Week 4 SQP (June 30th - July 6th)

Written By: Emily Briere and Karl Gendler

Sunday, June 30th:
As buzzers and bells woke the Academites one by one, they groggily rolled out of bed.

The Academites arrived in the common room
and, blinking, stepped into the Sun,


Once all the Academites were gathered together post-laundry and post-breakfast, the tiresome work of determining what to do on the group project began. The meeting went on for a few hours until the RA’s went for their traditional four-hour lunch. Much to Michael’s dismay, the students (Brian) decided on Olive Garden. Karl thankfully asked for separate checks before the meal started, saving the hassle of every other group meal in the coming week. The group got all sorts of pastas and had a fun time and hearty laughs over our disproportionately caloric meals. Another round of “which/watch” went just about as poorly as the first time, with neither object returning to Karl’s hands. Once all had paid their separate checks, Brian drove those who wanted to shop to the store (because apparently that’s where shopping is done), while the rest stayed behind and waited for him to drive back to the Qaides (Quads.) Once home, the Academites continued the intense discussion about the project, until finally the RA’s came to a conclusion that nearly everyone would forget about later. Karl left to have dinner with Dr. Worden and a University of Michigan Professor while the Academites ate a delicious and nutritious meal of fishsticks and leftover mac ‘n cheese. Post dietary consumption, the Academites broke into little groups to attack their respective parts of the group project with the new goal in mind.

Monday, July 1st:
How many days in a row can the Academites wear their blue polos? Dressed to impress with several less-than-inconspicuous stains, the Academites headed to MegaBites to enjoy a tired Manic-Monday breakfast. After espresso (Natalia!!) and donuts (Baba!!), everyone peeled off to their respective labs for the morning. It was hard to stay focused when such a fun day lay ahead! After mere hours of work, and sending love notes over the GroupMe of how they all missed each other, the gang reunited at MegaBites to grab lunch to go and then met Alarkanie outside by the cars. Okay, the RA’s actually met behind Megabites... but at least they were on time! #SmallVictories. Four cars full of Academites of the Aero and Space variety began their voyage to.... MBARIIIIIIIIII!!!! While many dozed off, the residents of Alana’s car (Tom, Lynn, Emily and Marissa), found themselves often awoken by abrupt accelerations which Alana insists were the car’s fault...Once at MBARI, Alana more than made up for it, as she surprised us with Canada Cupcakes and brownies -- IT WAS CANADA DAY. All enjoyed the frosting which spelled out Canadian stereotypes (“Sorry”, “JB”, “War of 1812” -- did they really win this?) and sung along to OH, CANADA while Alana and Janine reveled in their personal holiday. After a quick photo in front of the MBARI sign (with Karl this time!), the Academites met up with Dr. George Matsumoto, the incredibly gracious guide for the day. He gave the group a presentation of the deep sea and the autonomous vehicles that they used to explore it -- not only did these vehicles swim, but they flew as well. The MBARI interns then introduced themselves with impressive descriptions of their summer work. The notion that sea exploration was more difficult than travelling to space was brought up... but both intern groups were a bit skeptical!

After some socializing, Dr. Matsumoto took the Academies on an impressive tour of the MBARI submersible labs, and he even pulled some strings to hook the group up with passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Karl, Brian, Marissa, Lynn, and Emily stopped for quick noms and then explored the museum. All begun with the Jellies, imitating their motion throughout the exhibit. Brian drew several beautiful works of art which flew across the screen, a while Lauren made a proud rainbow jelly. The group held starfish, touched seaweed, and a select few braved the petting of the manta ray. Lauren and Emily kissed a friendly penguin through the glass, which Brian thought was gross. Tom was SUPER EXCITED to see TURTLES, and Karl caught the eye of a helpful security guard. In the final few minutes (while Marissa, Brian and Lynn were listening to a bird historian’s story), Karl and Emily peeled away to see the DEEP SEA EXHIBIT! Running across the museum (which again prompted the security to eye Karl suspiciously), the two were able to capture the best of the whole museum... and even see a sea turtle!! Everyone reconvened outside to head to dinner, which the hungry crowd was more than ready for.

The MBARI crew met up for dinner as well. Janine ordered several refreshments and was excited when Karl tried to start up a massive round of Witch-Watch. Karl and Andrew passed around fried pickles (surprisingly good), and then the table gave in to riddle after riddle by our very own Gendler. The food arrived, and everyone dug in, surprised at just how much could be fried. (Even the tomatoes on the burgers were batter dipped!) Janine, Lauren, and Emily escaped for a brief Charlie’s Angels photo shoot in the luxurious bathroom, and Quentin ordered a delicious dessert of donuts that everyone seemed to enjoy. Then, after a longggggg day, the Academites piled into the cars and fell into a nice slumber until they arrived back at the quads for quick MNL and bed!

Tuesday, July 2nd:
Tuesday! Everyone’s favorite second day of the work week! Breakfast went off without a hitch, with the beginnings of a normal work day in the making. Everyone seemed to have a relatively unexciting day aside from the colloquium, which everyone (especially Lynn) found extremely engaging. After a long day’s work, the Academites were welcomed home with a tasteful chinese dinner provided by our favorite Academy Associate Director, Michael Zero. What a nice guy!

Wednesday, July 3rd:
Early morning excitement ensued today! When the Academites reached the Black Gates, Michael realized that he forgot his identification badge. Michael walked back to the Qaides, only to realize that his keys were attached to his ID and he was thus locked out. In a desperate cry for help, he asked the other Academites to bring him a key. Being benevolent wannabe rulers of the universe, Karl and Alana decided to throw him a bone. So they hopped in their “Michael-forgot-his-key-too?!” mobile and sped off to save the day. When they arrived back at the housing though, Mikey was nowhere to be found. A WhatsApp received moments later revealed that while Karlana was on their way to save the day, he was on his way to the front gate on bicycle! So off they sped, with not a moment to lose. When they arrived at the gate and met up with Michael, Karl cooly tossed Michael his keys and continued on towards breakfast.

After such a fiasco at breakfast, a half day of work was definitely in order. (The next day was also a national holiday, but that totally didn’t have much pull in the decision.) Since it was a short day, there was to be a celebratory Fourth of July barbecue with SLSTP that night. ‘MURICA! In preparation of the event, Brian and Karl went shoppingggg! They purchased watermelon and burger toppings for the grilled delights that would be bestowed upon their gastrointestinal systems later that evening. When they arrived home, there was a bit of down time in which Karl passed right out on his bed, and was only awoken by the soft angelic voice of Lynn screaming “KARL!” Upon arrival at the Oakwood apartments, the watermelon was immediately cut into slices and fed to the gracious party guests.

For the rest of the evening, the Academites chillaxed with the SLSTP folks by the pool. After a few rounds of burgers and some beverages from the nearby Japanese market, nearly all the Academites headed for the hot tub. The RA’s soaked for a while and told embarrassing stories about themselves. After a bit more hang time, the students packed up, cleaned up, and left for home. It was a good day!

Thursday, July 4th:
‘MURICAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! The Academites emerged from their bedrooms to see Karl in his neon pink and green USA T-shirt, already shouting and celebrating the holiday. Everyone was so excited about getting to sleep in that they didn’t even mind.

The Academites had a surprisingly productive morning, working on their individual presentations, and then yielded to the fun nature of the fourth. Water balloons were prepared, and the battle time was set with the Aero Academy for 4 PM. Obviously, the burly men and buff women of the Space Academy scared them away, because 4 PM came and went with the Aero students nowhere in sight. Tom and Quentin showed their American side as they helped prepare a traditional American BBQ. The meat-eaters delighted in chicken, while the vegetarians enjoyed meatless meatballs, and Baba enjoyed … onions? When asked about why he was eating onions, Baba remarked: “Ya, I’m a worm!” Pie was consumed, and then the girls hid inside, too cold for the water balloon fight that was breaking out. Tom and a few others were brave enough to join Aero for the fight against the staffers... until it turned into a free for all. Afterwards, and in true fourth of July spirit, the Academy hiked toward Hangar 1 for some baby fireworks on the horizon. It was suuuuuper romantic!

Friday, July 5th:
Today, the Academites met with NASA Ames Academy alumnus Dr. Anne Dekas and had a most wonderful tour of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL.) It started out with a tour of the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectroscopy (CAMS), where the group learned about the carbon-14 dating method and how it’s performed. After running out of time, the group headed over to the National Ignition Facility (NIF.) The excellent tour began with a short description of what the NIF does (fusion!) and a quick introduction to the design and manufacture of the laser glass used in the facility. From there, the Academites went upstairs and got their first glimpse of the inner workings of the NIF. A janitor had to follow Tom around with a mop to clean up the constant stream of drool as Tom gawked at the epicness of the fusion machine. (Star Trek was shot in there! How cool, amirite?)

After NIF, the group got to see Dr. Dekas’s lab, a miniature version of the accelerator seen earlier in CAMS. From there, the Academites said farewell to LLNL and went to a nearby winery for lunch. Karl proceeded to get his lunch all down his polo, while everyone forgot to ask for separate checks. (But the food was delicious!) Returning home, the Academites went either to work or to do dry runs of their upcoming midterm presentations.

Saturday, July 6th:
The Academites all woke up at their own leisurely hour to a lovely French breakfast of croissants that Quentin supplied. The whole day was then spent working!!! Well... except for a minor shopping break. Brian, Lynn, Karl, Janine and Emily went to the mall while Natalia, Marissa, Alana, Baba and Steph went to the mall as well. The sales woman at Macy’s was quite confused when Brian asked where the “Brow Bar” was. Once she figured out that it was because Janine and Emily wanted to get their eyebrows done, she understood. Janine braved the eyebrow threading effortlessly, but she had to hold Emily’s legs for comfort when she got them done. The russian woman was very intense, and kept insisting “it wouldn’t hurt”. Janine and Emily then got makeovers at Sephora (yay!) while the boys and Lynn did nerdy things like shop for computers and eat pretzels. (Wonder who is writing this.) Natalia bought some ULTRA CUTE shirts, and both Nat and Marissa bought some fitting black pants. With everyone content with their purchases, all returned home for a quick break before heading back out for Panera/Chipotle/CVS. Then it was back to the quads for more work. Most of the group project was completed, the individual projects were submitted, and the sleepy Academites went to bed, looking forward to another day of sleeping in :).

Picture of the Week:
Week 4

Video Clip of the Week: