Three Day Week

Two weeks into my internship and I have learned so much about what I will be doing in my career one day. Being able to apply the methods I’ve learned in class to real-world applications is like a sigh of relief. I have paid A LOT for my education, and it is finally paying me back. It’s comforting to know my education will allow me to not only support myself, but to support the things I have wanted to check off my bucketlist.

This week was only three days long! It started off with Memorial Day. I celebrated it by going to this area called Cabrillo National Monument with my roommate Laura, her friend, and her brother Robert. We took a bus down past my workplace and down to a monument surrounded by the gravestones of fallen soldiers. The area surrounding the monument is called Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and had over 100,000 graves lined along the rolling hills that protrude San Diego bay and the Pacific. They had a service celebrating the lives of those who died in service. I was particularly comforted when the address was given by someone close to home. Major General Steven Busby was introduced as an alumni of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I was very proud to share the same alma mater with  the distinguished guest speaker who stood before this crowd of thousands of people. Embry-Riddle students are going places!

Some of the gravestones

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Met up with some French Horn band geeks like myself. They performed at the ceremony.

Steven Busby

After the service, we all walked amongst the gravestones. The three people I had joined that day had either served or were still enlisted. I used the holiday to ask them about the many great experiences they had in the military, a lot of it applying to what I do my research in. We went out to a great restaurant near the beach and talked about plans for the three day weekend coming up. It was a relaxing day to start my three-day work week.

Myself, Laura, and her friend after lunch.

Tuesday morning I was in charge of creating a questionnaire to send out to employees at SPAWAR. The employees will be using a new online system and I was tasked with asking them what functions are most important in their line of work. I was also using that same system to test with people who are visually impaired. There are people employed by SPAWAR who are completely/partially blind, and this company strives to comply with ADA standards. Everyone here is seen as equal and should be allowed the same employment opportunities. My boss is tasked with ensuring they are being treated equally. I was very proud to work on a project that is intended to help those with a disability.

Aside from work tasks, I am also working on a project with a team at Embry-Riddle. We are working on changing the voting system so as to make it less of a “burden” and more of an enjoyable experience. For this system, it is pertinent that everyone eligible to vote can do it and can do it easily. In this project, I was able to use what I learned at work with the project I’m doing for school. Ensuring the visually impaired are considered in the design of our new voting system will keep us a step above the other competitors in this project.

Although it was a short week, it was certainly a busy one. Because my employer abides by the rotating work week, every other Friday is taken off. So, on my “empty” work day I woke up to the smell of bacon and pancakes. That’s right my roommates are awesome. Sharelle, who’s room is just above mine had made breakfast for Laura and I. I stumbled upstairs in a sleepy stupor to find pancakes covered in bananas, strawberries, and drenched in syrup. Sharelle had made me a plate of pancakes, eggs, and bacon. I don’t think I will ever wake up happier in my life. I never want to move back, I never want another roommate, I just want to stay here forever!

BREAKFAST!!!

As if that weren’t enough free food for the day, Laura’s brother Robert invited us over for a barbecue that night. So I made a bowl of macaroni salad and was welcomed there with ribs and delicious sides. I have never been this spoiled in my life. I slept like a fat baby that night. Getting up on Saturday morning was an overwhelming struggle. But I woke up so that I could join a co-worker in an area called Balboa Park. There was an introductory class on archery that I just had to join. And I didn’t do half bad. After a half hour of practice, there was a competition to get the arrow closer and closer to the target. You had to keep all of your arrows within a certain ring around the target, and I made it to the 7th round! I dropped out when we had to make it in the third surrounding ring. To celebrate we all got balloons, pinned them to the target and had to pop them. I made it on the first try! It looks like I’m going to the hunger games. Afterwards, we walked around the park area. There were so many different museums, gardens, art galleries, restaurants, and performance halls. It was a great side of San Diego I hope to explore in the future.

Hunting for Dinner

Outside the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park

Some pretty views

Keep coming back!

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About Carolyn

Hometown: Spring Hill, Florida
Why I Chose Embry-Riddle: It is the best aviation school in THE WORLD! Also, it allowed me the opportunity to work closely with professors, start research early, and get involved with a lot of campus activities. I had my first conference presentation when I was 19, so the research opportunities make you look good for college.
Internship: Office of Naval Research
Activities: President of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society student chapter, Vice-president Human Performance in Extreme Environments club, involved with First Generation Club and play with the Orlando Concert Band.

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