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Ryan Field Ryan Field
North Carolina State University
Internship: SPS SOCK/MRSEC
Online Journal
Week of July 30, 2007 Week of July 9, 2007 Week of June 18, 2007
Week of July 23, 2007 Week of July 2, 2007 Week of June 11, 2007
Week of July 16, 2007 Week of June 25, 2007 Week of June 4, 2007
Where Are They Now?

August 5, 2010

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University in the Electrical Engineering Department. I am supported by the NDSEG and NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and just finished 3 years towards my Ph.D. In addition to my research work, I have stayed active in educational outreach. I spent one semester volunteering with an engineering class at a local middle school and last year, I started an engineering outreach program for seniors at a local high school.

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Week of July 30, 2007

The final week has arrived and the feeling is quite bittersweet.  Unfortunately, it will be a while before I see the wonderful folks at the ACP who have made this summer great and my fellow interns who I’ve grown close to over the past 8 weeks.  At the same time, I am really excited about starting the next stage of my life as a graduate student in New York City.  My last weekend of the internship, I made a trip to NYC to search for an apartment.  I decided to take the Chinatown bus, which took about 2.5 hours longer than it was supposed to Friday night, but I made it to the city safely, even if it was after midnight.  Saturday morning, I woke up and went for a run through Central Park before beginning my search for my ‘perfect’ apartment.  After spending almost the entire day looking at apartments and traveling all over the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, and Harlem, I found a place that I liked in a cozy part of town just three blocks north of Central Park.  So, with one mission accomplished, I spent a little time exploring some of the city and making a visit to the Brooklyn Bridge (one of those things I really wanted to check out but didn’t have time to make it to during my previous trips). 

When I got back to D.C., a few of the other interns were at the AAPT conference and I had a lot of things to get done to wrap up things with the SOCK for this year.  The two days of work I had this week were spent exclusively on writing the SOCK User’s Manual and putting together things for the SOCKs.  On Tuesday, Andy and the Memberships Department of APS invited me out to lunch at Chevy’s.  I had a good time with them and appreciated their invitation! 

On Wednesday, we had our closing breakfast, which was the last time I saw everyone in the same place!  Afterwards, we finally got our chance to tour the White House.  I think the highlight of the tour was simply knowing that I was inside the main gates.  I mean, you see crazy people getting tackled in the lawn when they jump over the fence… so it was cool to be inside without being “that crazy guy.”  We only got to see a few rooms in the white house, but there were still some interesting things to see.  For example, I found out that I like Lincoln’s choice of china but not his choice of glassware. 

On the last day, things were a little hectic with getting everything packed and cleaned up and then turning in the keys and internet connection devices before hopping on the plane out of town, but I managed to get everything done.

The final running total during the internship is 530 miles in about 63 hours of running time.  I managed to build a pretty solid running base over the summer and, in the next few weeks, I am planning on stepping up my mileage and intensity as I start to tune things for the Marine Corps Marathon in October. 

This summer was exactly what I was hoping for – and more.  I had a really good time meeting new people, networking in D.C., seeing the beautiful sights that D.C. has to offer, and running all while doing work that I truly enjoyed.  The people I worked with were perfect for the job – especially Liz, Gary, Jack, and Donna.  I am quite thankful for all that they have done for me during the internship in addition to all of the other folks at the ACP and MRSEC that made everything possible for me this summer.

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Week of July 23, 2007
This weekend was my final weekend in D.C. (I'm heading to NYC to search for an apartment our last weekend), but it was also one of my most relaxing. Saturday, I woke up late, went for a run, and then did a little sight-seeing. A couple of places that I have wanted to visit all summer, but never got around to were Ford's Theater and the National Archives. So, my first stop was to Ford's Theater to see all of the historical items they have collected that are associated with President Lincoln's assassination. I enjoyed the visit and was glad that I managed to see it. Afterwards, I crossed the street to see the Peterson house where Lincoln was taken and died. This required a wait and was far less interesting I don t really recommend it. The next stop I made was the Sculpture Garden another place that I really enjoyed. I sat down by the fountain in the middle of it and watched it for a while as the water jets got larger and smaller. When the jets were at their maximum, the mist created by the spraying water made a nice rainbow effect. Across from the Sculpture Garden is the National Archives and I dropped in to see the original copies of the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. Although two of the documents were quite faded and hard to read, it was worth the wait to see them.

The rest of my weekend was spent relaxing, doing laundry, and preparing for my final presentation. By the end of the weekend, I felt comfortable with my presentation, but was worried about it going a little bit long. Sure enough, on Monday when we practiced our presentations in front of each other, mine was over by a couple of minutes. The practice day was helpful to simulate the real presentations and see where I could work on smoothing out my transitions. By the time that Tuesday rolled around and I gave my presentation, I was happy with the outcome and felt that I had done a good job at relating my internship experience to the audience. After the presentations were over, we went out to a nearby school to use their practice football field so that we could film our attempts to launch a football through the uprights using spandex, similar to the lesson that we put together for the SOCK but on a larger scale. We had a 6 by 1 yard piece of spandex and a 1 by 1 yard piece of spandex to use. We had a lot of difficulty actually launching the football using the large piece of spandex because there was a tendency for the football to get caught in the spandex and not fly very far. In the end, we were successful with both pieces of spandex, but we were able to make a longer field goal with the smaller piece.

The remainder of the week was spent finishing up things at MRSEC and starting to wrap up the tasks left for the SOCK. At MRSEC, I caught the end of the Nanoscience Camp and gave two successful lessons! One of them was an adapted version of the happy/sad balls activity from the 2006 SOCK that I connected to athletics with a discussion of how different materials can be used for different equipment. The other lesson was on nanotechnology and textiles. I ordered some pieces of fabric that were made by Nano-Tex to utilize nanotechnology for making stain resistant clothing. This fabric is commercially available and is used in clothes made by several clothing manufacturers. The students absolutely loved playing with the fabric and pouring grape juice and other stain-causing liquids on the fabric only to watch them roll off without even leaving a mark.

Running has continued to go well here in D.C. I have been spoiled this summer by the nice parks and flat terrain that is so common in D.C. I finished my final training run on the marathon course last weekend and am confident that I will be well prepared for the course in October.

Friday, I am leaving for NYC on a Chinatown bus to search for my apartment for this fall. I've been searching all week long and calling brokers to set up showings for this weekend with some success. It's going to be a busy weekend getting all of these things sorted out, but I'm so excited about getting a place for the fall and moving to NYC!

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Week of July 16, 2007

This weekend, I didn’t stick around D.C.  Instead, I made a trip to visit a good friend of mine that is working in Austin, TX this summer at IBM.  Since I had never been to Texas before, I wanted to go down and visit him and this was the weekend that worked out.  So, I had a nice trip to Austin and experienced some of the nightlife downtown before heading back to a full week of work with a new set of campers.

This week was the MRSEC Space Engineering Camp for rising 4th through 6th graders.  It was a bit of a switch from the previous middle school camp – each group has their unique set of behaviors that both please and frustrate you.  This group was a group of talkers!  Many of the kids were incredibly bright, but they always had something to say, but it was still a fun group.  One of the great parts about the Space Engineering Camp is that part of this year’s SOCK includes activities related to rocketry.  As such, we organized an opportunity to test two of the SOCK lesson at the camp on Wednesday.  Andy, Meagan, Justin, and Gary came over to UMD to help lead the students through exercises that Justin and I designed for the SOCK.  The planning was solid and the lessons kept the students engaged, but we ran out of time and couldn’t do all that we had hoped.  From this experience, we gained valuable feedback on ways to execute our lesson and the amount of time required to perform the experiments.  The reaction from the students was wonderful – their excitement over the projectile experiment and the Diet Coke experiments was priceless.  They were drawn to our rocket car as though there were a magnetic attraction between them and the moving vehicle. 

Aside from the demo day on Wednesday, the rest of the week was pretty ordinary…  Until Friday when Gary invited all of the interns over to his house for dinner.  He made some red beans and rice that were fantastic.  The highlight was having the opportunity to play basketball with Gary and a couple of the other interns.  I hadn’t played in years, so it was fun to pick up a ball again.

Running has continued to go well this summer.  This week, I retired a pair of shoes (after 350 miles, I switch to a new pair of shoes) and met my running goals after a slow start to the week.  This next Saturday will be my last in D.C. since I am heading to NYC to try to find an apartment for next year.  So, I want to get a good final run on part of the marathon course while I can. 

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Week of July 9, 2007

This weekend was the most enjoyable of the summer, so far.  Most of my time was spent visiting some of the lesser known sights in the D.C. area, which meant a nice break from the often overwhelming crowds that are common.  The first stop for the weekend was the US Patent and Trademark Museum.  They have a small space for their museum and only have one exhibit that changes periodically.  Right now, the exhibit was on the history of footwear, which was alright, but they also had an exhibit by the History Channel in the lobby on an invention competition that is related to the show Modern Marvels.  I thought this section was much more enjoyable and interesting than the shoes.  After the museum, we ventured over to the George Washington Masonic Memorial to check it out.  It was a really nice place and you could get a good view of the D.C. area, but we just missed the time period when the building was actually open and didn’t get a chance to go inside.  Another cool place that we visited was the Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed Medical Center.  We had attempted to visit the previous weekend, but didn’t get out there in time to get to the museum.  So, we tried again this weekend and it was worth the trip.  They have a lot of interesting medical related artifacts and instruments (that were crude enough to make me cringe just thinking of someone being “treated” with them).  Some of the highlights were the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln, a ball of hair extracted from a young girl’s stomach that ate her hair, a leg of a man with elephantitis, and a section on Mendel.  After the museum, we headed over to the Old Post Office Pavilion and went to the top of the clock tower where you can see a lot of the monuments around the mall.  It’s a good view because it is really close to everything plus there were very few people up there. 

On the business side of things, the work week was quite full.  I had to switch gears to get back in to SOCK mode after spending a full week planning out the curriculum for Space Camp.  We are going to put together two lessons for Space Camp that will hopefully be incorporated into the SOCK.  The first is a lesson using the Diet Coke and Mentos rocket cars that we’ve been working on over the past few weeks.  We’re going to put a design twist to the experiment and have the students optimize their own rocket car.  The other experiment is a “Super Slingshot” made of Spandex.  Here we are going to incorporate a lesson in the behavior of Spandex into a lesson on projectile motion and launching rockets into space.  I’m excited about both projects and think they will make a nice addition to both the SOCK and Space Camp. 

There were also several unusual and exciting events related to the internship this week!  On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to meet with Congresswoman Nancy Boyda from Kansas.  Right when we were supposed to meet with her, there was a call to vote in the House and she had to go to the Capitol Building.  While this might have seemed like an unfortunate event, it actually turned out to be fortuitous.  This meant that one of her staffers was going to take us to the Capitol Building and talk with us in the Rayburn Caucus Room while the Congresswoman was voting.  She came out to meet with us and talk with us for a few minutes and take a few pictures.  On Thursday, Meagan arranged a visit with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and a Capitol tour through her office.  It was cool to meet with the Senator and see some of the magnificent things inside of the Capitol.  These two visits were great because Congresswoman Boyda has a degree in Chemistry and Senator Hutchinson is on the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee – both relevant to science policy and making a difference in our country’s future as a leader in the sciences. 

Personally, running has continued to go well for me.  I successfully recovered from my race in Atlanta and am about to start focusing on my training plan for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.  I still love our housing location – it’s one of the best running locations I’ve ever had!

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Week of July 2, 2007

As another week of the SPS internship concludes, I find that time only seems to pass more quickly.  The weekend of sight-seeing and exploring was more ambitious than the first few.  While some interns went to Shenandoah to go hiking or out of town for other reasons, Meagan and I decided to stay in DC and do a little of our own hiking.  We had hopes of walking to the end of East Potomac Park to see The Awakening while stopping by some of the other monuments that are a bit further from metro stations.  We started our adventure at 5:40 in the morning and went to visit Albert Einstein outside of the National Academy of Science before we dropped by the Lincoln Memorial to experience it and look out over the mall without the crowds of tourists.  It was a nice start to the day!  We continued our journey through the FDR memorial and then the Jefferson memorial while taking nice pictures of the sun rising over the Tidal Basin.  

After Jefferson we began the long trek to Hains Point to see the Awakening.  What we hadn't planned for was the east end of the park being closed for Fourth of July preparations!  So, after stopping to refuel, we started to walk back along the south bank of the Potomac River.  When we got to the Arlington Memorial Bridge, we decided that we'd like to go check out Arlington and hiked up to see JFK's grave, the changing of the guard, and the Iwo Jima memorial.  Afterwards, we decided that it was a good time to head back to GW and end our hike.  Later in the day, I used www.mapmyrun.com to track our path and found that we had hiked over 11 miles around the city.  On Sunday, we had a much less adventurous day, but did a lot more walking.  We went out to the National Cathedral, which ended up being quite far from the nearest metro station, but was well worth the walk.  The views from the observation deck were fantastic!  Afterwards, Meagan and I wanted to go to the Museum of Health and Medicine, but got to the medical complex too late.  We re planning on making another run at it sometime soon and now we know how to get there.

In the working world, I am back at Maryland working on MRSEC camps.  There are two camps approaching with which I will be working, but primarily my focus is on the Space Camp.  Both of these camps are for students going into grades 4-6, so they are a little younger than the students from Spy Camp.  I'm taking the lead on Space Camp and structuring the camp and themes for each day, which range from observing space to rocketry.  The plan is to incorporate part of the SOCK into the rocketry day of Space Camp so that we will have an opportunity to test another of our lesson ideas for the SOCK with real students before shipping it out to the SPS chapters.

The other camp that I have a part in is the Nanoscience camp.  I am helping to put together some presentations and activities to help the young students to connect nanoscale phenomena to their everyday world.  I'm enjoying the mixture of topics that I am exploring, but I'm also starting to wonder how I'm possibly going to get everything done before the end of the summer!  There is still a lot of work to complete for the SOCK, but hopefully Justin and I will be able to really make some progress in the next week while I'm at ACP.

This week was also the Fourth of July, which means that it was finally time for my 10-k race in Atlanta.  My travels to Atlanta went smoothly and the race was great.  It was a little more humid than I was used to, but I made sure to drink plenty of water and splash it all over myself to stay cool while running.  In the end, I ran my personal best time (33:34) and finished 74th overall.  I was happy with the outcome given that some of the best runners in the world were there.  There are some pictures that the professional photographers took here.

After the race, I spent a little time with my parents (they try to come to most of my races and serve as my personal support team by carrying my bags, drinks, clothes, etc. while I run) and then I headed out to the airport to fly back to D.C. before the fireworks!  I got back to D.C. around 4:00 and caught up with some of the other interns before we started our celebration and headed over to the mall.  Unfortunately there was a bit of bad weather that included a tornado warning and forced everyone inside.  After things cleared up, we went down to the mall and found a spot in the grass. As amateurs, we were unaware that it's best to be closer to the Capitol so that the fireworks appear to be launched over the Monuments.  Regardless, the fireworks were nice and we took along our diffraction grating glasses to see the cool spectra created by the fireworks.  In the end, the Fourth of July in D.C. was definitely the best that I have ever experienced!  I am thankful that everything with the planes and weather worked out so that I could experience it.

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Week of June 25, 2007

This week was a busy week! We started the week right with a packed weekend of sight-seeing. Meagan managed to plan ahead and get Washington Monument tickets for all of the interns, so we made our trip to the highest point in D.C. The views were wonderful, but the pictures didn't turn out so great because of the dirty windows! After the monument we made a trip to the Museum of the Native American where there were a lot of neat artifacts and a particularly memorable piece of art that was a beetle made of various types of small beetles. The other interesting tourist excursion for the weekend was heading out to the National Zoo. It was a big zoo and we spent a lot of time walking around in the sun and a lot of animals were hiding, but I really enjoyed it. Saturday evening a few of us went out to experience D.C. night life with a friend of mine from high school (who Enrique and I met with for dinner at Zaytinya on Friday night). We had a good time dancing into the early hours of the morning before we hurried off to the metro. Despite a valiant effort by Meagan running in her heels, we still missed the train by something like 30 seconds.

I am back at ACP this week for work and spent the first part of the week catching up and the second half of the week preparing demonstrations for the ACP picnic on Thursday. We put together a nice set of Mentos and soda experiments to test if different sodas and candies produce different results. We also looked at how the hole size affected the fountain height to try and gain some information for a soda and Mentos propelled cart to be included with the SOCK. It was a particularly cool demonstration because we were experimenting at the same time and having the observers help us to determine the best configurations and products to use. The people at the picnic were interested in the experiment and we got many comments about how neat it was, in addition to several questions and suggestions for better testing the combinations. We re going to continue to analyze the experiments and the videos that we captured during the picnic and throughout the week. I have posted some of the videos on YouTube already and will continue to edit and post the footage:

http://www.youtube.com/ryanmfield

Besides preparing for the picnic festivities, there were two incredible opportunities in which I was fortunate to participate. The first was the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF), which was a showcase of a variety of projects that are funded through the National Science Foundation. There were some congress-people and their representatives at the exhibition as well as folks from the NSF and other science related organizations. I had two particularly memorable conversations one with a representative from the Boston Museum of Science who works with a group doing engineering outreach that provides curriculum that I've actually used in the past. So, it was good to meet with her and talk to her about the project. The other memorable experience was meeting the director of the NSF. Unfortunately, he was dragged away by his assistant for something during our conversation. Another nice part of the CNSF event was all of the free things that I managed to collect :) . After the exhibit, Fred Dylla and his wife, Linda, took us to dinner at the Capitol City Brewery, which was probably the coolest dinner I've had in D.C. because of the company! The following afternoon, a group of interns went to the American Chemical Society to meet with people from the education department, Project Kaleidoscope, and the American Society for Microbiology. We had a great dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant called Skewers. It was a great dinner and another opportunity to network with others in the scientific community. We may even get some help from ACS on finding more information about the Mentos experiments we are developing for the SOCK. One thing that was truly helpful for all of this were the bookmarks that intern Andy made for all of us to exchange with people. It's much easier to network when you have something to hand to people. So, this is a shout out to him for the nice work.

Of course, I'll finish off my entry with a brief running update. Last week I managed to run just over 70 miles, which was the highest weekly total of the year for me. Last fall, I was cranking out up to 100 miles a week, but I had some problems with my health and scaled back and then had to spend some of the spring nursing my injured hip. So, it felt great to get back to full form last week (even while working with the exhausting MRSEC camps!). This week was more relaxed because my big race is on Wednesday, the Fourth of July. I'm not exactly sure what to expect for my time since I haven t run an actual 10K in over two years, but I'm looking forward to the big race with a lot of competition to pull me along a little faster. Also, this week, I've started spending part of my run in the morning running with Meagan and Enrique. I'm always excited to have running partners for part of my run since I never get to run with anyone and because I love to see other people picking up running. So, I'm pretty excited about the extra company early in the morning.

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Week of June 18, 2007

This week was exhausting, challenging, and truly rewarding. It marked the beginning of the MRSEC Mission Impossible Summer Camp my first camp with MRSEC. Monday morning, we met all of our students and began work training the little spies. The focus of our camp this week was spying and spy related technologies. Some of the things we focused on were making and breaking codes, famous spies and their role in history, and several types of spy related technologies, like lasers, infrared radiation detection, ultraviolet light, and satellites. As a part of the camp, we arranged a trip to the International Spy Museum, where the campers saw some of the devices we talked about, like the ENIGMA machine, and could connect the things we discussed in the classroom to real world situations. On Friday, we put together a final mission for all of the campers. They were divided into their teams and given a series of clues that required them to use the skills and knowledge they gained throughout the week to complete their mission. I enjoyed working with the spy camp and gained practice at developing lessons and activities that effectively balance engagement with instruction so that the students are interested enough to listen while they are still able to learn. I'm taking a break from MRSEC next week, but when I return the week of July 4th, I will have a greater opportunity to put together lessons that blend these two facets of education. Next week, it's back to work on the SOCK. I've been a little out of the loop on things related to the SOCK. So, I hope to quickly catch up and make significant progress during the week since I will spend another 2 weeks at MRSEC and not really have time to focus on the SOCK until the end of the summer.

I think the highlight of this week was Meagan getting tickets from Alan Chodos to a Washington Nationals baseball game and inviting me! Although the Nationals aren't one of the better teams in baseball, they put up a good fight and almost made a serious come back in the final innings before losing it with the tying run on third. So, I guess the best part of the night was the stellar french fries and soft pretzel dinner and squeezing onto a packed Metro train (I had to gently shove Meagan onto the train so we would fit :) ).

Another cool thing that I saw this week was the Bodies exhibit in Rosslyn. Krystyna, Meagan, and I went out to see it on Thursday evening after work and it was wonderful! Seeing how each of our muscles is intricately tied to the various parts of the body to allow for motion and individual organs were affected by common diseases was fascinating. I think the best part was seeing an entire human body that had everything but the blood vessels removed so that the entire circulatory system could be seen!

Everything is still going smoothly in D.C. I had a challenging week as I worked to increase my mileage (shooting for ~70 miles in a week for the first time since I was injured in mid-April) while needing to leave for work earlier to prepare for the campers. It was a bit tiring, but I made it through. There are less than 2 weeks until my 10k in Atlanta and I'm feeling well prepared, but I need to make sure that I make a conscious effort to get a little more rest in the next 10 days or so. However, with all of the things going on in the city, sometimes that's practically impossible. Next week will certainly be eventful with the CNSF function on The Hill, the ACS event on Wednesday, and the ACP picnic on Thursday.

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Week of June 11, 2007
This week the pace of things began to accelerate as I started to manage splitting my time, energy, and thoughts between my positions at SPS and MRSEC. This week, I spent four full days working at MRSEC as I prepared for next week's Spy Camp! Although this work wasn't the most exciting, I did begin to pull things together with my teammates so we would be prepared for the kids at the beginning of next week -- the most exciting part! Thankfully, things are pretty well defined for this camp, so it is a good one to start with. The Space Camp later in the summer will offer more freedom and challenges with curriculum development, which I am excited about.

I also spent time working on the SOCK for SPS this week. My primary focus was on pulling everything together for an outreach activity at Tuckahoe Elementary School next Tuesday. We have decided to adapt a lesson on seat belt safety to fit with our goal of putting together a motion/kinematics based SOCK. Justin, Gary, and I played around with an idea to make a Diet Coke and Mentos fueled car to use as a demo on propulsion. Thanks to our official photographer and blogger, Meagan, there are pictures of a car that works in my photo gallery. Hopefully the interns that volunteered to help out on Tuesday will have fun working with the students using the lesson we've put together!

This week, I've also taken up a small side project of fixing up a bike that I picked up off of Craigslist for $30. It was a little rusty and needed some serious TLC. All I have left to do is find a wrench to adjust the pedals so they don't wobble and the chain will stay on without the derailleur holding it in place. I also had a chance to meet up with a friend that I haven't seen since high school who happened to be in D.C. for the summer. I was really happy to meet up with her and watch the NBA Finals.

I also managed to advance in my quest to visit as many D.C. landmarks and museums as possible. This weekend, I got to the Department of the Interior Museum, which wasn't the best museum in D.C., but it had some neat exhibits and it wasn't nearly as crowded as the big ones. Afterwards, a few of us went down to the Museum of Natural History and saw some of the staple exhibits, like the Hope Diamond and the Mammals. On Sunday, a couple of us made it over to the Portrait Gallery, which I found particularly interesting.

As for D.C. food, I experienced Chinese food in Chinatown and a nice Thai meal at a restaurant off of K street. One night I also grabbed desert at a small cafe in the Dupont area that had a stellar flour-less cake.

Next week will surely bring new challenges as the campers arrive for the first time and I continue to explore all that D.C. has to offer!

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Week of June 4, 2007
So, this is the beginning and I am excited to have arrived in D.C. Despite the adventurous first day and the rain, everything went really well. I spent the first weekend getting familiar with the area in Foggy Bottom and stocking up on the essentials for the following week.

Our orientation day went really well. I was pleased to see how welcoming and friendly the folks in the American Center for Physics (ACP) are. My excitement for this internship has only grown since I've arrived and started working on my projects. This summer, I'm going to split my time between the Society of Physics Students (SPS) developing this year's Science Outreach Catalyst Kit (SOCK) and the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) working in their Spy and Nanosciences camps. So far, the split has been a little difficult for me because I have felt like every time I get some momentum going on one project, I have to switch and head to the other site to work there. This is partly due to spending alternating days at each site and should improve over the summer as I spend entire weeks at a site before switching. So, the work is starting to roll, but neither project has reached the terminal velocity yet.

The first weekend was a full one. On Saturday several others and I went to the mall to view a few of the monuments before heading over to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The Museum was great filled with tons of interesting things that require much more than an afternoon to get anything more than a superficial taste of what everything is about. On Sunday, the afternoon was devoted to the US Holocaust Museum, which wasn't the most refreshing experience, but still touching and quite real. I hope to get to a couple of the great museums in D.C. each weekend and see as much as I possibly can.

One thing I've truly enjoyed about D.C. is the running environment. I've managed to get up at 5 AM every day before work to go for runs ranging from 8 to 10 miles. The area is great for running. I've seen almost all of the monuments early in the morning without all of the tourists and feel like I've truly gotten a unique view of D.C. I have a 10k planned for July 4th in Atlanta, which is one of the biggest 10k's in the world (~55,000 participants) and in October, I'm going to return to D.C. to run the Marine Corps Marathon. My goal is to put in 60 75 miles every week and run as much of the marathon course as possible. So far, everything has been great and I hope things continue to go smoothly.

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