happy after easily decided camping was going to be pretty uncomfortable.

The rain and thunderstorms have continued, but we are dry and together at GWU.  Now we are simply dealing with semi-flooded Metro lines and delayed commutes to work, but all is good.

Week 3 - Getting into the Swing of Things - Jun 26, 2006 at 11:28AM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

This week has gone by very quickly as I did and seen a lot of new things.

Saturday morning we had all gotten up early to go the zoo but were told it was open only for members until 11 am for a special event.  I think the family membership was about $55 for the year so we decided against it and began making our way to the Smithsonian Museums instead.  On the way, we stopped at the Old Post Office which was really neat.  We were able to look at all the bells and the city.  Erin, Ryan, and I also went to the Museum of Natural History, making it back in time for our "family" dinner which was again delicious.  Jackie, Kacey, and I also walked over to the Lincoln Memorial to see it at night.  It was beautiful and very relaxing.

Pat left on Sunday to go on her "cruise," and in the afternoon Alex, Kacey, and I went to the American History Museum for a while.  We saw the Star Spangled Banner, a Polio exhibit that was very interesting, and the science exhibit.  We even extracted cow DNA with a group of little kids.  We stopped at the Natural History Museum again for a few minutes to look at the Mammals section, because it was my favorite.  

Monday's work was a little more challenging as I was searching for information about very specific topics and had difficulty finding good results.  However, the ACP picnic in the afternoon was a lot of fun.  There was very good food, and I got to meet Jeff's girlfriend, Margie, as well as Andy's parents who were all very nice.  In the "Physics is Cool" room of demonstrations and activities for the kids, I helped mostly with a hot and cold water activity.  It did not always work right away, but I still enjoyed talking with the participants.  That night Kristen made supper for us, and we got to do a few cool experiments at home.  

I was invited to join a group of coworkers for lunch on Tuesday to celebrate a birthday, and while talking with everyone I found out about several new, fun places to go in or near D.C.  I hope to have time to do some of them at least.  After work Erin, Kacey, Kristen, Alex, and I all walked to the Korean War Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial.  I really liked the waterfalls at the FDR Memorial and the Tidal Basin with its walkway to the Jefferson Memorial.  It was a nice opportunity to do a lot of reflecting.  

Wednesday got a little busy at work for a while.  I had a meeting to go to, and Kristen and I were attempting to plan a hiking and camping trip for this weekend.  I was also told that I would be able to go to the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) meeting in New York and had to register for the meeting and workshops.  Later at home, we had cake and strawberries for Andy's birthday (which had been Tuesday), and it was delicious!

Thursday morning I was able to sleep-in, but did not get to see everyone leave for work as I usually do.  That was because Erin, Jackie, Katherine, and I went to an elementary school to do some demonstrations for a group of third and forth graders.  It went well and they loved the liquid nitrogen activities.  Gary White took us to lunch afterwards, and we worked for a while from GWU rather than commuting the hour to work.  

Today I am excited about our camping and hiking trip planned for the weekend but am little apprehensive about the thunderstorms that are predicted for the entire weekend as well.  However, even if we get soaked, I know we'll have a good time and enjoy being outside.  I'll let you know what week.

Week 2 - Jun 16, 2006 at 11:22AM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

Already our second week in D.C. is wrapping up, but my excitement for being here has not changed.  Quiet a bit has happened since last Friday, so believe it or not, I am trying to just hit the highlights for you.

Friday was a rather long day at work trying to stay on task, but it concluded with the American Center of Physics (ACP) picnic for this year's interns.  Many of the SPS Executive Committee members were present including my advisor, Dr. Earl Blodgett.  I really enjoyed talking with him and the others there, because we were able to have much more sincere and personal conversations than those at the Coalition for National Science Funding exhibit had been.  

Saturday morning Alex and I made a trip to the National Cathedral, riding the Metro most of the way but still enjoying a nice long walk from there.  I think I appreciated the conversation just as much as the Cathedral.  When we got home to GWU, everyone seemed pretty sleepy so Erin and I went on our own to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.  We had just enough time to see everything without rushing although I also found time to get too close to two different displays.  Soon they will have jazz performances outside every Thursday night which I would like to go to at some point.  That night Andy and I also went to see the Pride Parade at Dupont Circle but were too late to see anything.  Instead we spent quite a bit of time at the circle just talking and watching people and also met up with one of Andy's friends.

Sunday morning I made a French toast breakfast for Kristen and me just because she is a great roommate.  In the afternoon Erin, Kacey, and I went to Arlington Cemetery.  We watched the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and walked around a lot, but my favorite thing was seeing the Iwo Jima statue.  Sunday night we began a new tradition for ourselves as an intern group and had an amazing supper together.  Everyone was home even those who had been gone for the weekend, and we had some really great food.  It was incredibly nice to all be together sort of like a family.

Returning to work on Monday went well.  I have a variety of different resources and images to be searching for so it keeps me busy and interested.  I have also begun cataloging "snacks" or short activities from the Exploratorium.  By doing a few each day I will be able to finish them all in my time here.  Monday night Andy played his guitar as he often does, but Katherine also sang for us.  It is fun to see them so excited about their music.  Also this week, Jackie bought a bag of toys for us to share.  We have been playing with them every night since then, outside and in the hallway.  

Wednesday morning I was contacted by a GWU Investigator about a man that seemed out of place in our building the week before.  Of course I did not remember him at all although he supposedly may have entered the building at the same time.  I guess they are keeping a close watch over us.  Later, the four interns that work at ACP had lunch with Warren Hein and John Layman.  John is a professor at the University of Maryland here and was a very interesting man to speak with.  He is very passionate about teaching.  After work, Katherine also cut Pat's hair.  It is very cute and natural for her at shoulder length now.

Yesterday (Thursday) the COMPADRE advisory committee met at ACP, and Jack took us to meet them at lunch.  Again, it was a nice personal setting which I enjoyed.  We also met with Gary White and made some plans for activities to be held at the huge annual ACP picnic this Monday afternoon.  Hopefully, the activities will not require too much work, and we will still be able to enjoy the picnic with everyone else.  Last night, Katherine and her financè, Tyler, cooked a Cajun meal that we all got to try.  It was hot but very delicious, and they told us all about crawfish farms as a result.  

Overall, work continues to involve searching for a variety of different items online.  Ed and I have done some brainstorming so that I have a list of ideas to play with and develop.  I have determined, however, that I get far too cold after lunch and must put on a jacket everyday.  The afternoons always go much slower too, and five o'clock takes its time getting here.  Nevertheless, I am enjoying everything that has been happening and am looking forward to seeing some more neat places this weekend.  

One final thought:  Yesterday I looked back at the pictures of our orientation day.  It is so strange for me to think that only two weeks ago, we did not know each other at all and had no idea what was going to be happening.  I feel like we have all been together for so much longer and already I would not give up this experience.  Thanks so much to everyone who is contributing to it!

Week 1 as an SPS Intern - Jun 9, 2006 at 9:10AM
Ann Deml
American Physical ...
14 Posts

Despite having been here in Washington D.C. for less than a week, I feel like I have already done and seen so much.  I have really enjoyed almost everything and expect the rest of the summer to continue in the same pattern.  Here is an attempt to be brief in describing the week's activities thus far:

I arrived on Saturday to Pat's wonderful welcome and many helpful hints.  We went grocery shopping immediately upon our arrival, and I received a quick lesson on the Metro.  Later I did some unpacking and was already excited about the nice sense of community our intern group was developing here at George Washington University (GWU).  

Sunday morning a small group of us attend St. Stephen Martyr's Church, and then the majority of the group did a walking, self-guided tour of the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Arlington Memorials, and the Einstein Statue.  I had not realized we would be able to see so much in such a short amount of time.

Monday served as our Orientation Day.  We met many people serving in a variety of positions and it quickly became too many to remember.  There are also an overwhelming number of acronyms continually used within the American Institute of Physics.  That afternoon I met with Ted Hodapp and Ed Lee, my supervisors, and was given an introduction to the structure of the American Physical Society (APS) for which I am working.  Everyone was very excited to return home that evening and tell each other about their positions.

Tuesday morning I met with Ed who compiles the content for the PhysicsToGo website that I will be spending a significant amount of time on.  We went over a list of images and activities/internet resources that I could begin searching for.  He seemed very pleased with the material I found and gives good feedback.  There was also a Birthday party that afternoon, were Erin and I were introduced to the rest of the APS staff members.  Erin and I have our desks right next to each other which has been very nice in getting to know one another and learning about our available resources.  Much later that evening, my scientific inquiry and curiosity some how persuaded me to lift the cover for the fire alarm pull station to look at a small object inside.  I had no idea that the cover would have its own alarm and needed to call the campus police to reset it.

On Wednesday, Ed and I were able to brainstorm a long list of possible activities and images.  I finished organizing my desk materials and was able to make some good progress finding good images and other activities.  We went right from work to the Coalition for National Science Funding Exhibit been held throughout the evening.  Unfortunately there were very few booths that I was genuinely interested in learning more about and the event was relatively disappointing for me.  

Thursday turned out to be an excitingly unusual day in that work was cancelled for the entire American Center of Physics (ACP) Building.  A water main outside had broken and there was no water for the building, producing a safety hazard in the absence of a functioning sprinkler system.  As a result, Erin and I took the opportunity to see the Botanic Garden.  I was also able to take a much needed nap after sleeping only four hours the night before.  

That gives you an introduction to my experience thus far.  Optimistically, future journal entries will be shorter and therefore more enticing to read.  Nevertheless, I know they will be full of the fun activities and unique experience we are all having this summer.

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