Week 9: Talks, Jellyfish, The Wharf, and Data

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Friday, July 29, 2022


Taylor Overcast

It is wild to think that we only have one week left. This summer has flown by and, while I am excited to return to my university, I wish that I could somehow do both. I am so grateful for the time that I have had here, and I am excited to move forward with my newfound knowledge and solidified career ideas. The interns are all busy putting together our final presentations. While we have been trying to see the last few things in the city that we want to, it has been difficult for us all to find common time to do things together. However, last weekend Brad came and gave a very helpful career talk on Friday, and we went to Quigley’s afterwards. In addition, a group explored Sandy Point on Saturday. This work week, a large group still found time to have a breakfast potluck and explore The Wharf together.

The weekend started off with a very helpful career talk from Brad Conrad. We then went out to Quigley’s for tater tots and nachos. Quigley’s is a regular place for our group due to their fantastic happy hour prices.

Here we all are enjoying tots (minus Emma, who took the picture):


On Saturday we went to Sandy Point to check out the beach there. We had a fun run-in with some jellyfish, with a total of 40% of the interns being stung – some of us are still sporting our tattoos of tentacles almost a week later. However, the day was still fantastic! We had planned a picnic and brought frisbees to toss around. The sun was bright and the bay was calm.

A little roommate picture on the beach… we weren’t the best at taking photos while we were there:

On Sunday, I headed over to my college friends’ house and spent the day with them. We went to church, baked, and even spent some time dueting on guitars. It was good to spend time with them, as it always is. It has been nice living in the same town again and it is something that I will miss most when returning to Tennessee.

On Monday the workweek began again. I spent the entirety of this week working on the data mining project for STEP UP that I started a couple weeks ago. I spent this week locating all the high schools in New York City (there are about 700). These schools will now be analyzed by the STEP UP team to determine which schools should be outreached to. In addition, Renee Horton from NASA virtually gave a very amazing and inspirational talk to us on Monday. She discussed the importance of happiness within a career and having confidence to pursue your dreams. In addition, on Thursday, we had another virtual lunch meeting with Midhat Farooq from APS to discuss building good and fitting resumes. The talk was very informative and helpful for thinking about how to best present ourselves for future jobs. A big thank you for them taking the time to talk with us and to SPS for setting the events up!

Wednesday night we had our almost weekly potluck of some sort. This week was breakfast themed. Nicole made potato pancakes and I made egg quesadillas. Between the two of us, we set off our fire alarm and it took a couple minutes for it to figure out that nothing was on fire – I promise we are both decent and relatively safe cooks. Nicole also taught me how to properly flip a pancake... turns out it's basically a frisbee flick upwards. The breakfast potluck was very diversified – everything from parfaits to French toast to zucchini bread. A smaller group of us then took a couple guitars to Anthony’s room and played for a while. This week had more music in it than others and I was very grateful for that :).

On Thursday night a few of us headed down to The Wharf. We showed up in waves of tiny groups because we are all pushing to get things done before next week. We walked around the pier, stopped by a free movie showing, got free showers from the rain storm, and took a few photos to document the excursion. Emma, Lucy, and I took the walk home together and got to see the monuments at night. I have seen them at night several times before, but they never fail to amaze me. When in DC, I think it is something that everyone should do at least once. 

The storm rolling in:

A little free showing of The Boonies:

A pier walk at sunset:

The group after nature’s free showers:

The Washington Monument with a photobomb brought to you by Emma: 

A little tree picking before returning home:

This weekend we have lots of plans packed in to see. Towards the end of the week, my mom and one of my friends are coming for next weekend and to see the city and to make the drive home with me. I am looking forward to seeing them, but I also know that means that this wonderful experience is coming to a close and I am not as thrilled about that aspect.

Stay tuned for the final week!


Taylor Overcast