Week 4: I really need to start coming up with more interesting titles...

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Monday, June 24, 2019


Sariah Mevs Phipps

This week I had such a blast! OSA has free full body workout classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, so I have been getting over my laziness and working out for once! The instructor is great and I love the people around me, but my legs were sore for 3 days! I guess it just shows how much I need this class. On Monday I showed up to work and the elevators were dead. Usually this isn't a big deal since there are stairs, but I only had the key card for the elevator, not the stairs! Luckly, though, I arrived at the same time as Maddie, Curtis, and James, so we all went out for breakfast while the elevators were getting fixed. The problem with the elevators continued the whole week. There was usually one elevator working though so it wasn't a big deal. When I got to work, I continued doing my work for the Siegman School. As a recap from last week, the Siegman School project was where I was given a list of students who attended the Siegman School since 2014 and asked to enter them into OSA’s net forum database. There were only a few people I couldn’t add because their names weren’t in the system. I got about halfway through. I also had a meeting on how to edit the Optics4Kids website. I created the lesson plans for new activities my first week here, but they have yet to be added to the site. During this meeting, I was given access to edit the website and shown how to edit it. 

On Tuesday, I spent most of the day finishing the Siegman School project.  I also attended my weekly team meeting with the outreach group. In these meetings, everyone gives and update on what they are working on and how they can improve. Usually I just listen to the group talk about planning events, ordering T-shirts, and distributing awards. On Tuesday, though, I was asked to give an update on my work. It actually caught me off guard because I didn’t think I had to speak but I did fine. I just told them how far I was on the Siegman School project and told them about the people who couldn’t be added into the system. I also had another meeting with Terrence from IT. Last week, I sent out over 100 emails to student chapters asking them to update their roster. However, there were a few who emailed me back and said that they were unable to access the website because everyone in the presidency had an expired membership. Terrence taught me how to go into OSA’s membership records and edit information on it. I was able to add the person who emailed me as an officer and had them add the rest of the presidency.

Wednesday had a slow start. My advisor had the day off so I didn’t quite know what to do in the morning. Eventually, she emailed me with 2 jobs to do. The first one was to look through a finance report. I was to look at everything labeled as a Subsea project and find their name on the travel list. If they weren’t there or hadn’t payed the amount they were supposed to, I emailed her about it. There ended up being a ton of people who weren’t on the list. The second project was to look at the career section of the Optics4Kids website and decide what improvements needed to be made. I think this section is a great addition to the website, but it is extremely vague. I want to do more research on the careers that are already there and add more info. Later in the day, I had a meeting with Jen, another member of the outreach team who had a list of projects for me. The first project is updated a list of HBCU schools. I basically just google the school name, see if they have a physics or optics program, and write down their contact information. The second project was to look at the abstracts of students from Siegman School and make sure it looks accurate. I was originally excited for this project, but all the students are grad students so everything that they’ve written has gone completely over my head. I was told that I wasn’t expected to understand it though, and to mainly check for grammar. Another project had to do with a female scientist coloring book. The names of the scientists and the drawings are already taken care of, but I’m supposed to find facts about them to include. I also learned how to post blogs. I had written a blog previously, but it was never published. I was just shown how to publish it along with two other blogs.

I was given Friday off, so Thursday was my last day of the week. I spent Thursday switching between the HBCU list and looking at careers for the Optics4kids site. I didn’t finish either, but I got a decent amount done. The career page is split into 3 groups: academic, government, and industry. I have been mainly looking at industry jobs and have decided to include a job description, requirements, and education needed. The job description will be short and sweet, but the requirements is where it will be clearer on what is done. My hope is that high schoolers will be able to look at this website and have a better idea of what they want to do when they grow up.

After work Thursday, Andrew and I decided to go to Medium rare, a plave we were recommended to by co-workers. It had a set meal ist, but boy was it good. We started out with salads and bread, then were given a serving of fries and steak. Although it was good, Andrew and I were a little dissapointed with our portion size. However, the servers suprised us with a second serving! We were quite happy becasue we got all this for $23 each. For dessert, I ordered the double chocolate fudge layer cake (becasue why wouldn't I order the most chocolatey thing on the menu ;) ) while Andrew got the six layer carrot cake. I was expecting a pretty small slice of cake, but that thing was huge! Not only that, but it was the essence of chocolatey goodness. 

On Friday, Andrew and I emarked on our journey to New York! The bus ride was 5 and a half hours but it was worth it to not only see the city, but my family! We stayed at my aunt's house in Campbell Hall and were basically treated like we were in a hotel. It was amazing. Unfortunaly, though, things rarely go to plan when you go on a trip. Of course the train decided not to come to campbell hall on the one weekend we were visiting. Thankfully, my aunt and uncle were kind enough to drive us 20 minutes to the next station. We then took the train into hoboken and the metro to nyc. It was soooo crowded. When we got to the city, Andrew and I were in complete awe. We loved the skyscrapers and different characters we saw. Our original plan was to go to the chrystler building and view the empire state building from there, but it was closed for some reason. Luckly, we found ourselves right next to it so we viewed it from below. Then we went to time square. We kinda just sat there and enjoyed the view for a while. My favorite part of the city, though, was walking around. There is just so much to see and enjoy there. We also loved trying New York Pizza for the first time. It truley is the best.

On Sunday I had a family cookout with my aunt, uncles, and cousins. It was so good and I'm so sad I left the food we were given in the car! But I am so excited to visit again soon!

Sariah Mevs Phipps