Episode X: The Finale

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Saturday, August 5, 2023


Clayton Markech

Monday included more updates to the presentation at work.  A couple meetings with my mentor about one last component I could add to my presentation, the visual verification of my research.  In the afternoon I ran down to the lab with my postdoc and got a quick video that represented the visual verification of the phenomenon I was researching.  It was a great last minute addition to my presentation, and I’m glad that he mentioned that I could add it.  After work a group went down to the mall for a last social night there.  We played Spikeball until we couldn’t see the ball due to darkness.  It will be a great memory that I have for a long time.

Tuesday at work was like the majority of the early parts of my internship.  I did almost nothing at work except a little editing on my presentation.  In all honesty I can’t remember if I did anything worth noting that night.  I think it was a chill night, but I could completely be mistaken.  I would recommend checking in with the other interns' blogs this week.  I might have done something with them, but I might not have.  And that was my Tuesday.

Wednesday was my last day at NIST.  It was a bittersweet day.  I was glad to be done, but I also felt as though I was missing out on the next part of the research because I won’t be there to see it.  I returned all of the items that NIST gave me for the internship then I had one last practice presentation with my mentor.  And after nine drafts of my slides and giving him rough presentations he finally said it was a very good presentation.  Now that might be because he couldn’t have me change anything else at that point because he wouldn’t see me again, but we’ll never know.  After work, a group of us went to the Wharf, which is a place that has live music on Wednesday nights.  Almost, if not, all the other interns have been there before but it was my first time.  I really enjoyed hanging out with them as the music played in the background.  We played some Jenga and some bags and it was overall a good night.

Thursday, we had our practice presentations.  I was lucky enough to get to practice in the room we were going to present in on Friday.  I say that because the group of interns was split half and half and I lucked out.  I definitely got some helpful comments about my presentation which I was able to include that night in one final edit of the presentation.  I am really glad that we had practice presentations and that Brad was really picky about our presentations because it left us with a lot of constructive criticism.  After the practice session, a couple interns and myself went to the Air and Space Museum.  Although half of it was closed for construction, the half we did see I greatly enjoyed.  From there we went back to the dorm and a short time later a large group of us went to Tonic for dinner and got to sit at the exact same table as we did in the beginning of the internship when we were first meeting each other.  It was nostalgic and we got to leave our mark because the restaurant encourages us to draw on the wall in the booth we were in.

Yesterday was the culmination of all the work, preparation, and stress that went into my research project.  The intern colloquium was great.  At least in person.  Everyone did a wonderful job presenting what they did this summer, and it was amazing to hear the vastly different things people did.  It was an amazing experience to present the research that I myself performed and analyzed.  However, we found out that there were some audio problems on the live stream at some point.  I’m grateful that it didn’t affect me, but also feel bad for the interns it affected.  After the colloquium, I packed up a box to ship home.  And I spent the rest of the afternoon continuing to pack my suitcases.  A small group of us walked down to the Lincoln Memorial and sat on the stairs next to the river for the last sunset of the summer and talked about everything under the sun, from physics and the internship to college football to what the future may hold.  We held the last pregame of the summer before going out.  Where, of course we played games, but we also went around and reminisced our favorite memories of the summer as well as other fun stories.  Where a small group of us went out one last time.  We said our goodbyes that night whether it was at the end of the pregame for people not going out or after we got back from going out.  I’m not really a big goodbye person, but I’m glad I did it.

And that brings us to today, time to head home.  I woke up around seven this morning to finish packing my things up for my flight.  I got to Reagan National Airport at 8:30, sat down, and had a good breakfast that included a waffle, bacon, and eggs.  My flight out of DC left at 10.  I am currently sitting in the G concourse of Chicago’s O’hare airport awaiting my connection home as I finish writing the last blog of my summer.

Finally, to end the summer I would like to thank everyone that supported me as an intern in the SPS program, all of the other interns for making this summer the best one I’ve had so far, and for everyone that followed along with the blog.  I’ll cherish the memories from this summer for a long time to come.

Thank you.


Clayton Markech