Week One:Running Through DC

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Monday, June 13, 2016


Vanessa Espinoza

DC became my temporary home the Friday before this summer internship began. The week has been yery hectic, but also a great time. I am lucky enoug to be living with 5 awesome roommates. I have gotten to spend time with a Nobel Laureate, meet all of the awesome people at AIP, become part of a fantastic group at NIST, and workout in my free time. 

After arriving in DC from Texas on Friday, I met up with my roomates and we ventured to Target on foot. I mention on foot becuase this was to me. Texans typically don't have the luxury of being able to walk to places since everything is so spread out. After rounding up a few groceries we began our journey back. The weekend progressed on and my Sunday was definitely a fun day. I woke up and took to the streets with one of my roomies. We ran all the way to the White House! This was so cool because typically in Texas you can run from one patch of grass to the other and not see anything interesting in between. Sunday evening all of the interns went to go eat together and I had some pretty amazing pizza. 

Monday began and it was time to head back to work. All of the interns commutted together to ACP where we were greeted by all of the nice AIP people. Orientation was full of information and coffee, so it's safe to say that I enjoyed it. Once we got through the business it was finally time to see where all the magic was going to happen this summer (NIST). 

This summer I will be mentored by Dr. Angela Hight-Walker or Angie for short. She is so nice and energetic! The instumentation that I will be using is also pretty awesome. For my research, I will be using Raman Spectroscopy to look at a material, ABS, that is used in 3-D printing. I have used this type of Spectrometer or printer, so I am excited to use both. After heading back from NIST on my first day Tabitha and I headed out for a run and then to the gym. 

The rest of the week seemed to fly by! There were so many training sessions that I needed to attend and manuals that needed to be read before I got near the machines, but luckily I finished Friday, so that we could hit the ground running on week two. With all that needed to be done it seemed like I blinked and it was already Friday. 

My weekend began Friday evening with astronomy on the mall. We helped out with the AIP table and showed kids from all over the DC area fun demos. Saturday was a very lazy day with a little yoga and some great Chinese food. Today, Sunday, was especially fun because we found a pickup soccer game pretty close to our apartment. What was even more exciting was that after our game I stumbled upon a store called The Cakeroom. I am a sweets fanatic, so decided to try one of their cupcakes and it was amazing! We ended the day with burger and shakes which was also pretty great. 

All in all, this has been a pretty awesome experience so far! Everyone is really nice and the area is beautiful! In the next couple of weeks I hope to check out the zoo and go for a run on the National Mall. I look forward to seeing what this summer holds and what I learn from the research that I'm doing. Well until next time! 

Vanessa Espinoza